St. John’s Alumnae Honored for Teaching in Underserved Communities

Melissa Marcus and Ashley Kuehn.jpg

Melissa Marcus and Ashley Kuehn

July 7, 2020

Reflecting their dedication to students from low-income households in New York City, teachers Ashley A. Kuehn ’19C and Melissa Marcus ’16G, ’18Psy.D. have been honored with Success Academy’s 2020 Excellence in Education Awards.

Each year, Success Academy honors select educators who demonstrate exceptional talent and commitment. By serving children from mostly low-income families, Ms. Kuehn and Ms. Marcus have not only done outstanding work in bringing educational opportunity to children—the have followed in the footsteps of scores of St. John’s alumni who have answered the Vincentian question, “What must be done?”

This is the second straight year in which St. John’s alumni have won Excellence Awards. Founded in 2006, Success Academy is a network of 45 public charter schools serving 18,000 K–12 students in some of New York City’s most underserved neighborhoods.

A second-grade, integrated coteacher in Springfield Gardens, NY, Ms. Kuehn was named Rookie of the Year, an award given to first-year teachers who embrace the challenge of teaching and demonstrate significant growth.

“Being an English major at St. John’s truly fostered my love for literacy,” she said. “I am able to share that passion for reading and writing with my scholars and get them excited about literacy, as well.”

A fourth-grade teacher at Success Academy in Rosedale, NY, Ms. Marcus was honored with the Excellence Award for ETHOS, which recognizes school staff who best demonstrate the Success Academy’s core values: Excellence, Teamwork, Humor, Ownership, and Scholars.

“At St. John’s, I knew that I wanted to work with children and advocate for education,” she explained. “Helping children and their families has always been my priority.”