CSET Professional Learning

2018 Hollyhock Leading Fellows

Blake Suhar

Blake Suhar is entering his 6th year teaching high school mathematics, specifically Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, and Trigonometry. Graduating from the Universtiy of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a business degree, Blake held various roles in marketing and finance for 4 years until he listened to his heart and decided to pursue a career in teaching. He joined Teach For America in 2012 and began teaching at Uncommon Charter High School in Brooklyn, NY. After two years of teaching, Blake started the first soccer program at his high school. During this same time, he assumed the role of a curriculum specialist, creating rigorous lesson materials and assessments to be shared across all Uncommon New York high schools. In 2014 his role further expanded as he became an instructional coach; observing and advising other math teachers in his school on how to improve learning and teaching experiences through focused, constructive feedback and goal setting. In 2017, Blake and his wife relocated back to the Milwaukee area to be closer to family. Blake joined Cristo Rey Jesuit High School of Milwaukee and is the founding junior math teacher. He is excited to continue the Hollyhock experience and looks forward to fulfilling the mission of providing a high-quality education to all students.

Catherine Baker

Catherine Baker is entering her 7th year teaching at Northern High School in Durham, North Carolina where she gets to spend time with the best kids you’ll ever meet. Over the past six years she has taught different levels of English I, III, and IV, as well as Creative Writing. Her class motto is H9 is LIT, an acronym which stands for Loving, Inquisitive and Turnt. She feels this motto encapsulates all that she wishes to convey through her teaching and all that she hopes her students strive to be. Catherine hopes with a lot of  love, enthusiasm for English, and growth with the Hollyhock Fellowship that she can foster an environment where students can be empowered, challenged, and successful. Catherine graduated from East Carolina University with a B.A. in English, a B.S. in Education and minor in Women’s Studies. She is currently Northern High School’s English Department Chair and serves on the school’s Leadership Team. She has experience as a PD facilitator at her school and for the district of Durham Public Schools. When she’s not working, Catherine is a full time mom to five fur babies and the wife of kindergarten teacher extraordinaire Chelsea Davis. Together they enjoy traveling, getting in as much time as possible at the beach, and working on their furniture upcycling business.

Janessa Jordan

Janessa Jordan has been an educator and leader for almost a decade. Inspired by two summers teaching in Miami for the education non-profit Breakthrough Collaborative, she decided to dedicate her life to educational equity. After graduating with a degree in literature, philosophy, and leadership from the University of Colorado, she relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, to pursue a career in education. She began her training with the Memphis Teacher Residency in 2010, soon becoming the 12th grade English teacher at the Soulsville Charter School. Her current position is teacher of AP Literature, English IV, and a reading course. She helped spearhead the vertical alignment of the English department and the creation of the high school writing handbook. She became English department chair in 2013 and has developed several internal professional development workshops. She has also led several professional development workshops with her former Memphis Teacher Residency. In 2017, Janessa was named the Educator of the Week from a local television station, even more humbling since she was nominated by her students. She has served as a Fulbright Scholar, with inititatives in New Delhi, India, and is hopeful for more international education opportunities in the future. For the past four summers, Janessa has worked for College Board, scoring essays for the AP Literature exam. She was the head debate coach for five years, and in her tenure, helped lead two teams to the National Debate Tournament. Janessa encourages students to be empowered, independent thinkers and is passionate about students developing their critical reading and writing skills. In her free time, she likes to play music, cook, travel, and be outside.

Jonathan Montero

Jonathan Montero is the founding English teacher at the Bronx Academy for Software Engineering.  After graduating with a B.A in English and Philosophy from Canisius College, he spent a year in Austin, Texas as an AmeriCorps member for a college access program named Breakthrough-Austin.  The program served, tracked, and supported students and their families from sixth grade all the way to college. The program serves primarily first generation college-bound students -- a demographic that Jonathan identifies, which fuels his drive. Recognizing the importance of how under-supported these students and families are, Jonathan’s experience working with students and families solidified his decision to become a teacher and he made his way back to NYC to become a teacher.  A year of after-school programs led him to the New York City Teaching Fellows, where he landed a his first teaching position at BASE and has never thought of leaving. He received an MAT from the Relay Graduate School of Education. Now in his fifth year teaching, he has taught 9th grade English, Seminar, 12th Grade English, Writing Intensive Lab, and Intro to Transformative Justice. He incorporates Culturally Responsive Education in his lessons, curriculum, and classroom culture and continues to hone his practice with research and literature.  He is and has been a member of various leadership teams at BASE including Professional Learning Committee, Inquiry Leadership Team, Vision, Graduation Committee, Prom Committee and Hiring Committee. He has also co-led a number of projects and events including BASE Conference 2018 and Equity Conference 2017. As a recently certified mentor, he advocates for teacher growth and racial equity in the teaching field. In his free time, Jonathan enjoys participating in and spectating competitive video game tournaments, which is to no surprise as he is the Competitive Gaming Club coordinator at BASE.  He also enjoys hiking, yoga, attending live music shows, and hanging out with his cat Sophie.

Lindsay Humphrey

Lindsay Humphrey teaches English at Birmingham Community Charter High School in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Her goal is to create a student-centered classroom that celebrates and develops student voice so that all her students can achieve their dreams. She hopes that students in her class get as excited as she does when they don’t know something . . . yet, because they are about to grow as learners and thinkers. Lindsay is dedicated to making sure all learners have the support they need to persevere through challenges in and out of the classroom. If you can’t find her in her classroom, she’s probably curled up with her kindle reading young adult literature or out hiking the trails of the Santa Monica mountains.

A San Francisco Bay Area native, Lindsay was a Stanford Hollyhock Fellow from 2014-2016 and a Hollyhock Alumna-in-Residence in the summer of 2016. She is thrilled to be returning to Hollyhock in the summer of 2018 as a Hollyhock Leading Fellow, where she will focus on developing leadership skills while remaining in the classroom. Lindsay was a Los Angeles Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow from 2013-2014. She holds a California Clear Credential in Single Subject English and did her credential coursework at California State University Northridge. She graduated with a BA and MA in English Literature from Stanford University.

Lou Reid

Lou Reid teaches English Language Arts and AP Literature and Composition at the Bronx Academy for Software Engineering (BASE) in New York City. His teaching career began in 2011 in the English Department at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where he earned a Master’s in English and also taught Composition and Public Speaking. In the summer of 2014, Lou joined the New York City Teaching Fellows and, in September, BASE at the start of its second year.  In his first two years in the Bronx, Lou developed curriculum for 10th and 11th grade ELA and AP Literature and earned a Master’s in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education in New York City. He is currently the 11th-grade team leader, an active member of the Professional Learning Committee, a proud member of the Staff Sanctuary Team, and one of the coordinators of the Peer Group Connections program. When he’s not working, Lou’s thinking about working, specifically discussion and other frameworks that shift intellectual agency to students. He’s eager to continue conversations about revision and metacognition, project-based learning, adult development, and Culturally Responsive Education. Lou also enjoys listening to music, playing drums, traveling, and eating.

Mary Nunley

Mary is currently a founding 9th grade mathematics teacher at City Lab High School, one of the Dallas Independent School District’s newest transformation and innovation schools. Currently in her 6th year teaching mathematics, she has had previous experience in both traditional-public and public-charter high schools across an array of courses from Algebra I through Pre-Calculus. A graduate from Lehigh University with dual degrees in Civil Engineering and Architecture, Mary entered the teaching profession as a 2012 Dallas-Fort Worth Teach For America corps member. Since, she has obtained her Master’s in Education with a focus on STEM instruction from Southern Methodist University and has artistically embedded elements from her fields of study into her practice. Incorporating learning technologies as a means of differentiation, exercising inductive- and inquiry-based instruction to foster critical thinking skills, and developing and implementing elaborate mechanisms of reassessment and standards mastery, Mary has and continues to find new and better ways to support students. During her tenure with Uplift Education at Heights Preparatory, she served in the capacity of the campus department chair and district content team leader for Algebra I. Through these roles she began to develop her abilities as a teacher-leader, supporting the learning and craft of peers through intentional collaboration and feedback. These experiences paired with those as an original 2014 Hollyhock Fellow ignited a desire to continue supporting and learning from others, and has fueled her excitement to now serve as 2018 Hollyhock Leading Fellow.

Matt Stewart

Matt Stewart is a loud teacher in the classroom, whose students comment that they can hear instruction even when they are using the restroom down the hall. And yet, he seems so quiet everywhere else. He's been teaching high school students in Portland, Oregon for 7 years. Most of this time has been in life science classrooms including Biology, Environmental Science, and AP Biology. In the last year he has helped to lead his school transition into a Physic First model in which all freshman received NGSS aligned physics curriculum. He has also volunteered to be a part of the district-wide team that is developing the NGSS Biology curriculum that all junior level students will take next year. He has lead professional development at Franklin High School on Professional Learning Communities, adapting to the Next Generation Science Standards, and Systemic Racism in Education. All of this has been on the heels of the work and support he has received over the last three year working with Stanford's Biology Teacher Academy and the Hollyhock Fellowship. These programs, and the Hollyhock Leading Fellows, have enabled Matt to be an agent of change in his school and teacher community.

Patrick Thomas

Patrick Thomas is an eighth-year mathematics teacher and Chair of the Mathematics Department at Aspire Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy. He holds B.S. degrees in Economics and Political Science from Texas Christian University. As an instructional leader, Patrick has used the tools learned as a Hollyhock Fellow to help build a robust CCSS-aligned secondary mathematics program that has almost doubled the number of students meeting or exceeding CCSS math standards over the last two years. Patrick and his team strive to create a program where all students feel confident they can do math and thus are empowered to persist on challenging problems and use mathematics to understand and explain the world around them. He is excited to share all he has learned and to continue growing with the incomparable Hollyhock community!

Sarah Harrington

Sarah Harrington’s love of travel led her to teach in Riobamba, Ecuador for a year upon graduating from college. This short year abroad solidified her conviction that her heart led her not just to the profession of teaching, but more specifically to the profession of teaching English Language Learners. Sarah is a dual certified educator (History and ESL) who is in her seventh year teaching history to EL students at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, MA. As part of the first Hollyhock cohort, Sarah has implemented much of what she learned in order to better serve her students. She strives to offer a curriculum in which her students are able to advocate for not only themselves, but also for their community. Sarah wants her students to feel valued as members of the school and outside community, and to that end has created a club where her EL students design objectives, lesson plans, and materials in order to teach teachers in the district how to speak Spanish. Currently in its second year, the club offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes twice a month to teachers throughout the district. Inspired by this work, two of Sarah’s students are currently finishing up their senior year as part of the Education Pathway and are on their way to becoming teachers themselves. Sarah is excited to continue her learning with the Hollyhock team.

Sarah Van Etten

Sarah Van Etten is the chair of the Mathematics Department at KAPPA International High School in the Bronx, NY, where she has taught since 2013. Sarah began her teaching career in the Peace Corps as an Education Volunteer in Kazakhstan after graduating from Macalester College. Upon her return to the U.S., Sarah earned an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Teachers College, Columbia University. After three years of co-teaching bilingual math and science courses for English language learners, Sarah completed her mathematics certification and moved to math full-time. In addition to chairing the department and working with 9th and 10th grade students in Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 courses, Sarah participates in Expeditionary Learning Education’s mathematics community of practice. She is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the multiple cohorts of Hollyhock Fellows at her school to increase student and staff belonging. Her main instructional goal is supporting students at all levels to develop problem-solving skills and conceptual mathematical understandings through increased work time investigating real world problems. When not improving math tasks or designing goal-mapped units and assessments, Sarah finds joy in reading, running, cross-country skiing, and many other outdoor activities.

Stephen Skoropad

Stephen Skoropad is currently an 11th grade Physics and Robotics teacher and Professional Development Leader for the Green Dot Organization in Los Angeles California, and has formerly led instructional development as Science Department Chair. As an instructional leader, Stephen coaches teachers through regular professional development on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) across the organization. The focus of this professional development is literacy and academic discussion within a science curriculum (based on the Reading Apprenticeship model). He also develops Physics and Robotics curriculum for the district. Over the last two years Stephen has been a part of Green Dot’s transition team in outlining and determining the science pathways and timeline for transitioning schools to those pathways based on the NGSS models. Stephen’s pride stems from his robotics program, along with a group of teachers built a High School Robotics Program from the ground up, modeling the course after college level engineering programs like Stanford’s. The robotics program went from originally having 90 students across three schools to currently having over 200 students across seven schools, along with a Green Dot wide Robotics competition in which each school’s robots compete against each other for VICTORY! Stephen received his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education and Physics from Marquette University and his Master’s Degree from Loyola Marymount in Education. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Stephen moved to Los Angeles as a part of the CMAST program through LMU. In his free time, he loves to rock climb and hike all over California.