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Summer Principals Academy
The Education Leadership Program in the Department of Organization and Leadership
Erica Addy currently teaches grades 6-12 at Passages Academy which serves adjudicated youth in a secure detention center. In this position she has been a special education teacher specializing in Mathematics. She has also served as the testing coordinator, special education liaison and event coordinator over the last five years. She became a New York City Teach for America corp member in 2011. She aspires to further her leadership skills in order to improve the conditions and effectiveness of education for students currently in the juvenile justice system as well as all alternative settings.
Naomi Arroyo is a fourth grade teacher at PS 532 New Bridges. She empowers students to be their best selves, intellectually, creatively, socially and emotionally, so that they can become world leaders and healers. Naomi is looking forward to being a part of a community of mindful, dedicated innovators in the field of education and growing into an effective and caring school leader.
Wayne Banks is the STEM Integration Specialist at Chicago Vocational Career Academy--a public high school on the southside of Chicago. His role involves managing all pieces of our STEM program including corporate partnerships, instructional design, and coaching of teachers in integrating STEM practices across the entire high school curriculum. Previously, I taught Chemistry and Physics at this same school, which was his placement school for TFA. He hopes to deepen his passion for education in learning to be a better leader in this movement for educational equity.
Erica Beal is the Vice Principal at KIPP DC: WILL Academy, a charter school that serves over 300 low income students in the District of Columbia. In this position she serves as the school’s director of literacy and 5th and 6th grade culture. Previously she taught 1st, 3rd, 4th and 7th grade and served as the 4th and 7th grade level chair at her school. Erica served as a 2010 Teach for America Corps Member in New York City. She aspires run her own charter school network one day and looks forward to the further development of her leadership capabilities as a part of the 2016 SPA cohort.
Baltazar Benavides teaches 7th grade mathematics and serves as the team lead at The Crossroads School, a public charter school that serves a resilient low-income community of 162 middle school students from neighborhoods across Baltimore, Maryland. Previously he was a teacher, team leader, and grade-level department chair at Buck Lodge Middle School in Prince George's County, Maryland. He aims to expand his impact on his students and community by growing his capacity to lead a school.
Brian Bereman is the Dean of Students at West Prep Academy, A New York City public middle school located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In this position Brian works with the principal and guidance counselor to design, implement and monitor schoolwide procedures, discipline and school culture expectations for West Prep scholars. Brian previously taught 8th grade social studies and 7th grade science. He aspires to learn effective leadership practices, and how to best close the achievement gap.
Kate Berten teaches Grade 4 at The School at Columbia University. In this position, she integrates core subjects with the concepts of exploration and justice, and has also served as an Oversight Council Representative, a member of the Innovation Committee, a director of Integrated Projects Week and organizes the annual Penny Harvest. Kate came to teaching after a background in graphic design. She is looking forward to growing her leadership skills, collaborating with other professionals and gaining new opportunities in education.
Willie Brewster teaches 6th grade Math, Science and World History at Rutledge H. Pearson Elementary School. Pearson, a Title One school, in the historically lowest performing region in the county. In this position, Willie has co-led a district pilot, extending elementary school beyond 5th grade to include 6th grade. Achieving the second highest math scores of all schools in Duval County. Previously he taught World History, Advanced Science and Math at Eugene J. Butler Middle School. Willie aspires to develop and cultivate every facet of what it means to effectively lead an urban school; ultimately ensuring that when we say all students, we truly mean ALL students.
Rachel Brill teaches 8th Grade Language Arts and serves as Literacy Coach at a turnaround school in Southwest Denver. In this position she works with all content area teachers to ensure that students are supported in their language development. As a Teach For America alumna, she worked with the District to create curriculum supports and instructional materials for English Language Learners across Denver. She aspires to lead a transformational school that teaches students not only how to be successful academically, but become agents of change.
Olvin Carias teaches AP Calculus and Statistics at KIPP Generations Collegiate that serving mostly low-income students in Houston. In addition to teaching, he also coaches teachers in curriculum development and classroom systems and procedures. Previously, he served as a grade level chair and a math curriculum leader for the district. He aspires to be a founding school leader for a school that focuses on STEM and the arts.
Nathania Cha is the Dean of Operations & Student Support at Alta Vista High School, a charter school serving over 350 urban students of Kansas City, Missouri. In her current role, she manages school-wide systems, provides support and intervention regarding attendance and truancy and assists with discipline and is part of the Restorative Justice implementation team for all the Alta Vista schools. Previously, she served as the Data and Systems Director in the same charter network, and taught elementary school as a Teach For America corps member. Nathania hopes to deepen her skills as a school leader through collaboration with other leaders in the SPA program so she can continue to serve her students, and the community of Kansas City, in meaningful and innovative ways.
Alyssa Champagne teaches visual art and art history at Medway High School in Medway Massachusetts, and to children and adults at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She also serves on the board of directors for the Massachusetts Art Eduction Association. Previously, she worked for education nonprofits serving urban, at-risk youth in Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston, Massachusetts. Alyssa aspires to lead in a public education setting to broaden educational attainment and foster an inclusive school culture that promotes excellence and achievement for all students.
Kimberly Cordova is the Director of Student Support Services at New Heights Academy Charter School, serving students in grades 5-12 living in Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood. In this position she supervises and coaches learning and ESL specialists, ensures the school was in compliance with special education and ESL mandates, and takes part in the instructional leadership team. She aspires to become a principal at a public or charter school.
Addae Cox is a science instructor at Fort Greene Preparatory Academy, a public middle school in Brooklyn, N.Y. In addition to teaching Science, he serves as the seventh grade Team Leader, Assistant Dean and as a Model Teacher. He also oversees science curriculum development and cross disciplinary planning with other departments. Additionally, he engages his students in project-based learning. His goal in SPA is to prepare urban students for higher education and a competitive workforce and to collaborate with top tier educators on the frontline of reform in urban education.
Ade Cox is a 6th grade science instructor at Fort Greene Preparatory Academy (FGPA). In Ade’s position, he serves as the chair of the Culture Committee, School Leadership Team, and Science Coordinator. He gained recognition in his district for STEM work and strong community involvement. Ade’s goal during the SPA program is to collaborate with a team of progressive future leaders and experts in the educational field to improve the intrinsic academic motivation and performance among students.
Yolanda Cummings teachers Kindergarten at Roberts Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio. Roberts serves the city's largest population of ELL students. In this position she has structured rigorous lessons around literacy and math intergrating science and social studies. Previous to teaching, Yolanda served in the U.S. Navy for 12 years. She aspires to build her leadership skills and continue to build and produce quality education for all students.
Brandee Davis teaches middle school math teacher and team lead at Visitation Academy of Frederick, an independent school that serves students in grades PreK through 8th grade. In this position, she is part of a collaborative team focused on developing a cross-disciplinary STEM program that prepares students to meet the challenges facing 21st century leaders. Previously, she spent several years as an electrical engineer, school consultant and high school math teacher. She aspires to have a transformational impact on closing the education gap and STEM gender gap.
Zachary Ervin works in Indianapolis. He worked in Detroit at Henry Ford High School as a lead teacher, math teacher, and coach for the last 4 years before moving back to Indianapolis. In this position, he led the 9th grade and math teams at his school and mentored first year teachers at the school. He aspires to learn and grow as much as possible at SPA to become the best school leader that he can possibly become for his current and future students.
James Fidler currently teaches Mathematics at KIPP: Memphis Collegiate High School and has been accepted to the Indianapolis Principal Fellowship. Before working at KIPP: Memphis Collegiate High School, he served as a high school mathematics teacher and a member of the Teach For America – Rio Grande Valley Corp. Over the past four years, he has worked in multiple capacities to develop a robust mathematics department at the schools where he has served and develop a school culture that promotes the idea of education for all and To and Through College. He aspires to continue learning how to improve teaching and learning in schools through future classroom and leadership roles.
Steven Garrand teaches K-4 Physical Education at Metropolitan Lighthouse Charter School in the South Bronx. He also serves as a Teacher Leader Fellow and Specials Team Leader, where he promotes cross curricular implementation. His teacher fellowship role is focused on improving school culture, offering more after school opportunities for scholars, and providing managerial support to elementary teachers. Steven aspires to close the achievement gap as a Principal in urban schools. The SPA program will provide him leadership skills to build a positive and collaborative school community.
Lilia Hargis teaches first grade at EAGLE College Preparatory School-Tower Grove South, in St. Louis, Missouri. She was a founding teacher for the EAGLE network of schools in St. Louis and also serves as the K-2 Grade Level Chair, providing coaching and feedback to teachers in the early elementary grades. Previously, she was a 2011 Teach for America Corps Member, teaching first grade in the Saint Louis Public Schools. She is passionate about early childhood and early elementary education and aspires to lead a school that delivers rigorous academic instruction to students in a way that is responsive to the social-emotional needs of young children.
Howard started his career in education in Boston, Massachusetts as a Math teacher although he is currently a Generalist Teacher and Athletic Director at West Prep Academy in New York City. He also has served as Board of Trustee member at the Bement School in Deerfield, Massachusetts for the past 7 years, where he works to facilitate fundraising and alumni relations which have helped in building new dorms and transforming the campus. At SPA, he looks forward to developing new and innovative ways to run a school and to collaborating with fellow cohort members.
Brian Hawkins currently teaches seventh grade Humanites and is the Humanities Department Head at Brownsville Ascend Middle School in Brooklyn, NY. He has been instrumental in implemeting an independent reading program that tracks the number of words read per student and motivates students to read, which has led to a significant improvment in student's indepependent reading levels. Brian has been teaching for over ten years and previously taught in Newwark, Harlem, and in the Mississippi Delta. He aspires to become a principal in the New York City Department of Education.
Erica Holmes-Ware is an Assistant Principal at Success Academy Charter School in New York City where she works to coach and support teachers in attaining transformational outcomes with students. Erica began teaching as a Houston Teach for America corps member in 2008, where she taught elementary school for five years before serving as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development for 1st and 2nd year Teach for America Corps members. Erica is excited to attain the tools, skills and knowledge to build relationships that will prepare her to become a school leader who provides an environment and educational experience that is culturally responsive, inclusive and empowering to all students.
Tarell Hoskey is a Dean of Students at Success Academy Charter Schools.In this position, he works directly with the principal to manage daily school culture data, coach teachers to improve their instructional practices, and build close relationships with scholars and their families. Previously he was an elementary school teacher in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn for several years. He aspires to develop professionally and personally by collaborating, sharing ideas, and best practices with other colleagues enrolled in the Summer Principals Academy Program who share an equal passion to create excellent schools for less advantaged students.
Lisa Jones currently teaches biology and chemistry at The Cinema School in the Bronx, and serves as the Science Department Chair and Programmer. In the context of these positions, she has worked to create a rigorous ramped inquiry-based science trajectory, established inter-visitation protocols within and outside the department, and works with student course requests and graduation requirements to create the academic program for the year. At SPA, she hopes to learn the necessary skills to establish an environment of high academic expectations and gain experience in making weighty decisions that will strike a balance in pleasing all stakeholders.
Matthew Kennedy teaches history and is a school operations leader at Eastern SHS, an International Baccalaureate school in Washington, DC. He teaches IB history, coordinates school technology initiatives, and leads strategic planning efforts at the school. He has taught history and special education in DC Public Schools for 7 years and looks forward to expanding his knowledge and leadership skills through his education at SPA.
Jeremy Konar is a special educator teaching 10th grade ICT Living Environment at Maspeth High School in Queens, where he also serves as IEP Coordinator and chair of the Instructional Support Services department. Jeremy coordinates services for over 100 students with special needs and works with staff to implement strategies for fully inclusive education. Jeremy became a special educator through the New York City Teaching Fellows program. He looks forward to learning how to work with educators to challenge current systems and create vibrant, equitable, and responsive learning communities.
Demetrius Lancaster teaches 4th grade English Language Arts at William E. Doar, Jr. Public Charter School for the Performing Arts. Demetrius works with a team of educators that work to ensure that students are prepared for opportunities in selective high schools and college. In addition to teaching, Demetrius serves as the grade level chair through which he supports teachers in grades 3-5. He is passionate about implementing culturally responsive teaching pedagogy reflected in his recent publication in Perspectives In Urban Education entitled, “Countering the Narrative: A Layered Perspective on Supporting Black Males in Education.” Through SPA, Demetrius hopes to gain the foundational skillset that will make him a transformational school principal in Washington, DC where he can incorporate school-wide culturally responsive teaching pedagogy.
Jesika Laster teaches reading at The Seed School of Miami a charter school in Miami-Dade, Florida. In this position, she creates and implements culturally responsive curriculum using the Reader's Workshop teaching model. Previously, Jesika was a Miami-Dade corps member and taught English Language Arts at Miami Northwestern Senior High School where she also worked as a teacher mentor. She aspires to continue her leadership development in order to create education reform that works toward closing the achievement gap.
Christina Lear is the Assistant Principal at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, a public charter school affiliated with Goodwill. In this position, she leads curriculum, instruction, and assessment for the school. Previously, she served as the school's Director of Guidance and taught high school English at Herron High School and Indianapolis Public Schools. She is eager to learn from the diverse perspectives of SPA faculty and colleagues' and bring this knowledge back to her students and school team.
Erica Lyles currently teaches 9th grade Algebra Foundations at KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School, a charter school in East Nashville, Tennessee. Previously, Erica taught 7thgrade Math at Whitewater Middle School in Charlotte, NC. She looks forward to fruitful discussions, collaborations, and cross-disciplinary conversations around students, families, education, and leadership at SPA. Erica is excited to lead a school that creates sustainability for high performing teachers while proving the possible for students, families, and the community in which she serves.
Joseph J. Mason teaches Special Education 9/10th grade at Urban Prep Charter Academy-Englewood. He currently serves as the department chair and writing and implementing Individualized Education Programs. His work also involves finding new ways to use and implement technology that will benefit students with special needs. In SPA, he looks forward to gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to lead an entire school building.
Deirdre McShea is the founding 5th grade Social Studies teacher at Valor Collegiate Academy, public charter school in Nashville, TN. As the Chairperson of the Social Studies department, Deirdre designs and oversees the implementation of the Social Studies curriculum across network schools. Prior to joining Valor, Deirdre worked on Teach For America's recruitment team, managing their recruitment efforts at Philadelphia area colleges and universities and working to bring more passionate and talented leaders into the field of education. As a student at the Summer Principals Academy, Deirdre looks forward to learning from the diverse experiences of both faculty and classmates to strengthen the skills necessary to lead an urban public school.
Emily Meyer teaches math at KIPP NYC College Prep, a charter high school in the South Bronx. In her role at KIPP, Emily teaches Algebra 2/Trigonometry and AP Calculus, coaches other math teachers, and serves as the school's testing coordinator. She started teaching through the New York City Teaching Fellows and prior to coming to KIPP, taught for six years at the High School for Environmental Studies in Manhattan. Emily is looking forward to developing her leadership skills to enable her to lead an effective team and run a successful New York City High School.
Marcela Moore is a third grade Reading and Social Studies teacher at Emerson Elementary in Houston, Texas. She began her teaching career as a Kindergarten teacher at Emerson, a Title I, Dual Language School that serves 60% ELL students. In addition, she works as the school’s dance coach, serves as Team Leader for her grade level, and is a teacher representative for the Site-Based Committee. She entered teaching in 2013 through Teach for America. She aspires to become a transformative school leader by designing and implementing programs that will result in positive changes in her school community.
Jocelyn Oviedo teaches Chemistry, Earth, and serves as the Assistant Program Chair. Science at Long Island City High School. She works with English Language Learners as well as students in the Dual Language program who aspire to graduate with the Seal of Biliteracy. Previously she worked at the Young Women’s Leadership School in Jamaica, Queens. She aspires to obtain the skills necessary to transition from the classroom and into an administrative position.
Curtis Palmore is a principal at Exceed Charter Schools in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Curtis is the instructional leader at a split site school with two campuses. Curtis began his teaching career in Washington Heights, New York, while completing his two-year commitment with Teach for America in the mid-1990's. He aspires to further develop his instructional and organizational skill sets in his effort to close the opportunity and achievement gaps for students in central Brooklyn.
Olivia Pocock teaches Middle School Language Arts at Thomas Hooker School in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In this position, she has created a school-wide spelling bee, coaches the debate team, and serves on the school's RULER emotional intelligence implementation team, PBIS committee, and School Governance Council. Olivia looks forward to working with likeminded educators who passionately pursue equitable opportunities and outcomes for all students
LaToya K. Raines, a Teach for America Alumnus, teaches English at Jean Ribault Senior High School, in Jacksonville, Florida. LaToya serves as the English Department Chair, Freshmen Class Sponsor and on the Decision Making Leadership Team. Prior to teaching, LaToya obtained a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of South Carolina. LaToya aspires to gain knowledge, theory and practice from the Summer Principals Academy in hopes of becoming a transformational school leader and ignite the fire of education in all stakeholders.
Julian Ramirez teaches third grade at Horace Mann Elementary School, an International Baccalaureate school in San José, California. In this position, he has developed a rigorous curriculum that empowers diverse students to develop a strong foundation in mathematics and literacy through a critical examination of the world around them. He also serves as grade level team leader and piloted a literacy intervention program at his site. He aspires to develop the skills and expertise necessary to become a leader in the movement for educational equity.
Eddie Rangel is the Assistant Principal at Tindley Genesis Academy, a music-focused elementary school, in Indianapolis. As the Assistant Principal, Eddie coaches and develops teachers to achieve dramatic student growth in character, academics, and musicianship. Previously, Eddie taught 1st and 5th grade in Indianapolis Public Schools, district and coached first-year Teach for America teachers as a Corps Member Advisor in NYC for two summers. Eddie seeks to become a school principal through the Indianapolis Principal Fellowship and to continuously learn from his SPA NYC colleagues.
Kathy (Coach) Rudd teaches eighth grade English at Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts, a progressive charter school in New York. In this position she has helped develop the founding curriculum for secondary instruction while working closely with students and advisees. Previously she taught, coached, and peer managed in Las Vegas, Nevada. She aspires to open and lead a world-class high school that delivers an excellent education for low-income students.
Samantha Schwartz is an Instructional Coach at the Jeffrey M. Rapport School for Career Development in the South Bronx. Her schools is a District 75 high school that serves students with emotional behavioral disabilities. Samantha plans and facilitates school-wide professional development, mentors new teachers, and serves as the school's Test Coordinator. Prior to becoming a coach, she taught 11th grade English, chaired the school's Assessment Team, and graduated from the city's Teacher Leadership Program. She also served on the Chancellor's Teacher Advisory Group. Samantha was a New York City Teaching Fellow and has worked with the program as a Teacher Development Coach and interviewer. As a SPA student, she looks forward to developing into a school leader that supports teachers in developing curriculum and a school culture that promotes perseverance and understanding of the needs of diverse learners.
Lianne Shemitz teaches twelfth grade IB English and tenth grade English at North Miami Senior High School in North Miami, Florida. She serves as the lead IB English teacher, the lead tenth grade teacher, the Professional Development Liaison, the HOSA Sponsor, and has mentored new teachers in the Alternate Professional Certification Program in the district. Outside of the school as a Teach for America Alumni, she serves as a Content Lead in her region and has worked as a Curriculum Specialist in Texas and Corps Member Advisor in Tulsa and Chicago. Through the SPA experience, Lianne hopes to hone and develop the necessary leadership skills that will allow her to one day serve as a Principal at a Title 1 public high school in Miami.
Lauren Shockley teaches 4th and 5th Grade Math/Science at Chase Elementary that serves Pre-K through 6th students in Cincinnati's Northside neighborhood. Previously she has served as a Math Department and Grade Level Leader at KIPP: Academy of Opportunity in Los Angeles and as the Founding Director of Instruction of Impact Academy in Cincinnati. She looks forward to learning from her colleagues and instructors this summer.
Emily Smith teaches English as a Second Language at John Dewey High School, a large high school in Brooklyn in which nearly half of the 2,000 students are English Language Learners or Former English Language Learners. In this position, she has worked to expand support services for ELLs and to improve curriculum for newcomer students. Emily aspires to improve school-wide systems to better serve both ELLs and other students with interrupted formal education.
Brandie Stallings is a Literacy Coach at her high school alma mater, Jean Ribault Senior High School. In this position, she supports 9th through 12th grade English/Reading teachers, manages department data, while facilitating professional development and common planning. Previously, Brandie was an English and Reading teacher serving grades 9th through 11th over the course of seven school years. As a classroom teacher, she was a department chairperson, mentored new teachers and drafted a curriculum for intensive reading classes. Brandie looks forward to learning new methods to enhance her leadership skills through participating in Summer Principal’s Academy (SPA) with the aspiration of transforming not only a school, but a community.
Long Tran teaches 7th and 8th Grade Math at Great Oaks Charter School in New York City. In his position, he is part of the Instructional Leadership Team and also the Math Department Chair. He is responsible for the data driven instruction of math classes and makes frequent observations with the principal. In his previous position, he also taught for three years in Chicago, at the Gary Comer Middle School of the Noble Network. He aspires to connect with like minded individuals and learn the skill sets necessary to open up his own charter school or lead effective models of schools.
Chinedu Udeh is a founding 4th grade teacher at KIPP Empower Academy in South Los Angeles. Currently she serves as the Reading Content Lead and develops lessons and units for her 4th grade team. She also serves as Grade Level Chair and works on various school projects. She has spent her past two summers developing teachers as a Corps Member Advisor. Next year she will be transitioning out of the classroom and will work as an instructional coach at her school. Before working with KIPP Empower she taught 4th grade teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She looks forward to using what she learns from SPA in her new role.
Adrienne Watkins teaches 6th and 7th grade Mathematics at Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls in St. Louis, Missouri. In this position, she helps prepare young girls to pursue college and careers in STEM fields. Previously, she taught 8th grade math and Algebra I at Normandy Middle School, where she also coached girl's basketball. She aspires to become an influential, culturally responsive school leader, and to create school environments that provide excellent educational opportunities are available to all students.
Jason Wheeler teaches 11th grade Dual Credit World History at Johnson Central High School in Paintsville, KY, which serves some of the most underprivileged students in rural Appalachia. In this position Jason serves as the Social Studies department chair, teacher leader, and curriculum coach, is a faculty representative on the Site Base Decision Making Council, sponsors the mock United Nations and Youth Assembly Clubs, and is the head coach for the boys soccer and tennis teams. Jason has also authored several grants that have increased funding for Dual Credit classes and teaching history through literature initiatives at Johnson Central. Jason aspires to lead an innovative school that fosters intellectual risk taking
Ashley Youhan teaches 9-12 Grade English Language Arts at Riverside High School in Yonkers, NY. As an English Teacher, Ashley works to meet each students' learning needs and ensure college and career readiness. In addition, Ashley serves as an Administrative Teacher Advisor in assisting with the success of the 2018 cohort class. Ashley has also served on Curriculum Building Teams with collegiate partnerships. Previously she was a Substitute Teacher for both the Yonkers and Bronxville public schools. She aspires to develop leadership skills needed to lead a school devoted to volunteerism, social justice, and innovation.