Elyssa Arroyo is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Nevada Policy Fellow. Elysa is a 2nd grade teacher at Red Rock Elementary, where she is also the founder and director of the theatre program and has served as both a mentor teacher and grade level chair. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Elysa has completed public policy fellowships in Las Vegas, Nevada with the Governor's Office of Workforce Innovation, Opportunity 180, and the Nevada Department of Education. Elysa has a BA from the University of California, Riverside in Classical Studies and Comparative Ancient Civilizations, an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is finishing an MPAP in Public Administration and Policy from American University.
Qiddist Ashé is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow. Qiddist teaches 1st grade at Washington Elementary in Evanston, Illinois. She serves on the school’s instructional leadership team, where she advocates for culturally-responsive practices that accelerate student learning. She previously taught 1st and 2nd grade at KairosPDX, a community-based school that she helped to start in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She is a 2015 Truman scholar and a full-spectrum birthworker serving on the board for Chicago Volunteer Doulas. Qiddist co-founded Ashé Living, a community enterprise that she runs with her wife, where she offers healing practices and consulting focused on reproductive justice, holistic wellness, and social justice facilitation for organizations working toward a more equitable and liberated world. Qiddist earned her BS in Social Policy and her MSEd in Elementary Education from Northwestern University.
Chanel Ashley is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Texas Policy Fellow. Chanel teaches 8th grade English and Honors English with Harmony School of Innovation-San Antonio, where she also serves as the English department chair. Chanel is a member of the district’s lead Professional Learning Community (PLC) initiative and was awarded Teacher of the Year for her campus in 2018. She serves on the campus Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team and is a college readiness mentor. Chanel is a recipient of the HPS Harmony Aspiring Leaders Program. She graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University with a BA in English and received her MA in Leadership Studies from Webster University.
Karyn Baldwin is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow. Karyn teaches 1st grade dual language at Huff Elementary in Elgin, Illinois. She is a SIP (school improvement plan) grade level representative, PTO teacher representative, and a member of the multi-tiered systems of support tier ⅔ problem-solving team. Karyn is a Golden Apple Scholar, Girl Scout Gold Award recipient, and a recipient of the 2019 Lambda State Foundation for Educational Studies Grant. She graduated from Illinois State University with a BS in Bilingual-Bicultural Elementary Education and The American College of Education with an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction.
Brianna Balke is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Rhode Island Teaching Policy Fellow. Brianna teaches physics and environmental science at Blackstone Academy in Pawtucket, RI where she is an advisor and coordinates a partnership with Recycle a Bike in Providence. Previously, she taught physics and neuroscience to high school students in Colorado. Brianna has been a part of a national network of teachers focused on improving math and science education as a fellow with the Knowles Teacher Initiative since 2012. She has collaborated with colleagues to lead a variety of professional development opportunities ranging from sessions at National Science Teachers Association and National Association of Biology Teachers to week-long workshops in Yosemite National Park focused on integrating outdoor learning with the Next Generation Science Standards. Brianna has also served as a mentor teacher and guest lecturer for the teacher education program at Brown University. She graduated from Pomona College with a BA in Neuroscience and completed her MAT in Secondary Science Education at Brown University.
Samantha Bandy is a Teach Plus Indianapolis Change Agent. Samantha supports schools in the West Learning Community of Indianapolis Public Schools as a special education specialist. She has served in various leadership positions, such as special education compliance monitor, response to intervention coordinator, and a member of the school improvement team while teaching at KIPP Indianapolis College Preparatory and Indianapolis Lighthouse Charter School. She was voted Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016 while teaching special education at Carpe Diem Innovative School Shadeland. Samantha graduated from the University of Evansville with a BS in Elementary Education with a minor in Social Studies Education and received her certificate in Mild Interventions from Indiana Wesleyan University and her MEd in Education Administration and Supervision from Ball State University.
Gary Bass is a 2019 Teach Plus New Mexico Teaching Policy Fellow. Gary teaches digital literacy in Spanish and English at El Camino Real Academy, where he runs an after-school STEM club. Gary is a National Board Certified Teacher in English as a New Language and the school’s liaison to the New Mexico Teacher Leader Network. He has previously taught in China, Syria, and Vietnam. Gary received his BS in Elementary Education and his MA in Curriculum & Instruction from New Mexico State University and holds a graduate Certificate of Educational Technology & Information Literacy from SUNY- Buffalo.
Emily Bassier is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Nevada Teaching Policy Fellow. Emily teaches 7th grade earth science and high school Algebra II problem solving, and develops teachers as an instructional coach. She is a founding member of the leadership team at Equipo Academy, a public charter school in east Las Vegas created by a local group of students, families, and teachers. Prior to working at Equipo Academy, Emily taught in the Clark County School District as an elementary school teacher. Emily graduated from Gonzaga University with a BA in political science and economics, joined the teaching profession through Teach for America, and earned an MEd in curriculum and instruction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Heidi Batchelder is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Colorado Policy Fellow. Heidi teaches 1st grade as part of a K/1 loop at the Odyssey School of Denver, where she serves on the instructional leadership team. She spent seven years at Capital City Public Charter School, an EL Education Mentor School in Washington D.C., where she taught 1st and 6th grade and served as the reading intervention specialist for 1st-4th grade. There, she was awarded a competitive fellowship from Fund for Teachers to develop a trauma-informed reading intervention practice. Heidi designed and implemented a mindfulness program for students receiving reading intervention and led a professional learning community of teachers who learned about trauma-informed practices and adopted approaches to implement these with their own students. Heidi earned a BS in Elementary Education from Grove City College and received her MA in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Ben Beckam is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Nevada Teaching Policy Fellow. Ben is a mathematics K-8 instructional coach in the Washoe County School District. In this role, he engages in co-teaching cycles with teachers, writes and vets curriculum documents, and provides professional learning. He is a member of the math content leaders team and serves on the board of the Northern Nevada Math Council. Ben previously taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, served as a mentor teacher for new teachers, and coached the school soccer team. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a BA in psychology and received his MEd in STEM education from the University of Nevada, Reno.