Eddie Garcia is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow. Eddie is a 4th grade teacher leader, GATE Coordinator, and technology mentor at Bella Vista Elementary in Monterey Park, California. He focuses on teaching children in the areas of giftedness, bilingual/bicultural development, and digital literacy to foster in them self-efficacy and finding their voice. He was honored as Montebello Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year, 2017-18; City of Montebello Rotary Club’s Teacher of the Year, 2018, and awarded Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year, 2018-19. Eddie earned his BA in Child Development, alongside a bilingual teaching credential, from California State University, Los Angeles. He is pursuing an MEd in Educational Leadership and administrative credential at California Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Aileen Gendrano Adao is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Change Agent Teacher Leader. Aileen teaches 12th grade English and AP Literature at Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School, where she serves as the restorative justice lead teacher. She received National Board Certification in English Language Arts and completed Breathe for Change’s Yoga and Socio-Emotional Wellness Program for educators. She was recognized as one of LAUSD’s 2018 Teachers of the Year. She received her BA in English Education from California State Long Beach and her MEd from UCLA.
Amy Haddad is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Change Agent Teacher Leader. Amy is a kindergarten teacher at Endeavor College Preparatory Charter School in Boyle Heights. She previously taught in Maryland and has worked in Title I schools for over ten years. Amy is a PUC Mentor (Partnerships Uplifting Communities) for new teachers in the charter school network and volunteers at Endeavor to coach volleyball for middle school students. Amy earned her BS from Salisbury University and her MA from The George Washington University.
Margaret Hicks is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow. Margaret is a 5th and 6th combo teacher at Oak Tree Community Day School in Palmdale, California, where she teaches students who have had excessive behavioral referrals or been expelled. Margaret serves on the leadership team, continuously engaging in a cycle of inquiry that addresses the specific needs of her school site. She serves on the California MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) State Pilot Advisory Committee to reduce suspensions for students of color and improve school climate and was the 2018-2019 site teacher of the year. Margaret holds a Multiple Subject and Mild/Moderate Education Specialist credential. She holds a BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Pan-African Studies from California State University, Northridge, and is pursuing an MA in Educational Leadership from California State University, East Bay.
Misti Kemmer is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Senior Policy Fellow. Misti teaches 4th grade at Russell Gifted Magnet School in South Los Angeles, where she also serves as the school’s Gifted and Talented (GATE) Coordinator. Misti is a mentor teacher for new teacher candidates from California State University, Dominguez Hills and has also mentored teachers from USC and UCLA. She is an alumna of the Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellowship and Teacher-Led Professional Learning, has won the 2017 Los Angeles Rebel Award, and was named the 2017 Los Angeles Unified School District Teacher of the Year. Misti earned her BA in American Literature and Culture and her MA in Education from UCLA.
Michael Kurdyla is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Change Agent Teacher Leader. Michael is a 9th and 11th grade English arts teacher at San Pedro High School in San Pedro, California. Born into a family of educators, he returned to teach at his alma mater in 2006. Michael has served as a lead facilitator as well as GATE coordinator for his school. In 2016, he became the first teacher at his school to become National Board Certified (Adolescence and Young Adulthood English Language Arts). Michael works with new teachers as a mentor to support teacher retention under the Reed Investment Schools Partnership and with the Beginning Teacher Growth & Development Induction (BTGDI) program for Los Angeles Unified School District. Michael earned his BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Loed Lacayo is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow. Loed is an intervention coordinator and peer coach at 99th St. Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles, California. She is a former classroom teacher and literacy coach. Loed earned her BA in Child Development, Multi-Subject Credential and her MA in Education Administration, and a TIER1 Administrative Credential from California State University, Los Angeles.
Alex Madueña is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow. Alex is a 10th grade teacher at Susan and Eric Smidt Tech High School in the Lincoln Heights community of Los Angeles. Inspired by the dreams of the migrant students he mentored during his summers in college, Alex joined Teach for America to ensure that all students have the opportunities to succeed. He is a founding teacher of Smidt Tech High School, where he is a world history teacher and staff advisor to their Junior State of America chapter. Alex is on the instructional leadership team and serves as the department head for the social studies department. Alex has been recognized as TFA’s Regional Classroom Changemaker of the Year (2018) and as Alliance-College Ready Schools’ Teacher of the Year (2017). He earned his BA from the University of California, Riverside, and his MA in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University.
Grace Martinez is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Change Agent Teacher Leader. Grace is a 9th grade English language arts and English language development teacher at Alliance Tennenbaum Family Technology High School in Los Angeles, California. She serves as chair of the Best Place to Work committee, where she strives to make her school the most desirable place for teachers and staff to work. Grace earned her BA in English, Single-Subject Teaching Credential, and her MA in Digital Teaching & Learning from Azusa Pacific University.
Mariana Morales is a 2019-20 Teach Plus California Policy Fellow. Mariana is a K-1st grade teacher at Para Los Niños Charter Elementary School. She is a Maryland native who has taught in San Antonio, Texas and Los Angeles, California. As an undergrad, she received the Maryland Teacher of Promise Award. Mariana graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with her BA in Psychology, minor in Music and an Elementary Education certificate.