Freilich’s new podcast, ‘No Silly Questions’ helps parents navigate the education system
Beginning her career in education as an associate first-grade teacher in the Harlem 2 Success Academy in 2010, Danielle Freilich is now working to grow what she learned in the classroom by supporting teachers across the country. Still based in New York City, the 34-year-old recently co-launched an educational podcast while continuing to dedicate her free time to causes she cares about, including improving outcomes for students in underserved communities in Israel.
“I really believe that all children should be entitled to a quality education so that they can have the ability to fulfill their potential and pursue their dreams,” Freilich told eJewish Philanthropy. “I believe that a sound democracy relies on an educated citizenry. And without this, [children] suffer, and without this, our country suffers.”
While studying at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Freilich became curious about the model of publicly funded, privately run charter schools, which she says are “given autonomy in exchange for accountability.” After graduation, she joined one of Success Academy’s flagship schools in Harlem. She says the charter school operator’s apprenticeship model helped her hone her craft by “going slow to go fast.”
After progressing into roles where she helped to coordinate the teachers at her grade level, Freilich decided to pursue graduate studies in education policy at Harvard University to provide further context and learning for her work. When she returned to Success Academy in 2014, it was as an assistant principal for Harlem West, followed by a stint as principal of the Bronx 2 Middle School two years later. During her time as principal, all her students passed the Algebra Regents Exam and placed in the top 1% on the New York State exam.