Ivy Higgins is a 2019-2020 Teach Plus Nevada Policy Fellow. Ivy teaches 4th grade at Myrtle Tate Elementary School. She is a graduate of the first cohort of the Public Education Fund’s Teacher Leadership Academy, has sat on advisory councils for the superintendent’s budget committee, and has served as a mentor for new and student teachers. She has been nominated for the Heart of Education awards and was a recipient of the REACH grant for highly effective teachers. Ivy has previously worked as a 3rd grade teacher, instructional lead, robotics coach, and ELL tutor. Ivy received her BS in International Public Health from Georgetown University and her MA in Education from Pepperdine University.
Jeff Hinton is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Nevada Teaching Policy Fellow. Jeff teaches 11th grade US History at the Advanced Technologies Academy in Las Vegas, where he is the social studies department’s professional learning community leader, National Boards of Professional Teaching Standards facilitator, and founder of the Rock 4 Change, an after-school music enrichment program. Jeff was an inaugural member of the Public Education Foundation’s Teacher Leadership Academy, the 2014 Nevada Teacher of the Year, Smith Center’s Heart of Education winner, and the Nevada Public Education Foundation Teacher of Excellence. Jeff graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a BA and MA in US history and an MEd in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Laura Jeanne Penrod is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Nevada Policy Fellow. Laura teaches 11th grade English at Southwest Career and Technical Academy (SWCTA). She is an adviser for the Class of 2020, the National Honor Society adviser, and has served as a department chair, new teacher mentor, and academy leader at SWCTA. Laura works as a new teacher mentor and has taught Read 180, Resource English, Freshman Studies, and has run the special education program for two years on SWCTA’s campus. She was selected as a finalist for the Heart of Education award. She is certified in TESL, English, Journalism and Communications, and Special Ed. Lauran earned a BA in journalism and communications from California State University Bakersfield and went through the Alternate Route to Licensure (ARL 13) to obtain an MEd in special education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
L. Juliana Urtubey, NBCT, is a 2019-2020 Teach Plus Nevada Policy Fellow. Juliana teaches resource at Crestwood Elementary in downtown Las Vegas. She leads the development of the outdoor garden classroom, runs a weekly garden club, and leverages the garden as a welcoming space for families. Juliana is a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Teacher Fellow, a member of the NVDE Superintendent Teacher Advisory Committee, and a professional learning facilitator with the Nevada National Board Professional Learning Institute. She is a National Board Certified Teacher (ECYA Exceptional Needs Specialist, 2018), a 2018 Roger’s Foundation Heart of Education Winner, a recipient of the 2019 CPLC Esperanza Latina Teaching Award, and a recipient of the HEAN Teacher of the Year (NV). She holds a BA and an MA in Bilingual General and Special Elementary Education from the University of Arizona.
Nathaniel Kaplan is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Nevada Policy Fellow. Nathaniel teaches 9th grade careers education and 11th grade U.S. history at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. He leads the discipline committee and is the coach of the varsity quiz team. Nathaniel serves as an Education Advisory Group Fellow for the San Francisco Federal Reserve and as a board member for the Southern Nevada Council for the Social Studies. He has previously taught AP government, AP world history, economics, and genocide studies at Laconia High School in Laconia, New Hampshire. Nathaniel earned a BA in political science and an MA in secondary teaching from the University of New Hampshire.
Kate Kaufman is a 2019-2020 Teach Plus Nevada Policy Fellow. Kate teaches 6th-8th grade special education in the Specialized Learning Disabled program at KO Knudson Academy of Creative Arts and Technology. She serves on the Positive Behavior and Supports (PBIS) committee, diverse learners committee, finance committee, and coaches the Heart & Soul running program. Kate is a teacher leader through the district’s onboarding department. She is a prior fellow in Teach for America’s Aspiring School Leaders Fellowship and started teaching as part of the Teach for America program. Kate obtained her BS in Organizational Communications and Spanish from the University of Portland and her MA in Special Education from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada. She holds TESOL and Adaptive Physical Education certifications.
Richard Knoeppel is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Nevada Teaching Policy Fellow. Richard teaches 11th and 12th grade architectural design at Advanced Technologies Academy in Las Vegas, where he serves as the Career and Technical Education (CTE) department chair, the school organizational team chair, and is member of the school performance plan ream. Richard has been a member of the Nevada STEM Advisory Council since 2013 and has served on standards and assessment writing teams for the Nevada Department of Education Office of Career and Technical Education. Richard is a 2017 Nevada Teacher of the Year Finalist, 2014 Magnet Schools of America Region VIII Teacher of the Year, and was inducted into the Clark County School District Excellence in Education Hall of Fame in 2007. Richard is a graduate of the Teacher Leadership Academy through the Public Education Foundation Leadership Institute of Nevada. He graduated from SUNY Oswego with a BS in Industrial Arts Education and an MS in Technology Education.
Mike Lang is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Nevada Teaching Policy Fellow. Mike teaches technology at Laura Dearing Elementary in Las Vegas. He is a teacher leader for Employee Onboarding, an Apple Distinguished Educator, and a PBS Digital Innovator. He began his teaching career as a 4th grade teacher in Pascagoula, MS, taught English in Taiwan, and has been teaching in Las Vegas since 2007. He graduated with a BA in Sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MEd in Elementary Education from the University of Notre Dame-du lac.
Christina Levrant is a 2019-2020 Teach Plus Nevada Teaching Policy Fellow. Christina teachers 3rd grade at Nate Mack Elementary School in Henderson, where she serves on the governance team and equity diversity team. Christina is an alumna of the Public Education Foundation’s Teacher Leadership Academy. Christina has taught all ages, birth through 21, in Nevada, Montana, and Pennsylvania. She earned a BS in Elementary Education, an MS in Special Education from Montana State University- Billings, and an MA in Early Childhood Education from the University of Phoenix.
Daniel Liles is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Nevada Teaching Policy Fellow. Daniel teaches 6th-8th grade general education and special education math in Dell H. Robison Middle School in Las Vegas. Daniel spent a year in India as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and began his teaching career in the U.S. through Teach For America. He received The Heart of Education award and the Teacher Leader Academy fellowship through Nevada’s Public Education Foundation. Daniel graduated from California Lutheran University with dual BA in Music and International studies and received a MEd in Special Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.