Sara Jean Banks
Teaching Policy Fellow
High School science teacher
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College
Charter School

Sara Jean Banks is a Teach Plus Colorado Teaching Policy Fellow. She is a high school science teacher at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College in Denver, where she serves as a senior team lead coaching, collaborating and evaluating her team of teachers and sits on her school's instructional leadership team. Sara Jean has been awarded Teacher of the Year in her district and has been nominated for Teacher Leader of the Year. She serves as a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado, teaching an environmental science course. She came to teaching through the Denver Teacher Residency after earning a BA in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado.

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Derrick Belanger
Teaching Policy Fellow
7th grade special education
Century Middle School
Adams 12 Five Star School District

Derrick Belanger is a Teach Plus Colorado Teaching Policy Fellow. He teaches 7th grade special education at Century Middle School in Thornton, Colorado. Derrick is a member of the district's Middle School English Language Arts Curriculum Advisory Committee and the 2e Project Cohort Group, which advocates on behalf of the district's twice-exceptional students. Derrick has previously taught language arts at the middle school, high school, and university level and has been published in Gifted Child Today and The Colorado Reading Journal. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in English Teaching and an MAT in Secondary Education.

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Ann Conaway
Teaching Policy Fellow
Mathematics teacher
Palisade High School
Mesa County Valley School District 51

Ann Conaway is a Teach Plus Colorado Teaching Policy Fellow who teaches mathematics at Palisade High School in Palisade, Colorado. She teaches a Math 1 course for struggling learners as well as AP Calculus and IB Math. Ann spent ten years as the department chair and member of the building leadership team, served for five years as the district content specialist for high school math, and has been a member of committees for standards and assessment for the Colorado Department of Education. Nationally Board Certified since 1998, Ann earned a BS in Mathematics Secondary Education from Mesa State College, an MA from Adams State College, and her administrative license from Lamar University in 2015.

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Jennifer Coopman
Teaching Policy Fellow
6th grade math and science teacher
Palmer Lake Elementary School
Lewis-Palmer School District 38

Jennifer Coopman is a Teach Plus Colorado Teaching Policy Fellow. She is a 6th grade math and science teacher at Palmer Lake Elementary School in Palmer Lake, Colorado, where she also serves on the building leadership team. Jennifer has participated in curriculum integration and implementation for upper elementary science and middle school math at both the school and district level. Prior to teaching at Paler Lake Elementary, she was a middle school math interventionist, an 8th grade math teacher, and a 6th grade science teacher in Colorado Springs. Jennifer earned a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa.

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Matt Fegan
Teaching Policy Fellow
6th grade math teacher
KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy
Denver Public Schools

Matt Fegan is a Teach Plus Colorado Teaching Policy Fellow who teaches 6th grade math at KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy in Southwest Denver. He serves as an Instructional Leadership Fellow for Teach For America, and works as an instructional coach for new classroom teachers during Teach For America Summer Institute. Matt spent four years in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a math teacher and math department chair at KIPP Tulsa College Prep. While in Tulsa, he also served on the Teach For America Greater Tulsa Alumni Board, and authored his school's improvement plan at his placement school. Matt earned a BA in History from the College of Wooster and MEd from Oklahoma University.

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Liz Fitzgerald
Teaching Policy Fellow
4th grade teacher
Sagebrush Elementary
Cherry Creek School District

Liz Fitzgerald is a Teach Plus Colorado Teaching Policy Fellow and a 4th grade teacher at Sagebrush Elementary in Aurora, Colorado. She serves as a Professional Learning Community facilitator for her grade level team, a coach for Girls on the Run, and a member of both the building leadership team and the equity team. Liz is a STAR Mentor and has participated in the development of a guaranteed curriculum. Previously, she taught at Stout Field Elementary in Indianapolis, where she was named its 2013 Teacher of the Year. Liz earned a BS in Elementary Education and Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University and an MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Denver.

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Kelly Gallagher
Teaching Policy Fellow
Mesa County Valley School District

Kelly Gallagher is a Teach Plus Colorado Teaching Policy Fellow and a teacher on special assignment at Mesa County Valley School District, where she coaches middle school teachers on instruction and advocates on behalf of English Language Learners. Kelly has also taught English as a Second Language at the high school level.  She is actively involved in her local union, serving as an area representative and serving on two joint committees between the local unit and the district. She completed two years of AmeriCorps working with persons with disabilities and has completed the NEA Teacher Leadership Initiative. Kelly earned her BA in Secondary Teaching/English Literature and an MA in English Speakers of Other Languages from Colorado Mesa University.

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Rachel Harrison
Teaching Policy Fellow
K-5 reading interventionist
North Mor Elementary
Adams 12 Five Star School district

Rachel Harrison is a Teach Plus Colorado Teaching Policy Fellow. She is a grades K-5 reading interventionist at North Mor Elementary in Adams 12 Five Star School district and has been teaching grades 1-5 and 8 in both private and public schools since 2000. Rachel is a member of the instructional leadership team and the District 12 Educators’ Association (DTEA) executive team. She serves as assistant student assessment coordinator as well as the chair of the ELA branch of the North Mor multi-tier system of supports (MTSS). Rachel graduated with a BA in Political Science and German Language from Metropolitan State University of Denver and holds an MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado-Denver.

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Christina Medina
Teaching Policy Fellow
Grades 1-3 teacher
Academia Ana Marie Sandoval
Denver Public Schools

Christina Medina is a Teach Plus Colorado Teaching Policy Fellow. She teaches grades 1-3 at Academia Ana Marie Sandoval in Denver. Christina teaches in Spanish through both Dual Language and Montessori models. At her school, Christina serves as the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) representative and is part of the school leadership team. She also serves as a Northwest Sector director on the DCTA Board of Directors and as the Ethnic Minority Advisory Council representative on the Colorado Education Association (CEA) Board of Directors. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Elementary Education and earned her MA in Bilingual and ESL Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Jimmy Mentor
Teaching Policy Fellow
3rd grade to students whose first language is Spanish
College View Elementary
Denver Public Schools

Jimmy Mentor is a Teach Plus Colorado Teaching Policy Fellow. Jimmy teaches 3rd grade to students whose first language is Spanish at College View Elementary in Denver, where he is also a team specialist in charge of leading data team meetings. Jimmy has completed a two-year certification course in Guided Reading Plus, a district reading intervention program that trains teachers to deliver effective small group reading instruction that drives student achievement. He holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, has received his MA in Curriculum and Instruction, from the University of Denver, and is a graduate of the Denver Teacher Residency. 

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