The 2013-2014 GO Teacher Policy Fellows:
Cori Belew is an Oakland public school teacher working in the charter system for the past 8 years. She has taught for Aspire Public Schools, CMO and currently is a lead teacher at North Oakland Community Charter School. Cori has taught both 2nd and 3rd grade. She is an alumni of Mills College where she received her teaching credential and Masters of Teaching, as well as University of California, Santa Cruz where she majored in psychology and minored in education. Cori loves Oakland and loves living and teaching in this magnificent city.
Tiffany Chan is in her third year teaching in Oakland Unified. She was the Kindergarten non-severely handicapped special day class teacher at Allendale Elementary for the past two years and is currently the Resource Specialist at Alliance Academy middle school. This year, Tiffany is focused on building a structured and sustainable Resource program at Alliance and ensuring her school implements RTI best practices. Formerly the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) team lead at Allendale, Tiffany currently serves on her school’s Culture and Climate Team. Tiffany graduated from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) with a B.A. in Art Practice, and she is a painter and sculptor. Although she was born in San Diego and grew up overseas, she now considers the Bay Area home.
Emma Coufal is in her third year teaching Kindergarten at Allendale Elementary School. She is a native Californian, but spent the majority of her life in Southern California – growing up in Los Angeles and attending college at UC San Diego. She came to Oakland through the Teach For America program. Emma recently earned her Masters Degree from Loyola Marymount University in Urban Education: Policy and Administration. In addition to her role as a classroom teacher, Emma serves on her school’s Instructional Leadership Team and manages the school website. She is also currently working with other teacher leaders across the district as a member of the ELA Common Core Materials Selection Committee. Outside of her career in education, Emma works as a Court Appointed Advocate for foster youth in Alameda County.
Born and raised in Merced, Jeffrey Franey comes from a large family of teachers. He is in his fourth year of teaching within a Science Prep position in Oakland. He has been the Lead Science Teacher at Hoover Elementary School in West Oakland, and has worked with the staff to implement Science instruction multiple times per week. Jeffrey holds positions on the Instructional Lead Team, and School Site Council at Hoover outside of weekly collaboration with grade level teams surrounding Science instruction, and teaching Science to grades K-5. He holds a Multi-Subject Credential from San Francisco State University, and a Master of Teacher Education from San Diego State University.
In her 17 years in urban public education, Rachel Friedman has worked in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, East Palo Alto, Richmond, and Oakland. She has worked as a classroom teacher, an Educational Consultant, a Curriculum Developer, and a BTSA Coach. She is committed to equitable access to relevant, rigorous, hands-on curriculum and new teacher support. Rachel is currently the Instructional Lead at Civicorps in West Oakland. In her role at this unique charter school and job training program for 18-24 year olds, Rachel develops curriculum, supports the teaching staff, provides BTSA coaching, advises students, and leads seminars. Rachel has a Masters in Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English from George Washington University in Washington, DC. She and her husband both live and work in Oakland. They have two sons who attend elementary school in OUSD.
Lindsey Fuller (Senior Fellow)
Lindsey began her teaching career in South Central, Los Angeles, where she taught 6th grade Humanities and served as the faculty representative, as well as a TCRP pilot teacher. This year, Lindsey teaches 1st grade at Berkley Maynard Academy (BMA), an Aspire charter school, in Oakland. Over the past two years, she has become involved on multiple levels with the reform of teacher evaluative programs, serving as a TCRP advisory panel member, pilot teacher, and TCRP Peer Certified Observer. Lindsey graduated from Occidental College with a major in Sociology and a double minor in Education and Spanish. Her senior thesis outlined the ways in which indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico were using alternative schooling methods to preserve their marginalized culture. She then stayed at Occidental to obtain her multiple subject teaching credential and Masters in the Art of Teaching (M.A.T), which focused on the negotiation of biracial identity for young students.
Caitlin Healey (Senior Fellow)
A teacher at Howard Elementary School, Caitlin moved to Oakland three years ago to be part of the dynamic community here in the East Bay. A 2009 graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Caitlin studied English and anthropology, focusing her ethnographic work around community perceptions of horizontal hostility. While in college, she was elected commencement speaker and worked as the publisher of the campus newspaper. Caitlin came to teaching through the Oakland Teaching Fellows Program in 2011 and was placed in her current position at Howard. She teaches a Special Day Class (SH-SDC) for students in kindergarten-second grade who are diagnosed with autism. Caitlin also works part-time for The New Teacher Project as a teacher candidate selector. She has a Moderate/Severe Disabilities Education Specialist California Teaching Credential with an Autism Spectrum Disorder authorization.
Sonya Mehta is a kindergarten teacher at Learning Without Limits, and lives, teaches, and engages in progressive education reform efforts in Oakland. She is a member of the Mills Teacher Scholars group, where she with colleagues on classroom inquiry to better understand student learning. Additionally, Sonya is a 2014 New Leaders Council fellow, where she partners with people from many sectors to do transformative progressive work. Sonya graduated with honors from UCLA, and throughout college she worked on a variety of campaigns including the federal DREAM Act and the election of Steve Zimmer to the LAUSD school board in 2009. Sonya received her MA in education and bilingual credential (Spanish) from UC Berkeley in 2012. She currently teaches in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, where she is leading efforts to launch a school garden.
When students asked Steven, a native of Salinas, “Why do you teach in Oakland?” he responds, “Because kids in Oakland deserve good teachers, too.” He began his career as an educator in Oakland in 2002 at Oakland High School. Steven taught U.S. History (including SEI), AP U.S. History, Economics & Government (including SEI) in his ten years with the Wildcats, was department chair for six years, and earned National Board Certification in 2011. His goals as a classroom teacher included helping students to build vital academic skills while fostering a love for history (including their own) in students by demonstrating its relevance to their lives. In 2012, he moved into a new role as Coordinator for Oakland Unified’s high school history program, where he has aspired to have a broader impact by ensuring a rigorous and relevant history education for all students in Oakland. Steven graduated with a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California (’99), and an M.A. in Education from Stanford University (’00).
Francisco Nieto Salazar (Senior Fellow)
Francisco has taught in Bay Area schools for 13 years, mainly as an elementary Spanish bilingual teacher in Oakland, San Leandro and Hayward. He has experience in school reform efforts at both site and district levels, leading initiatives to improve student outcomes through technology and project-based learning. Francisco was one of the founding teachers at Encompass Academy, which opened in 2004 in East Oakland. He has developed curriculum for ELLs, published articles, and led professional developments on technology integration and the use of data to drive instruction. He has pioneered blended learning and mobile learning initiatives in Hayward. As cofounder of sleek-geek, an educational app startup, he is currently developing iPad games, reading assessment and instruction tools for elementary schools. Francisco graduated from UC Berkeley in 1997 with a B.A. in History. He currently teaches technology at ASCEND.
Lisa Rothbard (Senior Fellow)
An English teacher at Skyline High School in Oakland and Teach for America alum, Lisa began her teaching career at Skyline in 2009, where she taught 10th and 11th grade ELA, as well as AP English Language and Composition. She is the chair of Skyline’s English Department, a representative on the school’s Faculty Council, and a member of OUSD’s ELA Teacher Leader Cadre. From 2005-2007, Lisa worked as the Communications Associate at Preschool California, a non-profit, advocacy organization in Oakland. That experience drove her to pursue a Master’s in Public Policy at the University of Michigan’s Ford School, and a graduate school summer internship in the communications department of DC Public School’s Central Office. Lisa also has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in English Language Arts (Go Blue!) and a Single Subject ELA Teaching Credential from Alliant University.
Caitlin has taught with Aspire Public Schools in Oakland since 2011 and currently loops 2nd and 3rd grade at Berkley Maynard Academy. She earned her master’s and credential through the Aspire Teacher Residency. In addition to teaching, Caitlin helps teachers share knowledge and resources through Aspire’s online platform and serves as the Aspire Teacher Residency Alumni President. She worked previously in communications and early childhood special education for DC Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and as a teacher coach and researcher in Mexico for The Learning Community Project in the Mexican Ministry of Education. Caitlin is fluent in Spanish and performs improv comedy.
Katy Simon is a third-year Physical Education teacher at Edna Brewer Middle School. A Bay Area native, she braved the winters of Boston to earn a bachelors degree in International Relations and Religion from Tufts University. At Tufts, she volunteered in classrooms across Central and South America, studied the Guatemalan education system, was captain of the rugby team, and ran the Boston Marathon. After college Katy joined the Oakland Teaching Fellows Program in 2011, through which she came to teach at Brewer. At Brewer she has served as PTSA liaison and started a girls volleyball and soccer program.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Elizabeth received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology with a minor in Studio Art from the College of Wooster in Ohio. She came to Oakland to begin her teaching career in 2006 as a part of Oakland Teaching Fellows. She earned her teaching credential and MA in Special Education at San Francisco State University. After two years of working as a Resource Specialist at Edna Brewer Middle School, Elizabeth found a position at Castlemont Business and Information Technology School and has been working with high school students for the past five and a half years. She is currently enjoying her second year of working at two schools in the Temescal area of Oakland: Oakland Tech and Oakland International High School.