Brenda M. Ayala headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
4th grade bilingual literacy teacher
West Handley Elementary School
Fort Worth ISD

Brenda Ayala is a 2018-19 Teach Plus DFW Policy Fellow. Brenda teaches 4th grade bilingual literacy and social studies at West Handley Elementary School.  She is the campus ambassador for Fort Worth ISD, part of the Plan for Change Committee at her school, and the grade level chairperson. Before becoming a teacher through alternative certification with Fort Worth Teaching Fellows, she was the Book Fair Manager for Scholastic Book Fairs in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.  She has an MBA in Global Business Administration and Marketing from Phoenix University and a BBA in Marketing from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico.

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Katie Benningfield headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
6th grade Pre-AP science teacher
School for the Talented and Gifted in Pleasant Grove
Dallas ISD

Katie Bennngfield is a 2018-19 Teach Plus DFW Policy Fellow. Katie teaches 6th grade Pre-AP science at Dallas ISD’s Two-Way Dual Language Talented and Gifted Academy. Katie serves as the Board Chair for The Collective Board, Teach For America’s Alumni of Color organization. She has previously developed a city-code based education program as a Policy & Advocacy Summer Fellow with the Dallas City Attorney’s Office and Leadership for Educational Equity, and was a Racial Justice Fellow with Teach For America. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a BA in Political Science and English and received her MEd in Education from Southern Methodist University.

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Stefan Berthelsen headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
5th grade bilingual teacher
Stephen C. Foster Elementary
Dallas Independent School District

Stefan Berthelsen teaches bilingual 5th grade in Dallas ISD. He has served as the implementation coordinator of a restorative justice program on his campus, and he now serves as a social-emotional learning coach. He graduated with a BA from the University of Texas in two-way dual immersion bilingual programs.  

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Tara Bordeaux headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
Cinema & Media Arts Director
Lanier Early College High School
Austin ISD

Tara Bordeaux is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Texas Policy Fellow. An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Tara leads the Cinema & Media Arts Program at Lanier Early College High School in Austin, TX. She serves as a PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab Instructor, Gay-Straight Alliance sponsor, My Brother’s Keeper mentor, and Diversity Advisory Board Member. She is a Global Ambassador for Rock Your World and a lead mentor for the Freedom Writers Institute. Tara helps mentor first year teachers for Region XII and is the State President of the Audio Video, Arts, and Communication Association. She was selected as the 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year and has received numerous awards in education, including the 2018 Erma Lee Boice Instructional Advocacy Award and a 2019 California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. Tara graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a BFA in Film and Photography, and a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction.

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Natalie Brown headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
2nd grade math and science teacher
Frank Guzick Elementary
Dallas ISD

Natalie Brown is a 2018-19 Teach Plus DFW Policy Fellow. Natalie teachers 2nd grade mathematics and science at Frank Guzick Elementary. She has earned a distinguished teacher rating since the Teacher Excellence Initiative began in Dallas ISD in 2015. As a Distinguished Teacher Ambassador for the Skyline Feeder Pattern, she helps mentor fellow teachers in reaching Distinguished Teacher status within the district’s teacher evaluation model and provides professional development over the teaching rubric and application process. She serves as a Teacher Excellence Initiative Campus Expert. Natalie has a BS in Fashion Merchandising from the University of North Texas and her Alternative Certification certificate from Texas A&M Commerce.

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Angela Burke headshot
Senior Fellow
8th grade science teacher
Dallas Environmental Science Academy
Dallas ISD

Angela Burke is a 2018-19 Senior Teach Plus DFW Policy Fellow. Angela teaches physics and astronomy at Dallas Environmental Science Academy, a magnet middle school in Dallas ISD. A Teach for America alumna, Angela has worked in a charter high school, a traditional middle school, and a magnet middle school. She has worked with the Physics & Astronomy Department at Texas A&M University - Commerce (TAMUC) and has also been a Teaching Trust Ed-Fellow as well as a Texas Teach Plus Policy Fellow.  Angela graduated from Oklahoma State University with a BS in Secondary Education with an emphasis in science and earned an MS in Physics with an education emphasis from TAMUC.

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Nicole Burton headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
10th grade world history inclusion teacher
Del Valle High School
Del Valle Independent School District

Nicole Burton teaches 10th grade world history inclusion at Del Valle High School in Del Valle ISD, southeast of Austin.  Nicole started her career as an educational aide in 2003 at George Bush High School in Fort Bend ISD and became a classroom teacher the following year.  She helps support, empower, and mentor student teachers from St. Edwards University and Texas State University during their classroom observations. Nicole has created the world history curriculum for the University of Texas High School and is the founder of Honored2Teach LLC, a continuing professional education provider for Texas educators. Nicole earned a BA in History from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. 

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Geoff Carlisle  headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
8th grade science teacher
KIPP Austin College Prep
KIPP Austin Public Schools

Geoff Carlisle teaches 8th grade science at KIPP Austin College Prep, where he also serves as the district middle school science curriculum leader, Science Olympiad coach, and Ultimate Frisbee co-coach. Geoff also serves on the district’s social justice task force, and is a teacher advisory board member for the Teacher Career Pathway. Before teaching at KIPP, he taught in Hazlehurst, Mississippi as a Teach For America corps member and served as TFA’s middle school science learning team leader. Geoff has worked for Dallas ISD board member Miguel Solis in the Urban Leaders Fellowship, and with the Mississippi Department of Education through a fellowship with Leadership for Educational Equity. He graduated from St. Olaf College with a BA in Environmental Studies and Music.

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Sarah Carrola headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
8th grade language arts teacher
Whittier Middle School
San Antonio ISD

Sarah Carrola is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Texas Policy Fellow. Sarah teaches 8th grade language arts at Whittier Middle School in San Antonio, Texas. She serves on the Campus Leadership Team, the AVID Site Team, and the Technology Committee.  Sarah has served as a grade level sponsor and plans and organizes all field trips for her grade level each year.  In 2016, her colleagues at Whittier voted her the campus “Teacher of the Year” and she was part of a team that presented at national (UCEA Detroit) and international (EERA Dublin) educational research conferences.  In 2017, Sarah was accepted into the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Teacher’s for Global Classrooms Fellowship, attending a symposium in Washington, D.C. on the necessity of global thinking and 21st century learning and traveling to Indonesia to teach and learn how to highlight global issues in her classes.  She received a BA in History and a minor in Political Science from St. Mary’s University, a MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from The University of Texas San Antonio, and is a graduate of the Urban School Leaders Collaborative at UTSA. 

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Anthony Castro
Senior Fellow
3rd grade bilingual teacher
Momentous School at the Momentous Institute

Anthony Castro is a 2018-19 Teach Plus DFW Senior Policy Fellow. Anthony teaches 3rd grade at Momentous School in Dallas, a nonprofit school committed to helping students achieve their best by understanding and managing their social emotional health. Anthony is a Teach For America Dallas-Fort Worth alum and an alum of Teaching Trust’s Ed Fellows program. Anthony leads trainings for Border Crossers, an organization that strengthens educators’ analysis of how racism manifests in schools and equips them with tools to create more equitable classrooms. He holds a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of Florida and an MA in Bilingual Education from Southern Methodist University.

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