2014 Education Innovation Fellows

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Shayla Adams, Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School

Shayla Adams is a U.S. history teacher at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School in Northeast Washington, D.C. She is also the CEO and Founder of RemixEducation, an education training organization that provides more than 100 students in Maryland and North Carolina with positive youth development programming. Shayla graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and received a master’s degree in teaching from Duke University. At Phelps, Shayla combines her love for learning and teaching with the school’s unique project-based learning model.

 

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Sara Arranz-Ramiro, Cleveland Elementary School

Sara Arranz-Ramiro is a pre-kindergarten Spanish Immersion teacher at Cleveland Elementary School. Previously, she was a fourth grade teacher at Bancroft Elementary School. A native of Spain, Sara received her bachelor’s degree in Foreign Language Education from the University of Valladolid, Spain, and received an Erasmus Scholarship at the Katholieke Vlaamse Hogeschool in Antwerp, Belgium. She has worked as a teacher in London, England, and in Ventanielles British Council School in Oviedo, Spain. Sara holds a master’s degree in English and Spanish as Foreign Languages and is a teacher ambassador and social ambassador for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). She is a highly effective teacher under the IMPACT system of evaluation.

 

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Christopher Bergfalk, Truesdell Education Campus

Christopher Bergfalk teaches at Truesdell Education Campus. Previously, he was a third grade teacher at Savoy Elementary School. A former second grade, fifth grade, sixth grade, and science resource teacher, Chris has worked at DCPS in Wards 1, 2, 3, and 8 across his career. He was a D.C. Teacher of the Year finalist in 2010 and a Washington Teachers’ Union Distinguished Educator in 2011. A graduate of Wilson High School, Chris completed his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University, received his master’s degree from American University, and completed a graduate certificate from George Washington University.

 

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Milton Bryant, Ketcham Elementary School

Milton Bryant is a fourth grade teacher at Ketcham Elementary School. He began his career at Ketcham as a Center for Inspired Teaching Fellow and served as the technology team leader, providing technological support and training to staff members. Milton earned a master’s degree specializing in educational administration from Capella University and a second master’s degree in teaching from American University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Maryland.

 

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Angel Cintron Jr., Chalk-It-App

Angel Cintron Jr. is the founder and CEO of Chalk-It-App, a program focused on enhancing and increasing communication between teachers and their students’ parents and guardians. He also serves as a classroom support specialist for Globaloria, an education technology company that works in partnership with K-12 schools to respond to high demand for innovative computing instruction models. During his time in the Education Innovation Fellowship, Angel taught social studies at Jefferson Academy Middle School. Previously, he taught at Charles Hart middle school, where he served as the chair of the social studies department, DCPS LIFT Ambassador, GeoPlunge Coach, DC SCORES assistant coach, and sixth grade girls’ basketball assistant coach. Prior to teaching at Hart Middle School, Angel taught introductory undergraduate courses in international relations in Leiden, The Netherlands, and worked as a teaching assistant to the Department Head of International Relations at Webster University in The Netherlands. Angel received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a master’s degree in international relations from Webster University.

 

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Eric Collazo, Friendship Technology Preparatory Academy

Eric Collazo is a tenth grade English Language Arts teacher at Friendship Technology Preparatory Academy in Southeast D.C. He also serves as a tenth grade homeroom teacher and is the founder and moderator for the Young Men of Valor after-school group. Prior to teaching at Tech Prep Academy, Eric taught Read 180 and creative writing at Kelly Miller Middle School in Northeast D.C., where he also served as a coach for the school’s football team. Previously, Eric worked with Teach For America as a corps member advisor and as a curriculum specialist for TFA Philadelphia’s Summer Institute. He received both a bachelor’s degree in English and a teacher preparation certification from the College of the Holy Cross and earned a master’s degree in secondary education from American University.

 

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Michelle Contee, Drew Freeman Middle School

Michelle Contee is the reading instructional lead teacher at Drew Freeman Middle School in Maryland. During her time in the Education Innovation Fellowship, she served as the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade Computer Applications teacher at John Philip Sousa Middle School. Previously, Michelle was a teacher for ten years in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where she taught reading/English Language Arts at Greenbelt Middle School and technology concepts at Isaac J. Gourdine Middle School. Michelle received a master’s degree in teaching and learning with technology from Ashford University while also pursuing a graduate certificate in literacy coaching from the University of Maryland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in informative systems from University of Maryland University College.

 

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Jamel Daugherty, Washington Latin Public Charter School

Jamel Daugherty is a fifth grade Latin teacher at Washington Latin Public Charter School. She is currently an advisory teacher and has previously served as the fifth grade team lead. Before teaching in D.C., Jamel worked in journalism as a food writer for Northern Virginia Magazine and taught English on Reunion Island, an overseas department of France. She also taught sixth through eighth grade Latin in Oklahoma City. Jamel graduated summa cum laude with dual degrees in classics and letters from the University of Oklahoma.

 

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Dwight Davis, Wheatley Education Campus

Dwight Davis is an assistant principal at Wheatley Education Campus. Prior to his teaching career, Dwight played both professional and semi-professional basketball in the United States and abroad (Columbia, South America, and the United Kingdom). He earned a master of divinity degree and a master’s degree in education from Princeton Theological Seminary, as well as a certificate in teaching from Princeton University’s teacher preparation program. Dwight received bachelor’s degrees in psychology, history, and education from Albright College and completed a certificate program in reading and literacy at George Washington University. A nine-year veteran teacher who attended D.C. public schools, Dwight is also a licensed Baptist minister.

 

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Kristin Fiorini, Wheatley Education Campus

Kristin Fiorini is a first and second grade special educator at Wheatley Education Campus. She has been rated as a highly effective teacher for all three of her years with DCPS and currently serves as a Teacher in Action, LEA representative, LIFT Ambassador, and Teacher Selection Ambassador. Prior to teaching for DCPS, Kristin taught in Baltimore County Public Schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and childhood education from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, and a master’s degree in special education from Walden University.

 

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Jerriel Hall, Democracy Prep Public Schools

Jerriel Hall is a fourth grade teacher and grade level chair at Democracy Prep Public Schools. Previously, he served as third grade lead math and science teacher at Leckie Elementary School. Since beginning his teaching career in 2009, Jerriel has expanded his teaching practice to include a program geared toward exposing fourth and fifth grade male students to math and engineering careers. Jerriel graduated cum laude from Hampton University with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and earned a master’s degree in advanced STEM instruction from the University of Southern California.

 

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Adam Hill, 2U

Adam Hill is an associate producer at education technology company 2U. During his time in the Education Innovation Fellowship, Adam was the curator of institutional practice at Ingenuity Prep, a public charter school in Southeast D.C. that utilizes a blended learning model. In this role, Adam captured and edited video content of Ingenuity Prep’s best practices to support the professional development of its teachers and the overall growth of the organization. Adam graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in history.

 

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James Howes, Horace Mann Elementary School

James Howes is a fifth grade science teacher at Horace Mann Elementary School. He also coordinates the school’s social curriculum and serves on the School Improvement Team. James was born in England and graduated with honors from York University with a bachelor’s degree in history before attending Cambridge University for his postgraduate certificate in education. He taught fifth grade in Rugeley, England, prior to working as a site-based director at Discovery Creek Children’s Museum.

 

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Joshua Johnson, Planet3

Joshua Johnson is an educational curriculum writer at Planet3, a STEM-based educational technology company. During his time in the Education Innovation Fellowship, he held the role of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade science teacher at Center City Public Charter School—Brightwood Campus. He began his tenure at Center City—and his career as an educator—through Teach For America; since then, he served for two years as the middle school science lead, and he also held the role of Summer Academy Principal. In 2012, Joshua received the Youth Service America-Harris Wofford Award for National Young Educator of the Year. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from St. Lawrence University and earned a master’s degree in teaching, with a science focus, from American University.

 

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Eric Jones, E.L. Haynes Public Charter High School

Eric Jones is a ninth grade math teacher at E.L. Haynes Public Charter High School, where he teaches geometry and integrated math/pre-algebra. Prior to teaching at E.L. Haynes High, Eric was a D.C. Teaching Fellow working as a middle school math educator at Browne Education Campus. Eric received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in secondary education from American University.

 

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Belinda Omenitsch, Truesdell Education Campus

Belinda Omenitsch is the ELL and intervention lead teacher at Truesdell Education Campus. A veteran of the D.C. public schools certified in the areas of elementary education, non-categorical special education, and TESOL, Belinda began her career as a resource teacher working with students with special needs. She earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Trinity Washington University; later, she completed the requirements to be certified as a TESOL teacher and received a master’s degree in special education from the University of the District of Columbia. Belinda is currently a member of the 2013 Leading Educators cohort and was a recipient of the Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teaching in 2013.

 

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Connie Parham, E.L. Haynes Public Charter Middle School

Connie Parham is an eighth grade math teacher at E.L. Haynes Public Charter Middle School. Prior to teaching at E.L. Haynes, Connie taught middle school math in D.C. and was a Teach For America corps member. She received a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in culture and politics from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in teaching secondary math from American University.

 

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Brieanna Boswell, DC Scholars Stanton Elementary School

Brieanna Boswell is a kindergarten teacher and grade-level lead at DC Scholars Stanton Elementary School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Howard University and went on to earn a master’s degree in early childhood education at American University. Brieanna serves as an instructor for the Developing Young Writers program through the DC Area Writing Project; she is also a Leading Educators Fellow for the 2013-14 school year. Brieanna aspires to be a “career teacher” and is passionate about writing instruction, project-based learning, and promoting innovative thinking in her scholars.

 

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Ashley Sobrinski, Woodrow Wilson Senior High School

Ashley Sobrinski is the testing coordinator at Woodrow Wilson Senior High School. Previously, she served as a tenth and eleventh grade special education social studies teacher at Wilson and a Teacher Selection Ambassador for DCPS, where she helps select and evaluate new teachers in the District. Ashley was a 2009 Teach For America corps member and received a certificate in school leadership and administration from George Washington University, a master’s degree in education from George Mason University, and a bachelor’s degree in public policy from The College of William and Mary.

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Kent Strader, DC Prep Public Charter Schools

Kent Strader is the second and third grade math department chair at DC Prep Public Charter Schools. Previously, Kent taught first and third grade in New Orleans at McDonogh #32 Elementary School, where he tutored students in remediation programs and coached the boys’ middle school basketball team after school. Kent earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and was a recipient of the University of Manchester Leadership Award for his research and work with nonprofit organizations in Manchester, England.