Meet’s Teacher Leaders

About Teacher Leaders and Spotlight Funds’s Teacher Leader program allows exceptional teachers from across the country to share their skills and experiences with other educators. Teachers may apply to be a Teacher Leader in the areas of our Spotlight Funds (areas of particularly great need). 

Register your school or classroom to hear about upcoming grant opportunities from our Spotlight Funds.

Then log in to the teacher dashboard and check out our Teacher Leader resources. You can find quick step-by-step video instructions for accessing the Teacher Leader resource library here.

Arts Fund

Shellie Sallas-Leveratt

Shellie Sallas-Leveratt is a National Board-Certified teacher and has been teaching since 2004. She currently teaches kindergarten and first grade students in a play-based program integrating art throughout the school day.

Arts Fund Resource: “Teaching Literacy and Growth Mindset with Art”

Marisa Bagwell

Marisa Bagwell teaches elementary general music and chorus in Greenville, South Carolina. She is a 17-year teacher and teaches voice lessons and choir outside of the school day.

Arts Fund Resource: “Hands on Learning with Drums”

Alston Albarado

Mr. Alston Alika Albarado, M.F.A (known as Kumu Alston to his students) is the Hawaiian Studies teacher at President Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. Drawing on his experience in youth theatre, he strives to integrate non-traditional methods into his curriculum, including educational technology, place-based learning, social-emotional learning, and differentiated instruction.

Arts Fund Resource: “Hana Hou Ana I Nā Āmana: Patterns of Hawaiian Kapa Cloth”

Sherise Maraj

Sherise Maraj is a proud public school special education teacher in Briarwoods, Queens. She is passionate about finding innovative learning opportunities for students of all abilities and takes pride in nurturing curious, lifelong learners.

Arts Fund Resource: “Create a Graffiti Wall & Haiku Haven”

Aretha Perry

Aretha Perry is always looking for ways to put an innovative spin on traditional education methods. In the classroom, her goal is to create a positive environment where every child is safe and supported so that they can flourish.

Arts Fund Resource: “Create a Graffiti Wall & Haiku Haven”

Inclusive Classroom Fund

Kelly Vankirk

Kelly Vankirk has taught 6th grade English Language Arts in Prescott Valley, Arizona for the last seven years. She is known for her extensive classroom library and infectious love of books!

Inclusive Classroom Fund Resource: “Reading for Empathy”

Beth Goodrich

Beth Goodrich has been an early childhood educator for 26 years. During this time, she’s worked with Pre-K and Kindergarten students in both public and private schools, as well as in homeschool settings. She currently works with autistic Kindergartners.

Inclusive Classroom Fund Resource: “Easy Peasy Segmenting”

Racial Equity in Schools Fund

Felicia Henderson

Felicia Henderson has been an educator for the past 16 years. She currently teaches 1st grade and relishes the opportunity to play a role in every student’s learning journey.

Racial Equity in Schools Fund Resource: “Power of Positivity”

Amanda Haas

Amanda Haas has been an educator for more than 20 years and has spent the past 15 years teaching in the Detroit charter school system. She uses project based instruction in her classroom and believes that relationships are the most important aspect within the classroom.

Racial Equity in Schools Fund Resource: “A Girl Like ME! Rising above and being ourselves!”

Robert Halkitis

Robert Halkitis is a social studies and special education teacher for grades 7-12 from New York, New York. He is passionate about working with secondary school students and feels honored to have the opportunity to help students develop academically and socially.

Racial Equity in Schools Fund Resource: “My Racial Autobiography: Exploring ourselves together”

Rosa Martin Knoepfel

Rosa Martin Knoepfel’s trauma-informed teaching philosophy has developed rapidly since she entered the classroom in 2001. In the classroom, she focuses on uplifting student voices and developing social-emotional wellness skills. Outside of school, Rosa is the co-founder of Urban Art Beat (UAB), a mentorship program that now links schools and juvenile detention centers with musicians from around the globe.

Racial Equity in Schools Fund Resource: “Using Realistic Fiction to Combat Stereotypes”


Adam Haas

Adam Haas has been an educator for 15 years. He currently teaches K-5 STEM at a school in North Carolina and he relishes the opportunity to build adaptive problem solvers and critical thinkers every day.

STEM Fund Resource: “Introducing Coding and Simple Machines”

Ana Soares

Ana Cristina Soares has taught in both Brazil and the United States in the past 24 years. She currently teaches in the Utah Portuguese Dual Language Immersion Program and is a big proponent of STEAM education.

STEM Fund Resource: “Building a Tower of Gratitude – Engineering Challenge”

Scott Donnely

Scott Donnely is a grade 5/6 science and social studies teacher at Carnegie Elementary near Pittsburgh, PA. He loves attending summer professional development and is an alum of NASA Space Camp, the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, and more.

STEM Fund Resource: “Exploring with Coding”

Dr. Philip Kudish

Dr. Philip Kudish comes to teaching after a decade working in research and development for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as a decade in higher education. Nowadays, he enjoys teaching middle and high school students full-time.

STEM Fund Resource: “Get Cutting Edge Equipment with Funding”

Abbie Durr

Abbie Durr has been teaching elementary and middle schools for over 20 years. She currently teaches eighth-grade science and loves how the subject allows her to use creativity to create engaging, memorable learning experiences for students. She loves teaching Science because there are so many ways to incorporate activities and labs to make the lessons fun and memorable.

STEM Fund Resource: “Magnificent Molecules”

Thank you for standing beside teachers. With your support, we can ensure every student has the supplies they deserve to succeed in school.

Raise your hand to learn more.

Subscribe to updates.

Sign up to learn more.

Sign up to receive information about