Margaret (Meg) Amarante is a Teach Plus Indianapolis Teaching Policy Fellow. Meg teaches 5th-8th grade self-contained science at KIPP Indy College Prep Middle School, where she supports inclusion 6th grade math and literacy as the grade level Teacher of Record as well as facilitates SPED-specific professional development for her peer teachers. Previously, she worked as a special educator at TC Howe Community High School, teaching 9th-12th self-contained English. Meg graduated from Purdue University with a BA in Biology and a minor in English and received her Master’s in Teaching with a focus on Special Education from Marian University.
Jill Armington is a Teach Plus Indianapolis Teaching Policy Fellow who teaches 3rd grade at Paramount School of Excellence. Jill began her teaching career as a Title I Reading and Mathematics teacher for students in grades 3-8 at Andrew Academy. There, she developed a new school-wide data tracking system and ran an after-school enrichment club. An active member of the community, Jill coordinated the Eat Well Club, an initiative of local non-profit Growing Places Indy, for elementary and middle school students to learn about gardening and healthy living. Most recently, she was the August 2015 Teacher of the Month at Paramount. Jill graduated from the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University with a BA in Sociology and a BA in International Politics. She earned her MA in Teaching from Marian University.
Dominique Barnes is a Teach Plus Indiana Teaching Policy Fellow who teaches 4th grade at Mabel K. Holland Elementary School. She is Holland’s PTA president, bridging the gap between parents, students, and staff using engaging activities to promote school unity. Dominique is a member of Holland’s PBIS team, which serves as a component of providing behavioral and intervention systems for the school. She previously worked at the YMCA Child Care Services Branch of Fort Wayne, where she held various roles such as childcare site director and summer camp director. Dominique graduated with a BA in Elementary Education from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Shawnta S. Barnes is a Teach Plus Indianapolis Teaching Policy Fellow who is a Literacy Coach at Wendell Phillips Elementary School. She also teaches Psycholinguistics for Reading Teachers at Indiana University – Indianapolis. Previously, she has taught English grades 6-9 and has been an elementary English language learner teacher. She is a current teach plus policy fellow of the Indianapolis cohort. She earned her BA in English education from Purdue University and her MS in language education from IUPUI.
Megan Bilbo is a Teach Plus Indiana Teaching Policy Fellow. She is a special educator with an emphasis on English Language Arts at Noblesville High School, where she serves on the professional development and special education leadership committees. Megan began her teaching career in the field of health education. She then worked as a reading and math interventionist at East Elementary School in Jay County, Indiana, and later taught 8th grade reading interventions as a special educator at Mesa County School District 51 in Colorado. She received grant and scholarship awards from Noblesville Schools Education Foundation and is a member of the Indiana State Teachers Association. She earned a BA in Secondary Education with endorsements in Health and Educational Technology, and an MEd in Special Education with certificates in Autism and Applied Behavioral Analysis, from Ball State University.
Alissa Birch is a Teach Plus Indianapolis Teaching Policy Fellow. Alissa teaches high school mathematics at Irvington Preparatory Academy, where she helps prepare students for the Algebra I End of Course Assessment during math lab. As a Teacher Advancement Program Mentor Teacher at Irvington, Alissa provides guidance and constructive feedback to her colleagues throughout the school year. She is also the co-sponsor of IPA’s National Honor Society. Alissa previously taught at Irvington Preparatory Academy and at Calumet New Tech High School in Gary, IN. Alissa was recognized as a contributor of the Independent Colleges of Indiana’s “Realizing the Dream” Scholarship in 2013. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Central Michigan University with a BS in Secondary Education for Mathematics and Earth Science.
Katherine Bonilla is a Teach Plus Indiana Teaching Policy Fellow and an Avon Community Schools elementary art teacher. She sponsors four arts clubs and a robotics club after school, and is involved with the Oriole Advocates, a group of community members who advocate for schools. In the past, she has held leadership positions as her school’s digital innovator and has sat on many school and district-level committees, such as the efficiency task force and the extracurricular task force. Katie was honored to be a Top 3 Finalist for Indiana Teacher of the Year in 2016. She holds a BA in Applied Media Arts, a BA in Art History, and a Post-Baccalaureate Teaching Certification from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
Lesley Bright is a Teach Plus Indiana Teaching Policy Fellow who teaches 6th-8th grade science at Carlisle Middle School in Carlisle, Indiana. Lesley is the Science Olympiad coach and the Jr. Beta Club sponsor for her school. Previously, she taught at Liberty Technology Magnet High School in Jackson, TN, where she coached science bowl and led a novel-writing club. Lesley attended Union University, where she earned a BS in Biology with an emphasis on biology education.
Jessica Carlson is a Teach Plus Indiana Teaching Policy Fellow and an instructional coach at Garrett Middle School. She previously taught 10th grade English and remediation at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana and also has teaching experience in Colorado, Ohio, and New York. Jessica has participated in school reform initiatives for standards-based grading, school redesign, technology utilization, and student interventions, and has led professional learning communities in curriculum design and implementation. She graduated from Houghton College with a BA in English with a concentration in Secondary Education and received her MEd in Education with a focus on curriculum and instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Mark Cassody is a Teach Plus Indianapolis Teaching Policy Fellow who teaches 3rd grade at George H. Fisher Elementary, a Project: RESTORE school. Prior to coming to George H. Fisher, Mark spent two years teaching at Arlington Woods Elementary, where he was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2014 and 2015. Mark is passionate about making a difference in the lives of students, especially his male students living in a high-needs area. He has participated in developing study materials to help improve the weekly mathematic assessments at his school and collaborates with his grade level team members on developing rigorous learning materials. Mark graduated from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis with a BS in Elementary Education.