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Summer Principals Academy in New Orleans
The Education Leadership Program in the Department of Organization and Leadership
2016 NOLA Cohort
With seven years of teaching and school leadership experience, Emily Barnitz has worked both in New Orleans area charter schools and abroad. Having developed a creative-arts independent school in Shanghai, China as a founding teacher-leader, and built engaging early childhood and bilingual programming for international families, she is passionate about igniting a love for learning in others and embracing diversity. Emily's work as a teaching mentor has inspired her to further develop as a school leader, and for the past two years she has served as a 4th grade team lead teacher, Response to Intervention and 504 coordinator in Jefferson Parish. Emily is enthusiastic about returning to the kindergarten classroom in the fall, teaching at an independent school in New Orleans while completing her Louisiana educational administration certification, and would love to continue in international education in the future. Emily is from New Orleans and holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of New Orleans, with added endorsements in Early Childhood and Special Education.
Courtney Bell is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a B.S. in Psychology. After moving to Texas and working as the Director of Teen Programs for a financial literacy nonprofit, Courtney began her career in education as an 8th grade math teacher at YES Prep Public Schools. After a few years in the classroom, she wanted to bring the talents she learned at a high performing charter to other students and districts in Texas, so she accepted a position as Course Leader of the Math Department and the Math Instructional Coach for Westside High School in Houston; there, she led school-wide and math content professional development. With the dream of broadening her impact and being able to be a change agent in her hometown, Courtney moved back to Baton Rouge and joined staff with Teach for America – South Louisiana as a Manager of Teacher Leadership and Development. In this role, she coached and developed K-12 teachers in both the charter and public school districts across 4 parishes. She then returned to Houston, Texas to serve as the Dean of Instruction at YES Prep Southside in the YES Prep Public Schools District.
Mary-Luisa grew up in Miami, Florida and having experienced the achievement gap first hand, knew that she would spend her lifetime in education. After graduating with a degree in Communications and Spanish from Southwestern University, Mary-Luisa joined Teach for America in Greater New Orleans in 2007. She began her career with the Recovery School District teaching 3rd grade at Sylvanie Williams elementary. After the school closed, Mary-Luisa elected to stay in the classroom and in the Central City community and transitioned to KIPP Central City Academy as a 7th grade teacher. After 5 years in the classroom and having experienced significant growth from her scholars, Mary-Luisa transitioned to her first leadership role as a Founding Assistant Principal at Rocketship Alma Academy in San Jose, CA. In this capacity, Mary-Luisa and Rocketship Alma surpassed network goals for consecutive years achieving and 807 then 904 academic performance index score. Married in 2015, Mary-Luisa returned to South Florida and worked as the Founding Director of Operations at University Preparatory Academy in West Palm Beach. Now with over 10 years of experience in education, Mary-Luisa is excited to have successfully "turned-around" a failing campus and will assume the Principal role at Visible Men Academy in Bradenton, FL for the 2017-2018 school year.
Blanchard is a first-generation college graduate who attended the flagship institution, Louisiana State University. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Over the next 7 years, she dedicated herself to education reform, through many facets, in Louisiana. While earning an M.P.A., Brytanni researched aspects of the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), at the Louisiana Department of Education. Under the guidance of Deputy Superintendent of Finance, Beth Scioneaux, she worked on At Risk indicators in the MFP. As a teacher and subsequently an administrator in 2 of the 5 elementary schools in the Baton Rouge’s Achievement Zone has provided Brytanni with irreplaceable opportunities for impact and growth.
Katherine Christon graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Psychology. During her undergraduate studies, she interned abroad through AIESEC in Sao Carlos, Brazil where she taught secondary students about globalization and entrepreneurship. Upon graduation, Katherine joined Teach For America in the Rio Grande Valley where she taught at IDEA College Preparatory Alamo. While working at IDEA Public Schools, Katherine taught Geometry and 7th Grade English as well as served in various teacher leadership roles ranging from the district Course Leader for Geometry to being a grade team leader. In July 2017, Katherine will graduate with her master's in Education Leadership from Columbia Teachers College. Katherine is currently the assistant principal of instruction at IDEA College Preparatory Allan in Austin, TX.
Amy Kate Davis
After graduating from Wofford College in 2011 with a degree in English and education, Amy Kate Davis joined the education reform movement in Houston as a Teach for America corps member. In her first year, she taught seventh grade reading at YES Prep East End. In the following 4 years, Amy Kate continued her stint with East End in a variety of roles, including grade level chair, literacy specialist, behavior specialist and reading intervention instructor. The myriad of roles created a shift to the intervention mindset and new insight into discipline and cultural needs of 6th-8th graders. After development in these various positions, Amy Kate moved up to serve as the Middle School Dean of Students in her 6th year with YES Prep East End. For the 2017-2018 school year, Amy Kate will be transitioning to Nashville, Tennessee to serve with LEAD Public Schools.
Audrianna is a graduate of Howard University with a B.A. in Communication and Culture with a concentration in Legal Communication. Upon graduation, Audrianna was assigned to Atlanta, GA as a Teach for America corps member. She began her career in education as a 6th grade teacher at Sylvan Hills Middle School in Atlanta Public Schools. As a third-year teacher, Audrianna is still serving children at her Teach for America placement school as a Social Studies Teacher and Grade Level Chair. In addition, Audrianna has coordinated a school wide reading initiative and implemented a PBIS system in order to shift the culture and promote student achievement. What excites Audrianna the most about Summer Principals Academy is the opportunity to learn effective leadership practices and implement the strategies at Sylvan in real-time. In addition, Audrianna is looking forward to working with the incredible faculty and staff of SPA NOLA and connecting and creating meaningful relationships with classmates.
Troy is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, holding a B.A. of Arts. Following graduation, he taught for two years in South Texas while fulfilling a Teach for America service term. As of this school year, he has returned to his hometown of El Paso, Texas to continue work as a secondary educator (American Government and Politics, World Geography, and US History). He looks forward to implementing the collaborative nature and self-accountability elements of the SPA New Orleans curriculum, as well as the leveraging the experience of both students and instructors engaged with the program. Troy will be returning to the classroom in the upcoming 2017-2018 academic year, and hopes to earn Texas state certification credentials for school leadership.
Malcolm is from Charlotte, North Carolina and is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University. While majoring in journalism and mass communications, his work introduced him to the issue of the socio-economic achievement gap. Malcolm's researching and reporting with the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies helped him, not only discover a passion for educational equity, but also uncover and understand the context of his own educational journey. He decided to take the leap into the classroom in 2011 by joining Teach For America and taught two years of high school English in the Mississippi Delta. In 2013, Malcolm decided to sharpen his skills as an educator when he moved to New Orleans to teach at KIPP Leadership Academy. While there, Malcolm taught middle school English and Social Studies, helping his students earn some of the highest scores in the KIPP New Orleans Schools network. He began to explore possibilities of expanding his impact through leadership after noticing the gains that he was helping students consistently achieve. He worked as a grade-level lead and a House Leader during his final two years with KIPP. Outside of the school building, he pursued opportunities to grow his leadership capacity, eventually leading him to Columbia University's Summer Principals Academy. Malcolm will begin immediately applying the knowledge and skills he has acquired throughout the program in an administrative role as School Incubation Leader with ReNEW Schools in New Orleans.
Andrea Hagan is a native of Gonzales, Louisiana. She graduated with a B.S. in Sociology from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After graduation, she went on to pursue a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix. At the time, Andrea pursued a career in banking and business. In 2004, Andrea moved to New Jersey, changed career paths and became a teacher. She taught high school Social Studies at Weequahic High in Newark, New Jersey for nine years. During her tenure in the Newark Public Schools District, she also served as a mentor for several in-service teachers pursuing their degree and certification. Before returning to Louisiana, Andrea graduated with an ED.M in Teaching of Social Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York in 2011. Currently, she is a Student Programs Coordinator, CAS Coordinator and IB Humanities Instructor at Baton Rouge International School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her overall purpose in playing this “game of educating children” is to make sure that each student experiences a democratic education that will lead him or her to becoming a well-rounded and socially-active citizen. She believes that completing the program at the Summer Principals Academy will assist her in embarking upon this great feat. She looks forward to working with leaders who hold the same passion in producing a different type of environment and curriculum that stimulates students’ minds and assists them in becoming multicultural and more civically inclined.
Elizabeth Hinckley is a 2009 graduate of Northwestern University with a B.S. in Education and Social Policy. Upon graduation, she joined Teach For America and was placed at Amanda Elzy High School in Greenwood, Mississippi where she taught Algebra I and served as the Math Department Chair for three years. During that time, she also served in a variety of part-time leadership roles within the Teach For America - Mississippi Delta region, including a Math Learning Team Leader for secondary math teachers across the region and a classroom coach for first-year teachers in the Greenwood area across all grades and content areas. Most recently, Elizabeth served as the lead 8th grade math teacher, school-wide math team coach, and led the after-school enrichment/remediation program at Greenwood Middle School in Greenwood, Mississippi.
Victor is a native Virginian. He received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Virginia State University and a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Public Administration. His passion for education occurred during his work in examining the educational losses of foster youth who move from community to community. During these experiences his eyes were opened to broader multifaceted issues within the educational landscape of his state and country. Destined to make a change, he began his career in education as a 2014 Teach for America Corps Member in the Las Vegas Valley region. After the conclusion of his Summer Principals Academy experience, Victor will be taking his talent and experience to Capitol Hill to work on education policy.
Joseph Huynh graduated with a BA in English-Literature from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While at LSU, he volunteered at a battered women’s shelter where he found a love for helping children. Afterwards, he completed his MAT at the University of New Orleans. In 2013, he accepted a job at John Ehret High School. While at Ehret, he has helped develop the Speech I curriculum, been a member of the PBIS team, sponsor of various clubs on campus, and mentors at-risk students. As a member of the SPA NOLA 2016 cohort, Joseph hopes to improve his community by making quality education available to underserved and at-risk children.
Jennifer Jeffers is a proud native of Little Rock, Arkansas. Growing up in a place rich in civil rights history and attending Little Rock Central High School forever shaped her views on social justice and educational equity. Jennifer graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with majors in Spanish and Latin American Studies. She then took her passion for the Spanish language to the classroom as a 2012 Teach for America corps member in the rural Louisiana Delta region. Jennifer taught K-12 Spanish in Ferriday, Louisiana for three years, where her students were the first in parish history to score medals on the rigorous National Spanish Exam. During her time in rural Louisiana she also took two groups of students abroad to Costa Rica for their first international trip. Jennifer was a Sue Lehmann regional finalist in 2012 and a 2013 finalist for Louisiana Teacher of the Year. In her current role, Jennifer teaches Spanish I at KIPP Booker T. Washington High School in New Orleans and continues to take students on study abroad experiences each summer. She is excited to continue her leadership journey after graduating from Columbia University.
Peter Kuhns is a 2013 graduate of Lafayette College with a B.A. in History. Upon graduation, he joined Teach For America, and was placed in New Orleans, Louisiana. For the past four years, he has taught middle school science and social studies at the Renew Cultural Arts Academy in New Orleans. He has also served other roles within Renew Schools such as a football coach, the lead planner for all the grade level science teachers across the network, and leader of a network wide initiative to implement restorative behavior practices. He recently earned his M.S. in Education from Johns Hopkins University. He will be teaching high school World History in San Diego, California in the upcoming school year.
Lyndz Leibowitz earned a B.S. in Political Science & Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After MIT, Lyndz joined the 2011 Teach For America Hawaii corps, where she found her passion for leadership in education. She taught secondary mathematics on the Big Island of Hawaii, and she was a robotics coach for First Lego League and VEX robotics. Lyndz also obtained an M.A. in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix. Following her corps experience, she attended NYU where she earned an M.P.A in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. During this time, Lyndz worked for the New York City Department of Education, where she served as the as a Systems Project Manager and the Deputy Director of Education Technology Development. She worked across functional teams to develop, support, and enhance the NYC Schools Account family portal and the STARS Classroom scheduling and grade book systems. She has also served as a Corps Member Advisor and Academic Dean for the Teach For America Phoenix Summer Institute, a Portfolio Coach for the Johns Hopkins School of Education, and as a secondary mathematics teacher in New Mexico. She is a candidate for a Ed.M. in Education Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University. Lyndz is currently the Director of Technology and a mathematics teacher at the West End School, a free, all-boys, college preparatory school in Louisville, KY, where she serves her community with a passion for equity in education.
At the age of 16, Oluwasomi's parents moved her sisters and her from their home state, Rhode Island, to Texas to ensure they would be provided better opportunities in school and jobs. She attended the University of Houston and graduated in August 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Foods (Nutritional Sciences Track). Her beginning goal in college was to become a doctor, a goal that was embedded into her as a child by her parents. However, her objective changed, Oluwasomi ended her college career by pursuing opportunities in the educational field. This is a goal that she's now accomplishing for herself; a goal that resulted in her parents still being happy and proud. While in college she was employed for multiple school districts functioning as an intervention teacher to help students pass the TAKS/STAAR exam. During these assignments is when a passion for the field of education, serving a community, and building student leaders developed. She is now entering her fifth year of teaching and her fourth year as an 8th Grade Level Chair for YES Prep Hoffman, a charter school/college preparatory school in the YES Prep Public Schools district. She’s taught two years of 6th Grade Math Enrichment and two years of 8th Grade Science. As a Grade Level Chair, she is the cultural leader and manager for her grade level, functioning as the liaison between administration and staff, and advocate for all stakeholders (parents, teachers, and students). Pursuing and participating in SPA is aligned to her ultimate end goal of opening up her own school in a low socioeconomic community.
Allison attended DePauw University where she earned her B.A. in Economics. Her passion for education began in high school but was further propelled by an internship at an education management company. After graduation, Allison moved to Phoenix to teach middle school math as a 2012 Teach for America corps member. While teaching at Pioneer Preparatory School, she also earned her Masters in Education from Arizona State University. At the end of her second year teaching, she jumped at the chance to be a founding team member at Western School of Science and Technology. Western provides both Pioneer and local youth a much need high school alternative to the under-performing high schools in the Maryvale neighborhood she grew to love. In the founding school year, Allison taught math and STEM, was an instructional coach. Allison will start her fourth year at Western as the Dean of Academics where she leads cultural initiatives, serves as an instructional coach, and is the STEM Director. Allison's passion for education stems from a desire to build communities that provide extensive opportunities for students, build their ability to collaborate and think critically, as well as affirm their identities.
Camille Provencal is a 2012 graduate of Northwestern University with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in French and Business Institutions. She was recruited to fence on the Northwestern women’s fencing team and during this time came to love working with the young students who came to the team’s weekly clinics. These experiences, as well as her completion of the Civic Engagement Certificate Program, led her to apply to Teach For America. She was placed in New Orleans as a middle school math teacher at Nelson Charter School. Camille has had the pleasure of working at a middle school, high school and elementary school, gaining invaluable perspective of the k-12 experience. She has maintained her passion for fencing throughout her time in New Orleans, as it had a significant impact on her social emotional growth, taught her how to confront challenges and work with a team. She wanted to provide her students with the same learning opportunity and passion, so she founded a fencing elective class at Cohen College Prep high school. Next year she will be a founding math teacher at KIPP Valiant in East Palo Alto, California.
Aaron Resendez is currently a fourth-grade math and science teacher for Mansfield ISD located in the DFW Metroplex. He is originally from El Paso, Texas and a graduate of Coronado High School. Upon graduation, Aaron enrolled at the University of Texas at Arlington to study business management. While in college he served as Student Body President and a Goolsby Leadership Academy Scholar in the College of Business. After college, Aaron began his teaching career as a 2012 Corps Member for Teach for America in San Antonio, Texas. In 2014 Aaron moved back to Arlington, Texas to teach in Mansfield ISD. After completing his first year as a fourth-grade teacher, Aaron taught fourth grade summer school. While working with ESL and bilingual students over the summer, Aaron and his bilingual support teacher felt a need for a stronger bilingual summer school program to meet the needs of the students. Together they wrote a supplemental curriculum with resources for grades K-4 to be implemented beginning in Summer 2016. In 2016-2017, Aaron was named Teacher of the Year and will continue to be a teacher leader next year while working on his Texas administrative certificate.
Cece Sizoo-Roberson hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, where she currently serves as lead math teacher and head volleyball coach at a public, Title I middle school that has been her chosen home for the past five years. After receiving her B.A. in Religious and Ethical Studies with a minor in Education Studies from Haverford College, Cece returned to Charlotte, North Carolina to teach in the same school district she attended high school. Cece’s teaching career began and continues in a school where fewer than forty percent of students enter having passed the state math and language arts tests the year prior; a school a mere fifteen miles from the high school where Cece graduated and went on to college with more than ninety-five percent of her class. The existence and continuation of these savage inequalities in the education system continues to fuel Cece’s fire, and serves as the driving force for her work at SPA NOLA. In addition to being named Teacher of the Year over numerous years, Cece has had the distinct honor of supporting her students in achieving the highest growth and proficiency scores at her school each year of teaching. Cece is excited to return to the classroom and work with young minds, as she continues to develop into a leader who can support all schools in becoming places for students to gain their voices as stakeholders in our increasingly collaborative global environment.
With a background in business, sports and television, Jewel is known to have a great spirit. If asked, he would say he is on PURPOSE. A proven leader who has been able succeed in high-pressure situations, Jewel has been elected and promoted into leadership roles his entire life. Through hard work and dedication, many have recognized his drive for excellence. Jewel is an educator at Lusher High School in New Orleans. After joining Lusher’s Health department years ago, he immediately started making an impact where few others imagined the possibilities. He started by changing instructional material and how it was delivered to students by implementing technology into the classroom, engaging the students like never before.
A graduate of Kansas State University, Jewel was a member of the Track & Field and Football teams. He was elected as team captain, received All-American honors and served as an Ambassador for the university. Jewel went on to play in the NFL for his hometown team, the Kansas City Chiefs until a knee injury sidelined him. Soon after he began a coaching career that has continued until today. He has coached high school, college and NFL players. Jewel also built a successful speed and agility-training academy, Goalline Sports, where he helps develop hundreds of athletes around the country. In 2015, Jewel received a Leadership Development Certification from Wharton University.
A native of Akron, Ohio, Lindsey graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007 with a B.A. in Communication Rhetoric and Sociology. Lindsey began her career in education as a Teach for America corps member. Lindsey was placed at KIPP: Heartwood Academy in San Jose, California as the 5th grade English Language Arts instructor. During her 2nd year at KIPP: Heartwood, Lindsey was promoted to the Academic Chair. Lindsey spent the following summer traveling back to the Teach for America Los Angeles Institute where she served as a Corps Member Advisor, coaching and supporting beginning educators in teaching pedagogy and classroom management. After teaching for four years, Lindsey became Manager of Teacher Leadership Development. In the summer of 2013, Lindsey ventured back to Los Angeles to serve as a Teach For America School Director at Markham Middle School where she worked to improve the academic and social skills of all students. Lindsey returned to Ohio where she currently serves as the Assistant School Leader of KIPP Columbus Elementary School and works to ensure that students embrace and showcase their motto of: “Find your passion. INSPIRE. Own your journey.”
Ryan Stivers is the Founding Developer Coach at Rooted School in New Orleans, Louisiana and Principal Consultant at Stivers Consulting, LLC. After dropping out of high school, Ryan sought to create an education system that truly serves all students. After completing his GED, Ryan graduated at the top of his class with a B.A. in Education and Secondary History from Lake Forest College. Ryan received the Senior Prize in Education from Lake Forest College and was nominated as a finalist for the New Orleans Teacher of the Year award in his first year of teaching. For the last three years, he has been working as a teacher, instructional coach, and administrator at local New Orleans high schools. When not working directly with youth or teachers, he serves as an education consultant on a variety of topics including curriculum, teacher leadership, and systems development. A passionate community organizer, Ryan sits on the board of two nonprofit education institutions in the Greater New Orleans Area.
Originally from Bemus Point, New York, Kat is now living in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas. She first began working in education as a 2012 Teach For America corps member, teaching 8th grade ELA in San Benito, Texas. After completing her two years as a corps member, Kat stayed at her placement school for an additional two years, teaching both 8th grade ELA and 10th grade Pre-AP English II. Throughout her four years as a teacher she has also served as grade level team lead, district course leader, and a professional development leader for Teach For America. In her fourth-year teaching, Kat taught four sections of English II, and coached teachers on her campus during the afternoons. Last year, she worked as the Assistant Principal of Instruction at IDEA Weslaco College Prep, coaching 10 teachers, leading culture for 6th and 7th grade, and serving as the ELL coordinator. She is excited to go back to Weslaco with the knowledge and skills she has gained while at SPA.
Meghan Stroh is an Assistant Principal at Jefferson RISE Charter School in Gretna, Louisiana. In this role, she has developed curriculum for all subjects, designed and facilitated professional development, managed instructional coaching, and supported start-up school operations. For eight years prior, Meghan taught Chemistry at L.W. Higgins High School, a traditional public school located just outside of New Orleans. There she worked to create a classroom in which her “Chem Crushers” could become problem-solvers, independent thinkers, perseverant and goal-oriented learners, and helpful teammates. She taught the first-ever AP Chemistry course at Higgins and served as a Louisiana State Teacher Leader and as an Instructional Coach. Meghan is a proud alumnus of Leading Educators, a two-year fellowship designed to maximize the impact of teacher leaders, has worked for TNTP's teachNOLA Pre-Service Training as an instructor and coach, and began her career in education through Teach For America after earning a B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in American Studies from Texas A&M University. Meghan is honored to be a member of the 2016 SPA NOLA cohort and has appreciated the opportunity to engage with educators who have pushed her to become the type of leader students, teachers, and families deserve.
Chelsea Williams is an Assistant Principal at Reimagine Prep Charter School in Jackson, Mississippi. In this role, she coaches all 5th and 6th grade teachers in content and classroom management, cultivates relevant professional development for teachers, develops and maintains positive school culture, and facilitates the implementation of social/emotional curriculum. Prior to this role, Chelsea served as the 5th grade science teacher and 5th Grade Level Team Leader at Reimagine Prep, where she facilitated weekly grade level celebrations, worked with her team to create behavior intervention plans, and created a homework help center plan. Chelsea obtained her B.S. in Psychology and Biology from the University of Georgia before joining the 2012 Teach For America Mississippi Delta Corps. As a corps member, Chelsea taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science in Jackson Public Schools at Peeples Middle School for three years and led her students to a 90% or above proficiency rate on the state science assessment. After teaching and leading at Peeples, Chelsea served as the founding 5th grade STEM teacher for one of the first charter schools in Mississippi, Midtown Public Charter School. By completing SPA, Chelsea hopes to lead a team to provide a quality education to students by establishing a school culture that is focused on open communication between stakeholders, high academic expectations and instruction, and positive behavior management. She is thrilled to be a part of SPA and to further develop her leadership abilities to equip students to become leaders in their own right.
Jeremy was raised in Lexington, MS, a rural city in the Mississippi Delta. He attended the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in hopes of securing the necessary preparation for college. He was accepted into Howard University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Medicine. He became very involved in mentorship and tutoring through the fraternal service of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and was inspired to apply to Teach For America. Jeremy was accepted into the 2011 Houston Corps and served as an eighth grade science teacher where his students were able to make significant academic gains. With a desire to learn and grow as an instructional leader, and expand his influence across Houston, he opted to work as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development on behalf of the Teach For America Houston Region. Jeremy currently serves as the founding Director of Academics at Yes Prep Northbrook High School, the first high school partnership to enroll students from an Independent School District, Spring Branch ISD, and two successful public charter districts, KIPP Public Schools and YES Prep Public Schools.
Ashley Wright is a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development for Teach For America in Las Vegas, Nevada. She coaches pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade teachers in Clark County School District across the Las Vegas Valley. In this role, she designs and facilitates weekly professional development, conducts weekly observations paired with differentiated one on one and/or content group coaching, and develops rigorous early childhood curriculum and assessments for her cohort of teachers. Ashley pursued her B.A. in Early Childhood Education at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, she joined the Teach for America Las Vegas Valley 2013 Corps and, while teaching, obtained her first M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Ashley is currently obtaining her M.Ed in Public School Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. She taught pre-kindergarten and kindergarten at Matt Kelly Elementary School which is in the Historic West Las Vegas area, which began her lifelong passion for education equity in the West Las Vegas community.
Yilmaz Suleyman Yoruk currently teaches English Language Arts at the Boston Latin School. He has previously served as a middle school teacher at UP Academy Boston, and a high school ELA teacher at West Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, NC. Yilmaz went to Ithaca College to study Sociology for his bachelor's degree. While completing his bachelor's degree, Yilmaz engaged in various leadership opportunities such as the Urban Mentorship Initiative, Officer Candidate School for the Marine Corps, serving as a resident and teaching assistant, and actively involved the school community by founding and leading clubs and organizations. During his Teach For America commitment in Charlotte, NC, Yilmaz attained a Master's Degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University. After completing Summer Principals Academy, Yilmaz plans to hone his instructional skills and experience further, and apply them to instructional leadership at the Boston Latin School.