Introducing our Leaders In Residence

We are so excited to begin this 2014-15 school year IN the Commons! As part of the continuing evolution of the building as our teacher, we are delighted to add two capable and vivacious women to Harley in support of the programs and activities in the Commons. They are our Leaders In Residence, Jocelyn Kopfman (Harley ’09) and Ja’Daiza Johnson (Horizons ’09). Their work in the Commons will closely resemble the internship we enjoyed last year with our graduate student engineer, Richard Lange, who worked diligently to create computer programs to allow the discrete systems in the Commons to all speak the same language in terms of data collection for comparison. These two Leaders In Residence will share the work of supporting the Maker Space in the basement and all activities that happen there, help co-teach Rights and Responsibilities and Design Thinking with Chris Hartman, work with teachers and students in the Harley Micro-farm and Greenhouse, and collaborate with Student Council, the Diversity Roundtable, Commons Student Council and other groups. Both LIRs bring their own interests and passions which helped distinguished them as clear and valuable additions to our school. They will receive important experience, and we will gain their energy and availability to grow our current programs and seek ways to expand them appropriately. That’s a win-win!

In addition to their work in the Commons as Leaders in Residence, both women are working in the Middle School as teachers’ assistants this year. Below you will get the chance to meet them individually—


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My name is Jocelyn Kopfman and I graduated from the Harley School in 2009. In 2013, I graduated from the college of Wooster with a degree in Africana studies and wrote my undergraduate thesis on the harms of a racially colorblind education system and the importance of positive racial identity development in youth. Since graduating in 2013, I have presented (and continue to present) a workshop at the U of R that is based on that thesis called “Who and What is White” which discusses the social construction of race in our society. It gives students and educators practical skills to recognize racism and confront it productively within our communities. We provide the space to practice skills like critical self-examination, perspective taking, and recognizing responsibility through discussion based activities. In the future, I hope to be involved in creating Anti Bias Curriculum and education. I am also interested in research about community trauma and resiliency.

During this time, I have also continued to work for the Horizons swim program as the head swim coordinator at the Harley pool. This position involves teaching swim and safety skills to children PreK through 8th Grade and supervising the swim teachers (ages 12 to 21) while helping them effectively teach these skills. This past year was my eighth year working for the Horizons program.

In my free time I swim, coach modified girls soccer, and cook.


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My name is Ja’Daiza Johnson. I graduated from Brockport High School in 2009 where I was also a graduate of the PLTW (Project Lead The Way) program. PLTW is a technology and science-based program which involves hands-on explorations which sparked my interest for science and engineering. During high school, I was also a part of the BRIDGES (Building Relationship In Diverse Groups and Environmental Services) with Chris Hartman. This program was a collaboration of Horizons graduates and Harley students during which we learned about events in our community, about each other, all the while learning to collaborate and work together to build boats as a team. After high school, attended Roberts Wesleyan College where I majored in cross-disciplinary studies with a major in Marketing and a minor in fine arts (music). While at Roberts, I participated in a few different activities. I was a poet for the campus newspaper, captain of the step team, a member of the TaeKwonDo club, in Jazz band and Jazz combo, and also on the special events crew for the Voller Athletic Center. I also worked as building supervisor for the Voller Athletic Center, Weekend Supervisor for the café, and Inter-Library Loans specialist for the library on campus.

My connection to Harley is through the Horizons program. I was in the program from 3rd – 8th grade, came back every summer as a classroom assistant or volunteer, and this past summer I worked in program support, as well as serving an expedition teacher. My area of experience for the Leader in Residence position is in the work shop and project space. Also, as an expedition teacher for Horizons, I have worked mostly with MS students. Outside of work,I enjoy TaeKwonDo, playing upright bass, dancing, writing, and making things. I have studied French and biology in high school and beyond because they spark my interest and raise questions and curiosities for me to keep learning. I look forward to learning about all the students I will be working with this year, and I hope to help nurture their growth and expand their knowledge of the world around them.

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