Dawn Bates is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow who teaches 2nd grade at Woodland Elementary School in Joliet, Illinois. Dawn is a member of the district's Science and Social Science Curriculum Writing Team and has served as a member of Woodland’s Data Team. Dawn was recognized as a Joliet Area Great Teacher and has presented at the National Science Teacher Association Conference. She is a National Board Certified Teacher. Dawn graduated from Illinois State University with a BS in Housing and Environmental Design and received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Olivet Nazarene University.
Erica Abangan is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow. Erica currently teaches 8th grade math and social studies at Goethe School in Chicago, where she serves as the athletic liaison, basketball and volleyball coach, and yearbook advisor. Previously, Erica taught middle school math and science, served as an Assistant Principal, and was a member of school improvement teams. Erica has been recognized for her work as an educator through student-nominated recognitions such as the ChiGivesBack #Teach2Give Class of 2019 Honors, the Proviso Township High Schools’ Recognition Award, and the St. Ignatius College Prep Outstanding Teacher Award. Erica graduated from Illinois State University with a BA in Middle Level Education and from Dominican University with an MA in Educational Leadership.
Melanie Abney is a 2020-21 Pennsylvania Policy Advisory Board Member who advocates for her students as the School Counselor at James Hamilton Elementary. Melanie has supported her students and school community for 12 years so far. She is trained in Restorative Practices and is committed to helping her teachers build positive relationships with students. She serves on her district’s Equity Design Team where she is currently working on developing a district-wide Equity Policy. Melanie is a member of Lancaster County School Counselor Association where she strives to stay abreast with the new research in the field of school counseling. Melanie graduated from West Chester University with BA in Psychology and MEd with a School Counseling Certification (K-6).
Samantha Agoos is a 2020-2021 Colorado Policy Fellow and teaches Honors Biology and Honors Genetics at East High School in Denver, Colorado, where she is also the Science Department Chair and Link Crew Chair. Previously, she taught General Physics at Denver East and Honors and General Chemistry at Bloomington High School North in Bloomington, Indiana. Samantha earned her MEd in Instructional Leadership in Science Education from the University of Illinois Chicago. Before that, she graduated with Honors from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a BS in Zoology. Samantha is currently pursuing National Board Certification. Additionally, she has published curricular materials through TedEd and Inquiry Hub -University of Colorado Boulder.
Jeremy Akiyama is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow. Jeremy is a 5th grade teacher at Aspire East Palo Alto Charter School. He previously taught general education and special education inclusion in Prince George, Maryland’s County Public Schools and served as a professional development lead teacher before moving back to his home state of California. Jeremy has served as a mentor teacher for Stanford’s Teacher Education Program and Aspire’s Teacher Residency Program and worked as a graduate research assistant at the DC Office of the State Superintendent and Education Counsel in Washington, D.C. He received his BA from the University of California, San Diego and an MEd in Education Policy and Leadership from American University.
Bethany Alberts is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Change Agent Teacher Leader. Bethany teaches middle school math at the Herzl School of Excellence. She is a member of the school’s instructional leadership team and the 3rd-8th grade math lead. She formerly taught at Amandla Charter School where she was the science department head and a member of the Foundations team. She is a Teach For America alum and worked as an instructional coach for corps members at Teach for America. She previously taught at Zavala Elementary School in Harlingen, Texas. She has been awarded four Chicago Fund for Education study group grants in her pursuit for professional growth. Bethany earned a BA in Criminal Justice and International Affairs from The George Washington University and an MEd in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois Chicago.
Chantei Alves is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus Commonwealth Senior Policy Fellow. Chantei is in her 7th year as a Boston Public Schools Pre-K Inclusion Teacher at the Young Achievers K-8 School in Mattapan. Chantei is a teacher leader and a Boston Teachers Union building representative. She is passionate about equitable and engaging education, authentic family engagement, and supporting other educators to reach all students academically, socially and emotionally. She is a member of several school district and state committees, including the NAACP Boston chapter, Boston Network for Black Student Achievement (BNBSA) and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee of the Massachusetts Reading Association (MRA). Chantei was awarded the 2020 AFT Massachusetts Distinguished Service Award. She holds a master’s in Education from Northeastern University and will be attending Lesley University’s Moderate Disabilities master’s program in Fall 2021.
Karen Amidon is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus Colorado Senior Policy Fellow. She teaches high school English at Peak to Peak K-12 Charter School and advises the Student Council and coaches the Ethics Bowl team. Karen has served as English department chair and grade level leader, and she is a certified educational leadership coach who regularly mentors preservice teachers. She has been awarded several classroom innovation grants and received teaching fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Hemera Foundation. Prior to 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.
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.
Tiffany Bailey is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow. She teaches kindergarten at Park Manor Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois She has 20 years of experience teaching in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade. She serves as the primary grade level team lead and an active member of the school's instructional leadership team. Tiffany has held various other leadership roles such as Instructional Coach, ASPEN Change Champion, and CPS Network Teacher Facilitator. She has won numerous awards for exceeding student proficiency and attainment targets on mClass and NWEA assessments and most recently for her instructional practice during remote learning. She earned her BS in Elementary Education from Florida A&M University, and holds an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from American College of Education, and an MA in Educational Leadership from Concordia University.