Samantha Agoos
Teaching Policy Fellow
Honors Biology & Genetics teacher
East High School
Denver Public Schools

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.

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Karen Amidon headshot
Senior Fellow
High School English Teacher
Peak to Peak K-12 Charter School
Boulder Valley Public Schools

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.

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Jaclyn Ballesteros
Teaching Policy Fellow
ECE-4 Lead Teacher, Grade Level Chair
KIPP Northeast Elementary
Denver Public Schools

Jaclyn Ballesteros is a 2020-2021 Colorado Policy Fellow and an ECE-4 teacher and grade level chair at KIPP Northeast Elementary in Denver, Colorado, and has been in the KIPP NE community for three years. She is also a coach for the Girls on the Run program which empowers third and fourth grade girls through fitness, fun and teamwork. Before moving to Denver, Jaclyn was a first grade and preschool teacher at KIPP ZENITH Academy in Southwest Houston, Texas, and served as a regional math curriculum planner. She graduated from Texas State University with a BS in Elementary Education.

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Sara Jean Banks
Senior Fellow
Dean of Instruction
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College
Denver Public Schools

Sara Jean Banks is a 2020-2021 Colorado Senior Policy Fellow and works as a Dean of Instruction at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College (DMLK) in Denver. She previously served as a high school science teacher at both DMLK and AUL Denver, where she served as a Senior Team Lead coaching, collaborating, and evaluating her team of teachers and sat on her school's instructional leadership team. Sara Jean has been awarded Teacher of the Year in her district and has been nominated for Teacher Leader of the Year. She serves as a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado, teaching an environmental science course and also serves on the AUL Denver’s Board of Directors. 

She earned her MA in Curriculum & Instruction through the Denver Teacher Residency after earning a BA in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado.

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Juan Diaz
Teaching Policy Fellow
2nd Grade Exceptional Transitional Native Language Instructor
College View Elementary
Denver Public Schools

Juan Diaz is a 2020-2021 Colorado Policy Fellow and is a second-grade Exceptional Transitional Native Language Instructor serving at College View Elementary School in the Southwest region of Denver. He currently serves as a grade-level team specialist and is a Denver Aspiring Leader of Color alumni. Juan has served as a mentor teacher for C.U. Denver teacher program and is also a proud Denver Teacher Resident. Juan received a BA in Spanish and Black Studies with a Minor in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MA in Education with an emphasis in Bilingual and Urban Education from the University of Denver.

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Gene Fashaw
Teaching Policy Fellow
6th Grade Math Teacher and Grade Level Lead
Strive Prep - Montbello
Denver Public Schools

Gene Fashaw is a 2020-2021 Colorado Policy Fellow. He is the 6th grade math teacher and grade level lead at Strive Prep - Montbello. He began his teaching career three years ago as part of the Teach for America Colorado Launch Fellowship program. Gene completed the Strive Prep Leadership Academy in the 18-19 school year. He coaches both the co-ed flag football and boys’ basketball teams. He works in his community as treasurer of ShopTalk Live and director of the newly founded Honorable Protector Initiative. He earned his BA in Business Administration from Morehouse College. He earned his MA in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education in 2019 and is currently working toward his MS in Biotechnology and Bioentrepreneurship from the Morehouse School of Medicine.

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Alexandra Medrano
Teaching Policy Fellow
English Language Development Teacher
DSST: Conservatory Green High School
Denver Public Schools

Alexandra Medrano is a 2020-2021 Colorado Policy Fellow. She was on the team that founded DSST: Conservatory Green High School. In that time, her role has changed from founding Spanish teacher to English language development teacher for emerging bilinguals. She also co-teaches English language development integrated history courses, with explicit language instruction. Alexandra serves as the Multilingual Learning coordinator. She sponsors La Raza Unida, a club which celebrates Latinx culture and history, and co-sponsors the Student Council. Alexandra is a 2013 Colorado Springs Teach for America alumni. This will be her eighth year in the classroom. Alexandra graduated with a BA in Political Science and Spanish from the University of San Diego and an MA in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity from CU Boulder.

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Suzannah Mikol
Teaching Policy Fellow
4th Grade Dual Language Teacher
Riverview School
Roaring Fork School District

Suzannah Mikol is a 2020-2021 Colorado Policy Fellow. She teaches 4th grade dual language at Riverview School in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where she is also a member of her school’s Building Leadership Team. Previously, she taught bilingual 3rd grade at Cole Arts and Science Academy in Denver. Suzannah participated in the Colorado Association of Bilingual Educators 2020 conference and subsequently led her school’s staff in professional development and advocacy around bilingualism and biliteracy. She is also the Association Representative to her school for the Roaring Fork’s chapter of the Colorado Education Association. She holds a BA in Hispanic Studies from Colorado College and an MA from Adams State University in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education.

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Kathryn Quinn
Teaching Policy Fellow
ECE-4 ELA-E Teacher
Denver Center for International Studies at Fairmont
Denver Public Schools

Kathryn Quinn is a 2020-2021 Colorado Policy Fellow who teaches Early Childhood Education- 4-year-olds at DCIS at Fairmont. She is the Student Culture and Joy Leader and a Site Assessment Leader for her campus. Kathryn is originally from Texas where she taught in Arlington’s Independent School District for seven years. This is Kathryn’s second year of working with Denver Public Schools. She graduated Cum Laude from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, with a BS in Interdisciplinary Child Development and Learning. 

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Catie Santos de la Rosa
Teaching Policy Fellow
1st Grade Teacher
Montview Elementary
Aurora Public Schools

Catie Santos de la Rosa is a 2020-2021 Colorado Policy Fellow. She teaches 1st grade at Montview Elementary. She has been an Instructional leader who has led professional development in early literacy, assessment, and addressing issues of equity in the classroom. She was also a Multi-tiered Systems of Support Coordinator. Catie became a teacher with aspirations of being an agent of change for equity in education. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Finance and Spanish, with a minor in Education, Schooling, & Society and received her MEd in Elementary Education.

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