Key School Staff
A Dedicated Team of Professionals
From researching physics in a nuclear laboratory, teaching English in Malaysia, developing a math dictionary, working in children's publishing, reporting on television, being foster parents, to running the Boston marathon in record time, our faculty brings a variety of valuable experiences and insights to Key School.
With a commitment to professional development, our highly trained teachers use a unified, intentional, cohesive approach. Dedicated and caring, Key's teachers are committed to helping children become successful students.
Every teacher at Key School is Orton-Gillingham-trained. Each language teacher has completed a rigorous, supervised clinical teaching experience to ensure a high level of compentancy with multisensory structured language instructional principles. Math teachers are trained in the multisensory math principles and approach. Both language and math teachers use a five-step Orton-Gillingham-based lesson plan which includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic teaching and ample review and reinforcement in a teaching-for-mastery environment.
Key School provides its own teacher training to all faculty, under the supervision of a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). Key uses the curriculum standards of AOGPE and is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). Teachers are in the mindset of continuous improvement and lifelong learning. Two-thirds of the faculty have passed a national certifying examination and are credentialed at the Certified Academic Language Practitioner level or the Certified Academic Language Therapist level.
Get to know Paco Marmolejos.
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools? “I am blessed to work in an environment designed to meet students where they are and help them reach any goal, becoming enthusiastic, confident life-long learners.”
What do you like most about your job at CDS? “I love my students; I love my colleagues; I love the administration. All together, they are an amazing group I give many thanks for. Individually, they continually impress me with their desire to grow and be their very best –a desire matched with the tenacity to pursue their dreams while overcoming the often unforeseen challenges along the way.”
In your opinion, how does the CDS community inspire students to be courageous and curious, wonder about things that they don’t understand, try new things, and develop individual passions? “We show them that asking questions is a good thing! That the greatest thinkers asked the hard questions and doggedly wrestled with what they knew and did not know exemplifies why indulging their natural curiosities can often lead to great new worlds of understandings.”
How would you describe your classroom? “My classroom is our classroom. I encourage students to tell me what they want to learn about, how they learn best, and through which means can they best share what they know with others.”
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning? “One of my favorite quotes about education was written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. What he wrote back in 1947 for the Morehouse College student paper, I think is timeless and universal:
To think incisively and to think for one's self is very difficult. […] Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. […] We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.”
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less? “Can’t get enough of the smiles and a-ha’s of success!”
Which classroom projects/events are you known for? “The end of year trip for Key’s 6th graders took them on a journey of exploration from the depths of Linville Caverns to the heights and majestic light at the mile-high bridge at Grandfather Mountain. Learning about the geological processes shaping our world in their science class was thus paired with an eye-opening experience outside the classroom –one that made a life-long memory about our innate ability to understand events unfolding on a grand scale.”
What personal passion brings balance to your life? “I love being in nature and am quite content to sleep in a hammock out under the trees and stars. Whenever I can, I try to share the joy in the natural beauty and quiet respite that can be found in the natural world with others.”
How is CDS different from what you experienced as a child in school? Why/how is what you see now valuable? “I found teachers that made a difference in my life growing up in the Bronx. I was lucky to have a mother who insisted I attend private schools, and I came across teachers who believed in me and urged me to strive for my best. Having grown up close to students in less ideal situations, I know there were probably many dedicated teachers nearby who often found themselves in environments that imposed barriers to their students’ success. I work at school without barriers. I know my students can achieve what they set their sights on, and this entire school and community is here to make sure they find their way.”