ContributorsHere's our awesome team of teachers, authors, and education enthusiasts!
Minnesota Teacher of the Year
Abdul Wright is an eighth-grade language arts teacher, instructional coach, and data team leader based in Minneapolis, MN. A graduate from Hamline University, Wright strives to make a positive difference in impoverished communities. He received the Minneapolis PeaceMaker award from the city of Minneapolis as well as the “You’ve Made a Difference” award from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. He is most recently the recipient of the 2017 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award; the first black male to receive the award, the youngest, and first from a charter school.
Former Curriculum Specialist & Current Pearson Campaign Marketing Manager
Amy has a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from Arizona State University, and is passionate about instructional design, training, and marketing. Before coming to Pearson as a Curriculum Specialist in 2014, she taught English for eight years in Scottsdale, Arizona. She also tutored K-12 students in all subjects during this time, which allowed her to understand how to close individual knowledge gaps and motivate all kinds of learners. In the last five years, Amy has used her instructional design skills to develop internal training for employees, while at the same time reaching a wide audience of administrators and teachers through quality sales presentations, videos, and marketing campaigns. Amy loves studying how and why people learn so that she can constantly improve her own methods of communication and positively impact those around her. She currently manages targeted marketing campaigns across the United States for Pearson K-12 Learning Services.
Teacher / Education Specialist
Annie Rients is the Professional Learning Coordinator for Shakopee Public Schools in Shakopee, MN. Annie has been a classroom teacher, instructional coach, district wide mentor coach, professional developer and a Pearson Educational Specialist in the SIOP Model for 15 years. She received a Master’s in Teaching and Learning from St. Mary’s University and has been a contributor in both the 99 More Ideas for Teaching English Learners in the SIOP Model and the SIOP Manual. She has provided professional development for teachers, coaches and administrators across the country and works directly with the SIOP authors to develop and facilitate high quality professional development around the SIOP Model.
English Learner Program Director
Angela Goetz, SIOP® Advisory Panel member, has been educating English Learners for over 10 years. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Multilingual / Multicultural Elementary Education and Aurora University with a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. In her current role as Director of English Learner programs for Oak Lawn-Hometown SD 123 in south suburban Chicago, she is leading a full-district training and implementation of the SIOP Model, and continuously advocating for effective education and high expectations for all English learners.
Ashley has a passion for education research. She’s been with Pearson for 7 years, focuses on outreach about education research, assessments, and great teaching. She holds a Masters in Journalism from the University of Iowa.
Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year 2016-2017
Becca Foxwell is an energetic first grade teacher whose heart comes alive in the classroom! She is a TPT Teacher-Author, speaker and presenter, and 2016 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Foxwell is passionate about instilling a love of learning within the hearts of her students and believes that learning should be fun and engaging as we prepare our students for 21st century success! You can learn more about Mrs. Foxwell at: http://www.foxwellforest.com/
Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year
Chris Gleason is an instrumental music educator at Patrick Marsh Middle School in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. He is the 2017 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year and the first Wisconsin teacher to be named a finalist for National Teacher of the Year in 50 years. Chris was also a semifinalist for the 2017 GRAMMY Music Educator Award and the recipient of the 2016 Michael G. George Distinguished Service Award. He is the past chair of the Wisconsin Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP) Committee and the Wisconsin State Middle Level Honors Project. He is active as a clinician and speaker in Wisconsin and across the Midwest.
Social Studies Teacher, Graduate Student
Carly is a graduate student at the University of Kentucky, working on her Ph.D. in Educational Sciences. Previously, she was a high school social studies teacher at Tates Creek High School in Lexington, Kentucky. Tates Creek is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program school. Recently, she was an instructor for Kentucky’s Governor’s Scholars Program. She earned her B.A. in Secondary Education in Social Studies, Masters in History, and Masters in German Studies at the University of Kentucky, and her Masters in Education at Georgetown College. She has taught across many ability levels on a broad range of topics including government, economics, anthropology, geography, US and world history. She is excited to be a part of the C3 teacher team and to apply the framework to her teaching and future studies.
Math Author, Professor of Mathematics at the Baylor School
Dan Kennedy, Ph.D., is a classroom teacher and the Lupton Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A frequent speaker at professional meetings on the subject of mathematics education reform, Dr. Kennedy has conducted more than 50 workshops and institutes for high school teachers. He is coauthor of textbooks in calculus and pre-calculus, and from 1990 to 1994 he chaired the College Board’s AP Calculus Development Committee. He is a 1992 Tandy Technology Scholar and a 1995 Presidential Award winner. He is part of the authorship team for Precalculus: Graphical, Numerical, Algebraic and Calculus: Graphical, Numerical, Algebraic, AP® Edition.
Daniel M. Shea is a Professor of Government at Colby College, where he directed the Goldfarb Center for
Public Affairs and Civic Engagement from 2012 to 2017. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of
Albany, State University of New York. An award-winning teacher, Shea has spearheaded numerous
initiatives at Colby and other institutions designed to help young Americans better appreciate their
potential to bring about democratic change. The author or editor of nearly twenty books and dozens of
articles and chapters on the American political process, Shea’s research focuses on campaigns and
elections, political parties, the politics of scandal, and grassroots activism. His coauthored volume The
Fountain of Youth (2007) garnered national attention for its findings on how local party organizations
often neglect young citizens. His work on civility and compromise led to the publication of a co-edited
volume, Can We Talk? The Rise of Rude, Nasty, Stubborn Politics (2012). Other works authored by Shea
include Let’s Vote: The Essentials of the American Electoral Process and the college text Living
National math specialist
Literacy Author, Professor at Iowa State University
Donald Bear is a professor in literacy education at Iowa State University where he teaches doctoral, master’s, and pre-service teachers, and directs the Duffelmeyer Reading Clinic. He is also professor emeritus from the University of Nevada, Reno. Donald is involved in studies that examine literacy learning, particularly studies of orthographic development in different and second languages. His research explores the specific sequence students follow across the synchrony of literacy learning from beginning concept of word in prekindergarten to how morphology underlies academic vocabulary learning. He is an author and co-author of numerous articles, book chapters, and 12 books, including Words Their Way, Words Their Way with English Learners, and Words Their Way with Struggling Readers, 4 – 12. He is an author on several instructional programs used throughout the United States. Donald is also involved in innovative professional development grants, and his work in assessment and word study is used widely. He has received several awards for teaching and service, and is currently a board member of the International Reading Association.
Math Author, Professor of Mathematics at Rowan University
Eric Milou is a Pearson math author and professor of mathematics at Rowan University. He is an expert on using technology to increase student engagement and mathematical understanding. As an enVisionmath2.0 Grades 6-8 author, Dr. Milou contributes to ensuring vertical alignment to the enVision A|G|A programfor Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2.
Math Author, Professor of Education and Graduate at McDaniel College
Dr. Francis (Skip) Fennell is a mathematics educator and has experience as a classroom teacher, a principal, and a supervisor of instruction. He is currently Professor of Education at McDaniel College and completed a 2-year term as President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Widely published in professional journals and textbooks related to elementary and middle-grade mathematics education, Dr. Fennell has also authored chapters in yearbooks and resource books published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In addition, he has played key leadership roles the Research Council for Mathematics Learning, the Mathematical Sciences Education Board, the National Science Foundation, the Maryland Mathematics Commission, theUnited States National Commission for Mathematics Instruction, and the Association for Mathematics Teacher Educators. Dr. Fennell recently served on the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, chairing the Conceptual Knowledge and Skills Task Group.
Dr. Fennell has received numerous honors and awards, including Maryland’s Outstanding Mathematics Educator (1990), McDaniel College’s Professor of the Year (1997), the Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award from the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, the CASE – Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year – Maryland (1997) and the AMTE Distinguished Outstanding Teacher Educator Award for Excellence in Service (2010).
Literacy Author, President & CEO, TextProject
Dr. Elfrieda Hiebert is President and CEO of TextProject, a nonprofit that provides open-access resources to support higher reading levels, and a research associate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Hiebert received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked in the field of early reading acquisition for 45 years, as a teacher’s aide and teacher in California and, as a teacher educator at universities across the nation. Hiebert’s research on fostering fluency, vocabulary, and knowledge through appropriate texts has been published in numerous scholarly journals and books. She has been the recipient of several awards for her work, including International Reading Association’s William S. Gray Citation of Merit and the American Educational Research Association’s Research to Practice award.
Grants & Funding Manager
I’ve worked on the Pearson Grants team for 14 years, prior to which I was a Title IV Safe-and-Drug-free Schools Coordinator for a school district. I am passionate about helping school districts navigate the turbulent waters of education funding. While I enjoy creative writing, the years of technical writing for grants makes me itch to write everything in bullet points with embedded headings. I am that annoying grammar friend who sees typos everywhere I look. I live in Colorado with my family.
Teacher and Reading Recovery Expert
Ms. Ivy Delaney is a veteran teacher having taught grades one to five, Reading Recovery, Special Education and English Language Learners. As a volunteer in Kiribati, South Pacific, Ivy worked with teachers to lift the quality and delivery of their English language instruction. Ivy then moved to Manchester, England where she taught English as a Second/Foreign Language to adult learners. Currently teaching in Brookline, MA. Ivy is a graduate of Bank Street College of Education. She received her Reading Recovery training at New York University.
Pearson Sr. Product Manager
Jarren Pester is a Senior Product Manager at Pearson who uses customer feedback and collaboration to influence digital strategy. Prior to that, Jarren practiced as a classroom teacher, curriculum analyst, district data coach, and led a national team dedicated to large, urban districts.
Jim is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Specialist. Prior to joining Pearson in September of 2016, Jim was a technology and labor market analyst working to identify changes in technology, jobs, and education. His past publications include technology forecasts with educational best practices related to robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and video games, among other topics.
Between 2003-2016, his speeches and workshops reached approximately 50,000 educators, students, parents, and policy makers. His essays on CTE and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) can be found at Edutopia, the American School Board Journal, MDR, and other online sites. In August 2008, The Bellwether Sounds, an essay for the National School Board Association Technology and Learning (NSBA T&L) would seed a public awakening about educational and societal changes motivated by the complex world of STEM.
Jim graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bradley University in 1995 with a degree in Sociology. He is a 1994 George Gilder Fellow in high technology and public policy. Jim and his wife Lisa and daughter Ava live in San Antonio, Texas.
Science Author, Miller and Levine Biology
Dr. Joseph Levine was born in Mount Vernon, New York, where he attended public schools. He earned a B.S. in Biology at Tufts University, a master’s degree from the Boston University Marine Program, and a Ph.D. at Harvard University. His research has been published in scientific journals ranging from Science to Scientific American, and in several academic books. He taught introductory biology, marine ecology, and neurobiology for six years at Boston College.
After receiving a Macy Fellowship in Science Broadcast Journalism at WGBH-TV, Levine dedicated himself to improving public understanding of science. His popular writing has appeared in five trade books and in magazines such as Smithsonian, GEO, and Natural History. He has produced science features for National Public Radio and has designed exhibit programs for state aquarium projects in Texas, New Jersey, and Florida.
Since 1987, Levine has served as scientific advisor at WGBH, where he worked on NOVA programs and on projects including the film Cocos: Island of Sharks and the series The Secret of Life. Most recently, he served as Science Editor for The Evolution Project.
Levine and his family live in Concord, Massachusetts, a short distance from Thoreau’s Walden Pond.
High School English Teacher
Jordan Catapano is a high school English teacher in a Chicago suburb. In addition to being National Board Certificated and head of his school’s Instructional Development Committee, he also has worked with the Illinois Association of Teachers of English and has experience as a school board member for a private school. You can follow him on Twitter at @BuffEnglish, or visit his website www.jordancatapano.us.
Social Studies Author
Kathy Swan, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Social Studies Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Swan also serves as the Project Director and Lead Writer of the C3 Framework Leadership Team and as an advisor for the Social Studies Assessment, Curriculum and Assessment Collaborative (SSACI) for the Chief Council of State School Officers (CCSSO). A former social studies teacher, Dr. Swan researches ways of effectively integrating technology into the K-12 social studies classroom. A recipient of the National Technology Leadership Award in Social Studies Education, co-sponsored by the College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA) and the Society of Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009, she was recognized as one of the University of Kentucky’s Teachers Who Have Made A Difference for three straight years. Her research has appeared in the International Journal of Social Education, Social Education and The Social Studies and Journal of Research on Technology in Education, and she is the co-creator of the Historical Scene Investigation Project, the Digital Directors Guild, Digital Docs in a Box and Econocast. Dr. Swan is also the co-editor of the Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education — Social Studies and has served as a consultant on several Teaching American History grants. Dr. Swan earned her Ph.D. in social studies education from the University of Virginia, her M.A. in teaching from Johns Hopkins University and her B.S. from Mount St. Maryâ€™s College, and she spent seven years as a social studies teacher in the U.S. and in South Korea.
Kelisa Wing is the Assistant Principal at West Point Elementary School in West Point, NY. She is a 2016 ASCD Emerging Leader and the 2017 Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year. She is an Army veteran and a proud graduate of the University of Maryland University College and the University of Phoenix where she earned her Educational Specialist degree.
Since 1985, Kelly Gallagher has devoted himself to the teaching of reading, writing, listening and speaking—first and foremost, as a high school ELA teacher in Anaheim, California, and also as a author/consultant who works with educators around the world. Today, he is considered one of the leading voices in literacy education. Inspired by his classroom, mentors and professional development experiences, Kelly has written six books for teachers, many of which have been used in education schools around the world. He is also a featured author for several ELA classroom textbooks and programs. In 2005, Kelly received the Award for Classroom Excellence from the California Association of Teachers of English, the state’s highest honor for English teachers.
Science Author, Miller and Levine Biology Author, Professor at Brown University
Dr. Kenneth Miller grew up in Rahway, New Jersey, attended the local public schools, and graduated from Rahway High School in 1966. Miller attended Brown University on a scholarship and graduated with honors. He was awarded a National Defense Education Act fellowship for graduate study, and earned his Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Colorado. Miller is Professor of Biology at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he teaches courses in general biology and cell biology.
Miller’s research specialty is the structure of biological membranes. He has published more than 70 research papers in journals such as CELL, Nature and Scientific American. In 1999, he wrote the popular trade book Finding Darwin’s God.
Miller lives with his wife, Jody, on a small farm in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. He is the father of two daughters, one of whom is a wildlife biologist. He swims competitively in the masters’ swimming program and umpires high school and collegiate softball.
Superintendent, Northville Central School District
Dr. Leslie Ford is Superintendent of Schools for the Northville Central School District, NY. She has over 40 years of experience in education, including long-range planning with attention to curriculum and assessment, connecting data to students and classrooms, and communication and action planning. She is an author on several papers for School Administrator and Leadership publications. Most recently she serves on the Fulton County board for economic development.
Senior Educational Research Scientist
Liane began her career as a Linguist earning her BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She taught ESL before entering The Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. There she earned an MS with an emphasis on language, literacy and learning. During this time she gained 3 years of teaching experience at the university level. After graduate school Liane worked for start-up educational toy company, Neurosmith, and educational game company, Knowledge Adventure, as well as textbook publisher, Houghton Mifflin. She returned to graduate school to earn a doctorate in Experimental Psychology, with an emphasis on cognitive psychology, from the University of California, San Diego. Since earning her doctorate she has worked for the U.S. Department of Education, UCSD and now she works at Pearson as a Senior Research Scientist with a focus on the learning sciences.
ELA Instructional Coach
Liz Janusz is an Instructional Coach with an emphasis in ELA. She currently is working at River Valley School in Lemont, IL with supporting 3rd-5th grade students and teachers. She has previously worked as a reading specialist and as a classroom teacher before transitioning into her coaching role. Liz has received her Master’s degree in Reading from Roosevelt University. She has a huge passion for ensuring that ALL students should have access to a diverse selection of books. You can follow Liz on Twitter at @mrs_janusz as she shares book reviews, and other tips and ideas, for all different ages of students.
VP of Platform Product Management
Marc Nelson is VP of Platform Product Management at Pearson K-12 Learning Services working on the design and development of award-winning LMS platforms (i.e. PearsonRealize.com ).
Teacher and Children's Book Aficionado
Meg is an elementary school teacher at a charter school in Boston, MA. She has been a teacher for 14 years spanning grades K – 5. Meg has spent time teaching in public, private, and charter schools in Bellingham, WA, Rome, Italy, Los Angeles, CA, Buffalo, NY, and Boston, MA. Meg also runs her own blog AliceEverAfter.com that features her thoughts on children’s literature. She has a passion for picture books and middle grade books and hopes one day Kate DiCamillo can be her new best friend.
Humanities Curriculum Specialist
Meg Honey is a Humanities Curriculum Specialist with Pearson. She taught middle school and high school social studies for sixteen years and currently serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary’s College of California. Meg is a regular moderator of the Newmakers Speaker Series and featured in conversation with David McCullough, Martin Luther King III, and Michael Beschloss. She has presented about the FAIR Education Act to groups across California and moderated a statewide Twitter chat about its implementation as part of the California Teachers Summit. Meg earned a Master’s Degree in United States history at San Jose State University, is a certified educational trainer with the Southern Poverty Law Center, and was Mount Diablo Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year in 2017.
Science Director and Author
After teaching middle school science in Dobbs Ferry, NY and Riverside RI, Michael joined publisher Silver Burdett and Ginn as a regional science/mathematics consultant, developing an expertise for providing rich and meaningful workshops that linked the facets of inquiry teaching with hands-on learning using manipulatives. He was an instructor for the Summer Science Seminar for over 10 years at Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, MA where he worked with teachers across K-8. In addition to his professional career, Michael has authored two books to support science teaching and learning. Developing Visual Literacy in Science K-8 was published by NSTA Press (2010) to highlight the importance of developing student’s strategies for interpreting graphical representations. The second book, STEM Lesson Essentials (2013) published by Heinemann Publications, focuses on different instructional approaches for implementing STEM lessons into the classroom experience. He is currently working on a follow-up book, STEM Lesson Guideposts designed to guide teachers in creating their own STEM lessons. Michael has presented internationally, including leading science professional development in Puerto Rico, St. Marteen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and his latest work leading a two-year Professional Development series for Master Science Teachers in Thailand for the Institute for the Promotion of Science and Technology.
Author & Professor of Science Education, University of Georgia, Athens
A former middle school teacher and a leader in middle school science education, Michael Padilla has served as president of the National Science Teachers Association and as a writer of the National Science Education Standards. Michael Padilla is professor of science education at the Clemson University. As lead author of the Science Explorer series, Mike has inspired the team in developing a program that promotes student inquiry and meets the needs of today’s student.
Science, Author, Earth Science, Professor Washington University
Dr. Michael Wysession is an Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and author of numerous science textbooks published by Pearson Education and Prentice Hall.
Molly Spalding is a former math teacher who now works on creating and marketing Pearson high school math programs. She is passionate about education and helping students see the beauty in mathematics. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a Masters of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education from Northwestern University.
Pearson PreK-12 Blog and Social Media Specialist
Nina is passionate about education and has been with Pearson for 5 years. She focuses on providing educators with resources via the new Pearson PreK-12 social media channels and Fresh ideas for teaching blog.
Pam Allyn is a teacher of teachers, Pearson author, education entrepreneur and overall champion for kids and young people, for their real lives with stories. She created Books for Boys (widely replicated reading initiative for foster care kids launched 1990), LitLife (groundbreaking teacher training initiative launched 2001), and LitWorld (renowned global literacy movement serving children across the United States and in more than 60 countries launched 2007). She is a passionate advocate for innovation in education and in building start ups that grow up to change the world.
World Languages Marketing Manager
Teacher, Administrator, Consultant
For the past four decades, Ms. Musick followed her passion and served education in a variety of roles. She graduated from Kent State University with a double-degree in elementary and special education and began her teaching career immediately after graduating. Later, Ms. Musick earned her Master’s in Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Most recently, Ms. Musick retired as the Assistant Superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools (IN) where she was responsible for 34 high poverty elementary schools. During that time and under Ms. Musick’s leadership they were able to raise school grades from five A ratings to 24 A ratings the following year. She attributes this success to the leadership of the elementary principals and a thorough understanding of the instructional process.
Patricia J. Brown, known as “MsEdtechie”, is a Technology Specialist in St. Louis. She breaks down traditional classroom walls by creating a culture that fosters collaboration, creativity, communication, and authentic learning. She is passionate about providing educators with practical techniques to integrate technology and make global connections. Among her many accolades as an award-winning educator, she was selected as a National School Board Association’s 20 to Watch, a 2016 Google Certified Innovator, a 2015 PBS Lead LearningMedia Digital Innovator for Missouri, and in 2006, she was honored as Teacher of The Year for the St. Louis Public Schools. She is on the advisory panel for ISTE’s member magazine, Empowered Learner, and she serves as an ISTE Digital Equity PLN Leader. She is a Google Certified Trainer, Common Sense & Graphite Certified, Code.org Facilitator, and also a member of the Discovery Education Leadership Council. Her work has been featured in several publications including, Tech & Learning Magazine, Scholastic Administrator Magazine, Edtech Magazine, Entrsekt Magazine, and she also served as a monthly columnist for Edsurge, and Tech & Learning Magazine. She has been a keynote speaker and presenter at several state and national conferences including a featured TED speaker at the ISTE 2018 conference in Chicago Illinois. On a personal side, she is a proud wife to her husband Brian, and mom-in-chief to their five sons.
Elementary School Teacher
Perry Clemons is an elementary school teacher at a all-girls private school in Manhattan, NY. He has been in the field of education for 11 years. He started teaching in an after school program while in college. This experience gave him the confidence to teach ESL in South Korea. After teaching in South Korea, he went to Georgia State University to pursue a M.A. in Applied Linguistics and ESL. Upon graduating he worked a numerous Language Learning Schools in New York and is now a homeroom teacher. He hopes to remain a homeroom teacher. He has a passion for languages, teaching, and creating educational materials.
Pearson Math Marketing Manager
Author, World Languages
Rich Sayers has been involved in world languages education since 1978. He taught Spanish at Niwot High School in Longmont, CO for 18 years, where he taught levels 1 through AP Spanish. While at Niwot High School, Rich served as department chair, district foreign language coordinator, and board member of the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers and the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching. In 1991, Rich was selected as one of the Disney Company’s Foreign Language Teacher Honorees for the American Teacher Awards. Rich has served as a world languages consultant for Pearson since 1996.
Director of Academic & Product Research
Robin Duffy is the Director of Academic & Product Research in the Pearson Learning Services division. She directs market, user experience, and scientific research projects overseeing approximately 60 primary research studies annually, supporting the design, development, and efficacy of new programs across the PreK-12 market place.
SIOP Blog Team
SIOP Model Teachers & Bloggers
Carlota Holder has been using the SIOP model since she began her career in English language learning in 2009 and is now a member of the SIOP Advisory Panel. She first started using SIOP within her credential courses to receive her add on license. While she was learning SIOP, she was also given the opportunity to practice it as an EL assistant. She continued her practice with the SIOP Model as a licensed teacher. She has taught grades K-8 and has co-teaching experience with the SIOP Model. In 2014 she was chosen to be one of the SIOP trainers for her district at the time. She participated in the state’s four-day SIOP training. After training she began the execution in her district starting with professional development on the SIOP model. They offered summer overview sessions and SIOP refreshers throughout the school year to support teachers who chose to execute the SIOP model in their classroom. Her school was one of the first to jump in and begin implementation. After the first year of using SIOP, her ELA co-teachers that participated in her district training showed the most pass rates for 7th and 8th grades on state testing. Currently she is at Enlace Academy, as an EL Coordinator where 70b % of students are English language learners. As an EL coordinator her goal has been to coach teachers on how to use the SIOP Model in their classrooms to amplify rigorous instruction in the classroom. Carlota has begun teaching pre-service teachers at Marian University, and is also currently working on her Masters in Educational Leadership.
Jessica Bell, M.Ed., was initially trained in SIOP as a content area English teacher, even though she is also a licensed ENL teacher and Reading Specialist. She recently completed the SIOP Virtual Institute and is a member of the SIOP Advisory Panel. She began using SIOP in the classroom in a co-taught middle school English class, and utilized it in this role for two years. She then moved to the high school in her district as a split ENL teacher/English teacher, and continued utilizing SIOP methods in her classroom – even proposing and teaching Sheltered English 11 and 12. She also began coaching and supporting teachers in her school using SIOP strategies, through modeling and presentations and is a SIOP trainer for her district.
Katie Toppel, Ed.D. is a K-5 English Language Development Specialist and adjunct professor at Portland State University. She is SIOP trained and a member of the SIOP Advisory Panel. Katie has utilized the SIOP Model as both an elementary classroom teacher and in her role as an English Language Development Specialist. Katie emphasizes the use of content and language objectives as well as the necessity of building background for English learners in general education settings. She supports and models for classroom teachers different ways to engage students in opportunities to talk and interact during lessons through cooperative learning structures with assigned roles, interactive games, and instructional strategies such as QSSSA. Katie is also the co-founder of #EllChat_BkClub on Twitter, a book chat focused on improving instruction for English learners.
Science Teacher, Greenwood Elementary
Stacey Leatherman is a veteran teacher with over 20 years in the classroom. She has a passion for creating a classroom culture that fosters growth in all aspects of a child’s life. She is not afraid to think outside of the box and implement new ideas in her quest for keeping students engaged in the learning process. This passion and excitement is easily seen when you enter her classroom. She enjoys mentoring new teachers and walking alongside them as they begin their career. Stacey believes that every child deserves to have a cheerleader; it is Stacey’s goal to be the cheerleader for each of her students.
Stuart J. Murphy
Math Author, Children's Book Writer
I was one of those kids who talked all the time in class. I loved telling stories. One day in the 4th Grade, my teacher said, “You tell such good stories, maybe you should try writing some of them down.” “Wow,” I thought. “She thinks my stories are good.” That’s when I started to really enjoy writing.
I was also the class artist. When I wasn’t talking, I was drawing. When I was older, I studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design. That’s where I became interested in visual learning—how we decode and acquire information from graphs, charts, diagrams, models, illustrations and other images.
I became especially interested in educational publishing and have worked on the development of over a dozen major textbook programs, championing visual learning strategies from Pre-K through high school in every major curriculum area.
Digits Middle Grades Mathematics
Pearson/Prentice Hall High School Mathematics
Stuart J. Murphy’s I see I Learn at School (LINK: htpp://www.iseeilearnatschool.com)
MathStart Series (LINK: http://mathstart.net)
Social Studies Specialist
As a classroom teacher, curriculum consultant and trainer, Teresa Morrison, has served in the field of education for over 20 years. She has led numerous workshops and professional development sessions in the realms of reading education, humanities, language arts and effective learning environment for all levels of educators. She truly believes that “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire!” (W.B. Yeats) and exemplifies this in the work that she does with teachers and students.
Teresa is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Trinity University.
5th Grade Teacher
Thomas Dennison is a 5th grade teacher, serving at Havre de Grace Elementary in HdG, Maryland. He has also taught kindergarten, 3rd and 4th grade and intends to stay in the classroom for 30 years. Thomas believes schools should be built on hope and believes it is their role to help each student figure out who they uniquely are. He works to make sure that each day can be fun and challenging, not either or. Thomas believes in the power of beards, the balance between chaos and control and the comfort of a worn-out pair of Cons. He has a master’s degree in Educational Computer Technology and a bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education both from Ohio University. Thomas is a National Milken Award winner and Milken Unsung Heroes Fellow. You can follow him on Instagram @mrdennison5th so see how each day can have its open piece of awesome
Video Series Authors
We are an extremely passionate group of scientists, educators and filmmakers that have come to the conclusion that learning about science should be fun and easy. We have a diverse collection of working professionals, including a production team of award winning science-filmmakers, a team of on camera talent, and a collection of science content writers who are dedicated to helping expand the untamedscience.com outreach portals.
Math Author, FCTMath Past-President, and Researcher
Zachary Champagne is an assistant in research at the Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (FCR-STEM) at Florida State University. He previously taught for thirteen years as an elementary school teacher with a specialization in math and science. During this time, he received many state and national awards for excellence in teaching, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), Duval County Teacher of the Year, and Finalist for Macy’s Florida Teacher of the Year. He is the current president of the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM), and is currently interested in learning how young students think about mathematics and how to help them understand that mathematics makes sense. He tweets at @zakchamp.