Brianna Balke headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
Physics and environmental science teacher
Blackstone Academy
Charter School

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.

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Danielle Bercovicz headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
11th and 12th grade special education teacher
Mount Pleasant High School
Providence Public School District

Danielle Bercovicz is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Rhode Island Teaching Policy Fellow.  Danielle teaches 11th and 12th grade special education transition courses at Mount Pleasant High School in Providence, RI. She is the special education teacher leader and a member of the Empowerment Leadership Team at Mount Pleasant. Danielle was formally an inclusion special education teacher and worked as the district grant writer. She came to Rhode Island and Mount Pleasant through Teach For America in 2012 and has been an active alumna since her time in the corps. Danielle earned a BA in Psychology and Communication with a minor in Education as a Social Science from Rutgers University and a MA in Urban Education Policy from Brown University.

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Ai-Ling Chang headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
11th and 12th grade Algebra II teacher
Hope High School
Providence Public School District

Ai-Ling Chang is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Rhode Island Teaching Policy Fellow. Ai-Ling teaches 11th and 12th grade Algebra II at Hope High School in Providence, RI. She is a member of the Blended Learning Cohort in partnership with Highlander Learning Institute, is a Google Certified Educator and Khan Academy Ambassador. Ai-Ling was the mentor of the Brown University Engineering After School Program for Alvarez and Hope High School and the science teacher leader at Wen-Shan Junior High School in Taiwan. She graduated from National Taiwan Normal University with a BS in Physics and an MS in Physics and received her MS in Electrical Engineering from Union College at Schenectady, NY.

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Leanne Dube headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
High school English teacher
Mount Pleasant High School
Providence Public School District

Leanne Dube is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Rhode Island Teaching Policy Fellow. Leanne is an English teacher at Mount Pleasant High School in Providence, RI where she teaches AP Language and Composition and British Literature. She is the secretary for the instructional leadership team, is on the empowerment leadership team, and works with the Nellie Mae Foundation on the Keys For Learning team. Leanne is a Hollyhock Fellow at Stanford University. She earned her BA in English from Rhode Island College, her BA in Education from Providence College, and her MA in Education with a concentration in Adolescent Literacy from Concordia University.

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Alysia D’Urso headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
9th grade English and AP Language and Composition teacher
Paul Cuffee Upper School
Charter School

Alysia D'Urso is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Rhode Island Teaching Policy Fellow. Alysia teaches 9th grade English and AP Language and Composition at Paul Cuffee Upper School in Providence, RI, where she also serves on the portfolio committee and is her school's human resources representative. Alysia is a five-year recipient of the Sontag Prize for Urban Education and was part of the first Teach for America RI cohort in 2010. She served as a teaching fellow in Rhode Island's sector of the Boston Urban Debate League's professional development group. She previously taught English at Central High School. She graduated from New York University with a BA in Art History and Italian and received her MEd in Urban Education from Providence College.

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Rodney Gamble headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
Advisor
Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center

Rodney Gamble is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Rhode Island Teaching Policy Fellow. Rodney is the core academic advisor/teacher for 15 9th grade students at the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center's (The MET) Peace Street Campus in Providence, RI.  Rodney co-facilitates professional learning communities for Advisors at the Peace Street Campus, and learning experiences on race identity and educational equity at the district level. Previously, Rodney taught business, accounting, and computer courses in several communities throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts at the secondary and collegiate level. Rodney graduated from Johnson and Wales University with an AS in Hotel/Restaurant Management and received a BS in Accounting from University of Rhode Island and an MBA from Framingham State University. He received his Principal licensure from the Accelerated School Administrator program at Bridgewater State University.

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 Jessica Gemma headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
6th and 8th grade English language arts teacher
Founders Academy
Charter School

Jessica Gemma is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Rhode Island Teaching Policy Fellow. Jessica teaches 6th and 8th grade English language arts at Founders Academy in Woonsocket, RI where she serves as a member of the building leadership team, a co-advisor of the National Junior Honor Society, and as the 6th grade team leader. Jessica graduated from Salve Regina University with a BA in Criminal Justice, received an MAT from Rhode Island College in Elementary/Middle Level Education with a concentration in English, and completed her MEd in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

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Samuel Jean-Baptiste headshot
Senior Fellow
11th grade advisor
Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center

Sam Jean-Baptiste is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Rhode Island Senior Fellow. Samuel is an 11th grade advisor at the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center (The Met) in Providence, RI. Samuel previously taught English abroad as a tutor and classroom language assistant in Spain. He is certified in Secondary Spanish for grades 7-12. Samuel earned his BA in Counseling from Bob Jones University and his MAT from the University of Rhode Island.

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Carrie Kelly headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
Technology integration specialist
Winman Middle School
Warwick School District

Carrie Kelly is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Rhode Island Teaching Policy Fellow. Carrie is the technology integration specialist at Winman Middle School in Warwick, RI, working with teachers to strengthen their instruction by implementing technology in the classroom. Carrie is a member of the district teaching and learning team, curriculum writing team, and serves as her school's state testing coordinator. Carrie teaches at the University of Rhode Island and was previously a school library media specialist in elementary, middle, and high school settings.  Carrie graduated from Rhode Island College with a BA in History, the University of Rhode Island with an MA in Library and Information Studies, and from Providence College with an MEd in Literacy.

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Derek LaBrie headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
High school math teacher
Hope High School
Providence Public School District

Derek LaBrie is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Rhode Island Teaching Policy Fellow. Derek teaches math at Hope High School in Providence, where he also supports incorporating technology and blended learning strategies into classrooms. Derek has received a one-year teaching fellowship at Central Falls High School and a one-year teaching fellowship at Rhode Island College. During his first year of teaching, he received a certificate of initial mastery in restorative practices through the Youth Restoration Project, and was awarded "Rookie of the Year" by the Rhode Island Mathematics Teaching Association for excellence in teaching mathematics for beginner teachers. Derek is a member of the Rhode Island Mathematics Teachers Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He received a BA in Music Composition from the University of Rhode Island and an MAT in Mathematics from Rhode Island College.

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