Educator Profile    Educators

Steven Gamache (LA '19)

Deputy Director

New York Senate Legislative Commission on Rural Resources
Troy, NY

At the time of the Award, Steven Gamache was:

Teacher and Middle School ELA Curriculum Manager and Coach
Paul Habans Charter School
New Orleans, LA

Subject(s) taught: English/Language Arts
Grade(s): 8

Biographical Information

In Steven Gamache’s classroom, eighth graders get a taste of what lies ahead after high school. Their whole-class book discussions at Paul Habans Charter School in New Orleans function like college literature seminars, with students leading the conversations about themes, characters and plot development, and commenting on each other’s ideas. Gamache’s creative lessons inspire students to dig into real-world applications. He challenged students to retell the myth of Athena and Arachne by changing the setting from ancient Greece to one of their choosing; students normally shy to share their work came alive as they eagerly shared their often-humorous reimaginings of the classic tale. Using “Omnivore's Dilemma” as a supporting text, Gamache asked students to gather evidence for a discussion about the food industry. In Gamache’s class, students see that learning goes beyond the classroom and relates directly to their futures as they grapple with real-world issues.

Gamache’s rigorous reading and writing curriculum keeps the bar high for all students, many of whom arrived at Habans from underperforming elementary schools, are English learners or have special needs. Committed to moving all students forward, Gamache pushes students to develop comprehension on grade-level texts while he supports them at their independent reading levels. For English learners, he creates intervention lessons that front-load vocabulary, texts and difficult standards in advance of actual in-class lessons. Gamache is masterful at analyzing student data in the moment and making immediate instructional adjustments that help students grow. The numbers reflect Gamache’s dedication. Last year Habans had the highest academic growth of any open enrollment elementary school in New Orleans, and Gamache’s cohort went from 55% to 73% in achieving basic proficiency and above. Gamache’s highly effective instructional practices helped both Habans and his previous school move from an F to a C rating within just two years.

The school’s lead eighth grade ELA teacher, Gamache also coaches sixth and seventh grade ELA teachers. He guides the school’s literacy efforts and regularly observes other teachers, coaches colleagues and leads professional development on curriculum, behavior management, instructional techniques and school systems. Gamache is eager to try new teaching methods, always looking for simple solutions to even the most complex challenges. He communicates frequently with parents and is committed to building a better New Orleans through his work at turnaround schools. Most of the students at Habans live within a mile of the building, and many who visit after graduation thank Gamache for preparing them so well for high school.
Gamache earned a bachelor’s in English in 2008 from Fordham University and a master’s in adolescent education in 2010 from the College of Saint Rose

In the summer of 2020, he and his wife moved to New York's Capital Region in order to be closer to family. He will begin a new position teaching 6th grade English at Troy Prep Middle School, a school in the Uncommon Schools network.

In August of 2022, Gamache switched careers to move in to state government, accepting a role as communications director for the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources in the New York State Senate. Since then, he has been promoted to deputy director. He has continued his work in education at the policy level (and joined the Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching at the New York State Education Department) in addition to working on issues such as healthcare, food security, and agriculture for rural communities.

Press release: Read All About It! New Orleans English Teacher Steven Gamache Is Surprised with $25,000 Milken Educator Award

Related Connections

Article: Why I Became a Teacher

Article: Spotlight: Steven Gamache (LA '19)

Educator Quote:

"I want every kid I teach to have opportunity and choice,..." (read more)

Steven Gamache In The News

How Top Teachers Make Student Voice a High Priority
EdWeek Teacher  |  Mar 11, 2020  |  Bethesda, MD

Steven Gamache G'10: Transformational Teaching Merits Milken Educator Award
Saint Rose Magazine  |  The College of Saint Rose  |  Jan 24, 2020  |  Albany, NY

Teachers, District Honored for Their Education Efforts
WVLA-TV  |  NBC  |  Nov 18, 2019  |  Baton Rouge, LA

Steven Gamache Surprised with $25,000 Milken Educator Award  |  Nov 14, 2019  |  New Orleans, LA

Two New Orleans-Area Educators Got $25,000 Richer Wednesday; See How
The Times Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate  |  Nov 13, 2019  |  New Orleans, LA