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Meet Our Teacher Leaders

Anisa Amani
Teaching Policy Fellow
3rd grade teacher
Dyer Kelly Elementary School
San Juan Unified School District

Anisa Amani is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow who teaches 3rd grade at Dyer Kelly Elementary School in Sacramento, which has a refugee population of nearly 51% refugees from Afghanistan. As a first generation Afghan-Muslim-American, Anisa uses her family knowledge and bilingual skills to engage with refugee families in the language they are most comfortable with, Dari/Farsi. Anisa is a member of Global Shapers - Sacramento Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. Anisa has published her research based on ways educators can engage young students with cultural humility in: “Weaving Diversity Amongst Cultures to Build Community.” She earned her BA in Child Development from California State University, Sacramento, and her credential and MEd from the University of California, Davis.

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Alyssa Avila
Teaching Policy Fellow
7th grade teacher
Luther Burbank Arts Tech and Community Magnet
Los Angeles Unified School District

Alyssa Avila is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow and an LAUSD 7th grade English teacher serving students at Luther Burbank Arts Tech and Community Magnet. She serves as English department co-chair at Luther Burbank Middle School and as a mentor teacher for new teacher candidates from University of California, Los Angeles. She started her career in education as a Los Angeles Teach For America corp member in 2014. She has taught ELA, English Language Development, and English Intervention. She completed Breathe for Change’s Yoga and Socio-Emotional Wellness Program for educators in 2019 and is a certified WEB coordinator, a program that builds mentorship between 6th and 8th graders. She earned her BA in English from UCLA and MA in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University.

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Debi Bober
Teaching Policy Fellow
5th grade teacher
Cubberley Elementary School
Long Beach Unified School District

Debi Bober is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow and a 5th grade multi-subject teacher at Cubberley. She has taught in Long Beach for 26 years and is an educational consultant, training administrators in constructive coaching. Debi chairs her site’s Student Achievement committee and the Instructional Leadership Team. She worked on the Common Core Design and Development team for her district, designed online lessons for LearnZillion.com, and is a Schoolhouse.World teacher leader. Debi is National Board Certified and a Google Certified Educator. In 2019, she won LBUSD and Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year, and was a California Teacher of the Year finalist. She received her BA in Liberal Studies from Chapman University, her MA in Curriculum and Instruction from CSULB, and her EdD in Educational Leadership from UCLA, winning the Education Dissertation Award.

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Jennifer Click headshot
Senior Fellow
10th/11th grade teacher
Edison High School
Fresno Unified School District

Jennifer Click is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus California Senior Policy Fellow. Jennifer teaches 10th and 11th grade chemistry and AP chemistry at Edison High School in Fresno where she has also previously taught physics. She has held several leadership positions in the district, including on the science advisory team, curriculum adoption team, and instructional leadership team. Jennifer was one of the 2018 NBC Sports All-Star Teacher Finalists, 2019 Ambassador for Curriculum and Instruction, and received the 2019 Exemplary Project Award from California State University, Fresno. She is the founder and advisor of E-City Services, which focuses on community service. Jennifer received her BA and MA from California State University, Fresno.

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Thomas Courtney headshot
Senior Fellow
5th grade teacher
Chollas-Mead Elementary School
San Diego Unified School District

Thomas Courtney is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus California Senior Policy Fellow who teaches 5th grade at Chollas-Mead Elementary School in San Diego, where he has been honored with teacher of the year on three occasions. Thomas is a Fulbright Fellow with the U.S. State Department's Teacher for Global Classrooms. He serves as a guide teacher with SDSU and is a member of the CTC workgroup renewing the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. He writes and presents about passions such as SEL, global competency and literacy, conservation science, and teacher induction. He is currently researching classroom pedagogy around note-taking with the Teacher Led Research Network. Thomas holds a MEd with an emphasis on literacy and assessment, a teacher credential with USD and a BA in Economics from UCSD.

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Nicholas Dewald headshot
Senior Fellow
World history and Spanish language teacher
San Clemente High School
Capistrano Unified School District

Nicholas Dewald is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus California Senior Policy Fellow who teaches world history in Spanish and is part of a Two Way Immersion Program as a Spanish teacher. He is also a union site representative, Two Way Immersion coordinator, and advocate for the LGBTQIA community. Nicolas works with stakeholders, fellow teachers, and district officials to align and improve curriculum and Spanish instruction to allow for fair representation. He has helped facilitate LGBTQIA professional development through the district, improving access to information and understanding. Nicholas received BAs in Political Science and Spanish, his MFA in Teaching in conjunction with the teaching credential program from University of California, Irvine, and his MS in Instructional Design and Technology at California State University, Fullerton.

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Gretchen Eisenhut
Teaching Policy Fellow
Literary Teacher on special assignment
Twin Ridges Elementary School District

Gretchen Eisenhut is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow and is the Literacy Teacher on Special Assignment at Twin Ridges Elementary School District. She previously taught 2/3 and 3/4 combination classes in the district, and was a 1st and 3rd grade teacher at Ravenswood City School District in East Palo Alto, where she was also a Science Lead Teacher. Gretchen grew up on an almond farm, but has deep family roots in education thanks to her kindergarten teacher grandmother who taught her the joy of reading. She graduated from University of California, Davis with a BA in philosophy and an English minor, and received her MA in Education from University of California, Santa Cruz.

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TLPL Teacher Leader
High school English teacher
Mervyn M. Dymally Biomedical Sciences and Research Magnet High School
Los Angeles Unified School District

Marquisha Flowers is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Change Agent Teacher Leader. Marquisha teaches college preparatory, honors, and AP English courses at Mervyn M. Dymally Biomedical Sciences and Research Magnet High School.  She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescence and Young Adulthood/English Language Arts, a UCLA Writing Project Fellow, and mentor teacher. She earned her BA from UC Berkeley, her MA from Pepperdine University, her and EdD from the University of Southern California.

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Jesus Galindo
Teaching Policy Fellow
3rd grade teacher
West Contra Costa Unified School District

Jesus Galindo is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow who teaches 3rd-grade DLI at Lincoln Elementary in Richmond, California, where he also belongs to the Instructional Leadership Team and leads the English Language Development and DLI Committee. In 2018, he co-founded Aim High Richmond. He is the recipient of West Contra Costa's Teacher of the Year award and Aim High's prestigious Young Leader award. Jesus belonged to Teach For America's 2013 Richmond Corp and served as United Teachers of Richmond Executive Director of Elementary Schools from 2017-2020. He graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a BA in Political Science and a Minor in Education. He received his Multiple Subjects credential and MA in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University.

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Carmen Garvis
Teaching Policy Fellow
Engineering Pathway teacher
Sanger High School
Sanger Unified School District

Carmen Garvis is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow and is the Lead Engineering Pathway Teacher at Sanger High School in Sanger, where she also serves as the Femineers and Engineering Club advisor. She is a current mentor for the Carlston Family Foundation Teacher Leadership Academy. Carmen has been honored as 2018 Sanger Unified School District Teacher of the Year, 2018 Fresno County Office of Education Teacher of the Year, and Carlston Family Foundation 2019 Outstanding Teacher of America Honoree. Carmen graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a BS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and received her MA in Education specializing in Cross-Cultural teaching, and currently holds two Single Subject Teaching Credentials in Mathematics and Industrial and Technology Education from National University.

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