Where are you from, and how do you identify with that place now?
I was born in Montreal and raised in the suburbs of New York City. I can’t say that identify with either strongly, having been a city kid for the last two decades, so much so that I don’t realize how much of a New Yorker I am at heart until I leave this city. We New Yorkers tend to take a lot for granted until we leave the city and can’t get instant gratification—such as grabbing a slice of pizza after midnight.
When you were 13 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer. Novelist actually, but that wasn’t a word I’d have used back then. I’ve always been obsessed with stories and storytelling and when I discovered that someone actually got paid to write all the books I was reading, that was it for me. Of course, I eventually realized that “actually got paid” didn’t necessarily translate to “actually paying bills” but that’s beside the point.
What is a recent communications success of which you are particularly proud?
We just released the updated Grad Nation Community Guidebook, an online resource that provides research-based guidance, reference material and tools that will help communities raise high school graduation rates and better prepare young people for success. It’s already been mentioned in Education Week; more important, it’s going to be great way to share knowledge with people around the country and to get their feedback on what works for them.
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