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School for Children alumni make a difference by following their passions.

Sidra Bell '93

Sidra BellSidra is a world-renowned choreographer, a master lecturer at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and the artistic director of Sidra Bell Dance New York, whose skills for innovation and artistic interest in the "complexities of the human condition" were developed at the School for Children. Further Reading

Loren Brill '98

Loren BrillLoren is the founder of Sweet Loren's, a company specializing in all-natural cookie dough. She was first introduced to the entrepreneurial skills she makes use of today at the School for Children. Further Reading

Eliza Byard '82

Eliza ByardEliza is the executive director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, advocating for the LGBT-related issues in K-12 schools. She was inspired by her experiences with powerful teachers at the School for Children to become an educator herself, albeit a different field. Further Reading

Liz Garbus '84

Liz GarbusLiz is the co-founder and co-president of Moxie Firecracker Films. Known as one of the most prolific American documentary filmmakers today, Liz's raw, unabashed documentaries constitute important portraits of social dilemmas and notable people. Some of her most notable films include What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015); Bobby Fischer Against the World (2011); Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (2007); Girldhood (2003); and Oscar nominee The Farm: Angola USA (1998), to name a few.

Sophie Gunn '10

Sophie GunnSophie is a rising sophomore at Carleton College and a graduate of Bard High School Early College. She was first introduced to “learning for learning’s sake” at the School for Children. Further Reading

David Lenzner '00

David LenznerDavid is a high school Spanish teacher at Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School who works constantly to imbue his curriculum with ideals and values similar to those he learned at the School for Children. Further Reading

James Lowenthal '78

James LowenthalJames is a professor in the Department of Astronomy at Smith College and an active member of Northampton, Massachusetts community politics, connecting academics to social outreach in order to promote inclusion within the field of astronomy—an interest inspired by the inclusive community at the School for Children. Further Reading

D.T. Max '75

D.T. MaxD.T. Max is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He has published two books: Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace, which chronicles the life and suicide of David Foster; and The Family That Couldn’t Sleep: A Medical Mystery, which tells the tale of an Italian family suffering from fatal insomnia. His work delves into mysteries through an insatiable curiosity that he attributes to his experience at the Bank Street School for Children. He was one of 178 scholars, artists, and scientists to receive a 2014 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Miri Navasky '82

Miri NavaskyMiri is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, whose work grapples with provocative, contemporary issues—transgender children, teenage shooters, assisted suicice—in an unflinching yet informative manner. She is known for her work at Frontline, but also leads her own independent production company, Mead Street Films. Some of her notable documentaries include Growing Up Trans (2015), The Suicide Plan (2012), and Facing Death (2010). 

Gabriel Portnof '87

Gabriel PortnofGabriel works in animation at DreamWorks Pictures and acknowledges Bank Street's approach to progressive education—as well as its emphasis on visual arts as a field equal in importance to math, science, and other academic subjects—as influential to his career in the arts. Further Reading

Joanna Schlesser-Perry '92

Joanna Schlesser-PerryJoanna is a criminalist in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York's Department of Forensic Biology. Her interest in social justice was born at the School for Children. Further Reading

Karen Shepard '79

Karen ShepardKaren is a professor of creative writing and contemporary American literature at Williams College and a celebrated author of historical narratives. She credits the School for Children with helping her develop a perspective conducive to writing narratives. Further Reading

Aziz Yakub '10

Aziz YakubAziz is a rising sophomore at Harvard University whose first learning experiences at the School for Children were positively impacted by the absence of grades and by the school's vehement support for self-reflection and self-improvement. Further Reading