Equity Conference 2021
Our achievement and opportunity gaps must be addressed. Recent statistics from the Virginia Department of Education show that our students of color and low-income students are performing at a lower level on Standards of Learning Assessments than similar demographic groups in the state of Virginia. Wide disparities exist in student race and income levels for those recommended and retained in Honors/Advanced classes in our Middle and High Schools. Marginalized membership groups are disproportionately identified for Special Education, while under-identified for gifted services. African-American and Latino students are suspended, expelled, and drop out at a rate five times higher than other students.
Culturally responsive pedagogy for ACPS is designed to broaden our skills for educating to and through the background and experiences of all of our students to decrease knowledge-based and motivation-driven gaps. Culturally Responsive Educators strive to engage students fully through relevant teaching and assessment. It includes educator self-reflection that increases awareness of implicit bias and microaggressions, subtle forms of discrimination that are perceived by students of color and hinder achievement.
2021 Equity Educator of the Year
The 2021 Equity and Diversity Educator of the Year recognition was presented to Ashby Johnson at the 6th annual equity and diversity conference. She will joins past advocates who have distinguished themselves for having a deep understanding, passion and the leadership to obtain consistent achievement results through the ACPS culturally responsive teaching model. Ms. Johnson was among the first group of principals to become certified in culturally responsive teaching, 2017. As the principal of Jack Jouett Middle School, she has provided division wide leadership to community conversations, division and feeder pattern courageous conversations about race sessions. Additionally, she lead and supported 6 of her Jouett staff, the highest number of educators in a school, to receive certification and micro-credentialing this year.
- OPENING ACTIVITIES 🔹 8:30-8:55 AM
- CRT FORUM I 🔹 9:00-9:45 am
- CRT Forum 2 🔹 9:50-10:35 am
- CRT Forum 3 🔹 10:40-11:25 am
- CLOSING ACTIVITIES 🔹 11:30-12:30 PM
Spring 2021 Certification Awardees
- Abigale Baum, Teacher, Albemarle High School
- Meghan Parsons, Counselor, Albemarle High School
- Steven Turner, Teacher, Albemarle High School
- Ashley Ravitsky, Teacher, Baker Butler Elementary School
- Christine Peterson, Assistant Principal, Baker Butler Elementary School
- Seth Kennard, Principal, Baker Butler Elementary School
- Russell Carlock, Assistant Principal, Burley Middle School
- Betsy Agee, Teacher, Crozet Elementary School
- Caitlin Poole, Talent Development Resource Teacher, Crozet Elementary School
- Elizabeth Player, Teacher, Hollymead Elementary School
- Allison Hawthorne, Teacher, Jouett Middle School
- Amanda Vogel, Teacher, Jouett Middle School
- Christie Isaiah, Assistant Principal, Jouett Middle School
- Kailyn Gilliam, Teacher, Jouett Middle School
- Paul Jones, Counselor, Jouett Middle School
- Tracy Goodson, Librarian, Jouett Middle School
- Martha Layman, Teacher, Red Hill Elementary School
- Nancy McCullen, Principal, Red Hill Elementary School
- Staci England, Principal, Scottsville Elementary School
- Kristina Passi, Teacher, Walton Middle School
- Adam Mulcahy, Teacher, Western Albemarle High School
- Fred Anderson, Teacher, Western Albemarle High School
- Kate Eagan, Teacher, Western Albemarle High School
- Jamela Jasper, Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Jennifer Underwood, Assistant Principal, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Kristen Williams, Principal, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Lorelei Pulliam, Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Jasmine Fernandez, Project Advisor & Anti-racism Program Manager, Central Office
- Allison Poindexter, Instructional Coach, Department of Instruction
- Katina Dudley, Lead Coach, Department of Instruction
- Meagan Maynard, Lead Coach, Department of Instruction
- Alfred Toole, Learning Technology Integrator, Department of Technology
Spring 2020 Micro-Credential Awardees
- Debora Collins, Deputy Superintendent, ACPS
- Jamie Gellner, Division Program Evaluator, ACPS
- Lorna Gerome, Director of Human Resources, ACPS and Albemarle County Government
- Clare Keiser, Assistant Superintendent for Organizational Development and HR, ACPS
- Cary Shaffer, Librarian, Agnor Hurt Elementary School
- Katie Christie, Teacher, Albemarle High School
- Joanne Cooner, Teacher, Albemarle High School
- Tom Panarese, Teacher, Albemarle High School
- Holly Newman, Talent Development Resource Teacher, Albemarle High School
- Kim Rieder, Teacher, Baker Butler Elementary School
- Beth Roesch, Teacher, Baker Butler Elementary School
- Sarah Shafran, Teacher, Baker Butler Elementary School
- Emily Stern, Teacher, Baker Butler Elementary School
- Rachel Morris, Teacher, Crozet Elementary School
- Jason Ver Planck, Librarian, Greer Elementary School
- Emily Elliot, Instructional Liaison, ESOL
- Chris Booz, Teacher, Henley Middle School
- Michael Combs, Assistant Principal, Henley Middle School
- Beth Costa, Principal, Henley Middle School
- Tim Howeth, Instructional Coach, Department of Instruction
- Julie Lindenbaum, Instructional Coach, Department of Instruction
- Shelby Matthews, Instructional Coach, Department of Instruction
- Sara Goldsmith, Teacher, Jouett Middle School
- Lina Schneider, Teacher, Jouett Middle School
- Clayton Ver Planck, Counselor, Jouett Middle School
- Andrea Atkinson, Teacher, Meriwether Lewis Elementary School
- Hannah Huntington, Teacher, Monticello High School
- Shanta James, Teacher, Mountainview Elementary School
- Arilana Zlotnick, Counselor, Red Hill Elementary School
- Kathy Anish, Talent Development Resource Teacher, Stony Point Elementary School
- Lauren Baber, Teacher, Stone Robinson Elementary School
- Analisa Herring, Teacher, Stone Robinson Elementary School
- Heidi Hull, Occupational Therapist, Stone-Robinson Elementary School
- Paula Archey, Librarian, Western Albemarle High School
- Olivia LeMay, Counselor, Western Albemarle High School
- Christopher Howell, Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Caitlin Lucas, ESOL Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
Welcome to the Sixth Annual Equity Conference
Marian McCullough Dorsey, Talent Development Resource Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
Welcome and Introduction:
Dr. Bernard Hairston, Assistant Superintendent of School & Community Empowerment, ACPS
Welcome to Community Members & Families:
Filadelfia Soto, ESOL Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
Dr. Matthew Haas, Superintendent, ACPS
- Spotlight session 1: Ashley Ravitsky: Music and CRT Working in Harmony: The Practice of Culturally Responsive Teaching as a Music Specialist
- Spotlight Session 2: Caitlin Poole: Talent Development and Culturally Responsive Teaching in the Elementary Grades
- Spotlight Session 3: Steve Turner: Now That I'm Finished, Let's Get Started: Moving Beyond Representation into Structures that Promote Greater Access and Opportunity for Success in College Level Courses
- Spotlight Session 4: Adam Mulcahy: Intentionality - Personal and Professional Growth with Culturally Responsive Education in High School
- Spotlight Session 5: Jasmine M. Fernández: Building Learning Partnerships at Central: Non-instructional staff Need to be Culturally Responsive, too!
- Spotlight Session 6: Jamela Jasper: Meeting Students where they are and moving them forward: Is personalized learning possible?
- Spotlight Session 7: N. McCullen and M. Layman: Lenses, Literacy, and Alliances:Teacher Leaders and Principal Shift Elementary School Culture
- Spotlight Session 8: M. Maynard and A. Poindexter: Navigating partnerships: Impacting equitable outcomes through a support role
- Micro-Credential Panel: Culturally Responsive Education Beyond the Classroom Teacher Role: Perspectives from the Library and Counseling World
Music and CRT Working in Harmony: The Practice of Culturally Responsive Teaching as a Music Specialist
Ashley Ravitsky, Music Teacher, Baker Butler Elementary School
Ashley Ravitsky just completed her 8th year as a music specialist at Baker-Butler elementary in Albemarle County Public Schools. Her educational philosophy is to create an environment where each students’ unique talents are seen and celebrated within a climate that promotes academic, emotional, and social growth. Through music, students learn to accept themselves for who they are as well as embrace the difference in others. Her journey through the CRT program has shaped her outlook on education as a whole in addition to her work inside the music classroom. She currently serves on her school’s equity team and looks forward to continuing work within the CRT framework in the future.
Talent Development and Culturally Responsive Teaching in the Elementary Grades
Caitlin Poole, Talent Development Resource Teacher, Crozet Elementary School
Caitlin Poole is completing her fourth year as a Talent Development Resource Teacher at Crozet Elementary. In her ten years as a teacher, she has taught in Thailand and in Fairfax County, Virginia before coming to Albemarle County. Her work centers around helping students identify and articulate their strengths, and then giving them opportunities to showcase them at school. She believes that partnerships with students, families, and teachers are key to this work.
Now That I'm Finished, Let's Get Started: Moving Beyond Representation into Structures that Promote Greater Access and Opportunity for Success in College Level Courses
Steve Turner, AP Psychology Teacher, Albemarle High School
Steven Turner is the Social Studies department chair at Albemarle High School where he teaches Psychology. Steven has worked closely with the American Psychological Association to strengthen and promote high school Psychology. In 2018 he received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the APA. He strives to promote greater access to Psychology and to make sure all students are able to see themselves in the discipline of Psychology. As a department chair he has worked to promote better access to college credit bearing courses for under-represented groups of students. His journey through the CRT process this year was shared with his wife, Katina Dudley who also earned certification this year.
Intentionality - Personal and Professional Growth with Culturally Responsive Education in High School
Adam Mulcahy, Environmental Sciences Academy Director, Western Albemarle High School
Adam Mulcahy is the Environmental Studies Academy Director where he teaches AP Environmental Science and is the Science Department Chair. Adam has been at Western Albemarle High School for the past 13 years. In that time he as taught Ecology, Animal Studies, Biology, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Horticulture, Environmental Lit/Law/Policy, AVID, and Freshman Seminar. In addition, he coached Football for 6 years, Track for 7 years, and has been the Head Varsity Wresting Coach for the past 9 years. Adam will finish his MED Admin and Supervision degree this fall.
Building Learning Partnerships at Central: Non-instructional staff Need to be Culturally Responsive, too!
Jasmine M. Fernández , Antiracism Project Manager, ACPS
Jasmine Fernández has worked to advance educational equity and the arts alongside communities across the world - from Brooklyn to Charlottesville, to Tanzania and Haiti. Between her experience in city government and organizing, Fernández has fostered partnerships with families, community organizations, and youth-led groups. Currently, Fernández serves as a Project Advisor and the Anti-Racism Program Manager at the Central office. She is a firm believer that building a culturally responsive, anti-racist school district requires the support and embodiment from all staff members – in and outside the classroom. During her spare time, Fernández oversees programming to cultivate the leadership development of children of incarcerated parents and volunteers with women of color candidates running for local office.
Meeting Students where they are and moving them forward: Is personalized learning possible?
Jamela Jasper, Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
Jamela Jasper is a fifth grade teacher at Woodbrook Elementary School in Albemarle County, Virginia. She has been an educator for 25 years, 20 of which have been within Albemarle County Schools. She is a mother and a wife that leans heavily on her faith in all she does. Collaboration with colleagues and partnering with families are two of her strengths. She believes that her classroom should be a safe, welcoming place where students are motivated to learn. She strives to foster a sense of hope, confidence and empowerment within her students. Being a lifelong learner, she has been trained in Responsive Classroom, earned a Masters in reading and now is very excited to have embarked on the journey of Culturally Responsive Teaching.
Lenses, Literacy, and Alliances:Teacher Leaders and Principal Shift Elementary School Culture
Nancy McCullen, Principal, Red Hill Elementary School
Martha Layman, Teacher, Red Hill Elementary School
Nancy McCullen is the principal at Red Hill Elementary School in Albemarle County, Virginia. She began her teaching career at Greer Elementary in August of 1993. In her 25+ years as an educator in Albemarle County she has served as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, technology integration specialist, mentor to beginning teachers, instructional coach, assistant principal and principal. Passionate about providing rich learning experiences for all students and achieving equitable outcomes for historically underserved populations, she has spent the past year striving to be a culturally responsive school leader. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, watching UVA sports, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Martha Layman is a fourth year Special Education teacher at Red Hill Elementary School in Albemarle County; two years as the Autism-BASE teacher and two years as the Behavior-BASE teacher. She has also been a co-DRT for three years, and just recently earned her Certification in Culturally Responsive Teaching. Her recent work has focused on building student, family and community partnerships. Through the development of an Equity Team and a Family and Community Partnership Committee, she has developed relationships that will lay the groundwork for authentic learning alliances. Her favorite job, however, is partnering with her wonderfully differently-abled students.
Navigating partnerships: Impacting equitable outcomes through a support role
Meagan Maynard, Lead Coach, ACPS
Allison Poindexter, Instructional Coach, Western Feeder Pattern, ACPS
Meagan Maynard is a Lead Coach for Career and Technical Education with the Department of Instruction in Albemarle County Public Schools. She also supports instructional coaches in the Western secondary schools which includes Western Albemarle High School, Henley Middle School and Community Lab School. Previously Meagan served as a CTE teacher for 17 years in Charlottesville City and Newport News Public Schools.
Allison Poindexter is a 20 year veteran educator who has taught English Language Arts and Special Education to students in grades 6 through 12 in a variety of schools in Virginia and Florida. She currently serves as an instructional coach in the secondary Western feeder pattern for Albemarle County Public Schools. As an instructional coach, she has coached a number of teachers to earn their micro-credential or certification in Culturally Responsive Teaching. Allison values making intentional moves to drive instructional change and support student achievement, and believes in the power of data to inform decision making, because students deserve powerful instruction and teachers have the capacity to positively impact student achievement.
Culturally Responsive Education Beyond the Classroom Teacher Role: Perspectives from the Library and Counseling World
Paula Archey, Librarian, Western Albemarle High School
Andrea Atkinson, Librarian, Meriwether Lewis Elementary School
Olivia LeMay, Counselor, Western Albemarle High School
Paula Archey, Librarian, Western Albemarle High School
Paula Archey grew up in Massachusetts, where she earned a BA in education and psychology and taught elementary and middle school before moving to Charlottesville, VA. After earning a Master's in Library Science, she spent four years as an Instruction and Outreach Librarian at the University of Virginia. Her outreach efforts there connected her with a network of amazing Charlottesville and Albemarle County librarians who inspired her move to high school librarianship. She is currently a Librarian and Diversity Resource Teacher at Western Albemarle High School. She loves getting to know her students (and colleagues!) and helping them acquire the skills and resources they need to be confident and successful. Inclusivity and compassion are the foundations of her work and life.
Andrea Atkinson, Librarian, Meriwether Lewis Elementary School
Andrea Atkinson is currently completing her 8th year as the Librarian/Media Specialist at Meriwether Lewis Elementary. Prior to this position, she served as a classroom teacher in grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2 and 5. She also held positions as the Media Specialist in elementary, middle and high school. These positions were all within one, very culturally diverse district located in Flint, Michigan. Always striving to meet the needs of every student, Ms. Atkinson knew that becoming a more Culturally Responsive Teacher was a necessity. “I always knew that it ‘takes a village to raise a child’, but now I understand the importance of incorporating individual family cultures to guarantee high achievement for all students”. She looks forward to continued learning and growth and the celebrations of success with her students.
Olivia LeMay, Counselor, Western Albemarle High School
Olivia LeMay is completing her second year as a school counselor at Western Albemarle High School. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, she worked as a preschool TA in a Title I school in Fairfax County. That experience lead her to pursue a Master's in Education from the University of Virginia. After starting at Western, she joined their Equity team and is excited to continue next year.
- Spotlight Session 1: Kristina Passi: The CRT Cycle: Internal Interrogation, Intentional Shifts, and Their Impacts In Middle School Language Arts
- Spotlight Session 2: K. Williams and J. Underwood: Culturally Responsive Leadership to Ensure Equitable Outcomes for All of Our Woodbrook Elementary Students
- Spotlight Session 3: Tracy Goodson: A Library for the Jouett Community
- Spotlight Session 4: Lorelei Pulliam: Taking the Reins Through CRT - An Unexpectedly Bright Trail Through A Challenging Year
- Spotlight Session 5: Fred Anderson: Language and Culture: Supporting Student Growth in ESOL and World Languages with CRT
- Spotlight Session 6: Alfred Toole: Let's Talk about Race: Where and how does race intersect with Culturally Responsive Teaching?
- Spotlight Session 7: Betsy Agee: CRT Practices to Close the Opportunity Gap in Elementary Schools
- Spotlight Session 8: Russell Carlock: Building a Schoolwide System for Learning Partnerships
- Spotlight Session 9: Staci England: Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading in a Small Rural School: A Work in Progress
- Microcredential Panel : Culturally Responsive Language Programming: Perspectives from a School and Division Level
Session Title: The CRT Cycle: Internal Interrogation, Intentional Shifts, and Their Impacts In Middle School Language Arts
Kristina Passi, Teacher, Walton Middle School
Kristina Passi is a 6th grade language arts teacher at Leslie H. Walton Middle School. Her lifelong desire to foster a space for students to learn and express themselves through authentic reading and writing experiences inspired her to pursue her Masters in Reading Education and certification in English for Speakers of Other Languages. When she is not teaching, Kristina can be found exploring new coffee shops, perusing used bookstores, and cheering on her Auburn Tigers.
Culturally Responsive Leadership to Ensure Equitable Outcomes for All of Our Woodbrook Elementary Students
Kristen Williams, Principal, Woodbrook Elementary School
Jennifer Underwood, Assistant Principal, Woodbrook Elementary School
Kristen Williams is currently the principal at Woodbrook Elementary School. For over 20 years, she has had the privilege of working alongside an amazing cadre of colleagues, students, and families in Albemarle County Public Schools. Her experiences include working as a teaching assistant, literacy specialist, lead coach and now, school administrator.This year, she was honored to partner with Assistant Principal, Jen Underwood on their Culturally Responsive Teaching journey. Together, they focused on building strong family partnerships and implementing school wide equitable practices that support ALL students in reaching their full potential. She looks forward to working closely with the Woodbrook Equity Team to keep this work moving forward.
Jennifer Underwood is the Assistant Principal at Woodbrook Elementary School. For the last 19 years, she has been an ACPS teacher, instructional coach, and administrator. She believes in the power of positive, genuine relationships with students, families, and staff. She was honored to partner this year with her Principal, Kristen Williams. Together they enthusiastically embraced equitable practices through an asset-based lens. Jennifer loves spending time with her family and friends. She loves the beach, reading on her porch, and all things Nationals’ baseball
A Library for the Jouett Community
Tracy Goodson, Librarian, Jouett Middle School
Tracy Goodson is finishing her fourth year at Jack Jouett Middle School as the librarian and year twenty-two as an educator. She is a Hampton Roads native and now resides in Augusta County surrounded by the beautiful mountains and her family. Her passion for equitable usage of Jouett's library resources jump started this journey that has led her to reach out to families in creative ways this school year and transformed how she views education. She is a member of the Virginia Association for School Libraries (VAASL) and Jouett's Diversity Team.
Taking the Reins Through CRT - An Unexpectedly Bright Trail Through A Challenging Year
Lorelei Pulliam, Special Education Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
Lorelei Pulliam is a Special Education Teacher at Woodbrook Elementary School in Albemarle County, Va. She holds a Masters Degree in Special Ed with an emphasis on Autism, in addition to being a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Lorelei is also a certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, specializing in Mental Health and Learning. With her husband, Ron, they run the non-profit, Gallastar Equine Center in Esmont Virginia. Gallastar was one of the first in the United States to blend therapeutic riding instructor with a mental health expert.
Aside from her passion for teaching and using rescued animals to assist in the healing of children, Lorelei has been greatly inspired over the years to work towards a solution to the Achievement Gap for Black Children with Disabilities in our Public Schools. The fight for Disability Justice cannot be divorced from the fight for Racial Justice. The relationship between racism and ableism are roots of the same tree, yet it is a subject rarely discussed with the educators in our schools. If changes are going to be made, it must begin with researched based interventions throughout the school years that goes far beyond just being compliant to Federal Law.
This extraordinary year was one in which Ms. Pulliam participated with her students in the novel Virtual Teaching sessions. Through these sessions, she had the unique opportunity to see what was possible when true inclusion and self-determinism for her students could be implemented.
In the future, Ms Pulliam would like to work as an advocate for multiply marginalized students and their parents and infuse Culturally Responsive Teaching into the work that she does at Gallastar.
Session Title: Language and Culture: Supporting Student Growth in ESOL and World Languages with CRTFred Anderson, ESOL & World Languages Teacher, Western Albemarle High School
Fred Anderson is an ESOL, French and Spanish teacher at Western Albemarle High School. He has served as a teacher and coach at most the County's middle and high schools during his 16 years in education. As a language teacher, he seeks to build language skills through strong learning partnerships and cultural understanding of self and others.
Let's Talk about Race: Where and how does race intersect with Culturally Responsive Teaching?
Alfred Toole, Learning Technology Integrator, Western Feeder Pattern
For the past three years, Alfred Toole has served as a Learning Technology Integrator at Western Albemarle and Murray High. Prior to that, he spent seventeen years with Charlottesville City teaching Technology Education and ended his career there teaching English 10, Yearbook, and Newspaper. He graduated from UVA in 1995. He has also worked at the Waynesboro church of Christ since 1999 as a youth minister. He and his wife Angie spend most of their free time chasing around five boys.
CRT Practices to Close the Opportunity Gap in Elementary Schools
Betsy Agee, Teacher, Crozet Elementary School
Betsy Agee is a fifth grade teacher at Crozet Elementary. During her thirty-one years in education, she has served in many leadership positions, including principal of two middle schools and central office instructional support in both Augusta and Albemarle County Public Schools. Since returning to the classroom, Betsy was recognized as the featured elementary teacher for Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots program, speaking to numerous schools and organizations about her experiences with STEM-based compassionate community service projects.
Building a Schoolwide System for Learning Partnerships
Russell Carlock, Assistant Principal, Burley Middle School
Russell (Rusty) H. Carlock is assistant principal at Jackson P. Burley Middle School. He is a National Board Certified Teacher and has taught English as Second or other Language, American Studies, History, and English Language Arts, as well as adult education and courses on supporting immigrant students and early childhood education for graduate students. He earned his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where his research focused on how community organizing and activism can create more equitable schools. In 2018, Carlock was named Virginia History Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Department of Education and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. In 2020, Carlock helped write the curriculum for the first statewide course on African American History in Virginia and served on the Reframing the Narrative Project to create anti-racist curricula in Virginia's public schools.
Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading in a Small Rural School: A Work in Progress
Staci England, Principal, Scottsville Elementary School
Staci is happy to be principal at Scottsville Elementary School where she gets to work with amazing kids and adults. In her career she has worked in elementary, middle, and high schools and loves each one! Prior to being a school administrator, she directed a 21st Century Community Learning Center, worked as a high school science teacher, volleyball coach, and a 4-H Extension Agent. If she had time for such things, she would love kayaking, reading, and woodworking. During her presentation she will share what she has learned on this journey and what she hopes to accomplish next.
Culturally Responsive Language Programming: Perspectives from a School and Division Level
Presenters: Sara Goldsmith, Spanish Teacher, Jack Jouett Middle School
Emily Elliot, ESOL Instructional Liaison, ACPS
Emily Elliott is the Instructional Liaison for the International & ESOL Program. This year, she also had the privilege of serving students and families as an AHS Learning Coach, and the ESOL teacher for Broadus Wood, Meriwether Lewis, and the Community Lab School. Her Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) journey uplifted the fact that our families are looking for true partnership with ACPS and are only waiting to be asked to share their vast cultural funds of knowledge. Emily uses her daily work with multilingual students and families to inform her roles as the Virginia EL Supervisors' Association Secretary and Region V Representative. She also applies a CRT lens to her membership of the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Foreign Language Association of Virginia, Metropolitan Area of Foreign Student Advisors, and Virginia Dual Language Educators Network. A life-long learner and linguistics lover, Emily enjoys bridging from her Spanish into new languages, such as French and Irish. She believes that Charlemagne put it best when he said, "To have another language is to possess a second soul." Thank you! ¡Gracias! Merci! Go raibh maith agat!
Sara Goldsmith is a third year teacher from Raleigh, North Carolina. She studied ESOL Education and Spanish Language and Literature at N.C. State University. Currently, Sara teaches Spanish at Jack Jouett Middle School. Her core values are about maintaining authenticity in her practice, and forging intentional, authentic and long lasting relationships with her students and their families. Defining and celebrating identity and culture are at the center of her Spanish 1 curriculum.
- Spotlight session 1: Kate Eagen: Building Relationships to Ask, Answer, and Act on Important Questions in HS Science
- Spotlight Session 2: S. Kennard and C. Peterson: Naked and Afraid: The Power in Vulnerable and Reflective CRT Leadership
- Spotlight Session 3: K. Dudley: As students enter our classrooms, they should not be expected to leave their culture at the door. How can we expand our thinking as science teachers in order to provide more inclusive classrooms for ALL students?
- Spotlight Session 4: Amanda Vogel: Using media literacy and non-fiction reading to combat bias and increase rigor at the middle school level
- Spotlight Session 5: Christie Isaiah: Stronger Together: Fostering a Culturally Responsive School Environment
- Spotlight Session 6: Paul Jones: Culturally Responsive Education: A Process and Mission to Effect Positive Change Every Day in Every Individual
- Spotlight Session 7: Elizabeth Player: Winding Cables to Hold: What We are Creating for Kids in our Culturally Responsive Teaching Efforts
- Spotllight Session 8: Kailyn Gilliam: Challenging the Traditional in A Non-Traditional Year: Rethinking Instruction through a Culturally-Responsive, Anti-Bias, and Anti-Racist Lens
- Micro-Credential Panel: Culturally Responsive Education: Multiple Perspectives
Building Relationships to Ask, Answer, and Act on Important Questions in HS Science
Presenter: Kate Eagen, Teacher, Western Albemarle High School
Kate Eagen is a third year, High School Science teacher (Biology/Earth Science) at Western Albemarle High School. Her journey in pursuing educational equity began with Teach For America and she was excited at the opportunity to meaningfully reflect on her pedagogy with new colleagues in Albemarle County so that she could 'get it right, not be right'. Her goals for the classroom are that students develop the skills to Ask, Answer, and Act on meaningful questions in their life. This goal requires a great deal of relationship building and the journey in CRT Certification helped her to recognize the ways in which her own cultural lens was unconsciously shaping the relationships she cultivated and the curriculum she brought to students. In an effort to see beyond her blind spots and to radically re-center students in science curriculum, she created and now serves on a team that is Expanding the Narrative in ACPS science curriculum, starting with a Biology test set. She will continue to teach Earth Science and Biology next year at Western.
Naked and Afraid: The Power in Vulnerable and Reflective CRT Leadership
Seth Kennard, Principal, Baker Butler Elementary School
Christine Peterson, Assistant Principal, Baker Butler Elementary School
Seth Kennard has served as principal of Baker-Butler Elementary School for the past two years. Prior to coming to Albemarle County, he served as a principal in Alexandria City Public Schools for 10 years. His passions include special education, trauma-informed instructional approaches, language acquisition strategies and joyful kids. Seth is currently a coach supporting candidates pursuing their CRT Micro-Credentialing Certification, and is the co-chair of the Leadership and Administration Subcommittee of the Albemarle County Public Schools Anti-Racism Committee.
Christine Peterson is an Assistant Principal at Baker-Butler Elementary School. Children delight and energize her! She believes that iterative reflection about her personal culture and the cultures of her staff and students has brought about awareness, begun to remove barriers, and is creating pathways to learning. She is deeply committed to forging partnerships and academic alliances with students, families, and staff alike. Prior to becoming an AP, Christine has served in various instructional roles in ACPS at the Elementary level.
As students enter our classrooms, they should not be expected to leave their culture at the door. How can we expand our thinking as science teachers in order to provide more inclusive classrooms for ALL students?
Presenter: Katina Dudley, Lead Coach, ACPS
Katina Dudley is a Charlottesville native and graduate of Albemarle High School. She has worked for ACPS for the past 25 years, teaching biological sciences and student leadership. From 2012-2019, she served as Director of the Health and Medical Sciences Academy prior to changing roles to join the division leadership team as a Lead Coach. She currently serves as a Lead Coach working with science and AVID teachers across the division. Her passion for science and interest in medicine provided an opportunity to take a deep look into inclusive practices in science classrooms. She hopes to partner with science teachers to consider ways in which our classrooms allow opportunities for students to bring with them their own culture and experiences in order to join in on the conversations.
Using media literacy and non-fiction reading to combat bias and increase rigor at the middle school level
Presenter: Amanda Vogel, Teacher, Jouett Middle School
Amanda Vogel is a special education teacher and AVID coordinator at Jack Jouett Middle School. She began her teaching career working with middle school students in Honolulu, Hawai’i. As a collaborative English Language Arts teacher, Amanda has always been passionate about how students make meaning throughout a rich range of literacy practices. This year she has grown in her use of culturally responsive teaching to help all students succeed by focusing on ways to increase rigor and relevance in the classroom.
Stronger Together: Fostering a Culturally Responsive School Environment
Presenter: Christie Isaiah, Assistant Principal, Jack Jouett Middle School
Christie Isaiah currently serves the Jack Jouett community as an Assistant Principal. She began her teaching career in Richmond City Schools and later an Assistant Principal in Charlottesville City Schools. Her belief is that having a partnership with students and their families, and a commitment to support their cultural needs will foster equitable opportunities for every student to achieve excellence. She recently earned her certification recognizing her efforts to be a Culturally Responsive Leader.
Culturally Responsive Education: A Process and Mission to Effect Positive Change Every Day in Every Individual
Presenter: Paul Jones, Counselor, Jack Jouett Middle School
Paul Jones is currently a School Counselor at Jack Jouett Middle School. He has been with ACPS for 14 years and in education for 19 years.
Winding Cables to Hold: What We are Creating for Kids in our Culturally Responsive Teaching Efforts
Presenter: Elizabeth Player, Teacher, Hollymead Elementary School
Liz is the reading and math interventionist at Hollymead Elementary School. She studied education at Brigham Young University, then later she received her masters degree in reading curriculum and instruction at the University of Virginia. She is the mother of three children (Joshua, Amelia, and Elias) who have been her most valuable and loyal test subjects through all of her graduate and professional studies. At Hollymead she serves a diverse group of students who represent many cultures and socioeconomic groups, at church she leads a group of 120 women in her congregation's Relief Society from all walks of life, and her role and example as a world citizen is always on her mind as a mother. This year she focused on gathering data in new ways to inform her efforts in examining her cultural lens, instruction and partnerships. In her presentation she'll explain how she ditched the motto "we can do better" and replaced it with the mantra "I am always ready to 'do different'."
Challenging the Traditional in A Non-Traditional Year: Rethinking Instruction through a Culturally-Responsive, Anti-Bias, and Anti-Racist Lens
Presenter: Kailyn Gilliam, Teacher, Jack Jouett Middle School
Kailyn Gilliam is a third-year educator at Jouett Middle School in Albemarle County. In her three years of teaching, she has discovered a passion for student-centered instruction that is equity-minded, with a clear focus on student achievement and positive outcomes. She believes in the power of partnerships, the work of culturally-responsive teaching, and necessity for anti-bias/anti-racist educational strategies. Kailyn's work is focused in creating a learning space where all children can thrive, where all children can learn, and where all children are given equitable opportunities to grow. In addition, Kailyn currently serves at the Diversity Resource Teacher for her school and been an active member of the ACPS DRT Professional Development Team.
Culturally Responsive Education: Multiple Perspectives
Jamie Gellner, Division Program Evaluator, ACPS
Chris Booz, Teacher, Henley Middle School
Analisa Herring, Interventionist, Stone Robinson Elementary School
Beth Roesch, Teacher, Baker Butler Elementary School
Currently, Jamie Gellner works in ACPS in the Office of Strategic Planning as the Division Program Evaluator. Previously, she has served as the Assistant Director of Transportation and as a special projects manager in the transportation department of Fairfax County Public Schools. Prior to that, she taught varying levels of high school English at West Springfield High School and Lewis High School in Fairfax County after serving in the Army as a transportation officer. For over twenty years, she has been passionate about serving her country and community while building inclusive environments so that all students reach the goals that they set for themselves. This year, she was able to practice culturally responsive school leadership given the opportunity to build the new strategic plan with members of the school community.
Chris Booz has been a classroom teacher for 16 years. She's taught in Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia. At Henley she serves on the leadership team as well as a Diversity Resource teacher. As an educator, she strives to build an inclusive, rigorous community for all learners while fostering strong, positive relationships with families. This year she helped create anti-racist lessons for middle school students in the county. She recently began her doctoral work at Virginia Commonwealth University in leadership. Her passions include her family, equity, her students, and books.
Analisa Herring attended Albemarle County Schools and graduated from AHS. Wanting to give back to her community, she returned to ACPS as a K-8 teacher and recently finished her 26th year with the county. Analisa has served ACPS in many capacities ranging from a middle school math and Language Arts teacher to a 4th grade teacher, a Talent and Development Specialist, an Extension Specialist and is currently a 2-3 math and reading Interventionist. She believes in the power of recognizing one’s personal CRT journey and how that acknowledgement creates equitable learning opportunities for all students. As an Interventionist, she understands the importance of a classroom structure that is both efficient and productive. Through the use of positive affirmations and academic language frames she was able to build confident and capable mathematicians in both virtual and hybrid learning environments this year. Analisa is looking forward to in person learning next year where she can continue her CRT learning experience.
Beth Roesch is a fourth grade teacher at Baker-Butler Elementary who is finishing her fifteenth year of teaching in ACPS. She graduated from the University of Virginia many years ago with a degree in economics and then twenty years later, received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College. As an educator, she believes in building a collectivist community of students where oral communication is a primary focus and students learn from each other. A focal point of her instruction also includes exposure to real-world situations and how we as a community respond to them.
Welcome to the Equity Conference Awards Ceremony
Moderator: Kimberly Ann Gibson, Lead Coach, ACPS
CRT Microcredential Awards & Team Recognition
Presenter: Lars Holmstrom, ACPS Equity Specialist
Culturally Responsive Teaching:
The Power of a CRT Community
Speaker: LaNika Barnes, Teacher, Albemarle High School
CRT Certification Awards & Team Recognition
Presenter: B. Leilani Brazil Keys, ACPS Equity Specialist
Equity & Diversity Educator of the Year
Presenter: Dr. Bernard Hairston, Assistant Superintendent of School and Community Empowerment
Equity Conference Call to Action
Speaker: Monica Laux, Librarian, Albemarle High School
Dr. L. Bernard Hairston serves as the Assistant Superintendent for School Community Empowerment with the Albemarle County Public Schools. Patterns of his passion work are evident through focused programming and practices that confront systemic barriers that prohibit students from reaching their potential. His uniqueness is often self-described as swimming against the current. He is the founding president of the 100 Black Men of Central Virginia and the African American Teaching Fellows. Both are long standing non-profit community partners with ACPS to close achievement and teacher recruitment and retention gaps. His 2020 leadership motto is “Moving Forward, Not On My Watch,” a reference to holding each other accountable for addressing equitable outcomes.
Lars Holmstrom is excited to enter his 17th year in education, energized by the future of equity work in Albemarle County Public Schools. His present role on the ACPS Equity Specialist Team marks the most recent evolution in a career continuously clarified by the challenge of being an educator in service of culturally diverse students and families. Lars received his own CRT Certification while an ACPS Instructional Coach in the 2016-17 school year.
B. Leilani Brazil Keys is an Equity Specialist in Albemarle County Public Schools and is a former teacher of History, Ethnic Studies, and ESOL at Albemarle High School in Charlottesville, Virginia. She grew up in Oah’u, Hawai’i, and later received her B.A. degree from U.C.L.A. in History and Political Science and a graduate degree in Education from Mills College in California’s Bay Area. She began her teaching career in public schools in Oakland, California and continued her teaching in Manoa, Hawai’i at a public charter school serving Native Hawaiian students before moving to Albemarle County in 2008. Leilani is currently pursuing her M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision at UVA’s School of Education.
Ayanna Mitchell is an educator, mother, entrepreneur and community advocate. She is an educator and advocate for student success. Her passion and persistence towards equitable student outcomes has driven her to be a better educator and teacher leader for all of her PK-HS students.
She is currently an ACPS Equity Specialist leading transfortational change towards becoming a Culturally Responsive and an Anti-Racist School Division. She works diligently to empower others through a shared leadership and collective learning.
She has her Master Degree in Education Leardship and Supervision from George Mason University and is currently enrolled in Harvard Business School for Certificatfication in School Management and Leadership (CSML).