Ms. Sarnese

Jaclyn re-ignited her passion for education as a second-year biology major at the University of Miami. A memorable professor opened her eyes to the social injustices that still prevail in the U.S. education system. It was during that course that she committed herself to education policy reform.

Ms. Sarnese student teaching HS Biology in Miami-Dade County

Journeying back to Jersey

After college, Jaclyn moved back to her hometown in southern New Jersey to teach at Oakcrest High School before continuing to pursue policy. Despite being fresh out of school, Jaclyn was entrusted to lead the efforts to start a biomedical magnet program for Oakcrest High School through Project Lead the Way (PLTW).

The Atlantic City Press covered Oakcrest's new biomedical magnet program
Ribbon cutting ceremony for Oakcrest's new biomedical room

Jaclyn had the experience to teach biology in a traditional setting in addition to the biomedical courses, which were organized much more innovative way. Further, PLTW required at least 80 hours of intensive training and support to be trained in each high school course. Jaclyn quickly began questioning the amount of support provided or available to traditional classroom teachers.

Was this fair?

How could she help advocate for support for all teachers?

An example of Jaclyn attempting to bring experiential learning to traditional Biology class
Oakcrest's biomedical students and teachers threw Jaclyn a surprise going away party

Jaclyn became very attached to Oakcrest and the biomedical program that she helped build, just as any good teacher would! As hard as it was to say goodbye, she knew she needed to keep growing and learning in order to accomplish her dream of reforming the US education system.