ISA Coaches

ISA coaches are highly experienced, expert practitioners who are committed to supporting states, districts, and schools. Many have been secondary school principals or lead teachers who have started their own schools. Some have been instructional superintendents or superintendents.

Terry Born

Terry Born brought her 30+ years of experience to ISA in 2003. She is an expert in leadership, literacy, curriculum design, collaborative Learning and...

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Terry Born brought her 30+ years of experience to ISA in 2003. She is an expert in leadership, literacy, curriculum design, collaborative Learning and arts in education. Born was an English teacher, theater and photography teacher, and also served in the following roles: founding principal, Robert F. Wagner Jr. Secondary School of Arts and Technology , Faculty Bank Street Principal’s Institute, curriculum and leaderships, Adjunct Faculty/College Now: LaGuardia Community College, professional development: interdisciplinary curriculum, literacy across the curriculum, theater, small school development: Middle College National Consortium.

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Zenon Borys

Zenon Borys joined the ISA coaching community in 2017 and is a mathematics instructional coach at Integrated Arts and Technology in Rochester, New York. ...

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Zenon Borys joined the ISA coaching community in 2017 and is a mathematics instructional coach at Integrated Arts and Technology in Rochester, New York.  Before moving to Rochester to pursue his doctorate in education, he taught mathematics in the South Bronx at Banana Kelly High School.  He also taught ballroom dancing and was the high school’s wrestling coach.  His current research focuses on the design of and teachers’ use of digital curriculum resources.  He brings experience in teacher preparation, professional development, and curriculum development to his practice.

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Sheila Breslaw

Sheila Breslaw has been a school coach since 2007. She was an English teacher, reading teacher and the founding and co-principal of New York City Lab School...

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Sheila Breslaw has been a school coach since 2007. She was an English teacher, reading teacher and the founding and co-principal of New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies, where she served for 20 years. Breslaw also worked with new and upcoming principals during her time with the Office of New Schools in New York City’s Department of Education. Breslaw’s areas of expertise include school leadership, and English language arts curriculum and pedagogy.

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Lisa Chapman

Lisa Chapman joined ISA in 2017 with 34 years of secondary educational experience in a variety of capacities. She served as a 7th-12th grade English teacher...

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Lisa Chapman joined ISA in 2017 with 34 years of secondary educational experience in a variety of capacities. She served as a 7th-12th grade English teacher designing and building a variety of courses and programs within the field of English and Humanities.  As the IB Coordinator she worked with a team to develop the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Odyssey Academy.  In addition, she was a member of the administrative team at Odyssey Academy for a number of years. Lisa’s educational experience has been shaped by educational research in student-centered learning including performance-based assessments.

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Sharon Cohen

Sharon Cohen was a secondary math teacher for the School District of Philadelphia for 37 years, teaching all levels of math from pre-algebra to AP® Calculus...

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Sharon Cohen was a secondary math teacher for the School District of Philadelphia for 37 years, teaching all levels of math from pre-algebra to AP® Calculus BC. During her tenure in Philadelphia, Cohen was also the Math Department Chair, a new teacher mentor, a facilitator for different math programs, and a supervisor of a small learning community. Since then, she has worked as a new teacher mentor for the Philadelphia Region Noyce Partnership and is currently an adjunct professor at Moore College and the Community College of Philadelphia. She has been the ISA math content coach since 2017 at Kensington Health Science Academy. Her love is helping math teachers bring inquiry and discovery into the classroom.

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Sabriya Dempsey

Sabriya joined ISA as a science coach in Philadelphia in 2017 after working in the Philadelphia School District and DC Public Schools. She has served...

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Sabriya joined ISA as a science coach in Philadelphia in 2017 after working in the Philadelphia School District and DC Public Schools. She has served as a science teacher, department chair and science curriculum content specialist in Philadelphia. She served in the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia at an international school focusing on providing professional development for high school staff. She also served as a Master Educator in DCPS supporting mathematics, science and CTE instruction. She is passionate about connecting teachers and students to real life science experiences, creating engaging classrooms focused on meaningful discussions and coaching teachers in order to support their growth.

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Susan DiCicco

Susan has over 30 years of experience working in the New York City (NYC) public school system. She taught history and served as the assistant principal...

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Susan has over 30 years of experience working in the New York City (NYC) public school system. She taught history and served as the assistant principal (AP) of curriculum and instruction at Seward Park High School, then at the renowned LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts, where she led a team that supported teachers in the new observation and tenure process using the Danielson Framework for Teaching. Following her position as an AP, she continued her tenure in the NYC public school system as a principal, where she applied her expertise in leading teams using data to inform all aspects of school culture. Her leadership in curriculum, instruction, and the integration of social and emotional learning has resulted in more equitable and culturally responsive classrooms and schools. Susan was awarded a proclamation for outstanding principal performance by the Manhattan borough president. Prior to her joining the ISA team, Susan worked as an instructional coach advising new teachers on performance improvement.

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Christina Farinacci-Roberts

Christina Farinacci-Roberts is a 20 year veteran educator and a champion of equity and excellence for all. In New York City for a decade, Christina was...

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Christina Farinacci-Roberts is a 20 year veteran educator and a champion of equity and excellence for all. In New York City for a decade, Christina was a teacher and principal in Brooklyn, an assistant principal at Troy (NY) High School, and the principal and CEO of Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls, where she helped the school go from a 56% graduation rate to more than 90%. In September of 2017, she left school building leadership to start her own consulting group that focuses on helping clients create equitable systems and inclusive structures for diverse stakeholders to flourish. She empowers leaders to remove barriers and shape cultures that drive substantive change and fuel sustainable growth. She also has experience and expertise in strategic planning, change management, standards-referenced grading, and the Enneagram assessment.

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Paula Fleshman

Paula J. Fleshman brings over 20 years combined experience in instruction, supervision, and education/youth development research and evaluation. Since...

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Paula J. Fleshman brings over 20 years combined experience in instruction, supervision, and education/youth development research and evaluation. Since earning her Ph.D. at the CUNY Graduate Center, Paula has taught elementary and secondary mathematics curriculum and methods courses for general and special education pre- and in-service teachers at Hunter College and Brooklyn College.  Through Hunter, she has also supervised pre-service elementary and secondary teachers in mathematics at various public schools throughout New York City.  She has had the privilege of supporting student interns as they prepare to enter the classroom and new teachers as they gain their footing in their first years. This experience has given her a nuanced perspective on teacher preparation, needs, and support from K-12, especially around inquiry-based and student-centered instruction in mathematics. She enjoys helping teachers to develop a mathematical mindset for themselves and with their students to allow all classroom members to enjoy and successfully engage in mathematics.

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Kimberly Fluet

Kimberly Fluet joined the ISA science team in 2017. She has been a science educator and science teacher educator for 20 years. Kimberly previously taught...

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Kimberly Fluet joined the ISA science team in 2017. She has been a science educator and science teacher educator for 20 years. Kimberly previously taught at the middle, high school, and collegiate levels.  Her current research and teaching interests focus on science teacher development and science curriculum design. Kimberly brings her years of professional development for BSCS and her science coaching with the East High School-University of Rochester partnership to her work at ISA. Kimberly’s greatest accomplishment is empowering science teachers to grow and flourish, along with their students, toward deep conceptual understanding of science and science teaching.

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Stephanie Grasso

Stephanie Grasso’s coaching enables her to share her expertise in integrating English language learning and literacy in content area curriculum development...

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Stephanie Grasso’s coaching enables her to share her expertise in integrating English language learning and literacy in content area curriculum development for new English language learners, and SIFE (students with interrupted formal education) with teachers. She was a founding English teacher at ISA’s ELLIS Preparatory Academy in New York City and went on to provide literacy and instructional coaching at ELLIS. Grasso’s work in developing science curriculum with integrated language and literacy approach became one of her greatest accomplishments at ELLIS.

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Alwina Fields Green

Alwina retired from teaching in 2013, after almost 30 years with the Camden City School District and the School District of Philadelphia. She retired from...

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Alwina retired from teaching in 2013, after almost 30 years with the Camden City School District and the School District of Philadelphia. She retired from the high school she graduated from almost 50 years prior. It was there that she I fell in love with mathematics and decided to become a teacher. Throughout her career as a math teacher,  she worked in several supportive roles but she most enjoyed teaching high school students and sharing my expertise with colleagues through professional development.

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LaShawnna Harris

LaShawnna Harris is a New York City-based educator, entrepreneur, and strategy consultant with over 20 years of experience. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur,...

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LaShawnna Harris is a New York City-based educator, entrepreneur, and strategy consultant with over 20 years of experience. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she held numerous positions in education: teacher, math staff developer, founding assistant principal and principal, and principal coach. Much of her work is focused on leadership development, improvement strategy, and managing complex change.

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Todd Hawley

Todd is an Associate Professor of Social Studies Teacher Education at Kent State University. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Todd taught high school social...

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Todd is an Associate Professor of Social Studies Teacher Education at Kent State University. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Todd taught high school social studies for four years in the Atlanta Public Schools and for three years at Oglethorpe County High School. Todd’s interests include working with teachers to develop their purposes for teaching social studies, to use inquiry to teach about race in social studies and to engage students through problems-based learning.

 

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Iain Coggins

Iain joined ISA as a literacy coach in September 2019. He is currently completing his Ph.D. at Teachers College, Columbia University. Beginning his teaching...

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Iain joined ISA as a literacy coach in September 2019. He is currently completing his Ph.D. at Teachers College, Columbia University. Beginning his teaching career in the San Francisco Bay Area, he moved to Denver where he spent 16 years as an ELA teacher supporting highly-impacted students. Since 2015 he has transitioned to supporting pre-service and early-service teachers in New York area schools. Working as a field supervisor, seminar instructor and edTPA licensing coach, Iain is passionate about helping new teachers find their footing in the classroom, while supporting experienced teachers in applying their full array of talents for students’ growth. Iain is driven by his interest in helping teachers and students recognize their potential for self-transformation through the learning process.

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Jeanne Carlivati

Jeanne has been an ISA coach since 2018, for ISA’s partner high school in Rochester, New York. In her professional career, she was a school counselor...

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Jeanne has been an ISA coach since 2018, for ISA’s partner high school in Rochester, New York. In her professional career, she was a school counselor for 28 years with the Rochester City School District and holds two master’s degrees, one in urban education and the second in school counseling. For 20 years she helped to provide monthly professional development opportunities on grief and loss issues for district staff and was a lead teacher for school climate and a mediation trainer and facilitator. After retiring in 2003, she became a restorative practices trainer and practitioner for many other school districts and community organizations in the Rochester area.

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Denise Johnson

Denise joined ISA as a math coach in 2017.  She has worked in mathematics education for nearly 20 years as a middle and secondary math teacher, community...

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Denise joined ISA as a math coach in 2017.  She has worked in mathematics education for nearly 20 years as a middle and secondary math teacher, community college instructor, and teacher education faculty.  Denise has worked with classroom teachers across coaching beginning math teachers and providing professional development on using technology to enhance teaching.  She has earned a BS in Mathematics and MS in Mathematics Education from North Carolina State University and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from The George Washington University.

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Carlton Jordan

Carlton Jordan has over twenty years’ experience in education. He was a high school English and writing teacher for many years.  He served as a coordinator...

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Carlton Jordan has over twenty years’ experience in education. He was a high school English and writing teacher for many years.  He served as a coordinator of a ninth-grade detracked English course, and was a founding member of an untracked middle school in New Jersey. At the college level he has taught Africana Studies and EOP writing. He has served as a literacy and leadership coach and has served as a team leader and writer for school quality reviews. Jordan feels his greatest coaching accomplishment has been helping principals create an environment where teachers deliver quality instruction and assign writing across the disciplines.

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William Kist

William Kist, Ph.D. is a professor at Kent State University, where he teaches literacy courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  He is the proud...

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William Kist, Ph.D. is a professor at Kent State University, where he teaches literacy courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  He is the proud recipient of the 2017 Outstanding University English Language Arts Educator Award, given by the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts. A former high school English teacher in the Akron Public Schools and a former language arts and social studies curriculum coordinator for the Medina County Schools’ ESC and for Hudson City Schools, Bill has been working with schools and districts on a national level for over 15 years in the areas of integrating technology and using high-yield instructional strategies with struggling students.  Bill has presented many keynote addresses for such organizations as the National Dropout Prevention Conference, American Reading Forum, Texas Council of Teachers of English, The International Association for Entertainment Marketing Professionals, and the South Carolina Teachers of English. An author of over 50 articles, Bill has penned four books including New Literacies in Action, The Socially Networked Classroom, The Global School and Getting Started with Blended Learning. Bill has recently been the Project Director for College Today, a $480,000 grant-funded project (Great Lakes Education Philanthropy) designed to provide college-level English and math instruction on a daily basis to two small cohorts of underrepresented students at Akron Ellet and Akron Firestone High Schools.  In addition, Bill is currently directing Writing Ourselves, a project funded by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation that is bringing together English teachers from nine area high schools in an effort to help struggling writers get ready for college.  Bill also keeps active creatively, working as a professional musician (with a regional Emmy nomination for music composition to his credit).  Bill can be found online at www.williamkist.com and at https://twitter.com/williamkist.

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Leslie Calabrese

Leslie joined ISA as a special education coach in 2019. She had previously taught in New Jersey urban public schools for over 15 years, teaching every...

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Leslie joined ISA as a special education coach in 2019. She had previously taught in New Jersey urban public schools for over 15 years, teaching every grade from K-12, with her final years being a 9th grade self-contained special education English teacher. Leslie is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) which helps guide her approach towards behavior management decisions in the classroom. As a faculty member at Rutgers University, Leslie teaches and supervises pre-service teachers during their clinical internship prior to becoming a certified teacher in NJ. As a coach, she enjoys guiding teachers down the co-planning path to ensure a more appropriate learning environment for all students.

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Rob Menken

Rob Menken taught social studies and English, and he served as principal and founding co-director of New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies....

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Rob Menken taught social studies and English, and he served as principal and founding co-director of New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies. His 18+ years of experience provided him ample opportunity to develop skills in the areas of leadership capacity, collaborative teaming, and instructional focus. Menken feels his greatest coaching accomplishment has been helping principals come to the realization that quality instruction is the goal and that test scores will follow that achievement.

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Mariam Naraine-Zebrowski

With over 10 years as a New York City Educator, Mariam Naraine-Zebrowski joined ISA in 2012 as a Science Coach. During her time with the DOE, she taught...

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With over 10 years as a New York City Educator, Mariam Naraine-Zebrowski joined ISA in 2012 as a Science Coach. During her time with the DOE, she taught high school Living Environment, Earth Science and Chemistry. At the then new school, Manhattan Hunter Science High School, Mariam was responsible for developing the Science Department which included mapping out its four year Science sequence and also designing school wide Science Research program.

Mariam has spent several years in the non-profit world, exploring and developing programs to help underserved NYC students in middle and high school move on successfully to college. During this time, she coordinated the Metro Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium where over 200 students from around the NYC region participated.

Currently, Mariam is a Science and College Readiness coach for ISA at several schools throughout New York City, facilitating Science Department professional development meetings concentration on curriculum mapping and inquiry based learning. Mariam focuses on science education through inquiry and project based learning. During individual coaching session, Mariam’s main goal is to help teachers shift their teaching practices from teacher centered classroom to more student centered experiences

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Nakia Nicholson

Ms. Nicholson is both an experienced principal and trainer of principals and has held positions in both the Prince George’s County and Baltimore City...

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Ms. Nicholson is both an experienced principal and trainer of principals and has held positions in both the Prince George’s County and Baltimore City School systems. She is known for her ability to improve the academic performance of students. She was recognized in the Prince George’s County school community and ranked number one in the district for achieving dramatic academic gains.  She was also recognized in 2012 as one of forty women making extraordinary differences in Prince George’s County.

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Lynne Pachnowski

Lynne Pachnowski is a Professor of Math Education at the University of Akron.  Since 1993, she has taught math methods courses at the university as well...

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Lynne Pachnowski is a Professor of Math Education at the University of Akron.  Since 1993, she has taught math methods courses at the university as well as courses on teaching with technology.  She partners with the Akron Public Schools to provide clinical teaching experiences for her middle level and secondary math methods courses.  Lynne has been a math instructor for the Upward Bound program at Case Western Reserve University serving students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Cleveland Heights Schools.  She also served as the university’s project director for UA’s Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program which prepared over sixty people with STEM degrees for teaching professions in urban settings.  More recently, Lynne co-founded has co-facilitated the Rubber City Math Teacher Circle community of teachers.  She has also co-founded and co-facilitated a Girls Who Code club at the university and co-founded all-girl, creative hackathon event in partnership with the Akron Art Museum.

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Peter Eley

Dr. Peter Eley is a college professor whose research and work focuses on mathematics teaching and learning at the middle and high school levels. In addition,...

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Dr. Peter Eley is a college professor whose research and work focuses on mathematics teaching and learning at the middle and high school levels. In addition, he undertakes a full range of training and consulting activities. Dr. Eley uses equity, school policy, and technology to motivate mathematical understanding. A practitioner and leader in education, Dr. Eley has served as a mathematics and science teacher at various middle and high schools and currently is the Interim Chair of the Health, Physical and Secondary Education Department at Fayetteville State University and Chair of the Elizabeth City State University Foundation. While at Fayetteville, Dr. Eley has won several teaching awards, including the prestigious University of North Carolina System Board of Governor’s Teaching Award (2020-2021). Dr. Eley holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Elizabeth City State University, a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics and Mathematics Education from North Carolina StateUniversity, and a Ph.D. in mathematics education.

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Sylvia Rabiner

As a Leadership Coach at ISA, Sylvia Rabiner is responsible for helping prospective new principals write and present their new high school proposals to...

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As a Leadership Coach at ISA, Sylvia Rabiner is responsible for helping prospective new principals write and present their new high school proposals to the Office of New Schools. Through ongoing meetings Rabiner works with school leadership to deepen their understanding of the ISA principles and to better understand how to implement the ways in which the principles serve as a framework for the new high school. Additionally, Rabiner acts as a mentor for all new ISA coaches.

For the past eight years Rabiner has worked with schools in New York City, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Houston.

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Mayra Rodriguez

Mayra Rodriguez joined the ISA coaching team in 2019 after working for 26 years in the New York City public school system. She taught bilingual self-contained...

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Mayra Rodriguez joined the ISA coaching team in 2019 after working for 26 years in the New York City public school system. She taught bilingual self-contained high school, co-taught and coached in inclusive classrooms, and was an assistant principal at P.S. K077 in Brooklyn. As a district coach she was part of the founding team of the Queens High School of Teaching. Mayra’s expertise is in collaborative co-teaching models, differentiated instruction, school change, positive behavior supports, and analysis of school data to support academic and emotional achievement for students with disabilities (SWD) and English learners. She is the June 2005 recipient of the Felix A. Fishman Award, given to Mayra by the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest for her social justice work. Prior to joining ISA she was a district representative for IDEA impartial hearings in NYC.

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Deborah Smithey

Deborah Smithey joined ISA science team in 2017. She was a science educator in the Philadelphia School System for 39 years. Deborah taught General Biology,...

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Deborah Smithey joined ISA science team in 2017. She was a science educator in the Philadelphia School System for 39 years. Deborah taught General Biology, Physical Science, Anatomy and Physiology and AP Biology. She was a Yale National Initiative Fellow 2010, 2011 serving on the National Steering Committee 2011 and 2012. She was a member of the University of Pennsylvania-Teachers Institute 2007, 2008 and served in the capacity of Teacher at Large 2010. Deborah received her Bachelor’s Degree from Lincoln University and her Master’s Degree from Temple University. Deborah has completed all of the coursework for her doctorate (ABD) at Temple University. Deborah is presently serving as an Adjunct Professor at Pennsylvania Institute of Technology teaching Biology and Chemistry to nursing students.

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Kate Spence

Kate Ado has been a coach with ISA since 2006. She previously taught English at both the middle and high school levels. She has also served as a literacy...

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Kate Ado has been a coach with ISA since 2006. She previously taught English at both the middle and high school levels. She has also served as a literacy coach and an assistant professor of education. Ado specializes in curriculum development, professional development, school change, urban education, teacher preparation and induction, literacy, and inquiry-based instruction. As a coach, she enjoys success in collaborating with teachers to develop and implement curricula that leads to students higher order thinking.

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Molly Stern

Molly Stern joined ISA as a math coach in 2018. She has taught math in NYC public and charter schools, most recently at Academy for Young Writers, where...

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Molly Stern joined ISA as a math coach in 2018. She has taught math in NYC public and charter schools, most recently at Academy for Young Writers, where she was the Math Department Chair and an instructional coach for fellow math teachers. She has a B.A. in mathematics from Boston College and an M.S. in mathematics education from Pace University. Molly has extensive experience developing and teaching inquiry-based math curriculum. She is especially passionate about math coaching because she believes that helping to ensure that all students in public schools experience excellent, rigorous, inquiry-based mathematics instruction is one way to address the systemic inequities of the public school system.

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Steve Stoll

Currently, Steve Stoll is a school and leadership coach with Institute for Student Achievement, working in high schools in the Bronx, Newark and Philadelphia....

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Currently, Steve Stoll is a school and leadership coach with Institute for Student Achievement, working in high schools in the Bronx, Newark and Philadelphia. As such, he assists schools with strategic planning, instructional leadership and school development. Formerly, Steve was the Director of Professional Development Schools at Teachers College, developing professional development at District 3 schools with Teachers College masters students and cooperating teachers, supporting action research projects. Prior to working with Teachers College, Steve was founding co-director and Principal of The Beacon School, a New York City public high school.

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Billie Travis

Billie Travis retired after 39 years in education. Twenty-five of her twenty-nine years in Scott County (KY) School District were spent as a teacher of...

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Billie Travis retired after 39 years in education. Twenty-five of her twenty-nine years in Scott County (KY) School District were spent as a teacher of middle school mathematics Billie also served three years as a curriculum coach. She followed up her teaching career by working ten years for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) as an Educational Recovery Specialist working in schools identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI). Her role at KDE was to assist these schools as they aligned curriculum designed to improve education for all students. A highlight of Billie’s career is that she earned the honor of Kentucky’s 2005 Teacher of the Year. She attributes her success as a coach to her experience working in the classroom with students from many achievement levels and from diverse backgrounds.

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Jeanne Van Voorst

Jeanne Van Voorst has spent 42 years teaching social studies and English in schools in Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin and New York State. Her...

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Jeanne Van Voorst has spent 42 years teaching social studies and English in schools in Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin and New York State. Her teaching was shaped by 10 years of collaborating with another teacher in eleventh grade humanities, by working under an exceptional instructional leader, and by serving as a teacher leader.

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Sonya Wisdom

Sonya Wisdom, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Science Education at Kent State University. She taught middle school science for fourteen years in Athens,...

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Sonya Wisdom, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Science Education at Kent State University. She taught middle school science for fourteen years in Athens, Georgia and Nassau, The Bahamas and later joined the faculty at The University of The Bahamas as an Assistant Professor of science education.  Sonya’s interests include the curriculum decisions of teachers in science education and helping teachers to design and enact action research related to their practice.  Her recent work includes working with high school teachers and their students from Pakistan, The Dominican Republic, and Cleveland, Ohio to develop service learning projects on local and global environmental issues.

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