Brittany Graham Brooks is a native of Loris, South Carolina. Currently, she is an Elementary School Assistant Principal. In her role, she serves as an Instructional Coach in mathematics and reading. She is a former 2012 TFA Corp Member, and it was during TFA that she received the confirmation that being a catalyst for change within the educational movement was her calling. Teaching her third and fourth graders taught her so much about perseverance, excelling through adversity, and the importance of establishing genuine relationships.
Brittany holds M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Francis Marion University and BA in Political Science from the College of Charleston. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Outside of her education, she is a wife, mother to two beautiful children, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. As a champion of self-care and emotional stability, she enjoys singing, working out, lifting weights, thrifting, talk therapy with her girl tribe, and family adventures.
The many adversities she has overcome serve as her life badges and her values are a compass in her pursuit to create spaces where children of color can authentically stand in their uniqueness, understand the power of their voice, and become transformative leaders. When she gets overwhelmed or discouraged she stands on Esther 4:14 as a reminder, “perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.”
I’m from Detroit, MI. I attended the Illustrious Clark Atlanta University located in Atlanta, Ga, where I studied Biology. During my time at CAU I was provided to teach students from my neighborhood this experience led me to the classroom along with my passion for the educational equity for our black and brown kids.
I currently teach 6th grade science at YES Prep Southside in Houston, TX. I am dedicated to the academic development of our black and brown kids in the world and passionate about college initiatives and mentorship that successfully prepares students for college and beyond. I am humbled to be a part of SPA family and excited for the journey ahead.
Julia is positioned at Kaohsiung American School in Taiwan since 2007. She majored in violin and piano at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Education and a Postgraduate Higher Diploma of Education. She also earned a CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adult) from Cambridge University. She has completed training in teaching IBPYP, IBMYP, and IBDP music, as well as trained and became a WASC member in 2017. She currently serves as middle school, and high school music teacher, the director/conductor of the KAS Orchestra, and one of the High School teacher in KAS. Before joining KAS, Ms. Chen taught for six years at Rondebosch Boys’ School in Cape Town, and six years at AST (American School in Taichung) Taiwan. Julia comes from and grew up in the Republic of South Africa; she is an animal lover who has a cat and a dog. Her hobbies are traveling and riding on her superbike motorcycles.
My name is Deontre’ L. Clayton, and I currently serve as the Broward County Program Manager for Florida Reading Corps. I joined the Reading & Math, INC. family in June of 2018, and I have since then worked to help close the educational disparities in the youth in the Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. I have also served in two AmeriCorps programs. I served with the Teach For America Miami Corps (2014) and The Black Child Development Institute of Greensboro, NC “Spirit of Excellence Program” (2011). Serving with both of these organizations truly fostered my passion for service. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from North Carolina A&T State University and my Master of Public Administration from Texas Southern University.
As the Executive Director of El Colegio High
School from 2011 until 2020, Ms Norma’s unrelenting vision has been to ensure
the brightest future for every student who walks through the door. She
has created a culturally conscious, resilience-based environment where for the
past five years, 100% of all graduating seniors have been accepted into at
least one post-secondary institution. The triennial MN Student Survey
found El Colegio to be the #1 school in the state for making education relevant
to Latinx youth, as well as one of the safest schools to attend. The key factor
in these successes was Ms Norma implementing a youth resilience model to
address trauma, honoring students' 21st Century skills, and creating a
decolonized space where people could speak openly about their immigration
status without fear of repercussion. At every opportunity Ms Norma reminds
students and colleagues alike, "Alone we are in trauma. In community, we
Ms Norma is a talented bilingual, bicultural
educator and accomplished leader with a long history working with youth of
color and their families going back over 28 years. Prior to becoming Executive Director, she
previously served as a senior planning analyst at Hennepin County, where she
led the county’s 2010 Census efforts and ensured one of the highest Latinx
participation rates of any county in the country, which contributed to saving a
Congressional seat for the state of Minnesota. She has also worked in the
Minneapolis Public School district in multiple capacities and is the former
Executive Director of La Escuelita.
In 2019, Ms Norma was selected to join the Bush
Foundation Fellowship cohort, which will allow her the opportunity to dream up
ways to scale the El Colegio experience of culturally relevant education,
humanizing pedagogies and discipline policies to communities across the
for all youth has made her a trusted leader not only in the Latinx community,
but also the metro area and Minnesota at-large
Courtney Green-Calhoun is a native of Pasadena, California. She comes from a long line of educators, but she began her teaching career as a 2014 Teach for America corp member in Las Vegas Valley. It was in Las Vegas where she began to learn about the developmental needs of the whole child and the need for a well rounded school experience. Throughout her time teaching in the Clark County School District, she began to work with programs such a Community in Schools and became heavily involved in coaching at her school site. In 2018 she took her talents abroad to Beijing, China for a summer where she was an exchange teacher. She loved the experience of working with elementary aged students, which broadened her outlook on teaching and continuous learning as an educator. In the 2019-2020 school year she was humbled and honored to be voted Teacher of the Year by her peers for her school site.
Courtney holds a Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Bachelors of Arts in Media and Cultural Studies with a minor in English from the University of California, Riverside.
Courtney has spent the past four years as a high school English educator in Homestead, Florida. In her role, she has served many scholars who have not only taught her to be a more effective educator, but how to be a better human being. She continues to be very involved in her school site adding a positive and upbeat layer to the school culture. In the 2020-2021 school year she serves as the Lead Mentor for the Professional Learning Support Team at her school where she aids first year teachers in professional development focusing on numerous topics from social emotional learning, to instruction, to implementing data within the classroom. She truly believes that adaptability, confidence, and determination can get a person anywhere, and hopes that message transfers to her students. She is so excited to be a part of a program that allows her to be herself, focus on growth, and develop her own leadership style.
Jessica (Jessy) Hale is a graduate of Amherst College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in History. Despite having grown up in Southern California, Teach for America brought her to San Antonio, Texas. Her passion for education and working with students has kept her at her placement school, the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA). While at YWLA, Jessy has taught sixth grade Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID), seventh grade English, and supported the campus through the initiative of “Writing Across the Curriculum.” Currently Jessy serves on the Campus Leadership Team, the Middle School English Department Chair, and Class Sponsor for her first students, Class of 2023. In her first year of teaching Jessy received the district “Rising Star” award for the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). By educating the whole child and through the power of relationships, Jessy believes that each of her students will become empowered, articulate women. Jessy looks forward to joining the SPA NOLA 2020 cohort where she will learn the skills to become a transformative leader impacting her students and community. She is excited about the opportunity to learn from the SPA NOLA faculty who will help her grow in her leadership and her classmates to share this experience with.
A native of Fort Washington, Maryland, Byron Hannah is a proud alumnus of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where he obtained a B.S in Pure Mathematics. In 2018, Hannah moved to Houston, Texas, to engage in the education world as a Teach for America Corps Member. Hannah’s passion for learning, growing, and educating has motivated him to pursue diverse opportunities within Houston’s educational ecosystem. After two years of teaching Algebra I at Yes Prep Fifth Ward, he is expanding his impact across the city of Houston to teach Algebra I at Yes Prep Southside and serve as Grade Level Chair for the 9th grade team. Hannah is the Mathematics Instructional Coach for Breakthrough Houston and previously designed STEM K-12 education programs at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Hannah has a published Op-Ed with Defender Network of Houston, titled “School closures more than missing instruction.” Hannah is excited to join SPA NOLA to acquire the necessary tools and skills to effectively lead a school and open an all-boys high school in the future.
Marisol Herrera is a firm advocate for social justice through education. She immigrated to Fort Worth, Texas from Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico at the age of eight and attended school in the Fort Worth ISD. She received a scholarship to attend Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts her senior year of high school, and continued her studies at Harvard University. She graduated with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies with a minor in Social Anthropology. Her educational experiences as an immigrant Latina, inspired her to purse her vision of social justice as an educator. She joined the Teach for America 2013 Corps and returned home to teach in the Fort Worth ISD. She is committed to her home school district and creating transformational change through community education and engagement. She currently teaches fifth grade in the dual language program at Dolores Huerta Elementary School. She is the lead content teacher for both math and science, part of her school’s leadership team, PTA president, as well as founder and coordinator of many programs at her school including the STEM Club, Chess Club, UIL Number Sense team, Dolores Huerta Parent University, and the Dolores Huerta Literacy Initiative. She was named 2019 Campus Teacher of the Year, and 2019-2020 Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Math and Science. She hopes to continue to build her leadership skills in the Summer Principal’s Academy in order to better serve her community.
Faith Izuegbu is a proud alumna of The University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Applied Learning and Development with a minor in Educational Psychology. Upon graduating, she returned to her hometown of Houston, TX to become a middle school reading interventionist at YES Prep Public Schools through Teach for America. Faith strives everyday to make an excellent education accessible to her students. Over the past four years, she has managed to not only grow in her craft, but grow in her leadership as a Cheerleading Coach, Grade Level Chair, School Operations Manager of TFA Summer Institute, and an Instructional Coach through Breakthrough Houston! Faith is passionate about improving our nation's educational system and leading efforts to close the achievement gap! As a student in the 2020 Teachers College SPA NOLA cohort, she is excited to gain the tools needed to be a transformational school leader!
DeMone G. J. Johnson is a proud two time graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana where he earned both his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology with minors in French, English, and Theology as well as his Masters of Art in Secondary Education with emphasis on Special Education. DeMone’s passion for education started at an early age with his household toys and family being amongst his first students. As a call to this passion, he entered the teaching profession in the New Orleans Public School system, one of the first all charter networks in the country. During his tenure as an educator, DeMone has had the opportunity to hold several positions from classroom teacher, instructional supervisor, mentor educator, and various teacher leader positions across the school campuses he has served. DeMone holds the educational philosophy that “education is holistic and extends beyond the classroom”. As a commitment to this belief, DeMone co founded a mentor group with his educational peers to serve and advocate for the students of the city, routinely volunteers for homework/test-prep clinics, as well as assisting in any adult educational services to better serve the families of the community. DeMone prides himself on being an educator, advocate and mentor. As a result, his pursuit to be the best version of himself is unceasing and he looks forward to the transformation that SPA 2020 will take him through.
Attended The University of Massachusetts at Amherst earning
Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Sociology and Legal Studies. 1988-1992
Attended Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts earning a Master of Science in Criminal Justice 1992-1993
Attended Southern New England School of Law in Dartmouth, Massachusetts earning a Juris Doctorate 1997-2001
Attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona earning a Master of Education 2017-2019
Attended and completed Office of the Massachusetts Commissioner of Probation, 30 Hour Management Principles Course 2005
Attended and Completed Mediation Works Incorporated’s Mediation Certification Course, Boston, Massachusetts 2004
Attended and completed The International Committee of the Red Cross’ Certification Course on International Humanitarian Law, Warsaw, Poland 2003
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
The Hague, Netherlands. Lead Intern for Exculpatory Evidence Extraction 2003
Admitted into the Massachusetts Bar 6/18/2002
My name is JB Makhani and I teach 8th grade Social Studies at YES Prep Northwest in Houston, Texas. I graduated from Rice in 2016 with a BA in Political Science and History and was a TFA corps member in 2016. I am originally from Austin, Texas. My father is from Pakistan and my mother is from Korea. Some fun facts are that I have played soccer since I was 3, am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and skipped two grades in elementary schoo
Isiah Manalo was born in the Philippines but spent his childhood growing up in Alexandria, VA. After graduating with a degree in Spanish Linguistics and Philology from the University of Virginia, he moved to Dallas, TX to be a bilingual teacher with Dallas ISD through Teach for America. After teaching a variety of elementary grades and subjects in DISD, he served as the Response to Intervention (RTI) Teacher at the Trinity Basin Preparatory Ewing campus. In this role, he was able to support a variety of teachers and scholars. During this time, he also spent his multiple summers doing instructional coaching with Teach for America in the summer Institutes, helping new teachers develop their teaching craft.
In his most recent role, Isiah will be serving as the founding Assistant Principal for Trinity Basin Preparatory - Mesquite, a new PK-8 campus opening in August 2020. Mr. Manalo believes education to be the best method in providing opportunities to all scholars no matter their social location and ensuring equity in lived experiences. As a leader, he wishes to grow in his own professional capacity to better support teachers to uphold that belief. He is committed and excited to furthering his capacity through his journey with the SPA-NOLA 2020 Cohort,
Jasmine Merlette from Alpharetta, Georgia is a proud alumna of Xavier University of Louisiana, where she graduated with honors for her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in English. She was honored to serve as the 80th Miss Xavier University of Louisiana, where she was featured in Ebony Magazine as a Top 10 HBCU Campus Queen.
Upon graduation, she served in the Teach for America (TFA) corps as a third-grade teacher in Birmingham, Alabama. In her first-year teaching, she was awarded the “Creativity and Innovation Award” by Birmingham City Schools and was featured by the Ellen DeGeneres Show for her ability to create unique ways to get her students the information they need to succeed and move forward in their education with confidence. She was also a recipient of the “Pursue Equity Award” from TFA Alabama. This award celebrates educators who exemplify the core value that “we work to change practices, structures, and policies to realize educational equity for all children. As we do so, we actively examine our roles in perpetuating inequitable systems.”
Jasmine is a lover of life and people, and she has a great passion to inspire the next generation of great minds by educating and uplifting. She is at the start of her life mission and plans to be a servant leader by working with children. With the partnership of SPA and her loving commitment to children, Jasmine plans to execute her life’s mission of empowering young students for the rest of her life.
Christina Myles was born in Bossier City, LA, and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she attended Euclid High School. After graduating from Ohio University with a BS in Secondary Education and a BA in Mathematics, she decided to relocate back to Louisiana to start her teaching career in 2014. Christina began her teaching in the Lafayette Parish School District, then transferred to the East Baton Rouge School District, where she has worked for the past three years. Her career has included classroom instruction of mathematics for grades 6 - 12th, Grade Level Chair, Mathematics Content Lead, and Middle School Instructional Coach. At her current school, she has fostered a culture of achievement within her classroom and provided mentorship to others in her building around curriculum and pedagogy.
As a woman of color, Christina is highly invested in breaking the mold others have set as limitations for students, promoting self-advocacy, risk-taking, joy, and collaboration inside of her schools. Christina believes that "nothing worth having ever comes easy" and understands that intense practice and development are necessary for the reconstruction of schooling in America. Due to this, she is eager to grow in her purpose through SPA-NOLA, bringing excellence, enthusiasm, and eagerness for change towards any learning opportunity.
Diana Pacheco is entering her 17th year in education. She began working in public and private institutions in Massachusetts with students with moderate to severe special needs. In the last 11 years, she has lived overseas, teaching diverse learners from early childhood to lower elementary in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Taiwan.
Originally from New York City, she attended the University of Buffalo and received a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology with a concentration in Education and a Master’s in Education through Simmons College with licensure in Special Education.
Over the course of her career, she has been a Math Department Coordinator, ELA Liaison, and a cohort team leader who has led her colleagues through multiple school accreditation processes, school improvement plan actions, and professional development. Building capacity in teachers through professional development and team building is a high priority for her as it leads to providing high-quality education for students. She is excited to take the next step in leadership development with the SPA program and her cohort as her guides.
Brailin Paulino received his B.S in Interdisciplinary Studies: with a focus in Human Development, Business, and Communication at Cornell University. After graduation, he began his Teach for America journey in the Rio Grande Valley. Brailin has taught 9th grade Pre-AP English 1 at Idea Mission College Prep and has served as the head coach for boys and girls Cross Country and Track. Next year, he will remain in the same role, while supporting his campus develop a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative.
Brailin believes that just loving and believing in our kids unconditionally is enough to change their lives. He is excited about SPA, because he hopes to become the best possible version of himself and eventually extend his reach. He wants to ensure that more adults are transforming kids' lives through relationship building and strong classroom practices.
Ryan Picard is originally from Maurice, LA, and graduated from North Vermilion High School with honors. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Louisiana in 2012, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry. Ryan began his teaching career in early 2013 and completed his initial teacher certification and Master of Arts in Teaching from Louisiana College in 2014. Ryan is currently certified to teach Biology, Chemistry, General Science, and Business Education in Louisiana. He also earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance from the University of Louisiana in 2020. Ryan was accepted into the Summer Principals Academy 2020 cohort based in New Orleans. Upon completion of his Ed.M. from Teachers College, Columbia University in July 2021, Ryan plans to begin working on his Ed.D. in a leadership field.
Ryan has been an educator for eight years, teaching nine different courses. He is currently employed by the East Baton Rouge Parish School System where he works at Scotlandville Magnet High School as the science department head and school data specialist in addition to teaching Chemistry. Ryan works closely with the Office of Professional Development to help plan, create, and deliver high-quality professional development for teachers around the district. He has collaborated with the Office of Curriculum & Instruction for several years to review and revise several different science curricula. Ryan's professional areas of focus are the use of data in the instructional decision-making process and creating equitable educational opportunities for all students by driving organizational change within school and district settings.
Ryan currently resides in Walker, LA with his wife of 9 years, Elaine.
Symone E. Richard is a passionate, innovative, energetic educator in OKC with 7 years of work in the education field. I am one of the first in her family to graduate with a Master’s degree and is motivated about the success of the next generation and active in helping them realize their greatest potential.
Symone attended one of the best HBCUs, Prairie View A&M University where her father attended also. In being a part of this alma mater where her father attended was one her best choices to date. The culture and the work we all have done to reach a common goal of “Prairie View produces productive people.” She graduated on the Dean’s List with a 3.5 GPA and received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Master’s degree in Counseling.She spent a few years serving as a substitute teacher and began to think about applying to a core a colleague to her about. She moved to Oklahoma City to begin her career in teaching by joining the Teach For America AmeriCorps where she landed her first academic teaching role at Capitol Hill High School in the Southside of Oklahoma. As a member of the AmeriCorps, she has developed a direct link to Oklahoma City and the students that she teaches.She loves to see her students learn different topics daily as they are not familiar with them. She always affirms her students that they are great leaders and they will be better than what has presented to them if they have a growth mindset. She now serves as the Mathematics Department Chair, Sophomore Class Sponsor and an affinity space sponsor for students of color called Black Student Union. She is now embarking her journey through SPA to take a risk to make an innovative plan to promote educational change. She dedicates her success to her amazing grandparents who are deceased and parents who are the pillars of what she is today. Without her family support, she could not have made it this far.
Laura D. Salazar is an alumna of Athens State University in Alabama, where she earned her B.S. in Elementary Education. Laura began her career as a fourth grade teacher in Georgia. With a move to Oklahoma, she then began working for the Oklahoma State Department of Education as a Resource Coordinator in the Early Intervention program where she advocated for families and their special needs children. After the birth of her fourth child, she took a job teaching first grade in Duncan, Oklahoma where she served on the ESL team. Due to relocating with her husband’s employer four years later, she found herself substitute teaching at her children’s school and realized working with special needs children was her passion. After two years of working as a special needs paraprofessional, she relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana where she began teaching middle school students with autism, served as the Special Education Department Chair, and was recognized as Teacher of the Month for September of 2015. After two years of being in Louisiana, she went back to Oklahoma where she taught special needs middle school and high school students in math, science, and history. Her love for the great state of Louisiana called her back once again and she returned to teaching middle school special needs students. Her desire to be an advocate for social justice led her to accept a position with the Louisiana Department of Education where she is currently a co-teacher at a secured facility teaching math to adjudicated youth. She is an advocate for all children and believes every child has a purpose. With a heart for the students society wants to discard, she is determined to help end the pipeline to prison. Her tenacity and grit, with her faith in God, give her hope that all children will be treasured. She is honored and excited to be a part of the 2020 SPA NOLA cohort.
Kali Stewart attended Howard University, where received her B.A in Telecommunications Management and Economics. Upon graduation she was selected to join the Greater New Orleans Teach For America 2015 cohort. She has intertwined herself into the city of New Orleans and lives her passion of serving black and brown students. Kali is going on her 6th year at KIPP East Primary where she serves as a 4th grade teacher and Curriculum fellow. Throughout these past six years Kali’s commitment to education has been celebrated as seen in her nomination for the “Teach Like a Champion Award” from KIPP New Orleans and received the “Excellence Inside the Classroom” Award from TFA GNO Collective. Outside of her own school she serves as a mentor and running coach through Youth Run NOLA where she runs alongside students across the city to prepare for 5k’s and half marathons. Kali’s passion for the success of black and brown students drives all of her decisions and she is excited to be a part of the SPA 2020 cohort!
Kiersten Victorian is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and McKinley Senior High School graduate. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Southern University and A&M College. Currently, she is a Mathematics Content Leader, grade-level chair, and fifth-grade mathematics teacher in East Baton Rouge Parish. She has taught kindergarten, second, and fifth grades. Her purpose is to open doors for students and families of color through education, opportunities, awareness, and leadership. Kiersten is proud to be among the change agents in the Summer Principals Academy's 2020 Cohort. She has remained in Baton Rouge, and she hopes to use the skills, knowledge, and relationships from the program to impact education in the Baton Rouge community and the state of Louisiana.
Alejandro Villa, or Alex, was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. He attended IDEA Academy and College Preparatory, which he considers instrumental in his matriculation to college. After graduating the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley with a major in Political Science, he joined Teach for America. Alex was placed at IDEA Mission College Preparatory as an AP World History teacher. Due to his increasing AP scores, he was allowed to bring AP Psychology as an elective to provide students another chance at becoming an AP Scholar. Entering his fourth year at his placement school, aside from his teaching, he is the Grade Team Lead for 10th Grade and the District Course Leader for APWH.
Alex has been working in his community because he wants to be an example for the students and to give back after receiving so much from the community. He understands the power and access that education will grant you but does not want students to be robbed of these opportunities because of their socioeconomic status. While he still sees himself in the classroom for a few more years, Alex hopes to become a school leader to impact more students beyond his classroom.
Jalen C. Williams is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended Howard University, and while there, served as a Summer Teaching Fellow with Uncommon Schools. She later earned her B.S. in Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies. Immediately following, she moved to Houston, Texas to teach at YES Prep Southside. She started as a 6th grade Reading Intervention teacher, and later served as a 7th Grade English Language Arts teacher, Grade Level Chair, and Varsity Cheerleading coach. One of her strongest assets is her ability to build relationships with students. Students know that Jalen is equally invested in their well-being and their academic growth and achievement as a result of these relationships. Jalen hopes that Summer Principals Academy will help set the framework needed to help her reconstruct the narrative behind what Black and brown students are capable of through academic excellence. She is confident in the platform that SPA will give her to make the voices and value of underserved students be seen, heard and felt.
Breana Wofford has a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Child Development from Spelman College. She also holds a Master's of Science in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University School of Education, and certificates in Teacher Leadership and Urban Education. While in Baltimore, Breana began her career in education. She balanced being a student, working for the NAACP Headquarters, ACT-SO Program, and working as the lead teacher and program designer for KEPS Preparatory Center. After graduating from JHU in December 2011, she moved back to Atlanta, Georgia, where she committed many years of competent and hard work in the classroom (K-5). Established in 2012, Breana was working as a founding primary school teacher in the KIPP Metro Atlanta Region. While leading as Grade Level Chair and teaching fourth-grade math to all students, she was honored and identified as The 2018 Georgia Charter School Association, Teacher of the year. Of all the state's charter school teachers, Breana received this honor because of her countless contributions to the community, staff, and students of Southwest Atlanta. It wasn't long after this that her school hired her as a math instructional coach and upper school assistant principal. In this role, she can design, facilitate, and lead school-wide initiatives, aligned with our school's priorities. Breana has been a scholar in the field of education since 2006. She will complete her studies in Organizational Leadership from Columbia University's Summer Principal's Academy at Teachers College, summer 2021. The future is full of possibilities, but one sure thing is, Breana will remain deeply grounded in her values of emotional intelligence, collaboration, accountability, excellence, and growth in all the work that she does.
Juan Zozaya was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, where he later attended the University of Arizona. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a double major in History and Latin American Studies, Juan joined Teach For America and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Juan began his teaching career at NFL YET College Preparatory Academy where he taught United States History and World History and served as the History content leader for his school. He was also a member of the Teacher’s Board and offensive and defensive lineman coach for the High School football team. While teaching, Juan studied at Arizona State University where he earned a Masters in Secondary Education.
Juan has seen firsthand the disillusionment and lack of academic achievement perpetuated in underserved and underfunded schools in low income communities; however, he has also seen the positive impact competent school leaders can have on school climate and culture. Juan is confident that SPA will prepare him to maximize his educator impact and will prepare him to be a transformational school leader.
Program Director: Dr. Brian K. Perkins
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th Street, Box: 65N