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Meet Our Teacher Leaders

Saida Benromdhane Ph.D.
Teaching Policy Fellow
Western International High School

Saida Benromdhane is a 2021-2022 Michigan Collaborative Teacher Leader, and an 11 grade math teacher at Western International High School in the City of Detroit. She is the only math SAT prep teacher in her high school and is passionate about making it accessible for her students to not only get admitted to the best colleges but also secure the financial aid needed to cover the cost. Additionally, Saida has mentored teachers as part of a new program that supports new teachers to the district and the teacher profession. Saida earned a BS, an MS, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University. She also received an MA in teaching with Math and Physics Majors from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Currently, she is pursuing an EDS in ESL and bilingual education at Wayne State University which she plans to complete by the end of the 2021-2022 academic year.

 
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Alexandra BuWalda
Teaching Policy Fellow
Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

Alexandra BuWalda is a 2021-2022 Michigan Collaborative Teacher Leader. She is an 11th and 12th grade PreAP and AP chemistry teacher, junior grade level team lead, science department chair, and the school’s data coach at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit, Michigan. Alexandra focuses on teaching rigorous grade-level content that is aligned with the College Board courses that she teaches as well as supports her teams in data-driven instruction and evidence-based practices. She recently completed the Detroit Alumni Educator Fellowship where she submitted four teaching component portfolios to earn her National Board certification. She earned her BS in Human Biology, Health, & Society from Cornell University as well as her MAT from Dominican University.

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Kelley Cusmano
Teaching Policy Fellow
Rochester High School

Kelley Cusmano is a 2021-2022 Michigan Collaborative Teacher Leader and an English & student leadership Teacher Leader at Rochester High School in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Her passion is empowering students to take on leadership roles in their community and to foster a love for reading, writing, and communicating in both honors and co-taught ELA classes. In her district, she serves on the English curriculum and equity district committees. Kelley was named an Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Emerging Leader (2016), MASC Adviser of the Year (2017), and an Ed Reports Klawe Fellow (2020). In 2018, she was part of a team of educators that organized the Michigan Governor’s Summit on Education and Talent. She is also the teacher representative for the Michigan ASCD Board. She has a BA in English and History, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction, and a K-12 Administration certificate all from Michigan State University.  

 
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Heather Gauck
Teaching Policy Fellow
Harrison Park Academy

Heather Gauck is a 2021-2022 Michigan Collaborative Teacher Leader. A special education teacher leader, she has taught for Grand Rapids Public Schools for more than two decades. Heather is National Board Certified as an Exceptional Needs Specialist. She is the organizer and leader for a team of eight educators statewide that created Innovation Classroom, funded by Mark Zuckerberg's StartUp Foundation on integrating technology into the classroom. She was chosen as one of PBS' Digital All-Stars. Most recently, she was picked as a Klawe Fellow to work with education policy. She has also been a finalist for the United States Department of Education Classroom Teacher Ambassador Fellowship. She is passionate about giving a voice to the usually voiceless students who struggle daily with school. She earned her BS in Specific Learning Disabilities from Franciscan University and an MEd in Learning Disabilities from Grand Valley State University.

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Mercedes Harvey-Flowers
Teaching Policy Fellow
Crestwood High School

Mercedes Harvey-Flowers is a 2021-2022 Michigan Collaborative Teacher Leader. She teaches U.S. history and Advanced Placement research at Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, where she is also the social studies department chair, and the School Advisor for Key Club. She previously worked as a Lead Teacher, and 9th grade academy leader for climate and culture at Henry Ford High School in Detroit, Michigan. Mercedes is passionate about building and using relationships as a catalyst for authentic student centered learning experiences. Mercedes earned her MA in Small Urban High Schools and her EdS in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Michigan-Flint. She is currently pursuing her EdD in Educational Leadership.

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Tan-A Hoffman, NBCT
Teaching Policy Fellow
JKL Bahweting Anishnabe PSA

Tan-A Hoffman is a 2021-2022 Michigan Collaborative Teacher Leader. She is a 2nd grade, National Board Certified Teacher in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan at JKL Bahweting Anishnabe PSA, and a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians. Tan-A enjoys collaborating with others to promote equitable change in education for educators and students. She is a 2020 Michigan Regional Teacher of the Year and a board member of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. You can find her on TV as Detroit Learning Channel’s 3rd grade teacher for their PBS literacy program, “Read Write ROAR.” She earned her BA in Elementary Education and MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Lake Superior State University, and is currently enrolled at Northern Michigan University with the goal of attaining an Education Specialist Certification focusing on Native American Education. 

 
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Joan Lamain
Teaching Policy Fellow
North Oakview Elementary

Joan Lamain is a 2021-2022 Michigan Collaborative Teacher Leader. She is a reading specialist at North Oakview Elementary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Joan focuses on teaching not only the foundations of literacy but also establishing a love of reading in all students. She has taught in various schools in Northern Virginia, England, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Joan earned her Masters of Elementary Education (2004) from Marymount University and Education Specialist in Reading Education (2014) from University of Virginia.

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Frances Lazette
Teaching Policy Fellow
Scarlett Middle School

Frances Lazette is a 2021-2022 Michigan Collaborative Teacher Leader. She is a French and individuals & societies teacher at Scarlett Middle School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Frances is the Peer to Peer facilitator at her school, a program that supports student mental health. She is a district French TLN Coordinator and an MEA Distance Learning Expert. Frances is the 2021 LILL Representative for the state of Michigan and has been a featured presenter at state and regional language conferences. She is committed to whole child education and helping students figure out their purpose in school. She earned her BA in Political Science and French & Francophone Studies from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and an MEd in Urban and Diversity Education from Eastern Michigan University.

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Joy Lyman
Teaching Policy Fellow
FlexTech High School

Joy Lyman is a 2021-2022 Michigan Collaborative Teacher Leader. She is a history and English teacher at FlexTech High School Brighton, in addition to being the lead instructional coach and advisory lead. Joy has taught and worked as an instructional coach at other schools throughout the Metro Detroit area in addition to working as a museum education intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. She was a semi-finalist for Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year in 2016 and won the Golden Apple Award for Equity Education in 2018. She is a member of the Holocaust Educators Network of Michigan. She earned her BA in Secondary Education-History and English from the University of Michigan.

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Lisa Martin
Teaching Policy Fellow
Holton Elementary

Lisa Martin is a 2021-2022 Michigan Collaborative Teacher Leader. She is a 4th grade teacher, PBIS team member, Girls on the Run coach, and a Building Network team member at Holton Elementary in Holton, Michigan. Prior to and while attaining her teaching degree, she worked for thirteen years as a Title I Paraprofessional at Oehrli Elementary in Montague, Michigan. Her focus is on teaching the whole child. She uses social emotional learning strategies to help her students develop self-awareness, self control, and interpersonal skills while becoming confident mathematicians. She earned her BA in Elementary Education with an additional certification in mathematics K-8 from Baker College in Muskegon, Michigan. 

 

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