Keynote Speakers

Paul Gorski

Paul Gorski

Founder, EdChange

Paul C. Gorski is an associate professor of Integrative Studies in George Mason University's School of Integrative Studies, where he teaches courses in the Education and Social Justice concentrations. He recently led the design and development of the new Social Justice and Human Rights undergraduate and graduate programs. Paul is a Senior Research Fellow for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being and is serving his third term on the board of the International Association for Intercultural Education. He has been an active consultant, presenter, and trainer for nearly twenty-five years, conducting workshops and providing guidance for schools and community organizations committed to bolstering individual and institutional equity efforts. He created and continues to manage the Multicultural Pavilion, an award winning Web site focused on critical multicultural education. He has published more than 60 articles and ten books, focusing most recently on topics like poverty and educational opportunity, racial equity, and activist resiliency. 

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.

Danny Bernard Martin, Ph.D.

Professor, UIC

Dr. Danny Bernard Martin is Professor of Education and Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He teaches content and methods courses in the undergraduate elementary education program as well as courses in the PhD program in Mathematics and Science Education. He served as Department Chair of Curriculum and Instruction from 2006-2011 and again from 2013-2016. Prior to coming to UIC, he was Instructor and Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Contra Costa College for 14 years, serving as Chair for three years, and was a National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellow from 1998-2000.

Dr. Martin’s research has focused primarily on understanding the salience of race and identity in Black learners’ mathematical. Martin is author of the book Mathematics Success and Failure Among African Youth (2000/2006, Erlbaum), co-author of The Impact of Identity in K–8 Mathematics Learning and Teaching (2013, NCTM), editor of Mathematics Teaching, Learning, and Liberation in the Lives of Black Children (2009, Routledge), and co-editor of The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics: Beyond the Numbers and Toward New Discourse (2013, Information Age).

Tanji Reed Marshall, Ph.D.

Director of P-12 Practice, Ed Trust

Tanji Reed Marshall, Ph.D., is the senior practice associate for P-12 literacy, leading Ed Trust’s Equity in Motion literacy assignment analysis work.

Prior to joining Ed Trust, Tanji worked in the Office of Academic Programs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to prepare the school of education’s accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Before that, she supported prospective secondary English teachers who were working to obtain licensure through the school of education.

Before joining Virginia Tech, Tanji worked for as a district-level literacy specialist in Charlotte–Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, where she supported middle schools across the district to refine their literacy practices. She also worked to prepare the district as they transitioned to Common Core standards. Additionally, as a Title I literacy coach, Tanji worked with targeted schools to improve literacy instruction for traditionally underserved students. Her career also includes elementary and middle school classroom teaching in North Carolina and New Jersey, which has allowed her opportunities to consult with school districts across the country to refine and focus teacher practice on literacy and to strengthen student achievement — with an emphasis on traditionally underserved students.

Tanji holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, with an emphasis on teacher practice with high-achieving African American students, from Virginia Tech; a master’s degree in English education, with a focus on critical literacy, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston College.

Luis Versalles

Director of Pre K-12 District Partnerships, PEG

A second generation Afro Cuban-American, Luis Versalles was born and raised in Bloomington, Minnesota. His bilingual and bicultural life experiences have fueled his passion for fostering racial, linguistic, and cultural equity in education for all students. After completing his public school K-12 education, Luis went on to complete a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s of Education with emphasis on Second Languages and Cultures from the University of Minnesota, becoming the first college graduate in his family. This experience motivates his work in coaching school leaders to better understand the complexities presented to families of color as they navigate both the K-12 and higher education systems.

Versalles specializes in aligning district strategic plans with PEG’s Systemic Racial Equity Transformation Framework to facilitate greater alignment in achieving racial equity system-wide. In addition, he leads a team of equity transformation specialists in guiding organizations through this work in the domains of Leadership, Culturally Relevant Learning and Teaching, and Family/Community Engagement and Empowerment.

Versalles began his professional career as a teacher of Spanish and English as a Second Language in his hometown of Bloomington and neighboring Richfield, MN. His teaching career spanned elementary, middle, and high school levels. As an administrator he worked as the Program Coordinator, Assistant Principal, and Principal of Richfield Dual Language School. Luis was instrumental in the community outreach, feasibility study, and coordination required to bring this school into existence as the first suburban two-way immersion school in the history of the state of Minnesota. Recognizing his leadership experiences in two-way immersion education, Luis was awarded the Joyce Bilingual Preschool Bridging Gaps, Bridging Cultures Award in 2010, and the Association of Two-Way and Dual Language’s Promoting Bilingualism Award in 2016. He has presented at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition Summer Institute as well as the Louisiana Department of Education on Immersion Principal Leadership Competencies. Versalles’ keynote presentations include: Courageous Leadership: Interrogating the Role of Race in Racial Disparities in Two-Way Bilingual Immersion (ATDLE National Conference, 2016) as well as The Path Forward for Diverse Schools: Courageous Conversations About Race and Education (Teachers College Colombia University, Summer Institute, 2016). He also participated in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Leadership Conference 2018 opening plenary panel titled, “Racial Equity:Addressing Structural Racism in Education” as a panelist.


Charles Alexander

Charles Alexander is an educator in Montgomery County Public School, Maryland. Charles is a teacher certified in English and History with 21 years of classroom experience. Charles left the classroom to serve as an Equity Instructional Specialist on the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Equity Initiatives Unit before joining the MCPS Office of School Support and Improve. Charles holds Master's Degrees of Educational Leadership and Science of Education with a focus on Excellence and Equity in Education. Currently, Charles is an aspiring writer and a dedicated Equity Warrior Scholar.


Antwan Allen

Antwan is the Director of Academic Programs at Relay Graduate School of Education, where he is leading the institution’s redesign of its teacher preparation curriculum for Math educators through the lens of Culturally Responsive Teaching and equitable teaching practices. He has also spent five years as part of the Relay GSE faculty, teaching and advising Secondary Math and Science teachers in district schools. Antwan began his teaching career as a founding faculty member (and then Assistant Head of School) at George Jackson Academy, an all-boys independent school for academically talented boys from low-income backgrounds. There, he taught middle school Math and Science and led the school’s curriculum and faculty development initiatives. Antwan is also proud to have spent four years as principal of his alma mater, St. Mark the Evangelist School, in Harlem. Antwan holds an M.S. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.S. in Urban Affairs and Non-Profit Management from CUNY Hunter College. In his free time, Antwan enjoys playing flag football and giving back, whether through his church community or mentoring other men of color.

Dr. Tracy Anderson

Dr. Tracy Anderson serves as a Director for New Leaders. Her past proven record of experience includes several years as a Principal and as an Assistant Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Anderson was named National Distinguished School Administrator and completed four years of sustained Exceptional Rankings, where student scores remained at greater than 95%, regardless of high-poverty and diversification barriers. Dr. Anderson has been awarded the US Department of Education’s Outstanding Educator Award for her gains in closing the achievement gap.  

Elicia Bennett

Elicia Bennett is the proud mother of two boys, 11 and 22, and an intuitive educator with more than 17 years of experience teaching, learning and leading diverse organizations. She currently resides in South Florida but began her career in Illinois teaching high school English, Reading, and Humanities. As a leader for learning, Elicia has supported K-12 leaders, instructional coaches and teachers in the capacity of a school-based administrator, national professional development facilitator, district-level administrator, and consultant. She is very proud of her recent work in developing, launching and leading a 3-year professional learning turnaround initiative designed to support instructional leaders at the intersection of equity, standards and shifts to ensure instructional excellence for 22 critical needs elementary schools. Elicia’s areas of expertise and research interests include reading and literacy across the curriculum, leading for equity and social justice, and culturally responsive pedagogy. Elicia holds her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, and is in her second year of study as a doctoral student at the University of Illinois in the Education Policy, Organization & Leadership Program with an emphasis on diversity and equity. She is most passionate about changing policies and practices that will close access gaps and ensure that all scholars have equitable access to instructional excellence.

Olivia Bertucci

Olivia Bertucci is the English Language Arts and Social Studies Instructional Coach at Dwight D. Eisenhower Charter School in New Orleans, LA (InspireNOLA Schools).  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Louisiana State University in 2011. Over the last eight years of her career in education, she has been immersed in teaching and leadership roles in the New Orleans area.  This year, she was hired as part of a team transforming a failing charter school where she facilitated a tier one ELA curriculum adoption, professional development, and content-based coaching.

Kenan Bishop

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, NY. 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.


Dr. Stephen Bournés

Dr. Stephen Bournés, currently the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for Rich Township High School, has over 25 years of experience as an English teacher, principal, and administrator. Under his leadership, Cooper’s Poynt Family School experienced academic growth in the double digits, and the school rating rose from Underperforming to Making Progress. Dr. Bournés frequently shares his expertise in standards-based instruction and turnaround leadership at national conferences and is excited to facilitate at Standards Institute.  

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 for 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.


Justin Boyd

Justin Boyd is currently an Educator Trainer and Coach serving educators from pre-k through 12th grade in over 80 districts with Education Service Center – Region 20, in south central Texas. Justin’s educational career spans 18 years, as both a teacher and administrator in both public and charter schools in San Antonio and Harlem. Justin received his B.A. in Middle Level Education from Illinois State University and his M.A. in Literacy from Alfred University.


Dr. Sharone Brinkley-Parker

Dr. Sharone Brinkley-Parker is a native of Baltimore Maryland. She was educated in the Baltimore City Public School System and has earned degrees from Morgan State (BS-Health Education; Ed.D. Urban Educational Leadership with a concentration in Social Policy) and Towson State (M.A.T.) Universities.  During her 19 years as an educator, she has served as a teacher of middle school ELA, math and writing and high school algebra, grant writer, MESA coordinator, grade-level chair, assistant principal, principal, and district level administrator with both Baltimore City and County Public Schools. Presently, she serves as the Director for School Climate with Baltimore City and County Public Schools. For the past five years, she has facilitated equity sessions and presented at conferences through multiple forums, including Maryland Cultural proficiency and Multicultural Coalition groups as well as the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity. She is one of six founding members of the Greater Baltimore Health Improvement Initiative (GBHII), a community-based group seeking to empower communities within Baltimore City around health responsibility through education, advocacy, and action.  Additionally, she is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Her first passion is being the mother of two beautiful daughters which drives her work for all students when educating adults around much needed equity work and conversations. She believes that educators have the obligation of making the invisible, visible and being advocates for the voiceless.


Mitchell Brookins

Mitchell Brookins is National Board Certified in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership, and is currently working on his PhD in Educational Administration at the University of New Orleans. Over the past thirteen years, he has fulfilled various roles in the Chicago Public School District and New Orleans as a literacy teacher, a RtI specialist, a literacy coordinator, and an assistant principal. His career endeavors have afforded him the opportunity to mentor teachers, participate in national panels about key educational topics, support the implementation of CCSS-aligned curriculum, and serve on the National Board Certification Council. Currently, Mr. Brookins serves as the Academy Principal of PK- 4 at Dwight Eisenhower School which is a part of InspireNOLA— one of the highest performing New Orleans based network of charter schools.


Gabriel Cartegena

Gabriel Cartagena is a Manager, Secondary Mathematics for the District of Columbia Public Schools where he provides leadership coaching, professional development, and curriculum development for middle and high schools. Prior to joining DC Public Schools, Gabriel served as a Curriculum Support Specialist and Instructional Coach for Miami-Dade County where he began his teaching career. Gabriel has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from the University of Miami. 


Miladys Cepero-Perez

Miladys Cepero-Perez is an educational consultant and a Staff Developer specialized in ELA working at the Office of School Performance and Accountability, Teacher Professional Learning and Growth in Broward County Public Schools, FL (the six largest school district in the nation), where she has taught, coached and designed professional learning at the elementary school level. Miladys received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University and became National Board Certified Teacher which springboarded her career as an instructional coach and curriculum specialist. Under her curriculum designed ELA framework, her school made significant learning gains for five consecutive years ranking on the top 10% performance statewide. Most recently, Miladys has been supporting the Uncommon schools Broward initiative by serving the lowest 25% performing schools with a mission of bringing equity and social justice to scholars through professional learning that supports the implementation of a standards-based curriculum and instruction. Currently, Miladys is working towards her Ph.D. in Philosophy in Educational Leadership. Her area of research concentration is on the influence that professional learning has on fostering a school culture that perceives coaching and learning through an equity lance to impacts student achievement.


Bernard Stephen Chandler

Bernard Chandler is an Instructional Superintendent for Birmingham City Schools. In 2019, Bernard’s network experienced a 60% increase in schools rated A, B, or C. Bernard has served as Academic Superintendent for Cleveland Metro Schools and Superintendent for Tunica County School District. During his tenure as superintendent, the district ranked #2 statewide for Kindergarten Readiness and the graduation rate increased 15 points. In 2019, Bernard collaborated with urban district leaders during PELP at Harvard University.


Dr. Ashleigh Collins

Dr. Ashleigh Collins serves as the Dean Fellow for Academic Programs at Relay Graduate School of Education. In this capacity, she and her team are leading the redesign of Relay’s general education Master’s program and curriculum. Previously, Ashleigh was a Research Analyst with the D.C.-based research organization Child Trends, an instructional leader at nine Teach for America summer institutes, an Adjunct Instructor at Brooklyn College and New York University, and an early elementary teacher. She holds a PhD from New York University in early childhood education, a Master’s in Education from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and a B.A. from Stanford University. Ashleigh also has several publications in topics ranging from out-of-school time best practices, fatherhood programs, and the impact of child temperament on early achievement.

Brian Dean

Brian Dean is a member of the Instruction Partners family where he works relentlessly to ensure each student learns mathematics at a high level. He is the former Senior Instructional Specialist for Pasco County Schools where he led the teaching and learning of 6-12 mathematics. He has taught at the middle and high school level and served as an instructional coach. You can find him on Twitter @FLMathNinja.

Julia Dezen

Julia Dezen is the Director of Elementary Mathematics at FirstLine Schools, a five-school charter management organization in New Orleans where she has worked for ten years. In her current role, Julia designs and leads assessment and data analysis, curriculum implementation, and professional development for math teachers and principals. Julia served as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow with the US Department of Education under Secretary Arne Duncan and Secretary John King, and continues the equity-based policy work she began there as an educator representative for the National Center of Education Statistics.


Nicholas Dixon

Nicholas Dixon is currently an elementary assistant principal in Greensboro, NC. Prior to assuming this role in 2019, he was a English Language Arts Curriculum Specialist. In that role, he supported the development of the network's K-8 ELA curriculum and trained teacher-leaders in schools throughout North Carolina and Milwaukee. With more than a decade and a half of teaching and administrative experience, Nicholas has served as Dean of Academics and Culture, Founding Assistant Principal, Founding Dean of Students, as well as social studies and language arts teacher. His TVAAS scores earned him Level 5 (exemplary) distinction for his student's growth and academic achievement. In 2011, he was awarded the highly competitive KIPP Miles Family Fellowship and in 2019, he was selected to participate in New Leaders Assistant Principal Leadership Academy in Guilford County schools. Alongside his work in schools, Nicholas is a data Reporting Specialist for Possip, a parent engagement and school feedback digital platform. Dixon earned his bachelor's degree from East Carolina University and Master's Degrees from Cumberland University in teaching and learning and instructional leadership. 


You can follow Nicholas on Twitter @Outhereteaching.


Cheryl Dobbertin

Cheryl Dobbertin, Director of Secondary Education at East Irondequoit CSD in New York, has been an English teacher, curriculum designer, literacy coach, and building administrator.  For nearly a decade, Cheryl worked at Expeditionary Learning/EL Education where she helped design, start up, and transform existing schools to focus on project-based learning, student-engaged assessment practices, teacher leadership, and school culture.  She was also the lead designer of EL’s English Language Arts curriculum for grades 3-8 (available now on EngageNY), one of the first open source curricula to “green lit” by Ed Reports. Cheryl provided years of professional development and research on the impact of the curriculum and its associated practices in classrooms across the country.  Cheryl is the author of Common Core Unit by Unit, published by Heinemann in 2013 and is a co-author of Transformational Literacy, published in 2014.   Her work has also been published in ASCD’s Differentiation in Practice: 9-12, Rachel Billmeyer’s Strategic Reading in the Content Areas, ASCD’s Education Leadership and EdWeek.  


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 on 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.


Veronica Ernandes

Veronica Ernandes is the Director of MS Mathematics at Aspire Public Schools.  She provides curriculum, instruction, and assessment support to Aspire secondary schools and develops and support principals in becoming instructional leaders at their sites.  She also has experience as a high school mathematics teacher, instructional coach, content specialist, and math methods course instructor. Veronica has served scholars and families in South LA, Huntington Park, and Lynwood during the last 10 years and is currently serving schools in Los Angeles, Bay Area, and the Central Valley.  She has planned and facilitated professional learning at various conferences (CMC North and South, NCTM, and NCSM) and at the site and district level. Veronica received her BS in Mathematics and BA in Multicultural Studies from UC Irvine. She received her MS in Mathematics from CSULB. 


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 of New York (CUNY) Baruch College.  He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., and is happily married to his wife Rachel. They have three children and reside in Howard County, Maryland.


Megan Fehr

Megan has served the students and families in Lawrence, MA during the last 15 years, most recently as a Master Teacher and Math Coach at the Guilmette Elementary School. She works with teachers to unpack ENY Math modules and lessons to ensure that their pedagogy highlights and attends to the appropriate aspect(s) of rigor as called for by the CCSS. Megan received her Bachelor’s from Union College and her Masters in Urban Education from Wheelock College.  Megan credits her two years of service with City Year Boston with inspiring her to enter the teaching profession.


Desire Freeman

Desire Freeman is a Curriculum and Instruction Coach at Northeast Guilford Middle School in McLeansville, North Carolina (An Opportunity Culture, Title 1 School), where she has served for two years in the English Language Arts Department. Prior to this role, Desire taught 8th Grade English Language Arts for four years at Jackson Middle School. For the past two years, Desire has created and managed CCSS-aligned curriculum and assessments, developed standards-based lesson plans in accordance with district ARC (American Reading Company) curriculum, and provided hands-on, real-time professional development and training to team teachers in the coaching cycle. This work contributed to NEGMS and the ELA Department exceeding growth for the first time in the history of the school. Desire also serves as a District Curriculum Writer. Desire received her Bachelor’s in Journalism from North Carolina A&T and her Master’s Degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Walden University. 


Nubia Gerima-Rogers

Nubia Gerima-Rogers began her teaching career in South Korea as an ESL teacher.  Since then she has worked in charter and public schools in Washington, DC for the last 8 years.  She has held various titles in education ranging from an English Language Arts teacher to an Instructional Coach.  She currently writes exemplary lessons for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and is a member of the New Leaders program.  She is also an Instructional Coach at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Windsor and a M.Ed from George Mason University.  She looks forward to not only sharing how high expectations and rigorous, aligned instruction has increased student achievement, but also collaborating with and learning from others.

Meaghan Graul

Meaghan Graul is currently the Academic Program Manager for Secondary Math at KIPP Memphis Collegiate Schools where she manages curriculum implementation, coaches math coaches and takes enormous pride in being known as the "math lady" to students. Prior to KIPP Memphis, Meaghan taught 6th through 12th grade math in both Memphis and the Arkansas Delta. Meaghan has a degree in economics from Harvard College and is currently pursuing her master's degree in secondary math education.

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.


Marni Greenstein

Marni Greenstein is the K-2 Lead for Elementary Curriculum and Professional Learning at Illustrative Mathematics. Her work in education over the last 16 years has focused on K-8 mathematics curriculum and instruction.  She began her career as a 2nd grade teacher and has also taught middle school math, intervention and served as a K-8 coach. She led the transition to Common Core as the Math Director for a network of schools in Brooklyn, NY.  Most recently, she was a Senior Math Specialist for Professional Learning at Student Achievement Partners where she focused on high-quality, aligned instructional materials as a key lever for equity in schools. She is a graduate of Bank Street Graduate School’s Math Leadership Program.


Jose Guadarama

José Guadarrama is the Primary Literacy Content Leader for FirstLine Schools, a five charter management organization in New Orleans, where he has taught for seven years. For the past 3 years, he has designed and managed the effectiveness of curriculum-based professional learning for kindergarten through fourth-grade teachers. “A continual climbing is the only true form of arrival,” is José’s mantra as he works with TNTP, Leading Educators, and Student Achievement Partners to improve the education landscape.


Jody Guarino

Jody Guarino is a Mathematics Coordinator at Orange County Department of Education in Orange County, CA where she supports teacher and student learning of mathematics in elementary grades.  A former National Board Certified teacher, she has published several peer-reviewed papers on mathematics teaching and learning and designed and facilitated professional learning for educators across the country.  Jody is a Lecturer at University of California, Irvine. You can find her on twitter @jody_guarino.


Bri Gzik

Bri Gzik teaches Precalculus and Algebra 2 at Horace Mann School, Bronx NY and is an Adjunct Secondary Math Professor at Relay Graduate School of Education. Before her current teaching role, she was the Math Department Chair and Dean of Instruction and Support at Newark Collegiate Academy, KIPP NJ.  Bri is a TFA alumna who earned her BA in Mathematics from Bucknell University and her MA in Mathematics Education from Columbia University Teachers College.

Dr. 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.


Okera Hawkins

Okera Hawkins is a native Washingtonian who has worked in charter, public, and private schools in Washington, DC for the last 15 years. Okera has held various titles in education ranging from a math teacher to assistant principal.  He is currently the Mathematics Instructional Coach at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Okera holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Morehouse College and an M.S. in Management from the Catholic University of America.


Chris Hayes

Chris Hayes is a second grade teacher and Learning Strategies in the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada.  She has taught grades K-3 for 22 years and has served as an Implementation Specialist for several schools. She has her Masters Degree in Literacy. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher.


Marya Hay

Marya Hay is an Instructional Specialist for the Equity Initiatives Unit in Montgomery County Public Schools. She has had more than 17 years of experience as a teacher. She has taught in both elementary and middle school classrooms. Marya supports school leaders, staff and various departments to shift practices and beliefs that are harming the success of all students. Her work focuses on coaching adults to examine their bias and reflect on actions that impacted students. Her experiences include collaboration with curriculum departments in English Language Arts and Math on the elementary and secondary levels for teacher- leader's to examine beliefs and classroom practices. These include the design of the course Digital Literacy for 8th graders on Social Justice and leading training for math leaders in elementary schools. She has also been an adjunct professor through the Equity and Excellence in Education program at McDaniels College for 6 years teaching the graduate course Foundations of Social Justice Teaching. Through the course, Marya has developed and facilitated learning for professionals in MCPS on topics of equity and recognizing the experiences of students in many marginalized groups throughout the county.    

Dr. Zipporah Hightower

Dr. Zipporah Hightower is the Executive Director of the Department of Principal Quality for Chicago Public Schools.  Since 2015, Zipporah has led the CPS Department of Principal Quality with a focus on improving how the district identifies, develops, supports, and retains their principals, while also managing 90+ Independent School Principals. During her 23 years in education, Zipporah has served as a math teacher, principal, and Executive Director for New Leaders. As principal of Chicago’s Bethune School of Excellence, Zipporah developed a culture in which fifth-graders doubled their math scores and third-graders significantly increased reading scores. In her role as Executive Director of City Program Management for the New Leaders National team, Zipporah has also developed transformational school leaders through policies and practices that allow great leaders to succeed. She is also a national facilitator for Standards Institute, Unbounded. Zipporah completed baccalaureate and master’s degrees at Chicago State University, and master’s and doctoral degrees at National Louis University.


Dan Horn

Dan Horn is a Director of School Support for The Achievement Network (ANet) and supports schools in the Las Vegas Nevada area.  As a director of school support, Dan has supported schools and districts in better understanding standards, data, and instruction to support teaching and learning.  Prior to working at ANet, Dan worked as a school principal and bilingual elementary teacher. Dan received his Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University and his Master’s Degree from the University of Texas.


Dr. Cheryl Hughes

Dr. Cheryl Hughes is an educational consultant and leadership coach with over 20 years of experience in the field of education.  Prior to her current role, she served as a principal for nine years in the state of Maryland, a teacher for 11 years, an assistant principal for four years, and an adjunct professor at Trinity Washington University for three years.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University at Albany in New York, a master’s degree from Trinity Washington University, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy studies from Howard University. In addition, she is a Nationally Certified Principal Mentor (NAESP) and a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach with extensive experience in teaching and leading diverse student populations, managing large school-based teams, and coaching educators/instructional leaders. 


Michelle Hunsberger

Michelle Hunsberger is an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher at Gaithersburg Middle School in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She teaches students who have recently arrived in the United States with interrupted education to students at a nearly proficient level of the English language. She also has 12 years of experience in elementary schools teaching ESOL for four years as well as general education students for 8 years. She participated in a pilot program in Montgomery County Public Schools, introducing standards based curriculum to ESOL students, producing increased achievement in multiple areas of measure. 


Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones is in her 9th year as a Literacy Academic Content Liaison in Baltimore City Public Schools. She has worked with at-risk youth for over 20 years in various capacities. Kelly returned to Baltimore City Schools in August 2010 after 5 years in the non-profit sector, serving as a literacy coach, professional developer, and mentor for new literacy coaches.  She received her Bachelor of Arts from Morgan State University and her Masters in Instructional Systems Management from UMBC. She has served as an adjunct professor of Reading and English at both BCCC and CCBC. As an educator and literacy coach, Kelly is constantly seeking creative ways to foster a dynamic learning environment and to promote high-quality classroom instruction. She is excited to be serving as a facilitator and change agent for the UnboundEd Standards Institute. 


Casey Klosowski

Casey Klosowski is a Master Teacher in Iberville Parish, Louisiana, where she provides ongoing professional development, coaching, and support for teachers in grades 7-12. Casey focuses on embedding equitable instructional practices into classrooms through the use of standards-aligned curriculum. Formally, Casey taught high school mathematics in both New Jersey and Louisiana. She also has had the opportunity to teach in classrooms in Puerto Rico and Santiago, Chile. Through these experiences she not only learned how to meet the needs of english language and diverse learners, but also how different educational systems serve their students. Casey received her Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and is currently pursuing her graduate degree. 




Claudia Ladd

Claudia Ladd, a National Board-Certified teacher and 2019 finalist for CO Teacher of the Year, has experience in coaching, instructional leadership, and seventeen years of classroom teaching. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's in Education, Advanced Literacy Certifications, and is engaged in Doctoral Studies. She partners with State and National organizations to advocate for equitable access to standards based curriculum and instructional practices so that all children, regardless of zip code, receive an equitable education.


Gregory Leap

Greg Leap has over a decade of experience teaching, leading, and coaching in schools across Philadelphia and Camden.  Greg spent four years at TNTP as a Leadership Coach where he helped train and support over 100 leaders across district, charter, and faith-based schools.  Prior to TNTP, Greg was the School Leader of KIPP West Philadelphia Prep, which in 2014, had the fourth highest School Performance Ranking of the city’s 33 middle schools. Greg joined KIPP West in 2011 as a Miles Family Fellow and founding 7th grade math teacher. He led his students to the highest state test proficiency rating (93 percent) in KIPP Philadelphia history. Before KIPP, Greg was a Teach for America corps member in Atlanta, where he taught mathematics and reading at Crawford W. Long Middle for five years. During his summers in Atlanta, Greg worked at the Teach for America Atlanta Institute, holding multiple leadership roles including Corps Member Advisor Coordinator and School Director. Greg is an Adjunct Professor at the Relay Graduate School of Education in both Philadelphia and Delaware.  Greg received his bachelor’s from Penn State University and his master’s degree from the University of Southern California.


Sarah Ledon

Sarah Ledon is an Executive Director with The Achievement Network and leads a team in supporting school and district leaders across California and Nevada. Before her role with ANet, she worked as an English Language Arts field specialist for Open Up Resources. Additionally, Sarah has held various education leadership roles, including school improvement administrator, instructional coach, and classroom teacher.

Sarah has contributed content to Khan Academy, EdReports, and Student Achievement Partners. She holds a Bachelor and Master of Education Degree from the University of Nevada and a Master of Education degree in Education Leadership from American College of Education.


Juaquana Lewis

Juaquana has worked in education for 20 years serving in various capacities as a teacher, school leader and district leader in both traditional and charter schools overseeing leadership development and curriculum and instruction grades PreK-12. Currently, she serves as an Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction of InspireNOLA Charter Schools, one of the highest performing charter school networks in the New Orleans area. After graduating from Florida A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Newspaper Journalism, she received a master’s in Urban Education from Southern University at New Orleans, a master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of New Orleans, and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Northcentral University. Most recently, Juaquana completed UnBoundEd’s Equity Influencer Residency.  


Sharmaine Lewis

Sharmaine’s love affair with math began during preschool when she realized her birthday was a sum (March 12th or 3=1+2). After this realization, she was fascinated with numbers, patterns, and logic. She wanted to share this love with everyone! After attending high school in a small town in New Jersey & graduating 3rd in her class, she was admitted into the Honors Program in college. She majored in Statistics & Mathematics and discovered that she was indeed, unprepared for college. She pushed through to earn her bachelor’s degree and this struggle propelled her into doing her part to close the provision gap – often referred to as the opportunity/achievement gap. Sharmaine joined Teach For America & earned a master’s degree in secondary math education. She’s spent her career in Newark, NJ (2 years w/ Newark Public Schools + 10 years w/ KIPP). In the time she’s been at KIPP, she got married (James), had two kids (James Aedan, 6 and Journey, 3), took on three different roles at NCA (teacher, 3 years; Dept. Chair, 4 years; cheerleading coach, 5 years) and is currently serving her 3rd year in her 4th role, as a Principal-in-Residence. She is consistently working hard to impact both students and teachers by serving as an Adjunct Professor at Relay GSE and a National Math Standards & Equity Consultant with UnboundED and other programs. She is a proud graduate of Rutgers University: New Brunswick (Scarlet Knights!), a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the founder of MATHerapy™, an avid day-dreamer and sometimes doer of scrap-booking, a persistent picture taker (not a photographer), and consistently on the look-out for someone to battle her keen knowledge of 90s sitcom theme songs. The use of numbers in this bio is intentional.


Emily Martin

Emily Martin is the Director at the Iberville Math, Science, and Arts Academy West in Plaquemine, Louisiana. She has worked in several different educational settings ranging from classrooms to consulting firms to the Louisiana Department of Education. However, her favorite role is the one she has now, leading teachers and students to big, big things every day. She received her bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and both of her master’s degrees from Northwestern State University.


Jessica Martin

Jessica Martin has spent the last 14 years working to combat educational inequity.  She is currently the Co-Principal at a new K-8 community school in Aurora, CO. However, for the last 5 years, she was a Director of School Support with the Achievement Network, where she empowered leaders to tear down systemic barriers and rethink approaches to instruction, in order to improve outcomes for all students.  Prior to that, Jessica worked as a Director of Curriculum and Instruction to support teachers in creating authentic learning experiences and she, herself, taught traditionally underserved populations for many years in the elementary school setting.  


Laurel Maxwell

Laurel Maxwell has worked in various positions as a teacher in Northern California for seven years. Prior to teaching she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. While in the Dominican Republic she trained educators in classroom management techniques, reading intervention, and the creation of low cost classroom materials.  She began her teaching career as a special educator serving students with mild/moderate disabilities at the secondary level. She then transitioned to working in a dual immersion school. For two years, Laurel wrote and implemented CSS-aligned curriculum with an emphasis on English Language Arts and Science for third grade students. Laurel received her Bachelor’s degree from Whitworth University, and Master’s degrees from Brandman University in Special Education, and a Master’s degree from the American College of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. 


Matthew McCluskey

Matthew is an Assistant Professor of Practice at the Relay Graduate School of Education in New York City, after serving as an Adjunct Professor for 5 years.  Prior to his full-time role with Relay GSE, Matthew served as Dean of Curriculum & Instruction at North Star Academy High School in Newark, NJ (Uncommon Schools), where he taught English for 8 years and served as Chair of the English Department. In his time with Uncommon, Matthew created and managed CCSS-aligned ELA curriculum and assessments for all high schools in the Uncommon network grades 9-12.  This work led to PARCC averages 27% higher than the non-economically disadvantaged subset across grades 9-11 and 36% higher than the State average.  Matthew is currently a fulltime Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education. Matthew received his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the Boston College Lynch School of Education.


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. 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 


Audra McPhillips

Audra McPhillips is the Mathematics Instructional Coach PreK-12 for the West Warwick Public School District in Rhode Island.  She is a National Thinking Mathematics Trainer for the American Federation of Teachers' Educational Research and Dissemination Program.  Audra was a member of the AFT national review team for the Common Core Mathematics Standards and served on the Educator Leader Cadre and Item Review Teams for PARCC.  She is an adjunct professor in the School of Education at Johnson and Wales University and proudly serves on the Board of Directors for EdReports.  


Kimberly Melgar

Kimberly Melgar is the Math Content Lead and an Assistant Professor of Practice at the Relay Graduate School of Education, where she teaches Math Methodology and General Pedagogy to secondary Math teachers in NYC. Prior to Relay, Kimberly was a middle school Math teacher in the south Bronx for 9 years, where she taught 7-8th grade math and science, created CCSS - aligned curriculum, and served as a math team leader. Kimberly received her Bachelor’s from Syracuse University, a Master’s in Math Education from Brooklyn College, and a Doctorate in Education from Rutgers University.


Laken Mortaurlo

Laken Mortaurlo is the Blueprint Literacy Coach Coordinator for Baltimore City Public Schools where she supports literacy coaches across the district implement curriculum based cycles of coaching. Laken has experience teaching both elementary and middle school, with most of her teaching experience being in the middle grades. She has a wide range of experience writing curriculum and planning and facilitating professional development, as well as coaching K-12 teachers and school leaders around the standards. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. She received her Bachelor’s from Virginia Tech and Master’s in Reading & Literacy from Meredith College. 


Alex Moyer

Alex Moyer 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. Alex is passionate about educational equity and believes deeply in helping all students to reach their fullest potential.


Daniel Murphy

Dan Murphy is currently the Math Instructional Coach at Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City. Prior to this role, he served as a high school math teacher for 5 years at Baltimore Community High School, an alternative high school for over-aged and under-credited students. In his current position, Dan is responsible for individualized teacher development and school-wide professional development. Dan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s Degree in Leadership in Education from Notre Dame of Maryland University.  


Carly Nunez

Carly Nunez is the Math Curriculum and Instruction Coach at the Guilmette Middle School in Lawrence, MA. She began her career in education straight out of undergraduate school and served as a grade 7 and 8 math classroom teacher.  After seven years of teaching, she is now in her 6th year as coach at the Guilmette Middle School. The Guilmette Middle School moved to making substantial progress, going from the bottom 3rd percentile to the 24th percentile in the state.  The Guilmette School demographics consists of 76% of students in which English is not their first language in grades 5-8. Carly is an Advanced Teacher in her school district and has attended many professional developments provided by both Standards Institute, Achievement Network, and the National Academy of Advanced Teachers.  The professional development she has received has provided her with expertise around equitable instruction and the shifts in mathematics within the Common Core. Carly received her Bachelor’s Degree from Endicott College in Elementary Education and her Master’s Degree from Lesley University in Math Education.

Vanna O’Conner

Vanna O’Conner currently serves as Director of Professional Learning for Achievement Network where she sets vision and implements strategy for the organization’s emerging priorities including English Language Learning, Instructional/Organizational Equity, and Leadership. She also works alongside the organization’s six regions to design and deliver professional learning experiences for system and school leadership teams to strengthen standards-aligned and data-driven instruction in schools. She has served as a facilitator for UnboundEd’s Standards Institute since 2015 and is excited about facilitating for a new cohort of Leadership Pathway II participants!

James O'Neal Jr.

James O’Neal, Jr is entering his twelfth year of teaching middle school math.  He taught eight years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the last four, here in Charlotte, North Carolina at Piedmont IB Middle School.  In 2018, James became a National Board Certified teacher and Piedmont’s Teacher of The Year! He is currently in graduate school at UNCC to receive his M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in middle school mathematics.  His drive to be an excellent educator comes from his desire to see all succeed, hence his slogan, “Mastery For All”. This includes educators as well as students. James was afforded the opportunity to share his message of high expectations, excellent teaching, and equitable outcomes through Teacher Talks, a platform sponsored by the CMS Foundation.  That event sparked the passion of public speaking, which James now does around the country. It is his heart’s desire to cultivate an atmosphere where students believe that they can and educators believe that students can. That is why James is an educator. 


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 programing 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. 


Zachary Parker

Zachary Parker is a third-generation educator, now serving as the elected Ward 5 Representative on the DC State Board of Education. Zachary is an alum of Teach For America and former 7th grade math teacher. He is a Senior Director of School Support for The Achievement Network, coaching a portfolio of DC public and charter school principals and their leadership teams. Zachary is Principal Consultant with Accelerate Educational Consulting and alumnus of Northwestern University and Columbia University’s Teachers College. 


Jenn Pellegrine

Jenn Pellegrine is happy to join you at Standards Institute in our commitment to increase equity and excellence for all children.  Dr. Pellegrine currently serves as Senior Director for Elementary Learning at Making Waves Academy, a holistic organization in the San Francisco Bay Area that provides support for low income and aspiring first generation college students in graduating from college with minimal debt and “recycling their success.”  Dr. Pellegrine also supports leadership development of current and aspiring school leaders across the country as an adjunct trainer with New Leaders. Prior to these roles, Dr. Pellegrine served as a turnaround school principal in Newark, NJ, an adjunct professor working with Masters students at The City College of NY, school board president and trustee, and a teacher of mathematics at various schools in Northern NJ and Brooklyn, NY.


Brynn Pendrak

Brynn Pendrak is the Director of Mathematics and Science for KIPP: ENC. She consults on projects with Schoolkit, the KIPP Foundation, and UnboundEd. She has served as a District Math Specialist and STEM Coordinator for Granville County Public Schools, was Managing Director of Teacher Leadership Development for Teach for America Oklahoma, and started her trajectory in education teaching second and third grade bilingual elementary school.  She has a M.Ed in Education Administration, Curriculum, Supervision and Instruction from the University of Oklahoma. She has a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish with distinction from The Ohio State University. She currently is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Brandi Phillips

Over the last 14 years, Brandi Phillips has instructionally supported leaders, teachers, and students of traditionally underserved populations.  She spent the majority of her teaching career serving students within Chicago and Denver Public Schools, empowering them to recognize and unleash their full potential.  Brandi currently works as a Senior Director of School Support with The Achievement Network, where she is dedicated to improving educational conditions and outcomes for all students.


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 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.


Jessica Ramos

Jessica Ramos currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent for Learning Network Ten in the School District of Philadelphia.  Jessica has a long history with the School District of Philadelphia, as she herself is a product of three public schools within the district. Her rich experiences in those schools helped to mold the great leader we see in her today.  

After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively, Jessica entered the district as a classroom teacher.  Her over ten years of experience in the district include being a principal at Stearne Elementary School.  While there, she was awarded numerous grants and put many systems in place that proved successful for the school community.

While fulfilling various roles in the district, Jessica affiliated herself with numerous organizations to further enhance her skill set.  She is an alumnus of Teach for America, Philly Plus, and the Neubauer Fellowship.  Each of those organizations have invited her back on many occasions to share her highly regarded wisdom.  

Jessica has a very promising future. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at St. Joseph’s University. Her thirst for knowledge and passion for ensuring an equitable, high-quality education for all are unparalleled.


Jody Pittock

 Jody Pittock is an educational consultant with Reach Associates, facilitating professional learning opportunities with teachers, coaches, teacher leaders, administrators and state leaders in an effort to ensure high quality, standards-aligned and equitable educational opportunities for all students. Jody has many years of educational experience, as a classroom and special education teacher and literacy coach. In addition, she has been involved with state and national committees, including the EQuIP Peer Review Panel (Achieve).

Dr. Cheryl Proctor

Dr. Cheryl Proctor has found satisfaction in her work with the schools, students and families of Philadelphia since joining the District in December, 2015. With her husband and teenage daughter, with whom she enjoys spending time, she proudly calls greater Philadelphia home.

     Cheryl is the Assistant Superintendent for Learning Network 13 supervising the principals, schools, and CCS aligned educational programs of the network high schools. She believes teachers are at the heart of learning, and principals create the conditions for a safe and engaging learning environment for both teachers and students to thrive. She provides professional development and training for school leaders and teachers on standards-focused lessons to improve teaching, learning and equitable practices across all schools through created and managed CCS-aligned curriculum and assessments for all grade 9-12 high schools in the network.  This work has led to improved instructional and student learning outcomes on district and state assessments. Prior to her current role, Cheryl served as Deputy Chief of Schools leading the Office of Leadership Development & the Office of Evaluation. Cheryl has also served the School District of Philadelphia as the Executive Director of the Office of Planning & Evidence-based Support. In this role, she provided leadership and guidance to school leaders in the planning, implementation and evaluation of educational programs geared to improve school climate and increase student achievement. Cheryl also served the District as the Director of School Improvement & Regional Data Support.

     Before joining the district, Cheryl had a 17-year career with Broward County Public Schools, with more than 10 years in school leadership. She began her career in education as a special education (ESE) high school teacher, and then as an ESE specialist, coordinating special education programs for high school students, and specializing in high school literacy. Growing in leadership skill and curricular expertise, Cheryl was promoted to assistant principal and later principal.

     In December 2016, Cheryl completed her PhD in K-12 School Leadership from Florida Atlantic University, Educational Leadership & Research Methodology. She has also earned a BS in Communications from New York Institute of Technology, an MS in Education, Varying Exceptionalities from Florida International University, and an EdS in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. In addition to her K-12 experience, Cheryl has worked as an adjunct professor teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in Special Education and Educational Leadership at Nova Southeastern University.

Dr. Tanji Reed-Marshall

Tanji Reed Marshall, Ph.D., is the Director of P-12 Practice at the Education Trust.

Prior to joining Ed Trust, Tanji worked in the Office of Academic Programs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to prepare the school of education’s accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Before that, she supported prospective secondary English teachers who were working to obtain licensure through the school of education.

Before joining Virginia Tech, Tanji worked for as a district-level literacy specialist in Charlotte–Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, where she supported middle schools across the district to refine their literacy practices. She also worked to prepare the district as they transitioned to Common Core standards. Additionally, as a Title I literacy coach, Tanji worked with targeted schools to improve literacy instruction for traditionally underserved students. Her career also includes elementary and middle school classroom teaching in North Carolina and New Jersey, which has allowed her opportunities to consult with school districts across the country to refine and focus teacher practice on literacy and to strengthen student achievement — with an emphasis on traditionally underserved students.

Tanji holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, with an emphasis on teacher practice with high-achieving African American students, from Virginia Tech; a master’s degree in English education, with a focus on critical literacy, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston College.


Karin Rinderknecht

I recently relocated back to Los Angeles from Washington, D.C. after serving three years as a Director of School Support for the Achievement Network, an innovative national reform organization that provides direct coaching and services to school leaders and instructional teams. Prior to that, I taught high school English for seven years at three different schools - Green Dot Ralph Bunche Charter, Orthopaedic Hospital Magnet (both in L.A.), and Brandeis HS (in New York City). I am a bookworm at heart, so my drive to support literacy practices and outcomes for the students at Partnership schools comes in part from my own love of reading. I attended Yale for my undergraduate degree and City College for my Masters in education. Outside of my job, I love to travel, eat good food and spend time with my family.


Andrea Robinson-Tejada

Andrea Robinson-Tejada is a certified reading specialist who teaches ESOL in grades 6-8 at Parkland Magnet Middle School in Rockville, Maryland. She has successfully advocated for the implementation of grade-level, standards-based curriculum with her emergent level English language learners. Andrea has 20 years of experience as a teacher and is National Board Certified in both English as a New Language and Literacy. She is also an adjunct professor at Hood College where she teaches graduate courses in the Education department.


Karin Ryan

Karin Ryan serves as 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. Karin has facilitated sessions on Instructional Leadership, School Improvement, and Common Core Mathematics.  Karin is a graduate of Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education and a Master of Science in Special Education. She obtained her certification in Educational Leadership through Gannon University.


Dionne Samb

Dionne Aminata Samb, MBA, MSEd is the Lead Curriculum Writer for

Grades 3-5 at Illustrative Mathematics. She is also supporting professional learning as a Math Content Specialist for grades TK-8 at Aspire Public Schools, in Los Angeles, CA. Proudly serving inner-city youth throughout her 14-year career, Dionne previously taught elementary and middle school in South Central LA and Brooklyn, NY. She also served as an instructional coach with both NYC Teaching Fellows and Aspire. Dionne has a BA from UCLA, an MBA from Babson College, and a MSEd in Math Education from CUNY Brooklyn College.


Andrew Schaefer

Andrew Schaefer is a Turnaround Support Manager with the Colorado Department of Education, where he has supported turnaround schools and turnaround school districts for 2 years.  Prior to coming to Colorado, Andrew was an elementary and middle school teacher before becoming a principal of Uncommon School's first turnaround school (North Star Academy - Alexander Street Elementary).  While principal, his students PARCC scores outperformed the non-economically disadvantaged subset across grades 3-4 by over 10% and 30% higher than the national average. Andrew received his Bachelor's Degree from Bethel University (IN), a Master's Degree from Marian University (IN), and a Master's Degree from Relay Graduate School of Education (NY)."


Julianne Scherker

Julianne Scherker is an educational consultant, partnering with education organizations to coach leaders and teachers on implementing standards-aligned, data-driven instruction, create and facilitate professional development, and write blended learning curriculum.  Prior to this role, Julianne served as a Dean of Curriculum and Instruction with Uncommon Schools in Brooklyn, New York, where she wrote curriculum, coached teachers, and lead professional development.  With a passion for educational equity, Julianne began her career as a Teach for America Corps Member in the Bronx, and continued her work in Brownsville, Brooklyn as a Founding Grade 4 Lead Teacher.  She holds a BA and MA in elementary education with a specialization in literacy from the University of Florida.  


Lysa L. 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 the Achievement Network, Ms. Scott served as a Resident Principal and Associate Principal in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and is a forme 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.


Mariama Sesay-St. Paul

Mariama Sesay-St. Paul is a Vice-Principal of Curriculum and 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, Mairam now resides in New Jersey.  She is a graduate of Florida A & M University, Rutgers University-Newark and William Paterson University.


John Sharkey

John Sharkey is Director of Literacy for Urban Teachers, a teacher preparation program operating in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University. He oversees the program’s graduate literacy coursework and supports its content-based coaching. John has been a teacher and school leader in North Carolina and New York and holds a bachelor’s from California State University – Fullerton. His master’s is from Relay Graduate School of Education and John is currently a doctoral student at JHU, studying reading proficiency in urban, secondary students. 


Adam E. Smith

Adam E. Smith is the K-5 Math Curriculum Coordinator for the Ferguson-Florissant School District (St. Louis, MO). In the three years he has served in this role, Adam has restructured math instruction, rewritten curriculum for K-5 math, collaborated to bring standards-based grading to the district, and has initiated shifts within professional development for math teaching and learning for all staff. Adam has previously served as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and as a high school math teacher. In addition to his role at FFSD, Adam also serves as an adjunct professor at Harris-Stowe State University. Adam holds a M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University and a BS/BA from Tougaloo College.

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.  


Lori Taliaferro Riddick

Lori Taliaferro Riddick, is the Managing Director of Schools at DREAM Charter Schools where she implements new learning initiatives and oversees leadership at all DREAM schools. In her previous role, Lori served as Executive Director of Leadership Development for Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), where she planned and led professional development and training for all principals and assistant superintendents in the district. Prior to her work with CMSD, Lori was the Executive Director of Policy and Practice Services at New Leaders, where she led district level human capital consulting initiatives, facilitated district initiatives to develop new approaches to principal evaluation and principal effectiveness, and coached and facilitated district leadership teams to determine and implement district-wide strategies. Lori also led research and development for the Transformational Leadership Framework, a qualitative research project that examined principal actions and practices in place at schools that were realizing dramatic achievement gains, and co-authored Breakthrough Principals – A Step by Step Guide to Building Stronger Schools. In addition to developing New Leaders’ principal evaluation rubric, Lori has developed leadership standards for several states and districts. Lori began her career as an elementary classroom teacher and has worked with students, teachers, and principals in New York City, Newark, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and New Orleans. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and a Master’s degree in Education.

LeAndrea Taylor

LeAndrea Taylor currently serves as the Director of Literacy for Gestalt Community Schools in Memphis, TN. She has also served as an instructional coach and an elementary school teacher.  LeAndrea was at the forefront of the standards movement in the state of TN and worked as a trainer for the TN Department of Education to prepare teachers across the state to implement instruction aligned to CCRS standards. She is passionate about preparing teachers and leaders to make instructional decisions that create equitable instructional learning environments for students.  


Tammy Tuck

Tammy Tuck is Managing Director of Partnerships at SchoolKit where she supports equity in schools through college and career-ready standards and curriculum implementation. She has designed and delivered professional development for multi-district learning communities, graduate schools of education, 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.


Hannah Turner

Hannah Turner is the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and World Languages Content Specialist at Argyle Middle School in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she has taught Emerging Multilingual Learners for several years using CCSS-aligned curricula. 


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. She received her Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Georgetown University. She also received her Masters in Education from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and served was a Teach For America Corp Member. Sierah has worked with Detroit City Council District 4, organizing community outreach events and sitting 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.


Myuriel Von Aspen

Myuriel von Aspen is a Teacher on Special Assignment at the Newport-Mesa Unified School District where she supports teachers in improving the quality of math instruction and the learning experiences of English Learners.  Prior to this assignment, Myuriel worked as a teacher and math coach at a Two-Way Dual Immersion Title I school in Orange County, California. As a Student Achievement Partners Core Advocate, Myuriel works on projects that build capacity in teachers and educational leaders to ensure all students graduate college and career ready.  Myuriel received a B.S. in Computer Science at Florida International University and earned an MBA and a Masters in Teaching from UC Irvine.


Dr. Anita Walls

Anita Walls is a Director of School Support with Achievement Network. She works alongside school leaders and teachers in Washington, DC and Baltimore City Public Schools to provide support, training, and coaching around data driven instruction, standards, and strategies to increase student achievement. Previously, she provided direct coaching and development of LEAP (Learning Together to Advance our Practice) Leaders at multiple DC Public Schools as part of Leading Educators/DCPS LEAP Program. Prior to becoming a Leadership Coach, Anita spent 5 years as Principal and 10 years as a Reading Specialist, Testing Coordinator, Instructional Lead Teacher, and Teacher with Prince George’s County Public Schools. She is a product of Prince George’s County Schools and graduated from Hampton University where she received a BA in Psychology and an MA in Elementary Education. She received a second MS in Reading Education from Coppin State University and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Maryland College Park. Anita is an advocate for all students and works tirelessly to ensure that students gain exponential academic growth and are productive members of society. She is excited to continue supporting leaders and teachers and believes through hard work all students can succeed!


Tara 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.


Melanie Watkins

Melanie Watkins is a Literacy Academic Content Liaison (ACL) with Baltimore City Public Schools where she also taught and served as an Instructional Support Teacher for the past 14 years. As a Literacy ACL, Melanie provides differentiated supports to schools in the areas of planning, standards aligned instruction, data analysis and research based instructional strategies. She also facilitates professional development for school leaders, literacy leads and instructional leadership teams. Melanie received her Bachelor’s Degree from Kent State University and her Master’s Degree from Towson University. 


Dr. 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  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 engages 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 the 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.


Nicole Williams

Nicole Williams is a Leadership Coach with the Special Education Leader Fellowship Program in New Orleans, where she supports Special Education Leaders and Teachers throughout Orleans Parish.  Over the past eight years, Nicole has committed herself to developing and supporting leaders - teachers, teacher leaders, aspiring principals, sitting principals, and leadership coaches in the New Orleans metropolitan and across the United States.  Nicole received her Bachelor’s Degree from Loyola University of New Orleans and her Master’s Degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is an avid reader and self-proclaimed Ed Tech Diva!  


Dr. Nina Willis-Frye

Dr. Nina Willis-Frye’s career combines 29 years of educational experience and 20 years of brain-based research. Nina has served as a Chief Academic Officer, Regional Education Director, Turn around administrator, RtI Coordinator, teacher,  ESE Advocate, and professor. She also assisted in the creation of a foundation for inner-city at-promise youth, in Toledo, Ohio. This foundation’s accomplishments catapulted her in helping to create Ohio’s first K-12 year-round charter school. Nina is a national presenter and author who shares insights regarding curriculum development, brain research, educational equity, as well as learning strategies to close the achievement gap. She is passionate about assisting students in poverty, and students of color. Her personal mission is to help create educational equity for all students.  She is currently a Director of Design and Development for New Leaders.

Galit Zolkower

Galit Zolkower is the Principal of Highland View Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Before serving in this role, she was a high school assistant principal, an elementary and high school ESOL teacher and a system wide staff developer. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in French language and culture from Syracuse University, a Master’s degree in TESOL education from the University of Maryland and an administrator’s certificate from McDaniel College.