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Meet Our Teacher Leaders

Claire Annes
Teaching Policy Fellow
Edison High School

Claire Annes is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow and a special education teacher at Edison Middle School in Wheaton. Claire teaches direct math, language arts, and study skills classes for special education students, she also coaches Track & Field and sponsors Cooking Club. Claire is a member of her school’s Equity Training Team and is a union building representative. Claire previously served on her district's Wellness Committee and worked on staff training and development programs. She also has presented to teacher preparation students about the importance of relationship building at an Educators Rising conference. Claire obtained her BS in Elementary and LBS1 Education from Bradley University, and MSEd in Advanced Special Education Practices from Northern Illinois University.

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Margi Bhansali
Senior Fellow
Beard Elementary

Margi Bhansali is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Senior Policy Fellow. She teaches pre-kindergarten at Beard Elementary in Chicago. She has been a mentor teacher for her network’s Preschool-2nd grade balanced literacy initiative and has led city-wide professional development during the annual “Ready, Set, Teach” summer conference. She is a National Board Certified Teacher. She graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with her BA in Early Childhood Education and received her MA in Reading from Webster University. She has an English as a Second Language Endorsement from Roosevelt University.

 
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Alli Bizon
Teaching Policy Fellow
Suder Montessori Magnet School

Alli Bizon is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow who teaches 1st-3rd grade at Suder Montessori Magnet School in Chicago. Alli serves as the Instructional Team Lead for her grade band and was a finalist for the 2021 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, receiving the Award of Distinction. She participated in the Chicago Fund for Education's Action Research Leadership Institute Fellowship in 2018. Alli holds a National Boards Teaching Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist and is a certified Montessori teacher in both Early Childhood and Lower Elementary teaching. She graduated from Emerson College with a BS in Communication Science and Disorders and received her MAT in Elementary Education and her English as a Second Language endorsement from the University of Chicago's Urban Teacher Education Program.

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Allison Cahill
Teaching Policy Fellow
Hibbard Elementary School

Allison Cahill is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow who teaches first grade dual language at Hibbard Elementary School in Chicago. Allison was selected to be a member of Chicago Public School’s Teacher Advisory Council and is a representative on her school’s bilingual committee. She previously taught second-grade English as a second language in Prospect Heights, Illinois where she co-founded Club de verano, a summer literacy program for bilingual students. She published a paper on supporting undocumented students which she presented at several conferences, including the annual meeting of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages in Portland, Oregon. She holds a BA in Elementary Education and a MEd in Literacy Education with an emphasis in ESL/Bilingual Education from Northern Illinois University.

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Susan Cerza
Teaching Policy Fellow
Joseph E Hill Early Childhood Center

Susan Cerza is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow and is the diagnostic special education teacher for play-based evaluations in Evanston. Susan is a National Board Certified Teacher in Exceptional Needs. She co-chaired her center’s Inclusion Committee and is a member on various committees. Susan earned her BM in Voice from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, her MM in Voice from Bowling Green State University, and her MEd from Elmhurst College.

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Adriana Gonzalez Delgado
Teaching Policy Fellow
Perkins Bass Elementary School Chicago Public Schools

Adriana Gonzalez Delgado is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow and a middle school special education teacher at Perkins Bass Elementary School in Chicago. Adriana previously taught middle school math and science LLD special education in New Jersey before transitioning to Illinois. While in New Jersey, Adriana served on her School Leadership Team as part of the DEI branch to develop a vision statement to promote equity and as a member of her union’s DEI committee where she co-led the activism committee and was a member of the resource committee. She earned her BS in Sociology and her MA in Special Education at The College of New Jersey.

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Angela Sangha-Gadsden
Teaching Policy Fellow
Evanston Township High School

Angela Sangha-Gadsden is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow who teaches 10th Grade Writing Workshop and 11th Grade AP Language and Composition at Evanston Township High School. Angela serves as one of two English Department’s Writing Ambassadors and a co-sponsor of the South Asian Middle Eastern Student Alliance. She has also organized school-wide student summits, participated in the District’s anti-racist workshop series, and has served on the Student Performance Working Group and the Sophomore curriculum development team. She previously taught 9th and 12th grade English and served on various leadership teams at the Greater Lawndale Little Village School of Social Justice in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BA in Secondary Teaching of English and her MEd in Instructional Leadership - Educational Policy Studies.

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Stephanie Cordero Gonzalez
Teaching Policy Fellow
Horizon Science Academy Southwest

Stephanie Cordero Gonzalez is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow who teaches 2nd grade at Horizon Science Academy Southwest. She is a Teach for America alumna who taught first grade at Gary Lighthouse Primary Academy. Stephanie was awarded 2021 Teacher of the Year of the Concept Schools charter network. As an intern with the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, she published a policy brief about Educational Success and Community Partnership Schools. Stephanie graduated from Knox College with a BA in Psychology and Interpersonal Communication, from American University with an MEd in Education Policy and Leadership and an MAT from Calumet College of St. Joseph.

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Megan Hillegass
Senior Fellow
Dr. James Mitchem Early Childhood Center

Megan Hillegass is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow who teaches in a Bilingual Blended PreK classroom in Valley View School District 365U in Romeoville. Megan serves as a member of her school’s Building Improvement Team. She was recently featured in a teacher training video on the role of play in literacy instruction and served as a Critical Friend for the Teach to Lead Summit. A 17-year teacher, Megan also spent 10 years as an adjunct faculty member in the Bilingual/ESL and Teacher Ed programs at the Erikson Institute. Megan has a BS in Early Childhood Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MS in Child Development from the Erikson Institute, endorsements in Bilingual/ESL and Early Childhood Special Education, and is working on a Teacher Leader endorsement program.

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Terry Jay
Senior Fellow
Home child care provider/CCR&R

Terry Jay is a 2021-22 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Senior Policy Fellow and a part-time home child care provider. Terry teaches children ages one to twelve, providing after-school care in the evenings/weekends. She is currently a Gateways Registry member and earned ECE Credential Level 1 and an active member in the Service Employees Illinois. Terry graduated from Lewis University with a BA in Radio & Television and received an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management with a concentration in Network Communications. She also earned a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management.

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