Ivan Cestero has been with Avenues from early days of 2011. After working as a history and theory of knowledge teacher at EF International Academy, a new international baccalaureate boarding school in Westchester, he joined the school design team at Avenues. There he focused on community engagement, design and entrepreneurship while preparing to teach 9th grade humanities. In addition to working with Avenues’ original leadership, he enjoyed researching cutting-edge education programs such as Breaker and Mycelium and being a founding mentor at the Future Project.
Ivan is passionate about creating opportunities for students to tackle local and global challenges, do real work, and engage with experts in the field. In our first year, he taught humanities history while launching community engagement initiatives, including Community Days and social innovation workshops. He moved to World Course to focus on project-based learning, teaching technology, international development, and social innovation electives. He now teaches 11th and 12th grade electives in entrepreneurship and innovation in the World Course while overseeing the school’s first student-run startup, Design4Impact, as part of the Mastery Program.
D4i’s mission is to bring more social impact work to the K–12 space and train student leaders via their signature design challenges. D4i students have hosted challenges at Avenues, at Unicef HQ with the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA); and are planning a third on the topic of refugees at the UN in March of 2017.
Ivan graduated from Dartmouth College in 2001 with a B.A. in comparative literature and a minor in education, having practiced the Rassias method of instruction on campus and on programs abroad. After college, Ivan began his teaching career in Europe, where he taught all ages at language schools in Spain and Hungary, as well as high school students at a lycée in Paris. Moving to New York City in 2006, he taught undergraduate Spanish at New York University, taught home-schooled American children in Brazil, launched an education startup that eventually failed, and created the only fake nation allowed to compete in the World Championships of Beach Ultimate Frisbee. He is fluent in Spanish, proficient in French, and bad at Hungarian, his mother’s native tongue.