Thomas Courtney is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow. Thomas is a 5th grade teacher at Chollas Mead Elementary School in San Diego, California, where he also runs runs a newspaper club and a karate program. He coaches student teachers with San Diego State University and is a lead literacy instructor for Early Readers Future Leaders. He volunteers with Earthlab, a non-profit that brings conservation science to inner-city youth. Thomas has presented and lectured at the University of California, San Diego’s Create and and for the California Science Teachers’ Association. He has taught in South Korea and China and was a Rotary Educational Cultural Exchange Ambassador to East Africa in 2006. Thomas is a Fulbright Hays Teacher Fellow for Global Classrooms. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of California, San Diego, an MEd with an emphasis on literacy from National University, and a Teaching Credential from the University of San Diego.