Winston and I, meeting Frankie for the first time in Taiwan

Winston and I, meeting Frankie for the first time in Taiwan

My husband Winston and I have lived in Ward 1 for the past 14 years. We adopted our daughter Frankie from Taiwan when she was 15 months old. Frankie now attends Yu Ying, a Chinese language immersion charter school in Northeast D.C.

My passion for education began when I was a student in Head Start many decades ago. At my church-basement Head Start in Sidney, NY, our teachers taught us to take care of one another, especially the most vulnerable among us.

Listen to me describe my formative experience in Head Start on WAMU.

A young Emily Gasoi at Head Start in Sydney, NY

A young Emily Gasoi at Head Start in Sydney, NY

My passion for education led me to become a classroom teacher and to co-found the Mission Hill School, an internationally recognized public school in Boston, MA and to earn a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Watch my students & me in 1999 creating, producing, and performing our very own play as part of a months-long study of ancient Egypt:


Here in our city, I worked for many years as a course instructor and mentor for new teachers at Center for Inspired Teaching, and have helped start several teacher professional development groups, including DC Soup and The Washington Teachers Inquiry Group. In 2015 I co-founded Artful Education, an organization that works with schools and arts programs to strengthen practices related to creative teaching and learning.

For the past three years I have been teaching in the Program in Education, Inquiry, and Justice at Georgetown University. Over the years, I have published several articles about best practices in education. In 2017, I co-authored a book with MacArthur Genius award winner, Deborah Meier about the current crisis our public schools face. Together, Meier and I travel the country speaking about and learning from schools that find a better way forward than our test-driven system. 

My most exciting and inspiring travels, though, are the ones right here at home, in Ward 1 & the District, where I actively advocate to build power for families, teachers, and students – in short, to amplify the voice of those with the most at stake.