Physical Education, Arts and Technology

Mr. Barbin Ramos, Virtual Enterprise Educator
Technology Coordinator

Mr. Ramos has been teaching for 10 years and was part of the founding staff at

the  Eagle Academy for Young men of Harlem.  He has taught a variety of subjects and is very happy to currently be the Virtual Enterprise educator. The Virtual Enterprise program teaches business technology, financial literacy and entrepreneurship to middle school students.  

Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the Bronx, he is a product of the New York City public school system.  He was a NYC Teaching Fellow and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Baruch College and a Master’s Degree from Hunter College. In his spare time he enjoys traveling and practicing martial arts.

                            Contact info: BRamos@eagleharlem.org


Mr. Kenneth Darby, Physical/Health Education

Kenneth Darby has always believed in the transformative powers of physical activity.  As a child born with a heart defect Mr. Darby’s ability to exercise was limited. Still his love of movement could not be contained. After several surgeries and with the encouragement of his family Mr. Darby gained the strength and courage to run and play with the other children in his Harlem neighborhood.

Years later, with degrees from New York University and The City University of New York, Mr. Darby has become one of the preeminent elementary physical educators in East and Central Harlem.  He’s spent ten years educating the youth of Harlem about physical activity and healthy living. Having started as a classroom teacher he then seized a defining moment. Mr. Darby took over the position as Phys. Ed. teacher at his elementary school.  “There was simply no one else prepared to do the job correctly.” Mr. Darby, not content to play the role of physical educator, attended Empire State College and received certification in physical education. He is certified in various fitness programs Physical Best, C.A.T.C.H. and most notably SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids) which he has promoted not only throughout the NYC Department of Education as a DOE SPARK Coordinator and a contracted official for the NYC Department of Health.  

His expertise has taken him to San Diego, the home of SPARK and all over the under served areas of Manhattan. Mr.  Darby Believes in children and in exercise. He now resides at Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem.

      

Mr. Marcel Henry
Visual Arts Educator

For Mr. Henry becoming an art teacher seems like a reasonable and logical progression of his family’s development. When I was born, my country was not the United States of America. It was the largest English speaking nation in the West Indies. The president used election fraud and violence to acquire an electoral super majority and make himself president for life. This man was a close friend of my parents and they had worked for his campaign. My father discovered member of our family and friends helped rig the election. He warned them that their actions would make it impossible for the rule of law to remain in our county. My father started looking for a new country to raise his children.

To leave our country he had to pay a massive exit tax which rose each day. In addition when my father was able to get the government to settle on a final payment, they did not want to give him permission to take his wife and children out of the country with him. In America the idea of paying an exit tax would seem silly, but in my old country it is still an everyday practice. It was only with the personal permission of the president that my father was able to take his wife and children out of the country with him. My father took his family with him to university in England and studied Engineering. I became my father study buddy and even though I was a child he and I travelled to many cultural sites in England. In London I was introduced to the world largest collection of stolen art and culture.

My father and me spent hours roaming the halls of the British museums. My father read as many books as he could get his hand on to enhance his understanding of everything he was learning in England. My dad is a born teacher, as quickly as he learns something he finds others to share his knowledge with. His philosophy towards learning and education helped shape my own. My father believes that teaching is a sacred trust and this is something I agree with. My father also believes that people should never be bored.

I don’t get bored because I was raised by a father who taught us to keep our minds occupied. I have been around many people who suffer from boredom, but I don’t. As a child my dad would give my siblings and me paper, tape, scissors, and allow us to collect whatever garbage we wanted to use to make objects to keep our minds occupied. I have older brothers who were better than me at making objects. They were my first art teachers. I would spend hours watching them and listening and viewing their process in the creation of art objects. 

They did not call these early works art objects, they called them toys. I would watch my brothers create, use and manipulate materials and attempt to duplicate their designs. They would get tired of an object and I would collect their work. I looked at the construction, took them apart and put them back together if I could. Even now that I am an art teacher, I still refer back to tutelage I received from my brothers. I don’t think my brothers realized how good they were at making new objects from things people had thrown away. I learned that being open to learning is key to being a good student. I learned that being willing to share; even in a quiet patient way is also key to being a good teacher. My older brothers and I looked at the same programs, read similar books, and talked about the process of creation. We travelled the same road together. That road would lead us to the United States of America in the early 1980’s.     

The United States in the 1980’s politically was very similar to how it is now in the advent of the Trump era. We came to American as illegal immigrants; we did not walk across southern borders like many of the young people it has been my honor to teach. We flew into New York’s Kennedy Airport like the vast majority of New York’s illegal immigrants. I lived in this country for ten years as an illegal. It was ten years of stress and fear, where every day I was concern that government agent would seize my family and send us back to a lawless country which I had not grown up in. My family was lucky enough that an employer of my father’s found him an immigration lawyer, loaned him the money to pay for the lawyer, and sponsored our family to get our green cards. 

I learned that there are always going to be good people, even when you are a stranger in a strange land. I made it one of my goals as a human being to work at and be one of the good guys. I have found my opportunities to be a good person as a teacher. I enjoy teaching art and I have found children are always testing you as a human being. Children want to know if you are faking your knowledge of a subject and your willingness to honestly teach and care for them and their friends. I have been educated at some of the most challenging schools in New York City. My high school was closed because it was considered the most dangerous school in the city at the time I was a student there. I graduated from two City Colleges of the City of New York and they are more difficult to graduate from than any Ivy League university. CUNY is not harder to get into, but more difficult to leave with your qualifications. I was a student who was cared for and guided by good teachers and I have always tried to be worthy of their efforts.

For the last twelve years I have worked as an art teacher at a fantastic and many times difficult high school in the North Bronx. Teaching is not always easy, I was never told it would be, nor do I look for the easiest course in life. When my students deal with me, I am one of the most informed teachers they will ever have. A student in my class will discover that I don’t know everything. A student working with me will see me look information up in front of them. They will see me check the correct spelling of a word or look up the many possible definitions of terms. It is not uncommon for me to check with the class about the correct spelling, definition or correct use of a term. A class with me at the helm is a group effort and that is the way I like it. A high school is a community made up of primarily young people and a few adults set within a larger community. The large community is made up of parents, siblings, extended family, friends, neighbors, and many people who temporally come into the community to provide services. Everyone must be cared for and when you are a teacher everyone is looking to you for leadership and to see how you are following your leaders. Right now, even though I live in Brooklyn you will find me happily serving as a visual arts teacher in Harlem U.S.A. 
  

                            Contact info: mhenry@eagleharlem.org