"I knew without a doubt that my teachers believed in me. They built my confidence, they made me feel smart." –Annie Gergi, Red Oaks Alumna
Annie Gergi has made education a top priority throughout her life and has dedicated her career thus far to making education available, equitable and enjoyable for others. Though her academic journey has taken her many places, Annie can trace this appreciation for learning back to her first school experience at Red Oaks, then called Montessori Children’s House (MCH). “The teachers were so invested in our growth, not just as students, but as people,” she recalled. “I knew without a doubt that my teachers believed in me. They built my confidence, they made me feel smart.” To this day, she remains in contact with MCH teachers, despite the time and distance that has separated them.
When Annie graduated from MCH she moved on to the Peck School and then to Chatham High School. Halfway through high school her family moved to London, where her professor father had a new post. The family stayed in London and Annie attended University of Manchester where she studied Middle Eastern Studies before getting her MA at SOAS at University of London in Gender Studies and Law with a focus on the Middle East. While her fields of study informed her work, Annie found her passion to lie in education and returned to the US in 2018 to join Teach for America as an Honors English teacher in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area. After her experience in the classroom, Annie approached the field from a different perspective, working as a Policy Fellow for the Urban Leaders Fellowship. In this position, she worked on policies to make learning more equitable for students in New Orleans and to close the digital divide during COVID-19. “Working in public schools in Florida cemented my dedication to making our education system better,” she explained. To that end, Annie will begin a new position this spring as development manager with Schools That Can, an education nonprofit based in New York City. “I think I will always work toward that goal in some capacity,” she said. “I had such positive experiences in school, starting at Red Oaks, and I believe everyone deserves to know that feeling.”