• Master class with Basil Twist. Photo by Pat Swain.

The Don Quixote “Follow Your Dream” Fellowships

When teachers are inspired, students benefit. The Don Quixote Fellowships supports idealistic, romantic, creative, impractical, adventurous projects born of teachers’ passions.

Projects can, but need not, be related to classroom practice: a science teacher might study Inuit poetry in Alaska or a pre-K teacher might carve a fifteen-foot marble sculpture. We are looking for applicants who use ingenuity in planning an original experience.

Applications for the 2020 Don Quixote Fellowships are no longer being accepted. The deadline to apply was December 15, 2019.

(More details here.)


2020 Academy for Teachers Don Quixote Fellows

David Price, Bard High School Early College Queens

Doing Mathematics Through Art of the Islamic World

David Price, a high school math teacher, has incorporated Islamic geometric art into his work with students and fellow educators. In Islam, geometric patterns play a central role in religious art, particularly in the art found in north Africa and Europe. His Fellowship will bring him to London, England and Andalusia, Spain, to study patterns in Islamic art and expand on his understanding of what it means to think—and see—mathematically.

Arend Thorp, Beacon High School

Helping to Heal the Earth

Arend Thorp, who teaches science and technology, is committed to educating students about their relationship to the planet and to encourage in them a sense of stewardship for the natural world. He will travel to the Bay Islands of Honduras to contribute to the observation and restoration of coral reefs. While there, he will use his study of underwater photography to document as many species of life as possible to draw attention to the ongoing anthropogenic mass extinction taking place on Earth.

Juliet Varnedoe, Williamsburg Prep High School

French Cajun Blues Songwriting Retreat

Juliette Varnedoe has been teaching English at a public high school in Brooklyn for more than 10 years. Her fellowship will bring her to St. Martinville, Louisiana, where she will immerse herself in the sounds and rhythms of Cajun bayou country. She will study Cajun French while developing her songbook, rehearse with authentic New Orleans blues players, and finish writing a suite of French Cajun songs.


2019 Academy for Teachers Don Quixote Fellows

Jasper DeAntonio, Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice

Unraveling the Urbanite’s Relationship to the City

Jasper DeAntonio’s math students use statistics to analyze the effects of New York’s built environment. His fellowship will fund research on urban design and civic engagement in three European cities—Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam—creating a dataset that will serve as a basis of comparison for future classroom inquiries.

Julissa Llosa, Harvest Collegiate High School

Living in Harmony with the Earth

Julissa Llosa, a teacher of art and special education, has been taking students on outdoor overnight trips for several years. Her fellowship will take her to seven national parks in the Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateau, where she will sharpen her wilderness skills, deepen her appreciation of nature, and gather stories to share with her students.

Megan Minturn, The Brooklyn International High School

Learning Dance Techniques in Brazil

Megan Minturn teaches dance in a public school, leads her own dance company, and dances with two others. Having previously studied sabar dance in Senegal and salsa in Cuba, her fellowship will allow her to study orixá dance, capoeira, and Silvestre technique in Brazil.


2018 Academy for Teachers Don Quixote Fellows

David Harvey, The Dalton School

Working with Teachers in Rural Ecuador

David Harvey, a math teacher, first traveled with Teachers-2-Teachers Global to Santo Domingo de Onzole in Ecuador. This isolated jungle community, established by escaped slaves, was until recently only accessible by canoe and had no federal funding for education. With the help of the Don Quixote Fellowship, David will return to Santo Domingo de Onzole with his wife, a native of Ecuador and elementary and middle school Spanish teacher, to collaborate with under-trained teachers in under-resourced schools on curricula and other educational issues.

Sarah Murphy, The Browning School

Tiny Box Theater Goes to Scotland

Sarah Murphy, a librarian who teaches theater, co-founded the Tiny Box Theater in her spare time. The group stages unusual puppet shows inside various types of small boxes, for one or two observers at a time. These (very) brief theatrical pieces have been performed at the Figment festival on Governors Island and other venues. Sarah’s Don Quixote Fellowship will allow Tiny Box to develop a new street theater piece and perform it during the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Anita Yu, East Side Middle School

Making Connections with Math through Art

Anita Yu teaches math and started a Women In Science and Engineering group at East Side Middle School. She has long been fascinated by the ways math can intersect with art and has built mathematical sculptures with her students, including a harmonograph and a truncated icosahedron. Her Don Quixote Fellowship will help her realize the long-held dream of attending the Bridges Conference On Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, Architecture, Education, and Culture, this year in Stockholm, Sweden.