Maya Tucci will begin her tenth year in education as founding principal of KIPP: TECH VALLEY Elementary School in Albany, NY in the fall of 2016. She is returning to her hometown after gaining experience at KIPP: NYC as both a leader and a teacher. After teaching kindergarten at KIPP: STAR Elementary School, Maya moved into a leadership role as a Dean of Teaching and Learning, coaching teachers and managing curriculum for grades K-3. Prior to her work in New York City, she taught for four years at KIPP: TECH VALLEY Middle School in Albany. Maya began as the 7th and 8th grade Spanish teacher, taught 5th and 6th grade English Language Arts, and acted as the ELA Department Coordinator. She has an M.S. in Special Education Inclusion from the University at Albany, and a B.S. in Childhood Education with a minor in Spanish from the College of Saint Rose. Maya aspires to work with teachers and families to build a culture that consistently models strong academic and character habits for students beginning on their very first day of school.