Literature Curriculum Writer and Editor, GradeSaver (2013-present)
Theater and Writing Teacher, Chelsea Community Schools, Chelsea, MA (2012-2013)
Theater Enrichment Teacher, Gardner Pilot Academy, Allston, MA (2011-present)
Founding Program Director, Theater and Performance Club, Ghana Sustainable Aid Project, Pokuase, Ghana (2008–2009)
Docudrama Instructor, St. Ann’s School, Brooklyn, NY (2008)
“DramaMama” Mentor, Dramagirls, Chicago, IL (2007–2008)
Youth Purim Play Director, Anshe Emet Synagogue, Chicago, IL (2005–2008)
Playmaking & Performance Instructor, After School Matters at
Michele Clark High School, Chicago, IL (2004–2006)
Creative Writing Teacher, Barrel of Monkeys, Chicago, IL (2004–2007)
Head Counselor, Summer Drama Workshop, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2004)
Mentor, University Theater Mentorship Program, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2001-02 and 2003-04)
Drama Teacher, University Theater School Partnership Program, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2000-2003)
Merit Scholarship, Harvard Graduate School of Education (2009)
Neighborhood Schools Program Award, University of Chicago (2004)
Jeff Metcalf Fellowship for Public Service (2003)
Adventures Through the Galaxy, Chelsea Community Schools, Chelsea, MA (2013)
New Lives/Vidas Nuevas, Chelsea Community Schools, Chelsea, MA (2012)
Kojo and His Wicked Stepmother and The Result of Jealousy, Pokuase, Ghana (2009)
Falling Through Time and Childhood Stories, Saint Ann’s School, New York, NY (2008)
We Don’t Like Being Shushed!, Dramagirls, Chicago, IL (2008)
The Book of Esther, Anshe Emet Synagogue, Chicago, IL (2005-2008)
Playmaking & Performance Showcases, Michele Clark High School, Chicago, IL (2004-2006)
Gemma connects with her students in rich and meaningful way. She never sees a room full of students, but rather a room full of humans ready to explore and experience the world together.
You were my favorite enrichment teacher that I ever had.
student, age 10
Gemma, I like you because you taught me more lessons to write.
student, age 8
I learned a lot from this program. It made me a stronger person and a writer. I will miss this program.
student, age 16
I worked with Ms. Cooper-Novack for three years in an [After School Matters] Playmaking and Performance class at my high school. I participated in the program for three years because Gemma was enthusiastic with guiding me in my style of writing (historical fiction) when others were less receptive. … Gemma is a kind and attentive teacher. She does her utmost to pull you out of the biggest creative slump with a single idea. … Any student of hers will no doubt be successful in the future.
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