Teacher Leaders Will Engage in Policy Conversations With Members of Congress
Washington, D.C. November 29, 2023—Teach Plus, a national teacher leadership organization, has named 18 educators from across the country to its highly selective 2024 National Policy Advisory Board (NPAB). During the year-long program, NPAB members will advocate for education policies at the highest level of government on behalf of their students, families, and communities.
The federal policy advocates hail from all Teach Plus regions—Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Texas—as well as from Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. Starting in January, they will meet with members of Congress and support legislation that advances equity-driven education change, including the Teachers LEAD Act.
“I am excited to welcome our new cohort of teacher leaders to serve on this year’s Teach Plus National Policy Advisory Board,” said Kira Orange Jones, CEO of Teach Plus. “In the past, the National Policy Advisory Board has led the charge to create excellent educational opportunities for all children by impacting legislation at the highest levels of government through technical assistance to different offices in Congress, the stewarding of the Teachers LEAD Act, the creation of the Native American Teacher Retention Initiative, and the federal budget process. Our newest cohort comes with combined expertise as community leaders, founding school members, adjunct professors and policy makers that will be instrumental in advancing Teach Plus’s Student Opportunity Mandate across the country.”
The Teach Plus NPAB is a nonpartisan group of current classroom teachers which informs Teach Plus policy decisions at the federal level. In 2023, its 22 board members met with more than 60 U.S. senators or representatives and their staff, federal agency officials, and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to brainstorm solutions to develop and strengthen the teacher workforce. Last summer, they authored a report titled Developing and Strengthening the Educator Workforce, advocating for legislation to address the nationwide educator shortage. The teacher leaders receive one-on-one coaching to deepen knowledge on federal policy and build advocacy skills in order to create strong relationships with their congressional representatives.
“As a member of the NPAB, I aim to promote both the various initiatives to think strategically about how to better staff our schools and redesign career and technical education programs to recruit high schoolers to the teaching profession. Being part of the NPAB will enable me to marry my passion for research and practice to inform federal policy around student opportunity and equity, and I am excited to meet with members of Congress to advance our American education system collectively,” said Lennon Audrain, CTE education professions teacher and research assistant professor at Arizona State University in Mesa, Arizona.
“Being a woman of color who experienced poverty as a child and the incredible inequities that stem from those circumstances, I felt like I didn’t have a voice or direction, nor did I see anyone who looked like me in positions of power or influence as I prepared for success beyond school. I see NPAB as an exciting opportunity and platform to instill pride and confidence in future generations of students and educators of color who might feel voiceless like I did,” said Melinda Martinez-Epperson, 2023-2024 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow and founding preschool and kindergarten educator at The Play Lab in Chicago, Illinois.
The 2024 National Policy Advisory Board Members are:
- Lennon Audrain, Career and Technical Education professions teacher and research assistant professor at Arizona State University in Mesa, Arizona
- Amanda Ladish, 2022-2023 Teach Plus Arkansas Policy Fellow and Secondary Critical Reading/English Language Development in Springdale, Arkansas
- Tess Carlson, Knowles Teaching Fellow and founding science teacher at Mission Bay Hub in San Francisco, California
- Lorelei Jackson, 2021-2022 Teach Plus Colorado Policy Fellow and middle school mathematics interventionist in Denver, Colorado
- Charlie McAdoo II, Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education Department Chair and Middle School Educator in Decatur, Georgia
- Melina Martinez-Epperson, 2023-2024 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow and founding preschool and kindergarten educator at The Play Lab in Chicago, Illinois
- Steve Dull, 2022-23 Indiana Teach Plus Policy Fellow and geometry and algebra educator in Hammond, Indiana
- Chris Dier, 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year & National Teacher of the Year Finalist in New Orleans, Louisiana
- Ralph Saint-Louis, 2023-2024 Teach Plus Senior Policy Fellow and biology and chemistry teacher in Lowell, Massachusetts
- Barquita Stanton, 2022-2023 Mississippi Teach Plus Policy Fellow and K-5 English language arts Lead teacher in Jackson, Mississippi
- Emma Muth, Second Grade Educator and Grade Level Chair in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Linda Amici, 2023 Teach Plus National Policy Advisory Board Member, adjunct faculty member at Otterbein University, and educator in Westerville, Ohio
- Anawya Quashie, New Leaders Emerging Leader, Meeting Street Academy Teacher, and Third Grade Level Chair in Spartanburg, South Carolina
- Melina Recio, 2021-2022 Teach Plus Texas Senior Policy Fellow and 10th Grade English and AP language & composition educator in McAllen, Texas
The 2024 National Policy Advisory Executive Board Members are:
- Alisa Cooper de Uribe, 2023-2024 Teach Plus New Mexico Alumni Policy Fellow, 2023 Teach Plus National Policy Advisory Board Senior Fellow, 2021 New Mexico Teacher of the Year, and 1st Grade bilingual educator in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Frances Lazette, 2021-2022 Michigan Collaborative Teacher Leader, 2023 Teach Plus National Policy Advisory Board Senior Fellow, and French and individuals societies middle school educator in Ann Arbor, Michigan
The 2024 National Policy Advisory Senior Board Members are:
- Laura Sosik, 2021-2022 Teach Plus Pennsylvania Policy Fellow and 2nd grade educator in Scranton, Pennsylvania
- Juan Renteria, Jr., 2023 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Finalist, adjunct professor at Oklahoma University, and 5th grade teacher in Norman, Oklahoma
About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. In pursuing our mission, Teach Plus is guided by our Student Opportunity Mandate: All students should have the opportunity to achieve their potential in an education system defined by its commitment to equity, its responsiveness to individual needs, and its ability to prepare students for postsecondary success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has developed thousands of teacher leaders across the country to exercise their leadership in shaping education policy and improving teaching and learning for students. Teachplus.org
For more information and to arrange interviews with NPAB members, contact Kelly Pearce.