Mary Lou Baranowski
Mary Lou Baranowski currently teaches physical education at Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary in the San Diego Unified School District, where she also serves on the elementary physical education leadership team. Baranowski has taught physical education for 32 years and was an adjunct professor at San Diego State University. She has earned National Board Certification in physical education and is the 2013 National Elementary PE Teacher of the Year from the Southwest district. In addition to teaching, Baranowski writes curriculum for SPARK (Sports, Physical Activity and Recreation for Kids) Physical Education. Her number one tip for active kids? Get them moving with music!
The father of two young boys, Addison Bender teaches 450 kids in grades 1 to 5 at the Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia. He is particularly passionate about the integration of technology with the arts. "I believe that all students are artists," says Bender. He uses his iPad and Apple TV often to incorporate technology in his lessons and encourage students to do the same.
Tina Briley has taught elementary school and junior high school for 19 years. Currently, she is a reading specialist at Greenwood Elementary in Stanton, TX, where she works with struggling readers and English as a Second Language students, and in the special education program. She is passionate about reading as a pathway to overall school success: “The most important thing parents can do to help their children in school is to read with them and talk about what they have read. In many ways, the discussion about what has been read is the most important aspect of reading.” She has two grown children and five grandchildren.
Danielle Brown, Ed.S.
Danielle Brown has been a practicing school psychologist for the past 11 years. Currently, she works at the Saukville Elementary School in Wisconsin doing both small group-therapy and one-on-one counseling for both academic and behavioral issues. She also recently finished her term as president of the Wisconsin School Psychologist Association. In addition, she holds a private-practice license and has started Children First: School and Family Partnerships LLC, an organization that offers family counseling and solutions for kids who are struggling socially, behaviorally, or academically.
Janet Callahan has been working as a preschool teacher and director for more than 30 years. Her passion lies in teaching at-risk youth as well as in mentoring their parents. She currently is a head teacher in a mandated preschool program in Patterson, NJ.
Alyson Carpenter, M.A., L.P.C., is an elementary and middle school counselor in Bridgeport, CT, who has specific knowledge of special education procedures, local community support systems, and crisis intervention. Carpenter earned her Master’s degree in counseling from Fairfield University and also has a Bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She lives in Greenwich, CT, with her husband. For more information, visit Pcclinicalservices.com
Suzanne Adelman Cohen
Suzanne Adelman Cohen earned her Master’s degree in special education at Mercy College and taught special education in the New York City public school system for six years. She recently completed her Master’s degree in occupational therapy at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where she was the president of the Occupational Therapy Club and a student board member for the SUNY Downstate Autism Support Network. She has worked at the Helen Keller Children’s Learning Center in Brooklyn, NY. Her passion is to work with students on the autism spectrum and help them realize their strengths and find success.
Jacqueline Cross is a fourth-grade teacher in Hingham, MA, who has long had a passion for education: "I always knew I would become a teacher,” she says. “And seeing my students' growth in skills, knowledge, and confidence makes me love teaching every day." She has worked in both urban and suburban environments and is a big proponent of technology-infused lessons.
As a National Board Certified Teacher, Beth Fuller has taught at Atkinson Academy in Louisville, KY (Jefferson County Public Schools), for ten years. She recently accepted a new position as a Goal Clarity Coach at one of the district’s elementary schools, in which she will act as a curriculum specialist for other teachers. Fuller is also an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville and co-director of the Louisville Writing Project, and serves on the Kentucky Teacher Advisory Committee. She received a 2012 Gheens Creativity and Innovation Award and was named the 2012 Kentucky Elementary Teacher of the Year.
Sigrid Grace has taught every grade from K to 12 in her 38 years of teaching. Today, she is a second-grade teacher at Orchard Primary School in Michigan. Her specialty is in science and math, which makes her school’s location in front of a 10-acre orchard particularly inspiring! She loves spending time in it with her classes. She is very invested in early childhood education and serves on the leadership committee for the National Education Association.
Steven Hinkle has been a passionate educator for 20 years and particularly loves his current role as a kindergarten teacher in Chattanooga, TN. "They are special at that age," Hinkle says about the students. "It’s the very beginning of the reading and writing process and mathematical understanding. It’s so much fun to take a child who has not walked a long way on the formal learning journey and see how far they have come. The difference is very dramatic from kindergarten to first grade."
Kate King, R.N.
Kate King has been a school nurse for Columbus City Schools for 11 years and is currently the supervisor of health, family, and community services for the district. She is also adjunct faculty at Ohio State University and is currently the president of the Ohio Association of School Nurses.
Doug Lea, a National Board Certified Teacher, is an elementary school band director from Howard County, MD, with 25 years' experience in public school classrooms. He has taught, coached, or mentored students of virtually all ages and ability levels. Lea is also a passionate leader and teacher quality specialist. He leads groups of teachers through the National Board process. He was the 2010–2011 Teaching Fellow for the National Education Association, where he worked on education policy as it relates to teacher quality.
Mitch Levy has been the assistant principal of Oakwood Primary Center in the South Huntington School District for the past eight years. Based in Long Island, he works in a diverse school of more than 700 students in kindergarten through second grade. He believes that a strong home–school connection is key to a successful school experience for staff, students, and parents alike. He works on a daily basis to foster a love of learning, meeting not only the academic needs of the children but their social/emotional needs as well. While being a classroom teacher was rewarding, being a school administrator allows him the opportunity to impact many more students and work with a great team every day.
With a dual-certification in art and elementary education, Karen Nobel has been with the School District of Palm Beach County for eight years as an elementary art teacher specializing in arts integration. Karen was honored to be the opening art teacher at the nationally recognized, award-winning Pine Jog Elementary School, where she returned once again in the fall of 2012 as the lead art educator. Her art programs have earned her many teaching awards, including the 2010 Teacher of the Year for Pine Jog Elementary and the 2010 Elementary Art Educator of the Year for the Florida Art Education Association. Karen currently holds the position of president-elect of the Florida Art Education Association and is the proud owner of Kids Need More Art, an education-driven children’s art studio.
Lyndsay Ostrower serves as speech-language pathologist at the Hagedorn Little Village School (HLVS) in Seaford, NY, a nonprofit school that works with children with severe developmental disabilities.
Kim Manning Ursetta
Kim Manning Ursetta is a kindergarten ELS–S (bilingual) teacher at the teacher-led Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy in Denver, CO. She holds her National Board Certification and has been teaching for 19 years. Prior to this position, she served as president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. She has also been actively involved in promoting quality teaching and learning. She served on Colorado governor Bill Ritter’s Quality Teaching Commission. She was a principal member of the Teacher Union Reform Network and was appointed to serve on the NEA Professional Standards and Practice Committee. She has four children who all attend Denver public schools.