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.
Rebecca Gallo is a Grade 8 Math, Science, and World Cultures teacher at the Key School. Her position combines her educational background in science and math with her love of travel and experiencing new places. Rebecca loves learning—she holds two Masters degrees: one in Physical Therapy (from the University of Scranton), and the other in Education with a focus on Math Education (from Cambridge College). Rebecca did her Masters research on Math Anxiety, and is an expert at addressing this issue not just with her students, but with their parents as well. She began her affiliation with CDS in 2016 as a math tutor, helping students not just with their math courses, but also with standardized tests like the SAT and SSAT. In addition to school-based educational settings, Rebecca has taught in her positions as a Park Ranger at the Vanderbilt Mansion in her hometown of Hyde Park, NY, as a computer systems consultant in the medical industry, and as an employee of the U.S. Census Bureau. As part of her work as an Americorps VISTA volunteer, she also coordinated tutoring and mentoring programs.
Rebecca loves to travel and has walked the Camino de Santiago three times in the last four years. She also enjoys writing memoir.
Get to know Rebecca Gallo:
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools?
“CDS gives me plenty of time each day to engage my students and make learning memorable.”
What do you like most about your job at CDS?
“At CDS, it is clear that students are the top priority, and that everyone works as a team to support their success. To that end, communication is encouraged and supported—and not just among teachers. We, as teachers, feel no hesitation in communicating with administrators and staff, and they do anything they can to help us help our students.”
In your opinion, how does the CDS community inspire students?
“The Key School teaches students how to advocate on their own behalf. This includes asking questions about things they are curious about or things they don’t understand. Our Talents program gives students the opportunities to try things they may never have considered doing before—and students are encouraged to request classes in topics they are interested in.”
How would you describe your classroom?
“In the front of my room students see a poster that says, “Mistakes are expected, respected, inspected, and corrected.” In the first week of school, we discuss what each of those words means and how mistakes are part of the learning process. Another poster says, “Only positive attitudes are allowed beyond this point.” If I were to post a third, it would say, “Questions welcome and encouraged.”
What books and authors inspire you?
“I’ve been lately reading a lot of books on brain research and how it can and has been applied in classrooms. I’m fascinated by the intersection of science and education, and am thrilled that the research that has been done is now filtering down to those of us “on the ground.”
What is your favorite quote?
“From Alice in Wonderland (I chose this as my Senior Quote for my high school yearbook, and still love it):
Caterpillar (to Alice): Who are you?
Alice: Well, I knew who I was when I woke up this morning, but I’ve changed several times since then.”
What personal passion brings balance to your life?
“The two things I do during which I completely lose all track of time are writing and helping people declutter their homes, believe it or not. I actually teach a class called, “You Can’t Take It With You – And Your Kids Don’t Want It Either.” The value of “letting go” literally and figuratively is something I enjoy teaching others.”
How is CDS different from what you experienced as a child in school?
“The format in which I was taught worked well for me, but not for every student. At CDS, no student is left behind as the rest of the class moves forward. All students are given all the tools and resources they need to be successful.”