Year Eight: What Brought Us Here?

10 Aug

Before beginning our eighth school year at the Academy for Global Citizenship this morning, our faculty and staff gathered for a full week of professional development. As part of our larger vision to be a laboratory of innovation in education, the fabric of our work is perpetually analyzed and revised to reflect best practice and the changing needs of our community, so this is a week of collaborative work: digging into our curriculum, policies, procedures. This is also a week of reflection and reconnection as we reconvene after summer break, a flurry of tanned arms hugging and sharing summer travel photos.

At AGC, every day — be it a day of professional development or a day of learning in the classroom with our students — begins with a community circle, a ritual that helps us start the day with a focused, collaborative attitude. Monday, before diving into a collaborative editing session with our new Global Citizenship Curricular Continuum, we took a moment to share what brought us to this school and this approach to learning, as well as what keeps us here. While we were all drawn by the unique mission, vision, and culture at AGC, each path to our school shines a new light on the ecosystem of our school and its place in the terrain of education.

AGC is a special place. Our culture, curriculum and operations reflect a shared commitment to reimagining education every day, through thoughtful observation, innovation and collaboration. At AGC, educators found a community that reflected their personal beliefs and philosophy of education. “I read the mission and thought “oh my god, this is awesome, this is what I do in my time off!”, says Middle School Science Teacher Ms. Ortega. Says Ms. Moore, “I fell in love with the school and thought, oh my gosh! This is the school I’ve been looking for! AGC aligns so well with what I believe education should be.”

Many of our educators recall a conversation with Founding Principal Anne Gillespie that opened their eyes to the unique nature of our community. Many also applied to work at AGC after watching one of Founder Sarah Elizabeth Ippel’s TEDx talks or hearing her speak at a conference. Principal Gillespie herself was still considering a career in medicine when she was first introduced to the International Baccalaureate framework, the structure on which AGC’s holistic curriculum was built. “I was flabbergasted and angry about the reality of education for my students. I was going to be a doctor, but I thought ‘I have to do something about this, there is no reason why every student in Chicago shouldn’t have access to this kind of education.”

Many of us were also drawn in by the passion and excitement of a peer.  Ms. Salas remembers the call she got from friend Ms. Mares, telling her about this amazing new school in their community and urging her to apply for a teaching position. Ms. Salas, in turn, shared her excitement with Ms. Jetton, who is now a Middle School science teacher. New Middle School math teacher Ms. Radja was inspired to apply after watching the positive transformation of friend Mr. Thomson during his first year at AGC.

At AGC, we have also found a community of lifelong learners that share an intense drive to innovate and collaborate to achieve audacious goals. “I am surrounded by nerds in the best possible way.” says Ms. Moore. “What brought me here was what we do every day, but what keeps me here is all of my colleagues,” says Ms. Fyffe. ” For the first time in my life,” says Ms. Gomez, I was in the right place at the right time.”

If you want to join a community of nerds who believe the impossible is possible, we are always looking for passionate educators to join our team. View positions online at

Join the Movement: The Academy for Global Citizenship is Hiring!

14 Jul

At AGC, we aim to recruit, develop, and retain individuals who embody the characteristics of a global citizen and actively promote the school’s mission in all that they do. If this describes you, we encourage you to join our community of learners. Please share this post to help us find the best match for our mission, vision and school culture.

The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is a non-profit Chicago public charter school, located on the Southwest side. Our mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action now and in the future to positively impact their communities and the world beyond. Our innovative and holistic approach aims to foster systemic change and inspire the way society educates future generations. AGC values:

AGC Values.png

We are currently looking to fill two teaching positions for the 2015-2016 school year. To view up-to-date grade level vacancies and to submit an online application, please visit:

inspecting the garden in sunlight

Middle School English/Language Arts and Humanities Teacher

The Academy for Global Citizenship is seeking to hire an English/Language Arts and Humanities Teacher for 2015-2016. This position is ideal for a passionate middle school educator seeking a collaborative and open environment for whole-student learning. Bilingual (English/Spanish) candidates and those with International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme experience are strongly encouraged to apply.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Teaching: Uses various modes of learning to accommodate different learning styles: inquiry, real-life experiences, current events, technology, the arts and other engagement opportunities.

  • Content:  Teaches middle school students assigned content area according to IB Middle Years Program principles and student data. Also responsible for elective and advisory periods. Elective content is based on educator and student preference.

  • Collaboration: Meets weekly with middle school team. Collaborates with special education teachers and other grade level teachers to differentiate instruction.

  • Technology Integration: Incorporates technology across all disciplines as much as possible, where appropriate.

  • Professional Development: Participates in coaching cycle, stays abreast of latest techniques and demonstrates an eagerness to learn new skills and share experiences with others.

  • Curriculum Development: Works with coaches and grade level team to align curriculum with Common Core Learning Standards, the IB PYP, and AGC’s unique mission.

  • Performance Assessment: Sets high and measurable goals for student achievement and evaluates student progress using both summative and formative assessment data.

  • Community: Encourages the use of community resources, cooperates with families in welcoming them to our community, and maintains solid communication with all community members.

K-2nd Grade Wellness and Physical Education Teacher

The Academy for Global Citizenship is seeking a full-time Wellness/PE Teacher forthe 2015-2016 school year for our kindergarten-2nd grade classes.  The primary grade Wellness/PE teacher is responsible for providing exciting engaging instruction that keeps students moving.  Curricular units have been developed that include different parts of the wellness wheel.  These units help students understand how to develop their physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual wellness.

All teachers are responsible for helping our children learn, classroom management, participating in professional development, assisting in the development of and improvements to curriculum, and communicating to staff and parents regarding student performance. This position is ideal for a passionate educator seeking a collaborative and open environment for whole-student learning.

Responsibilities include:

  • Teaching Wellness/Physical Ed. to two kinder, two first grade, and two second grade classes.
  • Collaborating with the K-2 Spanish Teacher.
  • Being an active part of the K-2 teams.
  • Collaborating with the 3-5 and 6-8 Wellness Teachers.
  • Doing lunch and recess duties.

We are looking for staff who…

  • Have a big heart to match a big brain

  • Are bilingual in English and Spanish

  • Want their work to define best practice

  • Respect and thrive in a dynamic, changing, and growing environment

  • Know extraordinary things can happen when people work hard together

  • Want to participate in a laboratory for innovation in education

Working at AGC means…

  • Being surrounded by thoughtful, inquisitive students and hard-working, like-minded colleagues

  • Thinking outside of the box to do what is best for our students

  • Being held to high standards for continuous personal and school improvement, and being given the time and support to do so–AGC teachers receive twice as many professional development hours as their peers, and coaching from an Instructional Leadership Team with a combined experience of 13 advanced degrees and 78 years in 26 schools

  • Promoting student profile qualities of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP): inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, well-balanced, and reflective.

  • Gaining experience with interdisciplinary International Baccalaureate Units of Inquiry, balanced literacy, arts integration, and TERC Investigations Math

  • Having high academic expectations for every student in the school everyday

  • Getting your hands dirty in our school garden

  • Enjoying 100% organic, scratch made meals prepared by our on-site chef

  • Working in an environmentally sustainable school culture

Required Skills and Experience:

  • 5+ years (ideal) experience as an educator

  • Bilingual and biliterate (English/Spanish) (ideal)

  • Familiarity with IB (MYP) (ideal)

  • Familiarity with inquiry-based teaching and Responsive Classroom

  • Believer in culturally relevant teaching

  • Strong leadership, communication skills and personal drive

  • Ability to maintain a safe, orderly environment

  • Proven ability to play a lead role in their grade level

  • Experience with RTI process and accommodating students with IEPs in the classroom

Education Requirements:

  • Bachelor Degree in Education

  • Middle School Endorsement

  • Master’s Degree in education or related fields (ideal)

  • State of Illinois Teaching Certificate in relevant area

  • Endorsement or extensive experience in ELL instruction (ideal)


Competitive salary based on experience and level of education. Full benefits, free breakfast and lunch, wellness fund, and professional development funds offered.


To view up-to-date grade level vacancies and to submit an online application, please visit:

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, age national origin, or disability.

Join AGC Summer Campers at Weekly Farmers’ Markets!

10 Jul

During our short summer break, many of our students stay for AGC’s Summer Camp, a 4 week day camp centered around the development of a Schoolyard Farmers Market each Friday. Throughout the week, students enjoy a range of activities, many of which help the prepare for Friday markets. They harvest crops with the Gardeneers, produce humane and sustainable crafts with H.E.A.R.T, and study nutrition, cooking and food science.

Join us at our 3-8th grade campus on 46th St. and Laporte on Fridays 7.10, 7.17, 7.24 and 7.31 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm for homemade crafts, household products, and produce fresh from our schoolyard garden.

summer 2014 market 6summer 2014 kale this waysummer 2014 big bag of produce

Studio Gang and AGC to Build a Net Positive Future (Video)

10 Jun

At our Chefs’ Playground event last week, we announced our partnership with Studio Gang to build the state’s first net positive energy school building, a replicable new model for public school building that will be built on the Southwest side.

“We are excited to share the news that Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects will be leading the design of Chicago’s greenest campus. Not only will the space blaze a bright new trail for educating students, it will bridge vital needs of the community as well,” commented board member Amanda Hanley.

The future 60,000 square foot campus will include classrooms, an international learning laboratory, a teacher professional development center, an early childhood center, and an urban food production center.

The new campus will create spaces for learning that break down barriers between kids – barriers like ethnicity, national origin, gender identification, or income – vital in bringing about an equitable, sustainable society for future generations.

AGC’s Chefs’ Playground Gala news on NBC, Sun Times National and Chicago Tribune

9 Jun

We are thrilled by the follow up press from Chefs’ Playground on Thursday, including pieces from Sun Times National and the Chicago Tribune. An NBC 5 crew attended AGC’s Chefs’ Playground gala on Thursday and shot the following footage for the NBC 5 news at 10 that evening! Thanks to all who attended and supported this event.

3rd Annual Chefs’ Playground Wows Guests, Raises $340,000, Announces Studio Gang Net Positive Partnership

8 Jun


More than 23 Chefs and Mixologists, Actor Adrian Grenier and Guests Raise $340,000, Studio Gang Architects Announced to Design The Academy’s Future Campus

CHICAGO – June 5, 2015 – On Thursday, June 4, 2015 Chef Tony Mantuano and Bon Appétit Management Company CEO Fedele Bauccio hosted the third annual Chefs’ Playground presented by Lifeway to benefit the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC), an innovative Chicago public charter school located in the underserved southwest side. With 500 guests in attendance, the event raised more than $340,000 thanks in part to a matching grant from the George and Amanda Hanley foundation. Funds will go towards the school’s general operating costs with portions earmarked for the development of the first net-positive energy school in Illinois, which will generate more energy than it uses in a year through clean and renewable resources.

The evening featured 23 of Chicago’s best chefs and mixologists – including Rick Bayless (Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, Xoco), Jeff Mauro (Host of the Food Network’s “The Kitchen and “The Sandwich King”), Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde), Lee Wolen (Boka) and Gabriel Orta, Elad Zvi and Freddie Sarkis (The Broken Shaker Chicago) – who offered modern takes on their favorite childhood dishes and drinks. Guests also enjoyed music from DJ Matt Roan while taking in the view of the Chicago Skyline from Terzo Piano at the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.

“We are so grateful to all of our sponsors, partners, chefs, mixologists, and our guests who once again have made this event such a success,” said Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, founder and executive director of the Academy for Global Citizenship. “Our vision for the future of public education is one step closer to being a reality because of the support of this amazing community.”

In addition to monies raised, AGC announced that award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by founder and principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, has been chosen to design the future 60,000-square-foot campus. The new site will include classrooms, an international learning laboratory, a professional development and green job training center, an early childhood center and an urban food production center. Plans for the net-positive campus have been five years in the making, with the selection of Studio Gang the latest accomplishment. As one of the school’s newest partners, the Studio joins actor Adrian Grenier (“Entourage”), who attended the event to assist with the live auction as a new advocate for the school and will provide thought leadership towards the new campus’ creation.

“We are excited to share the news that Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects will be leading the design of Chicago’s greenest campus. Not only will the space blaze a bright new trail for educating students, it will bridge vital needs of the community as well,” commented board member Amanda Hanley who served on the architect selection committee and, along with her husband George, issued a $1 Million Challenge Grant from the Hanley Foundation.

Fedele Bauccio, Bon Appétit co-founder and CEO, has recruited his designers to help imagine a stunning food experience for the new Studio Gang-designed campus, sketches of which were on view during the event. Bon Appétit is a leading on-site restaurant company, pioneering environmentally sound sourcing policies and offering full food-service management to 500 vibrant cafés on the campuses of our nation’s top companies, universities and museums, including Google, MIT and the Art Institute of Chicago. With help from Bauccio and his team of visionaries, students will dine, cook and learn in a dining hall that rivals those of our top universities.

The Academy for Global Citizenship is an authorized International Baccalaureate public charter school located on the underserved Southwest side of Chicago. AGC provides quality education to 400, K–7th grade low-income, predominately minority students. Environmental sustainability roots AGC’s education in the natural world. Their innovative and holistic approach to education aims to foster systemic change and inspire the way society educates our future generations. Moreover, AGC is producing a replicable model for learning in the 21st century. The school’s Net Positive capital campaign, driven by the Hanley Foundation’s early $1M gift, is the result of private partnerships formed by a group of passionate, visionary founding investors.

For more information on AGC and Chefs’ Playground, please visit Follow at @globalchicago and #ChefsPlayground.

High-resolution photos of the event are available here, with photo credit and captions.

Media Kit available for download at:

Media Contacts:

For Chefs’ Playground: David Semanoff,

For Studio Gang Architects: Samantha Snodgrass,

For AGC: Katherine Elmer-DeWitt,

About The Academy for Global Citizenship

The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is a Chicago Public Charter School located on the city’s underserved southwest side. AGC’s mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action both now and in the future to positively impact their communities and the world beyond. AGC is committed to fostering environmental stewardship, nutrition and wellness, and an international perspective. AGC aims to inspire the way society educates by creating a replicable model for learning in the 21st century, including the construction of Chicago’s first net-positive energy school campus. For more information, please visit

About Studio Gang Architects

Founded by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang in 1997, Studio Gang is an award-winning design practice based in Chicago and New York. A creative team of architects, designers, and thinkers, the Studio operates as a laboratory—identifying urban patterns; testing ideas and materials; and developing new models at various scales.

Studio Gang begins its work with a concentrated discovery process, developing ideas through research, collaboration, and the exploration of form. Embedded in this process is the conscious, ongoing effort to improve our communities and our environment. Each project aims to resonate with its locality while addressing global themes like urbanization, climate, and social justice.

Guided by this approach, Studio Gang has produced some of today’s most compelling architecture, including the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, the Columbia College Chicago Media Production Center, and Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College. For more information, please visit

About Bon Appétit Management Company

Bon Appétit Management Company is an on-site restaurant company offering full food-service management to corporations, universities, and specialty venues. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appétit has more than 500 cafés in 33 states. Bon Appétit food is cooked from scratch, including sauces, stocks, and soups. A pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, the food and climate change connection, humanely raised meat and eggs, and farmworker welfare. It has received numerous awards for its work, from organizations including the James Beard Foundation, Chefs Collaborative, Natural Resources Defense Council, Seafood Choices Alliance, The Humane Society of the United States, and Food Alliance.


Special Celebrity Guests and Auction Items for 3rd Annual Chefs’ Playground Next Week

29 May

In one week 19 celebrity chefs, including Tony Mantuano, Jeff Mauro, Rick Bayless, and Sarah Grueneberg, alongside 4 master mixologists, will gather at Terzo Piano for the 3rd annual Chefs’ Playground gala presented by Lifeway Kefir and created in collaboration with Bon Appétit Management Company.

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We are excited to announce that, in addition to our stunning chef lineup, we will be joined by Kathy Hart, co-host of Eric & Kathy on The Mix 101.9 fm and our friend Adrian Grenier (aka Mr. A,) fresh from the premier of the Entourage movie on Wednesday, June 3rd.

8796279031_cd0630c2f7_zAdrian, kids & #schoolyardchicken

Ms. Hart will lead the event’s live auction, with some help from Mr. Grenier, who has generously donated his time for one of our auction items. Ms. Hart, an advocate for holistic wellness, including mindfulness and the importance of nutrition, topics our students learn about at AGC. Mr. Grenier, a passionate advocate for sustainable food and lifestyles, visited AGC this winter and has joined our Net Positive energy campus campaign as an advisor.

Our live auction will feature a trip to a Southern weekend food festival, including flights and a stay in a hip new eco-hotel; a private dinner cooked in your home by a group of award winning chefs; and a trip for you and your friends to hang with celebrity food and sustainability advocates on the East Coast. Silent auction items include a year of good food from Chipotle, Izze and O.N.E Coconut water, custom clothing from Wilfred Newman and Frederick Lynn, designer furniture from Holly Hunt, and lots of great food experiences!

Currently, only 21 VIP and 41 General Admission tickets remain. Sets of 6 are sold out. Get your tickets today at Tickets will run out! 100% of ticket sales and funds raised at this event go directly to supporting innovation in education at the Academy for Global Citizenship.


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