Livia Angiolillo ’11
As the co-founder and director of operations for Uncommon Collegiate Charter School in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Livia Angiolillo ’11 greets each of her 111 students every morning by name.
“I’m the first person they see,” Angiolillo explains, noting the inclusive approach the high school has implemented since its founding in 2012. “I don’t go five minutes without talking to a student.”
Uncommon Collegiate is part of Uncommon Schools, a network of 38 charter educational institutions in underperforming school districts and low-income areas throughout the Northeast. Angiolillo, who holds an M.A. and an Ed.M. from Teachers College, in addition to her law degree, became involved with Uncommon as a summer operations fellow in 2009. During the next few years, she worked closely with Uncommon administrators to establish multiple schools throughout Brooklyn and was awarded a yearlong fellowship to build Uncommon Collegiate. In her current role, Angiolillo is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the school, including overseeing its annual budget, supervising staff hiring, and maintaining relationships with students and families.
Shortly after Uncommon Collegiate opened its doors, 98 percent of the school’s ninth-grade students passed their geometry Regents exam, compared to the overall New York City average of 58 percent. Angiolillo credits successes like these to Uncommon’s focus on individualized attention and its emphasis on the importance of earning admittance to a four-year college.
“At the end of the day, you realize ‘our kids are going to make it,’ and that’s what everyone is working towards,” she says. “There’s a lot of hard work, but a lot of joy.”