Karen Amidon headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
High school English and social studies teacher
Peak to Peak K-12 Charter School
Boulder Valley Public Schools

Karen Amidon is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Colorado Policy Fellow. Karen teaches high school English, global issues, and philosophy at Peak to Peak K-12 Charter School, where she also coaches the ethics bowl team. Karen has served as English department chair and grade level leader and is a certified educational leadership coach who regularly mentors pre-service teachers. She has been awarded several classroom innovation grants and received teaching fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Hemera Foundation. Before teaching, she led a nonprofit advocacy organization championing girls’ and women’s education, economic security, and civil rights. Karen graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in English and received her MA in English and secondary education licensure from the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Victoria Apodaca-Fisk headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
Social studies teacher
New America School
Las Cruces, New Mexico

Victoria Fisk is a 2019 Teach Plus New Mexico Teaching Policy Fellow. Victoria is a social studies teacher at the New America School in Las Cruces, where she is the faculty advisor to student council and founder of the group’s hygiene drive benefiting Camp Hope residents.  Victoria is active in the Military Spouse Caregiver Support Program, has participated in the 2016 Las Cruces Downtown Plaza Opening, and is a member of the anti-bullying coalition. She has been recognized as a Life Changer of the Year Finalist (2017), Charter School Teacher of the Year (2015), Engage New Mexico Educational Champion Award (2015), and Golden Apple Finalist (2014). Victoria holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies with an emphasis on Latin American Studies and received her Masters in Curriculum and Education from New Mexico State University.

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Elysa Arroyo
Teaching Policy Fellow
2nd grade teacher
Red Rock Elementary
Clark County School District

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.

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Qiddist Ashé
Teaching Policy Fellow
1st grade teacher
Washington Elementary
Evanston/Skokie School District 65

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.

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Chanel Ashley
Teaching Policy Fellow
8th grade English teacher
Harmony School of Innovation-San Antonio
Harmony Public Schools

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.

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Karyn Baldwin headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
1st grade dual language teacher
Huff Elementary
School District U-46

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.

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Gary Bass headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
1st-8th grade dual language digital literacy teacher
El Camino Real Academy
Santa Fe Public Schools

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.

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Emily Bassier headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
Earth science and algebra teacher
Equipo Academy
Nevada State Public Charter School Authority

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.

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Heidi Batchelder headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
1st grade teacher
Odyssey School of Denver

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.

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Ben Beckam headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
K-8th grade mathematics Instructional coach
Washoe County School District

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.

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