Introducing Neil Kirschling
Hello, blogosphere (I’ve always wanted to use that word). My name is Neil Kirschling, and I am this summer’s Policy Fellow at the Rodel Foundation.
Hailing from a large family of New Jersey public school teachers and administrators, I was cognizant at an early age, from both a teacher and my own student perspective, of the challenges and the possible opportunities for growth in our education system. I believe I inherited from my family the ideals of public and community service which lie at the heart of teaching. These ideals have led me down my own path toward education policy.
For the last four years I have expanded upon my interest in education as a student at the University of Delaware pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and then a Master of Public Administration. In the classroom, I have delved into issues including college capacity-building, school nutrition, closing the achievement gap in Delaware’s education system through early childhood education, and Delaware’s implementation of Race to the Top. During the winter of 2012, I participated in a domestic study program in Washington D.C, during which time I interned at the National Education Association, my first glimpse into national level education policy. Back here in Delaware, I eagerly sought to increase my understanding of state-level policymaking first as a Legislative Fellow with the Delaware General Assembly and then as an intern with the state Department of Education.
Since you’ve indulged me enough to make it this far into the blog, you certainly deserve to be rewarded you with some information about a few of my other interests. I’m a huge fan of a cappella music both as a singer and a listener, have spent the last six summers running a youth tennis program back home in South Jersey, and have watched far too many television series in their entirety, particularly those related to politics or reality competitions, than is probably socially acceptable.
Overall, throughout my time in Delaware, I have been regularly impressed by the ability for stakeholders to convene around education issues and determine a way to move forward together. I am very excited to be here at Rodel to take part in catalyzing the policy change needed to improve Delaware’s system of public education.