Speakers Winter 2018

Learn from nationally-recognized experts in math, English Language Arts, and school and district leadership.

Keynote Speakers

Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen, president of EduTron, was on the Common Core Standards Development Team in Mathematics. Before founding EduTron he was a professor and a principal research scientist at MIT. He is on the Advisory Board of the National Council on Teacher Quality. He is on the Mathematics and Science Advisory Council for the Massachusetts Board of Education. Dr. Chen provides high quality professional development Intensive Immersion Institutes (I3) in mathematics and science to teachers at all levels. He received a PhD in physics from Columbia University.

Frances Esparza

Dr. Esparza has 25 years of experience as a bilingual educator in both elementary and secondary settings as well as in higher education throughout Los Angeles and recently with the Boston Public Schools. She has served in education for 25 years in several capacities, which include bilingual classroom teacher, school site categorical programs adviser/facilitator in both elementary and secondary, English Learner (EL) program administrator, a Principal at the secondary level (7th-12th grade), as a teacher in Higher Education and as an Assistant Superintendent of Boston Public Schools. Her roles have been to support and monitor the implementation of instructionally focused EL programs as she has an in-depth knowledge of instruction for ELs, Standard English Learners (SELs), EL students with disabilities, EL students identified as gifted and talented, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

Frances holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California (USC), a Teaching Credential from California State University in Los Angeles, a School Business Management Certification from USC, an M.S. in Educational Leadership & Psychology, an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Administration Policy from Pepperdine University, and an Executive Leadership Business Certification & Alumni status from Harvard Business School.

Dr. Esparza is a committed and dedicated educator, ready to serve and support the students and families of Para Los Niños. She looks forward to working to provide highly effective instructional programs and services that will increase student achievement while simultaneously decreasing the achievement gap.

Kate Gerson

Kate Gerson—a former high school teacher and principal—has driven the design and development of curriculum implementation and professional learning, and worked to train transformational school leaders. As Managing Partner of Programs for UnboundEd, Kate sets the vision and oversees the design, delivery and quality of all programs. Kate was the Senior Fellow for Educator Engagement at the Regents Research Fund, where she oversaw the design and development of New York State’s groundbreaking curriculum, training and professional development resources related to higher educational standards on EngageNY.org. Previously, she was executive director with the national nonprofit New Leaders and trained aspiring school leaders, and served as a principal at a turnaround high school for overaged, under-credited students in South Brooklyn, New York.

Lacey Robinson

President and CEO, UnboundEd

Lacey Robinson has more than 20 years in education as an educator, teacher, principal, and staff development specialist with a focus on literacy, equity and school leadership. As chief executive officer, Lacey sets the vision and oversees the design, delivery and quality of all of UnboundEd’s work, while also ensuring its overall health and sustainability. In her previous role as chief of program and engagement, Lacey was responsible for engaging with external partners to support standards-aligned, content-focused adult learning and professional development. She supported vital design and execution elements for primary external UnboundEd service offerings, the Standards Institute and the national programs. Her life’s work focuses on eradicating the student achievement gap, predictable by race, in addition to creating adult learning experiences that honor us as professionals in school system leadership, teaching, and learning.

Sonja Santelises

Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises has focused throughout her career on building high quality teaching and learning to help students excel, including her tenure as Chief Academic Officer for Baltimore City Public Schools from 2010 – 2013. After serving for three years as Vice President for K-12 Policy and Practice at The Education Trust, she was named Chief Executive Officer of Baltimore City Schools in July 2016. Dr. Santelises is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University. She holds a Master of Arts Degree from Columbia University and a Doctor of Education from Harvard University. She has lived in Baltimore with her husband and three daughters since 2010.

Tim Shanahan

Timothy Shanahan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chi­cago, and former director of reading for the Chicago Public Schools. He is author/editor of more than 200 publications, and served on the author team of the Common Core State Standards. Professor Shanahan is past president of the International Literacy Association. He was inducted to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2007, and is a former first-grade teacher. For more information, visit his blog: www.shanahanonliteracy.com


Karen Azani

Karen Azani is the Math Achievement Director for grades K-4 at KIPP New Jersey, serving schools in Newark and Camden. Karen coaches assistant principals around math content and leadership. She also creates and facilitates math content professional development for teachers and leaders, and oversees math curriculum and assessments for the region. Previously, Karen taught in public and charter schools in New York City, serving grades 3-5. Karen graduated from Princeton University and received her Master’s in Special Education from Hunter College.

Rolanda Baldwin

Rolanda Baldwin has worked in mathematics education for the last 13 years as a middle and high school math teacher, a math coach, and a math curriculum coordinator in Guilford County Schools in North Carolina. As a Resident Mathematics Content Specialist, Rolanda uses this experience to select, sequence, and adapt open educational resources. Rolanda has extensive experience in evaluating curriculum for standards alignment, providing instructional coaching, planning and delivering professional development, and analyzing school data effectively. She is passionate about student achievement for all students and is committed to developing tools to support educators striving for equity.

Kathy Black

Dr. Kathleen Black comes to this work with over 15 years of educational experience. She began her career as a youth counselor in Buffalo, New York. In that work, she recognized that her passion was grounded in providing quality opportunities for students. She’s served as a teacher and administrator within the District of Columbia Public Schools. She holds a Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in Elementary Teaching from American University, a Masters in Educational Leadership from Trinity University and a Bachelors in Communications and Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Diana Bowles

Diana Bowles provides support for the implementation of the Nevada Academic Content Standards, the Core Knowledge curriculum, creation of instructional resources, delivery of professional learning opportunities and support of the Read by Grade Three legislation for the Washoe County School District through the Curriculum and Instruction department. Previously Diana taught kindergarten for twelve years and pre-K for four years. Diana obtained her Masters in Literacy and Early Childhood Endorsement from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Anita Bright

Anita Bright, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University. A National Board Certified Teacher with 20+ years of experience as a K-12 educator, Anita is the ESOL Program Supervisor, and teaches courses in ESOL, Social Justice, and Mathematics Education. She co-edited the book, The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics for ELLs: High School, and contributed to the English learner scaffolds for the EngageNY Curriculum.

Lakisha Covert

Lakisha Covert has worked for more than 20 years as an educator. As the director of engagement, Lakisha designs and conducts communities of practice sessions focused on school and district leadership, equity through standards instruction, and effective implementation strategies. Lakisha taught grades K–5 for 11 years before becoming an academic dean and principal in Maryland and Virginia. Specializing in school leadership and professional development, Lakisha’s certification in mentoring and coaching contributed to her work with educational leaders across the country. Most recently, Lakisha worked at New Leaders as regional leadership facilitator where she facilitated leadership sessions for three different leadership programs with a focus on leadership team development, school culture, equity, and instructional observation and supervision. She also coached first-year principals in Baltimore, MD. Throughout her career she has received recognition as teacher of the year in two different districts; the visionary educator award from Center City PCS in Washington, DC; and the effective educator award from Prince George’s County Public Schools. Her passion for equitable education stems from her background in urban education both personally and professionally.

Sonia Cintron

Sonia Cintron began her career as a third-grade teacher in Florida. She also taught 6-8 grade math and served as the math department chair and grade-level chair. As a Resident Mathematics Content Specialist, Sonia selects, adapts, and sequences open educational resources and supports the creation of professional development materials and resources. Previously, Sonia served as Lake County district's Middle School Math Program Specialist. In that role, she supported teachers in lesson development and implementation, created and facilitated professional development, and managed initiatives related to the implementation of higher educational standards in mathematics.

Jason Epting

Jason Epting has been the principal/instructional leader of Harlem Village Academy West Middle School for the past 6 years. Over the course of his tenure, he has led many workshops in how to get students to love to read as well as how to create programs to support high gains in student reading comprehension. Mr. Epting prides himself on intentional and purposeful PD that his teachers can build on their already vast amount of expertise.

Marc Etienne

Marc Etienne has over 20 years of experience working to ensure all children maximize their potential regardless of their circumstance or context, by developing the capacity of teachers and leaders to improve their students’ academic performance. He currently serves as an Instructional Leadership Executive Director (ILED) for Baltimore City Public Schools. He has served as a K-8 principal and a non-profit executive. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University at Buffalo, and a Master’s Degree from the City University New York (CUNY) Baruch College. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., and is happily married and with his wife Rachel raise three children in Howard County, Maryland.

Shavonne Gibson

Shavonne Gibson is the Managing Director of Schools for Center City PCS, where she works with the principals at all campuses to ensure alignment among schools and high academic quality across the organization. As a principal within this network she led the Brightwood Campus to Tier I status (the highest ranking for DC charter schools) and to the 2016 Title I National Distinguished Schools Award for closing the achievement gap. She is energized by schools rethinking their instructional approach to affect higher outcomes for students.

Eric Green

Eric’s love affair with math began in the second grade and followed him through his career as a middle school math teacher, principal, and regional math leader at Uncommon Schools. He is now a Math Achievement Director at the KIPP Foundation, where he provides professional development and support for teachers and leaders. He is a proud graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (H2P!), the loudest member of #SteelerNation, and could school anybody on Golden Girls, Mean Girls, or Britney trivia. Eric and his husband are enthusiastic bikers, unremarkable CrossFitters, and constantly put in their place by their husky, FrankieLynn. 

Andrea Hancock

A career educator, Andrea Hancock has served in several capacities within the district where she was educated during her formative years: Baltimore City Public Schools. Some of the school-level positions Andrea held were elementary school teacher, Instructional Support Teacher, Resident Principal and Principal of Arundel Elementary/Middle School #164 in the Cherry Hill area of South Baltimore, Maryland. As an ELA Specialist, Andrea develops, reviews and revises content PD and curricular materials. Previously, Andrea worked as a Family and Community Engagement Specialist, Support Network Team Lead, Executive Director for Principal Support and Instructional Leadership Executive Director for 16 PreK-8th grade schools in the district office for BCPSS. Andrea also led the Baltimore division of the Emerging Leaders Program for a non-profit organization, New Leaders, before transitioning to their national team as an Advisor for the Transforming Teams program.

Tiffany Hardrick

Dr. Tiffany Hardrick serves as Superintendent of the Forrest City School District in Forrest City, Arkansas. Prior to returning to her Alma mater, she worked as Assistant Superintendent at Newark Public Schools in New Jersey, launched an all boys charter school, taught high school mathematics, and served as Director of Distance Education at a community college. Tiffany’s formal education includes a BS in Mathematics, MBA, and PhD.

Emilee Harris

Emilee Harris has been a mathematics educator for 22 years, and has worked with K – 12 mathematics teachers and leaders. She was a classroom teacher for 18 years, and now works as the Director of Middle School Mathematics for KIPP NYC. She is also a Fellow for Eureka Math. Emilee holds a Secondary Mathematics Education degree from Clemson University, as well as a M.Ed. in Elementary Education. John Van de Walle’s quote, “Math makes sense. This is the fundamental idea…a teacher must believe and act on,” frames the heart and action of her work. The Standards Institute’s work to bring this idea to life is what keeps bringing her back.

Karen Harris

Karen F. Harris has been Director of English Language Arts & Testing for Orange Board of Education Orange, NJ since July 2017. Previously, she served as the Special Assistant of Language Art Literacy at Newark Public Schools in Newark, NJ.  Karen has worked for twenty years in public education.  She is a New Jersey Core Advocate affiliated with Student Achievement Partners and has a Reading Specialist Certification in the state of New Jersey.

Chris Hayes

Chris Hayes is a second grade teacher and Learning Strategist in Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada. She has taught in K-3 for 22 years and has served as an Implementation Specialist for several schools. She has her Master’s Degree in Literacy and just recertified her National Boards this year. 

Zipporah Hightower

Dr. Zipporah Hightower is currently Executive Director of Principal Quality at Chicago Public Schools (CPS).  In this role, Zipporah is responsible for identifying, developing, supporting, and retaining principals and aspiring principals.  She is an experienced educator having served as a teacher, principal, mentor principal, and program development for aspiring principals.  She also serves as an adjunct professor at National Louis University in Chicago.

Shelly Jain

Shelly Jain is the Academic Director of Yorkshire Academy in Houston, TX where she has taught math for 4 years and works with teacher to create and develop vertically aligned CCSS curricula. Prior to joining Yorkshire Academy, Shelly worked to found a KIPP school in Chicago where she coached the region’s middle school math teachers and created a CCSS-aligned math curriculum. Shelly received her Bachelor’s from George Washington University and Master’s Degree from Pace University as a TFA Corps Member.

Jennifer Kim

Jennifer Kim is a math instructional specialist at New Visions for Public Schools. Since 2013, she has been responsible for collaborating with high school math teacher teams and New Visions staff to produce inquiry-based curriculum aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards. Previously, she taught math to middle and high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Barnard College and a master's degree in secondary education from Loyola Marymount University.

Kar-Hwee Koh

Kar-Hwee Koh, Ed.M. has extensive experience as a math coach to new teachers, providing support for schools and districts through TeachableMath.com. In 2014, Kar-Hwee started the Lexington Singapore School to teach math using an integrated Singapore math curriculum, leveraging her skills and experience from teaching the same curriculum in Singapore. Kar-Hwee is a graduate from Columbia University, Teachers College.

Sharmaine Lewis

Sharmaine Lewis is the Math Department Leader at Newark Collegiate Academy – KIPP NJ’s High School and an Adjunct Secondary Math Professor at Relay Graduate School of Education. She founded MATHerapy, which focuses on helping middle and high school students repair math roots and develop algebraic foundations. Sharmaine is a TFA alumna who earned her BA in Statistics & Mathematics from Rutgers University and her MAT from Montclair State University.

Karen McPherson

Karen McPherson is a high school math coach for Buncombe County Schools located in Asheville, NC. She provides professional development experiences aimed at increasing teacher content knowledge, supports teachers in implementing effective instructional practices, and identifies and develops quality resources. She is a member of the Math Leadership Team for NC Core Advocates and has facilitated numerous workshops and sessions on CCSS Math, the Instructional Shifts, and aligned instruction. Karen is a National Board Certified Teacher and is a graduate from UNC Chapel Hill and Western Carolina University.

Khushali Narechania

Khushali Narechania is the Director of Content Curriculum Design and an Assistant Professor of Practice at Relay Graduate School of Education, where she has been working with current and aspiring secondary math teachers for the last 6 years. During this time, she also worked to revise and design CCSS-aligned math methods courses for the two-year MAT program. Prior to her time at Relay GSE, she taught high school math in NYC at Democracy Prep Charter School and Uncommon Charter High school and in Chicago at CICS Northtown Academy. Khushali earned her BA in applied mathematics and economics for UC Berkeley and MAT from Dominican University during her tenure as a TFA corps member in Chicago.

Brandy Nelson

Brandy Nelson holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics from Salem College, a Masters in School Administration from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Doctorate of Education from North Carolina State University.  Dr. Nelson has devoted 18 years of service to education.  Dr. Nelson began career as a middle school and high school mathematics teacher in New York City and North Carolina.  She has served as a comprehensive public high school principal in Charlotte, NC for five years.  She is currently the founding principal of Harper Middle College High School, a dual-enrollment program where high school students can earn their high school diploma and an associate’s degree or two-years of college credit while still in high school.  Prior to this role, she served as a Managing Director of Program for Teach For America and New Leaders.  In these roles, she developed, managed, and executed coaching and support for over 160 teachers, 5 instructional coaches and almost 20 principals and assistant principals in Charlotte, NC.  Since 2015, Dr. Nelson has served as a Leadership Facilitator for UnboundEd.

Norka Padilla

Norka Padilla is a Learning & Achievement Specialist with the Office of School Support and Improvement in Montgomery County, Maryland where she collaborates with school administrators ensuring equitable access to standards-aligned instruction and programming K-12.  Ms. Padilla has 30 years of experience as an instructional specialist and teacher, designing and facilitating professional development, and consulting for organizations on standards setting and policy across several states. Ms. Padilla is Nationally Board Certified as a specialist for English language learners K-12, has earned two master's degrees and administrative certification.


Vanna O'Conner

Vanna O'Conner serves as a Director of School Support (DSS) for ANet with the CA Network in Los Angeles and previously served as a DSS for the TN Network in Memphis. Before joining Achievement Network, Vanna taught HS Mathematics in Memphis area schools for six years, served as a state assessment item reviewer, TN CCSS coach, and an instructional coach with Shelby County Schools. Vanna studied Mathematics and Secondary Education at Vanderbilt University. 

Judson Odell

Judson Odell is the founder and CEO of Odell Education, where he directed the development of nationally-acclaimed literacy curriculum Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies for grades 6-12. Previously, Judson was a professor of Humanities and Dean of Students at Centro Lincoln University College, Universidad Nacional San Martín, Argentina. He also served as an English Language Specialist at The College Board and Educational Testing Service. 

Elizabeth Ogden

Elizabeth Ogden is a former elementary school teacher and Instructional Coach. As the English Language Arts Specialist, she is responsible for general analysis of literacy content and creates professional learning materials for grades K-5. She has a robust history with research-based early literacy curricula and practices in a variety of capacities, and works passionately to help schools around the nation implement aligned curricula effectively. She served as a third grade teacher in a new charter school in Phoenix, Arizona. Later, she participated in the Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) pilot program, in which her feedback directly influenced the continuing development and implementation of that program. To help guide other education professionals, she has served on panels, facilitated several sessions at the Core Knowledge National Conference, and served as a network Curriculum Advisor.

Joshua Parker

Joshua Parker is the 2012 Maryland Teacher of the Year. He serves the students and teachers of Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School (Washington, D.C. Public Schools) as an Instructional Coach. Mr. Parker is a career changer, having started off as a sports producer for Fox 45 of Baltimore before beginning his career in education. In the decade that followed, Mr. Parker has held various leadership positions from K-12 and higher education. Most recently, he was named a 2017 Lowell Milken Center Fellow. Mr. Parker is the first African-American male educator from Baltimore County to win the state award.

Patricia Pond

Patricia Pond is the Director of School Support for Achievement Network, where she supports school and district leadership teams in their understanding of CCSS and how to deliver data driven instruction alongside various curricula. She has worked in the field of education across 7 states—serving as a Literacy Specialist and Literacy Coach, Elementary and ELL Teacher, Special Education Teacher, and Adjunct Instructor. At the heart of all Patti’s work in education is a commitment to creating quality educational experiences that improve outcomes and opportunities for all students.

Jody Popple

Jody Popple is a Staff and Curriculum Development Mathematics Specialist at the Madison-Oneida BOCES in Verona, NY. She is a part of the Student Achievement Partners Core Advocate math leadership team for New York State, and has been invited to be a part of the final revision team for the NYS math standards. Prior to her current position, Jody taught for 15 years in the elementary buildings at the Canastota Central School District.  

Shanita Rapatalo

Shanita Rapatalo is an Instructional Borough Coach (Manhattan) for District 79’s Pathways to Graduation program in the NYC Dept of Education.  For the last 6 years she has facilitated borough and citywide professional learning sessions on research based instructional practices, CCSS shifts, Danielson Teaching Framework, Summer Literacy Intensive trainings, and SEL practices that best supports a transient, High School Equivalence population. Through her work, the district has experienced immediate changes such as an increase of .9 grade level in reading through 4 weeks of summer literacy instruction for ELL students, average age 20, reading below a 5th grade level to long term growth such as increased percentages of student movement between leveled groupings (i.e. up to 11% increase of students reading below 5.9 moving to pre-HSE (grades 6-8)  level). She received her BS in Biology from Trinity College, her MSE in Curriculum and Instruction and a graduate certificate for School District Administration at Fordham University.


Tanji Reed Marshall

Tanji Reed Marshall is a 20-year veteran currently pursuing her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University where she works in the Office of Academic Programs (OAP) in the School of Education. In addition to her work at Virginia Tech, Ms. Marshall works as a program evaluator for CAEP and session evaluator for AERA. Ms. Marshall consults with schools throughout the country to improve teacher practice and student literacy achievement. She has presented at state and national conferences on topics related to literacy, critical literacy, and teacher development.

Ms. Marshall’s prior experience includes over a decade of classroom instruction in English/language arts at the elementary and secondary levels. She has also served as a Literacy Coach and Specialist for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina where she worked to develop curriculum and train teachers.


Megan Reed

Megan is a Director of School Support at Achievement Network in Boston, MA.  Here, she supports leaders and leadership teams in increasing the efficacy and impact of their standards based and data driven instruction to ensure equitable outcomes for all kids in their buildings.  Previous to her work at ANet, she served communities in Oakland, CA and Boston, MA as a teacher, vice principal and principal over a fourteen year span.  She is a National Board Certified Educator and has worked to close the opportunity gap for kids through her career.  She is passionate about teaching, leading and coaching for change in outcomes for all kids.  

Shakiela Rose Richardson

Shakiela Rose Richardson is a former high school English teacher, instructional literacy coach and literacy workshop facilitator. As the literacy specialist, Shakiela provides general analysis of literacy content and creates professional learning materials and experiences for the Standards Institute. Shakiela began her career as an English teacher at various high schools in New Jersey. During this time, she presented with the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE). She has served as a presenter and facilitator of various literacy workshops and worked as an instructional coach at Barringer Academy of Arts and Humanities in Newark.

Karin Ryan

Karin Ryan is a turnaround principal in a large urban elementary school in Pennsylvania. Previously, Karin has served as a Special Education teacher, English as a Second Language teacher, Kindergarten teacher, Instructional Coach, and Assistant Principal. She is a Common Core Advocate trained by Student Achievement Partners, and has facilitated sessions on Instructional Leadership, School Improvement, and Common Core Mathematics. 

Dionne Aminata Samb

Dionne Aminata Samb, MBA, MSEd is a Math Content Specialist for grades K-8 at Aspire Public Schools, providing curriculum, instruction and assessment support to principals across 11 schools in Los Angeles, CA. Proudly serving inner-city youth throughout her 13-year career, Dionne previously taught elementary and middle school in South Central LA and Brooklyn, NY. She also helped others develop successful classrooms in inner-cities as an instructional coach with both NYC Teaching Fellows and Aspire. Dionne studied Sociology and Business at UCLA, has her MBA from Babson College, and her Masters in Math Education from CUNY Brooklyn College.

Lysa Scott

Lysa L. Scott is a Director of School Support for Achievement Network where she works alongside school leadership teams to take them to the next level by supporting and developing academic leadership teams on how to lead data driven instruction and develop teachers in their mastery of Common Core standards. Prior to joining Achievement Network, Ms. Scott served as a Resident Principal and Associate Principal in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and is a former ELA teacher. She holds a B.S. and J.D. from Florida A&M University. Ms. Scott strongly believes that every child deserves a high quality equitable education that is provided to them by educators who have strong content knowledge and pedagogy. She is passionate about building capacity in teachers and leaders to ensure that children are presented with an educational experience that allows for them to excel both academically and socially to reach their highest potential.

Alex Sczesnak

Alex Sczesnak teaches Algebra 1, Special Education, and Yoga at Lower East Side Prep HS, a transfer high school for international students. He is also a Math for America Master Teacher and facilitates MfA's "Math and Equity" Book Club. Previously, he was a co-writer for EngageNY’s Algebra 1 modules and he has also collaborated with Student Achievement Partners on Common Core implementation issues. 

Mariama Sesay-St. Paul

Mariama Sesay-St. Paul is a Vice-Principal of Curriculum & Instruction at Science Park HS in the Newark Public School district. She began her career as an educator in 2000 as a Teach For America corps member. Over the past 17 years, Mariama has assumed the roles of high school English teacher, Teacher Coach, Department Chairperson and Supervisor of Language Arts Literacy in the district Curriculum office. Originally from Park Forest, Il, Mariama now resides in New Jersey. She is a graduate of Florida A& M University, Rutgers University-Newark and William Paterson University.

Jalinda Soto

Jalinda Soto has over 12 years of experience as a public-school educator.  She is a former Elementary Education and Special Education Teacher.  She has served as an Elementary Principal of a school in transformation and currently serves as the Principal for Special Education programs for middle school students in Upstate New York.     

She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Dual Masters from the University at Albany, State University of New York.  She is currently enrolled in the Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership Program at The Sage Colleges.


Erin Sylves

Erin Sylves is the ESOL Instructional Support Teacher for Secondary Mathematics for Fairfax County Public Schools, where she works in partnership with mathematics teachers to make their classes more accessible for English learners. Previously, Erin spent 10 years teaching middle and high school mathematics. She has given numerous presentations at the local, state, and national level at various conferences, including TESOL and NCTM. 

Tammy Tuck

Tammy Tuck supports college and career-ready standards implementation with organizations like Student Achievement Partners, Learnzillion and SchoolKit. She has designed and delivered professional development for graduate schools of education, multi-district learning communities, and individual districts and schools. A National Board Certified Teacher, Tammy spent 14 years as an elementary teacher, instructional coach, and district leader in PK-12 urban schools and was a founding staff member at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.

Sierah Tyson

Sierah Tyson is a former 10th grade English teacher at University Preparatory High School located in Detroit, Michigan. As an ELA Specialist, Sierah develops, reviews and revises content PD and curricular materials. After graduating from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She received her Master's in Education from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and served with the Teach for America program. Sierah has worked with Detroit City Council-District 4, organizing community outreach events and sitting in on the Planning and Economic Development Committee. She is also on the board of TUF Cookies, a non-profit geared toward building the voices of young feminists.

Daniel Villarreal

Daniel Villarreal has taught at elementary and middle school in Oakland, California. As an Instructional Coach for Mathematics, Daniel led professional development, offered lesson planning support, analysis of student data, and demonstration lessons to support instruction. As a Mathematics Specialist, Daniel uses this experience to select, sequence, and adapt open educational resources for math. He is committed to challenging educators, school leaders, and all relevant stakeholders to reflect on their practice so that students receive an education consisting of equity and inclusion.

Natara Warren

Tara Warren is a teacher in the Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District in Southern California.  She received her BS in Biology and MA in Early Childhood Education. She has experience as a teacher, instructional coach, intervention specialist, Kagan district coach, as well as a district math PLC leader.  Currently, she is a classroom teacher, school-wide math coach, school professional development leader, and serves on the math curriculum team. Tara has been engaged in the work of the standards and how to raise student achievement for over 6 years. She has had the pleasure to work with students, teachers, principals, district leads, and state representatives. She is extremely excited to share what she has learned and how she implements the standards to raise achievement in her class, school, and district.

Amy Weber-Salgo

Dr. Amy Weber-Salgo currently consults with teachers and districts as they work to improve their mathematics instruction. She was the founding Director of Mathematics Reviews for EdReports.org. Prior to that Amy was a regional PD provider and enjoyed 18 years as a K-8 classroom teacher. For her Educational Doctorate, her research focused on differentiating professional learning for teachers of mathematics in order to meet the needs of the teachers she serves.

Brandon White

Brandon White is a former middle school ELA teacher and Restorative Practices educator for the Rochester City School District. As a student, Brandon found that he could connect with the instruction through the language and culture of hip-hop; as an educator he in this work by providing cultural relevance and responsiveness through pedagogy and content. As an ELA Specialist, Brandon selects, adapts, and sequences open educational resources and supports the creation of professional development materials and resources. In addition to providing these elements via traditional school settings, he has worked for seven years as a Servant Leader Intern and Site Coordinator for Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Summer Literacy Programs located in Rochester. He has also advocated for these practices through his participation in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Teacher Advisory council and through providing professional development at BMGF-sponsored Elevate and Celebrate Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) Conferences.

Andrea Zayas

Andrea Zayas provides consulting to school systems through her firm Upstream Education on the toughest problems to solve: turnaround, academic systems implementation, change management, startup, building equitable spaces and executive coaching. Previously, Andrea founded La Cima, a successful K-5 charter school in Brooklyn, NY. She also worked as a turnaround superintendent in Camden, NJ and for the NYCDOE as a charter authorizer. Andrea earned her BA at Rutgers University, Ed.M. at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and is pursuing her Ed.D in Educational Leadership at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans where she resides.