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.
Sabrina Alexander is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow. Sabrina is a diverse learner teacher at Hoyne Fine Arts Academy. At Hoyne, she has served as the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) lead. She is a second-time National Board Certified educator and has participated as a Rochelle Lee Study Group leader, a Chicago Area Writing Project consultant, a Chicago Public Schools framework partner, a REACH performance task writer, a Chicago Public Education Fund Summer Design program leader, and a Chicago Foundation For Education Action Research Leadership Institute Fellow. She was a 2018-19 Teach Plus Illinois Change Agent Teacher Leader. Sabrina holds an MA in Reading and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Chicago State University, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University, a Masters in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management, and a Bachelors in Film Production from Columbia College and is ABD in Trauma-Informed and Social-Emotional Pedagogy studies.
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.
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.
Emily Bermes is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow. Emily teaches 1st grade at Catalyst Maria Charter School, where she also serves as the primary team leader and a teacher mentor. In these roles, Emily advocates for developmentally-appropriate instructional practices and supports with training and mentoring new teachers. Additionally, Emily coordinates and coaches for her school’s Girls on the Run program. Emily graduated with a BA in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Wittenberg University and earned an MA in Curriculum and Instruction and an ESL Endorsement from National Louis University.
Phyllis Bliven is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow. Phyllis teaches early childhood special education at the Illini Central Pre-K. She previously worked for the Early Childhood Division of the Illinois State Board of Education, where she was in charge of the community collaboration grant and the KIDS coaches project. Before that, she was the coordinator for the Pre-K program at Illini Central. Phyllis graduated from Illinois State University with a BA in education and received an MA in Educational Leadership from Western Illinois University.
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.
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.
Rachel Brick is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow. Rachel is a 9th grade English and ESL teacher at Pritzker College Prep, where she serves as the English department chair and the English learners coordinator. Before teaching in Chicago, Rachel taught 1st grade in New York City at P.S. 46 and 180. In New York, she was a founding Common Core Fellow and worked with teachers to develop and implement CCSS curriculum. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in English and received her MS in Dual Language/Bilingual Childhood Education from the Bank Street College of Education.
Jeannine Butler is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Illinois Rural Teacher Leader. Jeannie works with middle school students who have been identified for Response to Intervention support. She has been an instructional coach for Triad since the 2017-2018 school year and has worked with incoming teachers to hone instructional and curriculum approaches. Jeannine is an active adjunct instructor for McKendree University, where she has taught classes, supervised student practicums, and written coursework for the university. She is a union representative for the IEA. Jeannine holds a BS in speech and language pathology from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, an MA in special education from Fontbonne University, and an EdD in instructional and teacher leadership from Missouri Baptist University.