Survey: Today’s teaching force is less experienced, more open to change
By Jackie Mader
Hechinger Report, October 23, 2012
Teacher-Leader Corps Helps Turn Around Schools
By Stephen Sawchuck
Education Week, April 20, 2011
New Teachers are the New Majority
By Celine Coggins & Heather Peske
Education Week, January 19, 2011
Lesson Plan in Boston Schools: Don’t Go It Alone
By Mike Winerip
New York Times, August 8, 2010
The Teaching Policy Fellowship is a highly selective program for teachers interested in having a voice in decisions that affect their profession. During a cohort experience that spans 16 months, Fellows meet in monthly sessions that offer:
Personal interaction with key education leaders;
A challenging course of study in education policy, research, and best practices from across the nation; and
The opportunity to advocate for policies that will better serve students and retain excellent teachers.
For more information, please visit our Fellows page or read our FAQs.
The Teach Plus D.C. Teaching Policy Fellowship officially launched on January 31, with the help of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Learn more about the launch event.
Meet the Washington, D.C. Teaching Policy Fellows 2012-2013 Cohort:
Kylie Alsofrom — DC Preparatory Edgewood Elementary
Kylie teaches 2nd grade at DC Preparatory Edgewood Elementary in North East D.C. She earned her master’s degree in Special Education from George Mason University and a B.A. in American Studies from Claremont McKenna University. As a 2009 corps member, Kylie taught Special Education (1st- 5th grade) as an Inclusion, resource, and self-contained teacher throughout her two year commitment. In her second year of teaching Kylie served as a Content Team Leader for elementary special educators through Teach For America. She also spent the summer as a Corps Member Advisor with TFA training and mentoring a group of incoming corps members. Kylie was recently awarded the Edith Tatel Education Award for Excellence in Teaching for her accomplishments during her corps commitment.
Laura Arce Zúñiga — DC Bilingual
Laura is a kindergarten teacher at DC Bilingual Public Charter School in the District of Columbia. As a 2007 corps member in Teach for America’s Metro DC Region, she taught prekindergarten in Prince George’s County. While in PGCPS, Laura held several workshops and events to promote parent involvement and share resources with parents to help children succeed in school. In the summer of 2009, she worked as a trainer and mentor for new teachers at Teach For America’s Philadelphia Summer Institute. Laura holds a B.A in economics from the University of Florida and a Master’s of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. Her education interests include quality professional development for early childhood educators, programs that support families in under-sourced communities, and bilingual education.
Benjamin Bennett — Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School for Public Policy
Ben is a high school math teacher at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy on Capitol Hill. After earning BA degrees in mathematics and economics at St. John’s University in Minnesota, he moved to D.C. in 2008 as a Teach for America corps member, spending three years at Ballou SHS as a content-level and team leader. With a Master’s in the Art of Teaching from American University, Ben looks forward to applying lessons learned from district and charter schools (and a brief stint at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute) to help shape policy that gives all students access to a world-class education. In his free time, he is a running leader in Teens Run DC and a self-described foodster.
Kathryn Broullire — Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS
Kathryn Broullire graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in both Social Science Education and Political Science and will earn a Master's in Educational Leadership and Administration from George Washington University this month. After undergrad, Kathryn joined Teach For America and began teaching at Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS in Southeast Washington, DC. At TMA, Kathryn taught U.S. History, DC History, and Advanced Placement Government and Politics, led the Social Studies Department as Department Chair, and supported incoming teachers as the New Teacher Support Coordinator. She has also written the curriculum for US, DC and World History I. In 2008, Kathryn started the National History Day program at TMA where students are expected to conduct extensive college-level research on a historical topic that is of interest to them and present their original research before the school and larger community. Kathryn is currently the 7th grade Team Leader and 7th and 8th grade Social Studies teacher at Loiederman Middle School in Montgomery County.
Marisol Castillo — E.L. Haynes Public Charter High School
Gisela is a founding teacher at E.L. Haynes Public Charter High School. Although her first name is Gisela, she goes by Marisol. Marisol earned a B.A. in comparative literature and political science with honors in education at Stanford University. She then obtained a Master’s degree in education and her teaching credential through Stanford's School of Education. She taught 9th through 12th grade for four years in California’s Bay Area in an urban setting. In 2009 she received her National Board Certification. She then taught at a small high school for three years in the South Bronx and is now here in D.C.
Kristin Damo — KIPP DC: College Preparatory
Kristin Damo currently teaches AP Language and Composition and AP Literature to 11th and 12th grade students at KIPP DC: College Preparatory. Since joining KIPP in 2011, she has served as 11th grade team leader and National Honor Society Advisor. She has a BA in English from Carleton College and a M.Ed in Secondary English Education from Lehman College. She joined New York City Teaching Fellows in 2006 and taught in New York City Public Schools for 5 years where she created and piloted a literacy development program in the history department as well as trained and supervised student teachers in lesson planning, classroom management, and student development. Outside the classroom, she has served as an AP reader at the College Board’s AP English Language Reading.
Caryn Davidson — Truesdell Education Campus
Caryn teaches a Tools of the Mind Kindergarten classroom at Truesdell Education Campus in Northwest Washington D.C. She is a team lead and member of the Academic Leadership Team. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Maine and has educational experience at multiple grade levels K-12 including rural, urban, charter, public school and special education settings. She holds a B.A. in both English and Environmental Studies from Western Michigan University. Her educational interests include the impacts of education reform policy in Washington D.C., support for teachers in the classroom and school climate and culture. She is pursuing a PhD in Education Policy.
Dwight Davis — Wheatley Education Campus
Dwight is a 5th grade teacher and seven year veteran of the District of Columbia Public Schools. In addition to teaching 5th grade and serving as a teacher lead at Wheatley Education Campus, Dwight is currently pursuing a certificate in Reading and Literacy at The George Washington University. Dwight holds both a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Arts in Education from Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2011, Dwight presented at the International Reading Association Bibliotherapy Special Interest Group session. Dwight is passionate about his family, teaching & learning, and seeks to provide his students with highest quality instruction possible.
Allison Frieze — E.L. Haynes Public Charter School
Allison Frieze is the 4th and 5th Grade Math Inclusion Teacher at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. Previously, Ms. Frieze taught 3rd-5th grade Special Education at Orr Elementary School, a D.C. Public School. At Orr, she helped train new teachers and provided professional development on ‘Motivating Struggling Readers’ at the school-level. Ms. Frieze was a 2009 D.C. Teaching Fellow and received awards including 'Finalist, Fellow of the Year’ and ‘Highly Effective Educator’ under DC’s IMPACT system. Ms. Frieze holds a B.A. in Russian from Georgetown University and is pursuing a M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education from George Washington University. She is a coach for the Girls on the Run program.
Alexandra Fuentes — Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School for Public Policy
Alexandra teaches 10th grade Biology at Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School for Public Policy. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in biological science and an honors BS in economics. She went on to earn her teaching certificate from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She is a Knowles Science Teaching Fellow, a national network of science and math teachers focused on the professional development and retention of early career teachers. In addition to teaching biology, she helps plan professional development as the Science Public Policy Specialist for the Chavez School System and a drama coach. Her educational interests include teacher retention, leadership, the effect of assessment on instruction and critical thinking.
David Gesualdi — KIPP DC: Heights Academy
David teaches 1st grade physical education at KIPP DC: Heights Academy located in the Anacostia area of Washington DC. He is the founding physical education teacher staff member with responsibilities to know all general teaching materials along with teaching his classes as well as co-creating a campus athletic league. He began his teaching career at the American School of Asuncion, Paraguay where he had opportunities to create community service projects, write physical education programs and curricula as well as start sports programs and summer camps for the extended community to build school culture. David earned his B.S. in Physical and Health Education Teacher Education from James Madison University and his M.Ed. from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. His educational interests include effective teaching, school leadership, charter school management, and policy development related to US and international public education with an end goal to better serve his community and help bridge the achievement gap.
Prathima Kathiresan — McKinley Technology High School
Prathima is a biology teacher at McKinley Technology High School. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from American University. As a 2007 Metro DC Teach For America Corps Member, she has spent the last five years developing and teaching curriculum in biology, chemistry, and AP Biology. She actively takes leadership roles at school by facilitating Summer Bridge Programs, leading 9th and 10th grade team committees, assisting with the personnel committee, and interviewing new prospective students. Within the District, she enjoys building science curriculum with non-profit organizations, peer reviewing grants, assisting in recruitment and selection, and training and supporting new teachers.
Aliesha Maye — KIPP DC: AIM Academy
Aliesha is a 6th grade math teacher at KIPP DC: AIM Academy located in the Anacostia neighborhood in Washington, DC. As a 2008 Teach for America corps member in the Metro DC region, she taught Spanish to grades 5-8 at her placement school. In her second year teaching Spanish, Aliesha applied for and won a grant co-sponsored by The Travel Channel and Global Explorers to travel with twenty students to Costa Rica for ten days. She enjoyed the experience so much that she then planned, fundraised, and executed another international trip with students the following year. She now serves as team leader for the sixth grade at her school and enjoys learning from students as well as adults on her team. Aliesha holds a B.A in Spanish and International Relations from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Dowan McNair-Lee — Capitol Hill Cluster School
Dowan is a 7th grade ELA teacher at the Stuart-Hobson campus of the Capitol Hill Cluster School where she has taught for the majority of her 8 year teaching career. Dowan began her career as a 3rd grade teacher and taught 6th grade ELA for five years. Dowan also coordinated the Accelerated Classroom Environment program for the Cluster schools for 2 years and acted as lead teacher for the program. Dowan holds a BA in Elementary Education from the University of the District of Columbia and a M.Ed. from Trinity University where she also is an adjunct professor in the Education department.
Keina Newell — KIPP DC: KEY Academy
Keina Newell is a 5th grade math teacher at KIPP DC: KEY Academy. Her teaching career started as a Teach For America Corps member in St. Louis. During her two year placement she taught 6th – 8th grade math at Blow Middle School. In her second year of teaching, she won the Pettus Foundation Award of Excellence and an award from Jones New York in the Classroom. She has helped develop 5th grade math curriculum and serves as a Saturday School coordinator on her campus. Keina holds a B.S. in Business Administration and Finance from the University of Tulsa and an M.A in Secondary Education from the University of Missouri in St. Louis. Her interests include teacher training programs and school reform.
Meaghan Petersack — Two Rivers Public Charter School
Meaghan Petersack is a second grade teacher at Two Rivers Public Charter School. She began her teaching career as a Teach For America corps member from 2008-2010. Meaghan taught kindergarten for two years and then followed her last class of kindergarteners to the first grade. She then spent a year teaching fourth grade literacy. She has served as team lead, mentored first year teachers, and led professional development for her fellow teachers. Outside of the classroom, Meaghan has worked with Teach For America’s Social Entrepreneurship Initiative to develop teachers’ ideas to close the achievement gap. In June of 2012, Meaghan completed a four-year term as a Trustee of Princeton University. Meaghan received her Masters in Early Childhood Education from George Mason University in 2010 and she holds a B.A. in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
Alyson Roberts — C.W. Harris Elementary School
Alyson is a reading intervention teacher at C.W. Harris Elementary School, where she has worked for three years. Before her current position, Ms. Roberts taught kindergarten. Prior to her three years at C.W. Harris, Alyson was a 5th grade teacher; a middle school ESOL teacher; and an elementary reading teacher. Alyson received her M.Ed from The University of New Hampshire. Ms. Roberts is teacher lead and a member of the leadership team at C.W. Harris. She is also a Teacher Selection Ambassador and a Consulting Teacher for DCPS, and has worked as a Fellow Advisor for the DC Teaching Fellows Program. Alyson is the recipient of a 2011 Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teaching, and is passionate about equal education and quaility teachers for all students.
Jessica Stefon — D.C. Scholar's Stanton Elementary School
Jessica teaches 3rd- 5th grade Special Education Math at D.C. Scholar’s Stanton Elementary School in Washington, D.C., where she serves on the school’s faculty council and local school advisory team. Prior to teaching in Washington, Jessica taught elementary Special Education in Prince George’s county, M.D., where she was awarded a grant for integrating technology into reading instruction for students in the Special Education and English as a Second Language programs. Jessica recently completed her M. Ed. in Education Policy and Leadership at the American University in Washington, D.C. Her educational interests include access to education and educational rights for students in Special Education and English as a Second Language programs, parent and community engagement, and student and parent advocacy.
Leighton Thomas — Upper Academy of Potomac Lighthouse Public Charter School
Leighton Thomas is a Teacher Leader Fellow for the Upper Academy of Potomac Lighthouse Public Charter School and teaches 5th, 6th, and 7th grade math. Prior to this role, she taught math at KIPP DC: WILL Academy and served as the Principal of Saturday School. Before her tenure at KIPP, Ms. Thomas taught a self-contained fifth and sixth grade ELL class at MacFarland Middle School in DC. In her first year of teaching, Ms. Thomas earned a nomination for DC Teaching Fellow of the Year, and earned a “Highly Effective Educator” designation by DC Public Schools. She also served as chair of the fifth, sixth, and ELL departments. Prior to teaching, Ms. Thomas worked as a management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton where she led projects focused on human capital management; she joined the DC Teaching Fellows in 2009. Ms. Thomas is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education Leadership and Policy from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and holds a M.Ed. from American University and a BA in Psychology from Alma College.
Brian Thompson — Cardozo Senior High School
Brian is a Social Studies teacher at Cardozo Senior High School. He has taught 10th grade World History for three years. He served as a member of the DCPS teacher’s cabinet providing the chancellor with feedback on district policies. He currently serves as a Teacher Selection Ambassador with DCPS assisting with the recruiting and selection of aspiring teachers for the district. Brian holds a B.A. in Speech Communication from Cal Poly, and a M.A. in Teaching from American University. Brian is a 2009 alumnus of Teach for America. Before teaching, he served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2007. His educational interests include school safety, teacher recruitment, teacher retention, and veterans’ initiatives like Troops to Teachers.