Spark Teacher Education Institute partners with Marlboro Graduate School to offer teacher certification and a Masters in Social Justice Education. Participants work side-by-side for an entire year with a skilled mentor teacher, learning to integrate social justice and equity content into the mainstream curriculum.

The program strives to instill an understanding of self and others in conjunction with the development of skills, knowledge, critical thinking and compassion required for creating an equitable and engaging learning environment for diverse learners.

The program produces teachers and leaders in education who engage to restructure contemporary systems. It provides experiential and theoretical preparation for transformative work in all aspects of education. Graduates go on to positions in education throughout the world, equipped for the challenges of teaching and for their role as leaders and innovators.


Listen to  Spark Co-Director Dr. Janaki Natarajan address doctoral students at University of Massachusetts Boston


Spark alums continue to generate innovative curricula that challenge the dominant narrative. Click to view and download some of these lessons. 

Summer Institute

Sparks kicks off each year with a week-long intensive Summer Institute to prepare the students for the classroom experience.



Spark student-teachers participate in two exhibitions per year where they showcase a lesson or a unit to peers, faculty and community members then receive critical feedback for further reflection and growth. Watch Asis, May 2018 graduate, talk about his work in the classroom during his Spark year.

Graduation May 2018

Alumni Highlights

Cory Sorensen, Spark Alumni, teaches at Guilford Central School in Vermont where he invited Abenaki artist, activist, and educator Judy Dow to work with his 4th and 5th grade classes on mapping Vermont eugenicists. Student work will be displayed at Brooks Memorial Library. 
Listen to VPR’s (Vermont Public Radio) coverage of Cory and Judy’s project. 

Read “Spiraling Through History and into the Future” in the Brattleboro Reformer


Becca Polk, Spark alumni, teaches at Riverside Middle School in Springfield, Vermont.



Where Are Spark Alums Today?
Listen to Spark graduates talk about how Spark influences their work today.

Atasi Das, Graduated 2009, Doctoral Candidate at the City University of New York Urban Education Program


Henry Zacchini, Graduated 2010, Social Studies Teacher at Brattleboro Union High School in Brattleboro, VT

Derek Johnson, Graduated 2013, 4th Grade Teacher at Adelphi Elementary School in Adelphi, Maryland

Ari Adelstein, Graduated 2015, English Department Head and English Teacher at Van Sickle Academy in Springfield, MA

Olivia Bregani, Graduated 2017, Social Studies Teacher at Contoocook Valley Regional High School in Peterborough, NH

Hannah Cummins, Graduated 2018, Social Studies Teacher at Four Rivers Charter School in Greenfield, MA

Spark Alum in the News

“Argument misses key factors of U.S. gun violence” by Henry Zacchini (The Commons, March 2018)

“New Feminism” by Kelly Juno (The Commons, March 2018)

“Kids Should Know Who Makes Toys” by Nina Kunimoto (Brattleboro Reformer, January 2018)

“The People Behind the Food: Brattleboro third graders speak out about farm workers” by Kelly Junno (The Commons, January 2018)

“Promises to the Peasants” by Henry Zacchini (Brattleboro Reformer, May 2017)

“Fresh Start at Brattleboro Union High School”  (Brattleboro Reformer, August 2016)