Yohanna Hailegebriel


Where did you grow up and what was your first language?

I was born in Addis Ababa. It’s the capital city of Ethiopia which is a country in East Africa. My family and I moved when I was a toddler and I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Even though I came to the US at a young age, my first language was Amharic (the most common language in Ethiopia) and English is my second. 

What from your hometown do you wish you could find in New York City?

There’s not much I miss from living in the south, but I do wish New York City had more gardens and backyards. I grew up around lots of greenery around me, and here I have to go to specific places to find those peaceful green spaces.

Where did you go to college?

I went to college at Georgia State University which is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. 

What was your favorite book in middle school?

I remember reading “The Diary of Anne Frank” in the 8th grade and it really resonated with me. She inspired me to keep a diary growing up and now a journal as an adult. The book is a tragic one, but I found it remarkable that her story is able to live on because of her writing.


What is the best part of teaching at Hamilton Grange?

I think the best part of teaching at Hamilton Grange will be getting to meet new teachers and students. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone and understanding what it means to be part of the school community. 

What is your favorite thing to do when you are not teaching?

I love to travel and even love planning my trips! Being able to spend time in someone else’s country and getting to know the people, the food, and the culture is my favorite thing to do. 

What is your favorite quote?

“Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching” 

"Work Hard, Get Smart. Be Good, Change the World."