2019-2020 Gray Fellow
Danielle Derrig is the Founding Principal at Samara Community School, a PK-5 Spanish/English dual language school in district 12 in the Bronx. The school opened its doors in 2014 to provide the community a unique environment that honors the development of bilingual and bi-literate individuals through rich language instruction and project-based learning. Since its inception, the school nurtured partnerships with NYC’s cultural institutions to provide regular programming in nature studies, gardening, swimming, drumming and capoeira. Principal Derrig believes such experiences form the basis of a well-rounded education, supporting the wellness of the whole child. The school has since been awarded an “Excellence in School Wellness Award”, earning platinum status for its commitment to healthy initiatives. Danielle Derrig’s leadership, staff development and established school culture has earned Samara Community School recognition as a “hidden gem” (Inside Schools), polishing the skills, languages, interests and intellect of young children to become contributing global citizens. As a bilingual teacher, leader and staff-developer over the last 20 years, her identity is aligned to the promise of dual language education.