Teach Plus Texas Names 45 Highly Effective Educators to Its Sixth Cohort of Policy Fellows

Teach Plus Texas Names 45 Highly Effective Educators to Its Sixth Cohort of Policy Fellows

Austin, TX, August 4, 2022—Teach Plus, a national nonprofit that empowers teachers to lead improvements in educational policy and instructional practice, has selected a group of 45 demonstrably effective teachers from around the state of Texas as its 2022-2023 Policy Fellowship cohort. The Fellows, all of whom are classroom teachers, will focus on a range of issues of importance to Texas’s teachers, students, and parents, including teacher preparation, recruitment and retention of teachers of color, assessments and accountability, mental health, teacher compensation, and much more.

“Teach Plus Texas is excited to welcome the sixth cohort of Policy Fellows to our Texas Policy Fellowship. We are proud to have over 250 Fellows and alums across the state of Texas and are excited to continue to elevate teacher voice while highlighting the power of teacher leadership. With challenges such as the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the shrinking teacher pipeline, our Fellows are poised to advocate for data-driven solutions that benefit Texas teachers and students,” said Tech Plus Texas Executive Director Kevin Malonson. “When the 88th Legislative session commences, Teach Plus Fellows expect to weigh in on critical issues such as teacher preparation, education funding, and mental health support for teachers and students.”

“Being a Fellow is an opportunity to gain an understanding of how educational policies are created at the local, state, and federal level and how they impact our educational system and my students. I look forward to developing and utilizing skills that will assist me when advocating for scholars in my classroom, representing educators, and creating new solutions for the greater good of all,” said Tanitra Robinson, a Teach Plus Policy Fellow and elementary teacher in Houston ISD.

The 45 Fellows hail from Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio, and Rio Grande Valley. Each Fellow was chosen based on their effectiveness as an educator, strong commitment to the classroom and to equity, ability to articulate the needs of their students, and pursuit of excellence and innovation in their teaching. Many of the Fellows have recognitions such as Teacher of the Year, TEA Master Teacher, and a L.I.D.E.R. award winner.

With 73% of the new Fellows being teachers of color, this Teach Plus cohort is representative of the diversity of the state of Texas and its students. The Fellows’ teaching experience ranges from two to twenty-six years and they teach grades pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade and all subjects including English Language Arts, special education, CTE health science, theater arts, music, social studies, and more. They have attended a variety of preparation institutions, from traditional to alternative teacher preparation programs.

Throughout the Teach Plus program, the Fellows are trained in policy, advocacy, research, and communications and develop the skills necessary to advocate for changes for students across the state of Texas. “I am excited to become a Teach Plus Policy Fellow because I will have an opportunity to advocate for education policy that matters to my students, their parents, and my colleagues,” said Tina Jackson, Teach Plus Policy Fellow and high school teacher in Irving ISD.

The 2022-23 State Policy Fellows are:
Olutope Aghedo, Houston ISD, South Early College High School, Humble
Natalie Arias, Northside ISD, Stevenson Middle School, San Antonio
Matthew Balter, Austin Independent School District, Austin Achieve Public Middle School, Austin
Brett Barasch, Dallas ISD, School of Science and Engineering, Dallas
Adrienne Black, Aldine ISD, Houston Academy, Houston
Bianca Blanco, Kipp Texas Public Schools, KIPP Austin Collegiate, Austin
Angela Burley, Dallas ISD, Sarah Zumwalt Middle School, Desoto
Sarah Connelly, Harmony Public Schools – Houston West, Harmony School of Innovation, Houston
Erica Coves Fuentes, Houston ISD, Janowski ES , Houston
Erika DeLaRosa, Houston ISD, Baylor College of Medicine Biotech Academy at Rusk, Houston
Natalia Egan, Houston ISD, Harvard ES, Houston
Raymond Falcon, Lubbock ISD, Matthews Alternative High School, Lubbock
Scott Frank, IDEA Public Schools, IDEA Frontier College Preparatory, Brownsville
Erroll Franklin, Houston ISD, Atherton Elementary, Channelview
Reagan Fuller, Richardson ISD, Richardson Heights Elementary, Richardson
Naseeb Gill, Yes Prep Public Schools Inc, Yes Prep West, Houston
Venson Herron, Richardson ISD, Richardson High School, McKinney
Monica Hill, Houston ISD, Secondary Disciplinary Alternative Education Program, Conroe
Tina Jackson, Irving ISD, Irving High School, Prosper
Brandi Jackson, Richardson ISD, Arapaho Classical Magnet, Dallas
Angie Jackson, Weslaco ISD, Cleckler-Heald Elementary, Donna
Mayan Jarnagin, South Texas, Harmony Science Academy – San Antonio, San Antonio
Paris Kent, Houston ISD, Bellaire High School, New Caney
Dwayne Lacy, Katy ISD, Beckendorff Junior High School, Houston
Traci Latson, Houston ISD, Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School, Houston
Kristin Lewis, Arlington Independent School District, Wood Elementary School, Austin
Monique Mason-Kelly, Houston ISD, Welch Middle School, Houston
Estibaliz Matulewicz, Dallas ISD, Thomas C. Marsh Preparatory Academy, Dallas
Raven Morris, Princeton ISD, Southard Middle School, Rockwall
Jaynelle Nestle, Austin ISD, Casis Elementary School, Austin
Erica Orozco, Burnham Wood Charter School District, Da Vinci High School, El Paso
Yvette Pena, North East ISD, International School of the Americas, San Antonio
Jose Pineda, Ysleta ISD, Riverside High School, El Paso
Halee Porter, Houston ISD, Northside High School, Houston
Adrianna Ramirez, Laredo ISD, Alma A. Pierce Elementary School, Laredo
Frank Rivera, Chaparral Star Academy, Chaparral Star Academy, Austin
Tanitra Robinson, Houston ISD, B.K. Bruce Elementary, Houston
Darlene Seeley, Dallas ISD, W. T. White, Irving
Zavi Sheldon, Dallas ISD, Sunset P-TECH, Dallas
Karen Sparks, Katy ISD, Karen D. Sparks, Katy
Tania Tasneem, Austin ISD, Kealing Middle School, Austin
Mariana Tejada, Fort Worth ISD, Christene C. Moss Elementary School, Fort Worth
Mallory Villegas, Lubbock ISD, Monterey High School, Lubbock
Danielle Wilkes, Northside ISD, John Paul Stevens High School, San Antonio
Stephanie Wright, Eanes ISD, Eanes Elementary, Austin

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. 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, to create an education system driven by access and excellence for all. teachplus.org


Contact: Anya Grottel-Brown, agrottelbrown@teachplus.org, 917-902-5902