Ali Khaleel has had the opportunity to teach and work in schools in Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago and now Minneapolis. He currently serves as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction of LearningWorks, the Minneapolis affiliate of the nationwide Breakthrough Collaborative. LearningWorks is a college access and teacher development program done in partnership with The Blake School and Minneapolis Public School. In his role, Ali directs programming and writes curriculum but the bulk of his duties involve recruiting, training, and supervising high school and college students through teaching fellowships.
At LearningWorks, Ali made representation in the classroom a primary focus. As a first generation Indian-American from a Muslim household, he never had a teacher who looked like him or was a member of his faith community. This led to an appreciation of the importance of representation, a major reason he pursued teaching as a career himself. Now he is working to address this issue at LearningWorks by cultivating new community partnerships and devising creative recruitment strategies to attract teaching fellows from communities that are underrepresented in the field of teaching.
Ali grew up in southeastern Wisconsin as the youngest of four brothers and earned his B.S. in Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin. Outside of work, he has been a Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities, and currently serves as a sexual assault advocate at the Sexual Violence Center. He has also been a counselor at the Badger Boys State summer camp, a selective leadership camp for rising high school seniors sponsored by the American Legion, since 2010. There, he co-led and wrote curriculum for a new program aimed at starting conversations about redefining masculinity for the camp’s young male participants. In his spare time, Ali enjoys reading, climbing rocks, and video chatting with his beautiful nephew.