Stephanie O’Halloran

for webI am so excited to be a part of the amazing learning community that is Paulo Freire Freedom School!

I moved here from Brooklyn, NY in 2005 to teach for AmeriCorps, where I created service learning projects for the Youth Volunteer Corps. I wanted to use my English degree to help young people express themselves and have a positive impact on the community.

Because I strongly believe in the power of youth voice, I was happy to become a writing mentor for VOICES in 2006. Now the afterschool program for City High, VOICES was a documentary arts training program where kids would write, photograph and publish their personal and community stories in print and radio. I loved the inquiry-based storytelling that allowed kids to research, interview people and write about things that they found important and interesting. I was blown away by how much these stories affected young writers and their audiences. I can’t wait to see what kind of amazing projects the students at Paulo Freire will do this year!

I am also a singer, songwriter and performer, so I love music, art and Tucson’s vibrant culture. I like to spend my free time performing live shows and hanging out with my daughter, Violet, who also likes to sing at the top of her 7-year-old lungs.

I have moved around a lot all of my life. I lived in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Minnesota, New York, and Arizona. I got my B.A. in English from Hamline University, the oldest college in Minnesota, and after traveling the U.S. and playing music in New York City, I chose Tucson as my home because I love the people, warm weather, and wide open spaces.

After student teaching Humanities at City High School, I earned my M.Ed. from the U of A’s Teach Arizona program. I enjoyed teaching English at Catalina Foothills High School, but jumped at the chance to come work for Paulo Freire, because I love their project-based curriculum and I think small, creative schools are the way to go!