LVP Practitioner Advisory Board - Digital Promise

LVP Practitioner Advisory Board


Alamelu Sundaram-Walters
ESL Educator
Mount Laurel Schools/Camden Community College

Alamelu Sundaram-Walters has 17 years of teaching experience in grades K-12 and two years of experience as an Adjunct ESL professor at Camden Community College. Previously, she taught ESL in New York for about three years and has been the NJ Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages/NJ Bilingual Educators (NJTESOL/NJBE) New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Representative Liaison Executive Board member for the past two years. She is also a member of the NJEA Instruction Committee and the Mount Laurel Minority Recruitment Committee, and currently sits on the Executive Minority Recruitment member for Burlington County. Sundaram-Walters is a Certified Remind Educator and ClassDojo Mentor for her district and is an Advisory Council member for Free Spirit Publishing as well as Publishes Curriculum Writing. She earned her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Spanish from Drew University, her M.A. in Language Education from Rutgers University, and an M.S. at Touro College. She is currently an ESL educator for grades K-4 in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and is attaining her Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum Instruction. She is passionate about bridging the gap among multilingual learners/families and the school community and is also fluent in reading, writing, and speaking Spanish.

Alexis Mays-Fields
Special Education Coach
Center City Public Charter Schools

Alexis Mays-Fields is a Native Washingtonian. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Teaching and has been working as a K-12 educator for 14 years. Alexis currently serves as a Special Education Coach for a network of six charter schools in Washington, D.C. She supports more than 35 faculty members who are responsible for a minimum of 120 students with diverse learning needs. Alexis is a lifelong learner with a passion to serve others. Her key aspirations are to create, foster, and ignite change within the field of education to impact the lives of both children and adult learners.

Anni Kumar
Head of Information Technology
Vikas Bharati Public School

Anni Kumar has served as the Head of IT in Vikas Bharati Public School since 2007 and received her M.S. in Computer Science, establishing herself as an innovator by researching and implementing a directory for accessible software in supporting teachers. She also mentored a group of students to develop an AI project on Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the project received second-runner up in the AI for Good India Challenge and Tech for Good E2 Global Challenge. Anni is the author of four series of textbooks that are recommended in more than 100 schools throughout India: Digital World, My Personal Computer ,Computer Browser, and Coding with Computers for grades 1-8. She won the Best Teacher Award by IIHM, Adobe Ambassador Award, and Enhancing Student Voice and AI Project for hearing and speech impairment by Microsoft. Anni helped develop software, such as Result Maker for preschool through 12th grade, to facilitate management of the educational system, as well as addressing specific learning needs and requirements of young learners and teachers. The excitement in the eyes of the young learners motivates her to give her best to her students and colleagues.

Ashley Walton
Academic Interventionist/Consultant
Center City PCS Shaw/ATW Education Consulting (CEO & Founder)

Ashley Walton is currently an Academic Interventionist at a Title I charter school in Northwest Washington, D.C., servicing grades PreK-8. In that role, she focuses specifically on math instruction, data, and levels of support to improve quality of teaching and student outcomes for all learners throughout the entire campus. At the end of 2020, Ashley launched and became CEO of ATW Education Consulting with the intention to collaborate and strengthen education networks and serve as an advocate for educators, students, and parents. Ashley has been involved with several partnerships with districts and networks, overseeing resident teachers, developing curriculum, and aiding in the process for aspiring schools. She has served as an Adjunct Professor for John Hopkins University within their graduate program for educators. Ashley brings nearly a decade of experience working in and with schools as a general and special education teacher, leader, and coach. In 2017, she was recognized by The New Teacher Project as a Fishman Finalist for her exemplary teacher practices in the general education classroom. She is an alumni of the New Leaders, Emerging Leaders Cohort and currently serves on the National Alumni Board for Urban Teachers. Ashley received a B.A. from Spelman College in English and an Ed.M. in the Elementary Education and Specialized Instruction at Lesley University.

Erin Shoemaker
Director of Digital Innovation and Personalized Professional Learning
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Erin Shoemaker has served the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School community for over 15 years as a teacher, instructional facilitator, Dean of Students, Personalized Digital Learning Specialist, and Director of Digital Innovation and Personalized Professional Learning. Erin enjoys collaborating with her team to think innovatively about meeting the needs of educators and providing high quality professional learning experiences that integrate the use of digital tools. She grew up in Kendall, New York, and currently lives in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area with her family, including two children. In her free time, Erin enjoys listening to podcasts, time on the water, and quality time with friends and family.

Joni Sexton
Teacher Leader, Digital Literacy Specialist
Middletown City Schools/Central Academy Nongraded Elementary School

Joni Sexton taught sixth and seventh grade English Language Arts and coached the high school soccer team before taking a break for eight years to raise her sons. Upon re-entering the teacher workforce, she substitute taught seventh and eighth grade Spanish before accepting a position teaching eighth grade English Language Arts for the following 21 years. She received an M.A. and Ph.D. as well as a principal’s license before becoming the Teacher Leader Digital Literacy Specialist at Central Academy Nongraded Elementary School in Middletown, Ohio, where she has currently worked for the past three years. Joni loves helping students and staff learn and believes that her job focuses on servant leadership to encourage both students and staff as they progress on their academic journey. She considers herself a lifelong learner and is still learning and enjoying every moment of it!

Latia White
Instructional Strategist
Harney Middle School

Latia White has 18 years of teaching experience in grades K-12 as a special education and English teacher. Latia has a passion for equity and inclusion for all students. She is currently an Instructional Strategist at her school in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she works to coordinate and support implementation of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) and provides instructional coaching and professional development in equitable instructional practices and culturally responsive teaching. She also continues to mentor and support new special education teachers in her school. She has taught in Virginia and North Carolina. Latia was selected to be Teacher of the Year at her middle school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Grand Canyon University where she is researching teacher self-efficacy, collective teacher efficacy, culturally responsive teaching practices, and multicultural teaching competency.

Laurie Guyon
Coordinator for Model Schools
Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex (WSWHE) BOCES

Laurie Guyon is the Coordinator for Model Schools at WSWHE BOCES in Saratoga Springs, New York and a trainer with the New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education (NYSCATE). She is a chapter co-author of “Professional Development is a Plan, Not a Fix” in the book, What Teacher Educators Should Have Learned from 2020. Laurie was named one of the NextGen: Emerging EdTech Leaders for 2020 with CoSN and is an ISTE Certified Educator. She is also part of the first DigCit Institute Global Impactor Cohort, NYSCATE Social Media Team, and Volunteer Hall of Fame. Laurie is on the leadership teams for ISTETEN, ISTESTEM, and ISTEDSN. She has presented at many conferences and taught workshops at Skidmore College and with the Greater Capital District Teacher Center on integrating technology in literacy. Laurie recently completed her SBL and SDL certification and was an adjunct professor for SUNY Plattsburgh, where she taught Digital Age Learning. She is also a proud mom and coffee lover.

Matthew Hickson
Director of Online Learning
Durham Public Schools

Matt Hickson is the 2016 Durham Public Schools (DPS) Beginning Teacher of the Year, current DPS Director of Online Learning, and the founder and director of Bull City Schools United, an organization that advocates on behalf of LGBTQ youth. He started his path in working toward education equity as a teenager volunteering to register voters on the west side of Charlotte, North Carolina. After years of witnessing the deep social and economic inequities of our state and nation as an activist and community organizer, he went to work as a teacher at Neal Middle School. He received his M.A. in School Leadership from the North Carolina State Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA) and has served as a school leader for grades K-12. He is a member of the board of directors for both Student U and the Durham Public Schools Foundation. Matt is a passionate advocate for culturally responsive teaching and personalized learning. He is a believer that our schools are centers of opportunity for social transformation and that all teaching and learning should have a purpose rooted in improving human life.

Susan Budde
Wilbur Cross High School

Susan Budde has taught mathematics for over 30 years. She earned a B.A. in English Literature and Mathematics from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Her career in teaching started in a K-12 culturally-based Native American school, then moved to middle school. When Saint Paul decided to construct its first new high school in over 20 years, Susan jumped at the chance to help in the design of the building and the curriculum. She has taken leadership roles as a Team Leader, Representative to the Board of Directors, and Department chair. In 2000, Susan earned her M.A. in Teaching and Learning, focusing on teaching with technology. After moving to Connecticut, she designed a Travel Academy to practice a craft, learn a skill, or volunteer while traveling, including photography in Italy, trigonometry in China, or working in a greenhouse on tribal lands. In a collaborative project of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and the Fulbright Institution, Susan traveled to and taught in India. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Susan started a doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Management with a focus in Educational Technology after learning woodworking, gardening, propagating plants, and training dogs. Also, Susan earned a K-12 and Adult TESOL certification when the majority of her students were newcomers. Her friends and colleagues have described Susan as the poster child of voracious reading and lifelong learning.

Tameka Cooper
Staff Development Teacher/Verizon Innovative Learning Coach
VILS/Montgomery County Public Schools

Tameka Cooper has taught for 15 years at the secondary and post-secondary level in both private and public institutions. Her philosophy since the beginning of her teaching career has been to encourage student mastery and competency; transformational, meaningful and lifelong learning; transference of skills; and critical thinking. She believes every student has the ability to learn and the right to an education. She always seeks to build relationships and establish rapport with her students, as well as meet them where they are using specific, tailored strategies. As her career progressed, her philosophy has also evolved and expanded. In alignment with Digital Promise’s mission of equity, she engages in equity work because it aligns with her personal values and morals. She is an equity warrior! She considers herself a lifelong learner and student, always reflecting on her practice. She enjoys collaborating with educators in her current role to ensure they have tools in their repertoire to meet the needs of all students. Seeing very explicit disparities and subgroups not performing to their full potential has been the biggest influence to her most recent charge in providing solutions to the problems of practice around programs, procedures, protocols, or policies that are not meeting the needs of all students. Her continual aspiration is to help teachers be equipped to teach students the skills that they need to be contributing members of the global society.

Tanaga H Rodgers
Math Content Specialist
Office of State Superintendent of Education

Tanaga Rodgers is a National Board Certified teacher in Early Adolescent Mathematics with 17 years of experience teaching and facilitating professional learning. She started her career teaching elementary mathematics and then transitioned to becoming an instructional coach. While teaching, Tanaga developed a passion for using virtual manipulatives and technology in the classroom. In 2011, she earned her M.A. in Instructional Technology, and in 2012 she was recognized by the Maryland Society for Educational Technology for her action research using virtual manipulative technology. Around this time, she also became a certified instructor at Explore Learning! Gizmos. In this role, she empowered teachers to use math and science simulations as a vehicle to promote inquiry and understanding. Shortly thereafter, Tanaga worked for five years as a professional learning consultant with Math Solutions, helping teachers across the nation deepen their pedagogical content knowledge. Currently, she works as the Math Content Specialist for the Division of Teaching and Learning at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in Washington, D.C. Tanaga is passionate about using technology to enhance teaching and learning, ensuring every child has access to high-quality instruction and understanding mathematics in the context of the world around us.

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