Hannah Sheldon-Dean graduated with honors from Brown University, where she earned a B.A. in Literary Arts and Education Studies. Hannah’s own educational background is unusually eclectic; after five years of public school in small-town Vermont, she was homeschooled between the ages of ten and fifteen. That experience—which included copious amounts of reading and writing—gave her invaluable insight into how students can take initiative and responsibility in their own educations, and she carried those lessons with her to her secondary school career at Berkshire School.
Writing has always been a cornerstone of Hannah’s holistic, student-driven approach to education. She is an experienced freelance writer who focuses on books for children and young adults, including several publications with Penguin Young Readers. A recent alum of the Sackett Street Writers Workshop, Hannah writes both fiction and essays and is passionate about encouraging students to do the same. Hannah has also worked extensively in coordinating literary programming for students, most recently as the School Partnerships Manager at Greenlight Bookstore.
Hannah is always interested in learning more about nontraditional education and the interaction between students’ experiences inside and outside of school. To further explore that same comprehensive perspective, Hannah entered a Master’s program in Social Work at New York University, which she completed in May 2015. While at NYU, Hannah gained expertise in the environmental and socioemotional aspects of children’s success, in large part through work as a clinician in the mental health clinic at Children of Promise, NYC. She is an experienced practitioner of cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness interventions and is happy to offer students and families the chance to integrate aspects of those practices into their academic pursuits.
Both during and after college, Hannah gained extensive teaching experience, from teaching poetry to eighth graders at a Rhode Island charter school to working on essay writing with other undergraduates as a Brown University Writing Fellow. Hannah always begins work with a new writer by identifying his or her existing skills, knowledge, and interests, and she finds that working from those strengths is the best foundation on which to build further expertise. Hannah has also worked with children in less formal contexts, most notably as a counselor and activity director at Camp Wohelo and as a babysitter and private tutor.
In her spare time, Hannah can be found baking bread, spending lots of time outside, and singing beautiful choral music with Khorikos, a classical vocal ensemble.