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Meet Our Teacher Leaders

Dawn Bates
Teaching Policy Fellow
2nd Grade Teacher
Woodland Elementary School
Joliet District 86

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.

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Erica Abangan
Teaching Policy Fellow
Eight Grade Math and Social Studies Teacher
Goethe School
Chicago Public Schools

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.

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Bethany Alberts
TLPL Teacher Leader
Middle school math teacher
Herzl School of Excellence
Chicago Public Schools

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.

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Tiffany Bailey
Teaching Policy Fellow
Kindergarten teacher
Park Manor Elementary
Chicago Public Schools

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.

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Margi Bhansali
Teaching Policy Fellow
PreKindergarten Teacher
Brunson Math & Science Specialty Elementary School
Chicago Public Schools

Margi Bhansali is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow who teaches prekindergarten at Brunson Math & Science Specialty Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois, where she serves on the school’s instructional leadership team. 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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Emily Biegel
Teaching Policy Fellow
High School Technology Teacher
Thornton Fractional North High School
District 215

Emily Biegel is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow. Emily teaches business and computer classes in the CTE department at Thornton Fractional North High School in Calumet City. Emily has extensive experience coordinating volunteer activities for campaigns and grassroots organizations and is passionate about getting young people to vote. Emily earned her BS in Special Education from the University of Illinois, her MBA from Northern Illinois University, and her Secondary Education certification from Roosevelt University.

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Jennine Blocker-Lamb
Teaching Policy Fellow
Infant Toddler Specialist
Eyes on the Future

Jennine Blocker-Lamb is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow and is the Assistant Director for the infant and toddler program at the Eyes on the Future, Inc. program in Chicago, Illinois. She holds an Infant Toddler Certificate from the Erikson Institute. She graduated from Kendall College with a BA in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Infant Toddler studies.

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Jody Bosomworth headshot
TLPL Teacher Leader
Kindergarten teacher
Lovejoy Elementary School
Alton Community Unit School District #8

Jody Bosomworth is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Illinois Rural Teacher Leader. Jody is a two-time National Board Certified Early Childhood kindergarten teacher at Lovejoy Elementary. She serves on the school’s leadership team and is a National Board Facilitator for the Triad district. She is active in the Illinois Education Association and serves as the region vice-chair. Jody holds an EdS in Curriculum Design for Minority Populations and is pursuing her doctorate at McKendree University.

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Helen Brandon headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
6th grade math and science teacher
Bloomington School District 87 Schools

Helen Brandon is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Illinois ILSTOY Policy Fellow and a 2020 Illinois Teacher of the Year Finalist. Helen teaches 6th grade math and science, and provides ESL services at Bloomington Junior High School, where she is also a team leader and science department chair.  She has been involved in multiple grants focusing on writing NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards)-aligned units for the region and state, leads professional development experiences with STEM and NGSS, and she has been a curriculum writer and director for STEM camps and other STEM experiences. She nominated for the “Women Who Excel in STEM Teaching” award and studied education in Mexico as part of a Fulbright scholarship. She has worked to create equitable experiences for all students by writing curriculum for bilingual learners, working to pass a welcoming school resolution in her district, and establishing a welcome closet to provide supplies for recent immigrants. She graduated from Bethel College (Kansas) with a BA in education and received her MS in Teaching and Learning from Illinois State University.  She is currently working toward her EdD in Teaching and Learning from Illinois State University with a focus on STEM education and culturally and linguistically diverse students.

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TLPL Teacher Leader
Kindergarten Teacher/Multi-Classroom Leader
Chicago Public Schools

Sharonne Brown is a 2020-21 Kindergarten Readiness Innovator Teacher Leader who teaches kindergarten at Anna R. Langford Academy, where she is also the Multi-Classroom Leader. Sharonne has been teaching for 15 years. Sharonne graduated from DePaul University with a BA in Early Childhood Education and will soon
receive her MEd in Elementary Education and Special Education from DePaul University.

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