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Nativity Preparatory Academy, Rochester’s only tuition-free private middle school for underserved students in grades 5-8, is welcoming two new staff members: Alexandra Arnell as Teacher’s Assistant and Social Work Intern and Khan Smith as Teacher’s Assistant.

In her new role as Teacher’s Assistant and Social Work Intern, Arnell will provide aid and support to all faculty, along with covering classes as a substitute teacher. She will also serve as a Social Work Intern assisting the Director of Student Support Services, Anna Doerr, with social-emotional learning and any social work needs. Arnell enjoys helping adolescents by offering empathy, compassion, and understanding in crisis situations and by maximizing their potential through encouragement to build self-esteem, self-awareness, and emotional awareness. She is also an advocate for social justice, equity, and equality. In her spare time, she is interested in astrology as a way to learn more about ourselves and others. She is the daughter of Nativity’s very own physical education and health teacher Charles Arnell, who also coaches the school’s CYO basketball team.

“Whether I am an intern for the day or a teacher’s assistant, my main goal is to be someone the students can trust to always hold space for them and to meet their needs emotionally, mentally, or academically,” says Arnell.

Prior to joining Nativity, Arnell served as a School Counselor Intern at Young Women’s College Prep in Rochester. She will graduate from Monroe Community College with an associate’s degree in Social Work in May. She lives in Gates with her family.

In his new role as Teacher’s Assistant, Khan Smith will assist and support faculty, including filling in when needed as a substitute teacher. He will also serve as a tutor and mentor by helping students academically with homework or other assignments and after school as Assistant Soccer Coach for the CYO Nativity soccer team.

“It is an honor to be part of such a wonderful staff and volunteer team,” Smith says. “I am giving my best each day to ensure all of our students are educated and feel supported.”

For the past four years, Smith has been Head Youth Sports Coach and Gymnasium/Equipment Supervisor at YMCA of Greater Rochester. He is currently a sophomore at SUNY Brockport where he majors in History with a specialization in U.S. History and Global Conflict Studies. Smith, the son of Nativity President James C. Smith, resides in Greece with his family.

“We are delighted to welcome Alexandra and Khan to Nativity,” says James C. Smith, President. “Both of them have a passion for helping young people to succeed and that is exactly what we look for in new team members. Welcome aboard!”

Based on a nationally renowned educational model, Nativity Prep is in its 13th year of providing a tuition-free Catholic middle school education for underserved Rochester youth. Small by design, with a current student capacity of 60 students, Nativity welcomes a diverse background of faith traditions with the unifying purpose of caring about education.

An extended school day and academic year, strong enrichment program, and graduate support through college and career offers students and families an immersive experience. Dedicated and caring administrators, faculty and staff personally mentor and support students well after graduation.

Nativity Preparatory Academy
15 Whalin Street
Rochester, NY 14620