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Portrait of a GothamSchools reader: Mara Lewin-Tankel

Last summer, the director of development and partnerships at the Urban Assembly Institute of Math & Science for Young Women, Mara Lewin-Tankel, wanted to bring her school into the social networking age. She set up Facebook and Twitter accounts. And when she looked for stories about the city schools to share, she found GothamSchools.

Since then, Lewin-Tankel has checked the site almost daily. (She also was kind enough to fill out our reader survey, and lucky enough to win the gift certificate we dangled as an incentive.)

She’s a pretty typical GothamSchools reader in lots of ways. She works in a school, loves the morning headline round-up, and has even already passed a posting she saw on our new jobs board along to a friend.

And, like most of those who filled out the reader survey, she has some helpful tips about what we could be doing better. Her advice is to spend more time comparing policies in practices in New York City to what other school districts are doing around the country.

At the Urban Assembly Institute, Lewin-Tankel raises money and coordinates all of the school’s partnerships with outside organizations like New York University’s Polytechnic Institute or the non-profit Girls, Inc. When we spoke today, she had just finished helping out with the school’s Language Day, where she brought in guest speakers to discuss the benefits of being multi-lingual.

In addition to working at the school, Lewin-Tankel is also studying toward a graduate degree in policy and non-profit management. But she said that she has no intention of leaving education — or even leaving the job of organizing programs for students — any time soon.

“It’s really nice to be able to develop a relationship with a student and find a program that suits them and that they want to do and can really benefit from,” she said. “You can really watch their development and transformation which is really nice.”

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