Meet the 2011 TCTL Fellows
The Teachers Central To Leadership Fellowship Program brings six DCPS teacher-fellows to share their wisdom and perspective to the work of central office. These six were selected from among more than 80 applicants.
Andrew Baca, Ballou Senior High School
For the past three years, Andrew Baca has been a Special Education and English teacher at Ballou Senior High School. He worked extensively on coordinating the 2011 DC CAS for Ballou's testing cohort-at nearly 500, the largest in the city. Along with his co-teachers, he has delivered in-house PD on effective inclusion services for Special Education students. The close collaboration and partnership of co-teaching fits his skillset well.
Throughout his time at Ballou, he has exclusively taught with the school's repeat population. He has worked with students who went from a 3-time failure of 9th grade to graduating seniors. He also has worked with The New Teacher Project to recruit and select teachers for the DC Teaching Fellows program and has served as a Fellow Advisor, mentoring 11 new Special Education teachers throughout their first year of teaching.
Mr. Baca graduated Magna Cum Laude as an undergraduate at George Washington University and then earned a master’s in Secondary Special Education from GWU as well. This year, he will be returning as the head coach of the Ballou Men's Soccer team. Originally from Portland, Oregon, he is an avid traveler, a decent cook and an Eagle Scout.
As a TCTL Fellow, Mr. Baca is working with the Office of Youth Engagement to roll out their Plan to Create Safe and Inclusive Schools for the LGBTQ Community.
Carynne Conover, Brightwood Education Campus
Under the new IMPACT evaluation system launched two years ago, Carynne Conover has twice been rated as a Highly Effective teacher. This places her among less than 7% of DCPS’s teaching corps to hold this distinction. Ms. Conover serves as the Social Studies department chair at Brightwood Education Campus and as a cooperating teacher for The George Washington University’s Teachers Preparation Program.
Ms. Conover received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Virginia Commonwealth University with a minor in International Studies completed at the University of London, England. She has a Master of Education in Secondary Social Studies from The George Washington University and is currently pursuing a PhD in United States History from American University. In addition, Ms. Conover has completed school administration training at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Prior to joining DCPS, she served in various roles in Prince George’s County Public Schools including teacher, curriculum writer, professional development facilitator, and interviewer for new teachers. She enjoyed the time spent most with her students as the girls’ basketball coach, poetry advisor, and mentor.
Among her outstanding recognitions are a 2006 J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship to study the education system in London and her induction into Phi Alpha Theta (National Honor Society in History).
When possible, she enjoys playing jacks and Othello with her students at Brightwood, although the students have surpassed her skills and take great joy in beating her.
Ms. Conover is a native of Newark, New Jersey. This summer, she is working with the Office of Family and Public Engagement on two projects: the launch of the New Professional Development site that will include over 130 videos of effective teaching as well as on utilizing DCPS partners to increase family involvement in ensuring student success.
Jennifer Geoffroy, Marie Reed Elementary School
Jennifer Geoffroy has worked at DCPS for ten years as an English as a Second Language teacher, a general education teacher, and now as an Instructional Coach at Marie Reed Elementary School.
In addition to teaching, Jennifer has served as a department chair, WTU building representative, and a coordinator of summer school and Saturday Scholars programs. She also spent three years as an English Language instructor in Japan, and she is a National Board Certified Teacher.
Ms. Geoffroy graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in International Relations. She holds two master’s degrees, in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and in Elementary Education, both from American University.
In addition to being an adjunct lecturer at American University, Ms. Geoffroy has worked for DC Teaching Fellows in various capacities over the past decade, serving as an interviewer and a Fellow Advisor. She is excited to have the opportunity to work with and learn from her colleagues in the central office this summer, where she is working to support instructional coaches in schools.
Lisa Jones, Watkins Elementary School
Lisa Jones has been a fourth grade teacher at Watkins Elementary School for over six years. The daughter of lifelong educators, she believes in the children of DC and is a motivated, enthusiastic educator with a passionate commitment to student achievement, differentiation, and self-esteem building through unconventional means. Ms Jones believes it is important to present information in a variety of ways emphasizing the relevance of class material to the world beyond the classroom.
She is a teacher who believes that quality instruction and quality relationships with students and families will lead to a quality education for all children in the District of Columbia.
Ms. Jones holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Finance from Johnson C. Smith University where she graduated second in her class. In addition, she is proud to have been selected Ms. Johnson C. Smith University and appeared in Ebony Magazine. Ms. Jones also holds a Masters in Fine Arts, Film Directing from Howard University and a Masters in Education from American University.
Unconventional and creatively driven, Ms. Jones believes in unique methods to improve instructional practice. A practicing filmmaker and artist, she has used her experience in filmmaking and film production to impact the overall educational experience in her classroom.
Last year Ms. Jones’s students wrote, produced and directed a feature documentary film that premiered at Ben’s Chili Bowl. A graduate of an HBCU, Ms. Jones founded a step team at her school that performed at the White House. Ms. Jones was nominated for DCPS Teaching fellow of the year for making AYP four years in a row with over 80% of her students making solid gains in reading and math.
Between engaging in highly intellectual coffee house debates on educational reform, and obsessing over independent film ideas, Ms. Jones enjoys antiquing with her mother, swimming and tennis. One of her goals for next year is having 100% of her children make annual yearly progress.
As a TCTL fellow, Ms. Jones is working to help develop ELA modules in preparation for the Common Core rollout.
Alysia Lutz, Smothers Elementary School
Alysia Lutz is the Instructional Coach at Smothers Elementary School, a school in The DC Collaborative for Change (DC3). In this capacity, Ms. Lutz has worked closely with DC3 instructional coaches and teachers to develop job-embedded professional development, focused on balanced literacy best practices. She has helped teachers analyze student data, craft and implement object-driven unit and lesson plans, and celebrate student growth.
Ms. Lutz is entering her sixth year in DCPS, a time which includes three years as a first grade teacher at Murch Elementary School. Ms. Lutz has also taught at The American School in London, and at Hong Kong International School, where she helped developed literacy standards and benchmarks. She has a passion for analyzing early literacy best instructional practices and for traveling, and greatly valued her time as an international school teacher.
A native of Charlotte, NC, Ms. Lutz is now proud to call Washington, DC her home. She received an undergraduate degree in English from Duke University and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Trinity University.
In her capacity as a TCTL Fellow, Ms. Lutz is working on literacy professional development around the Common Core rollout.
Chenise Richards, Coolidge Senior High School
Chenise Richards is an English teacher at Calvin Coolidge Senior High School. After completing her second year as a DCPS teacher, raising her schools Reading DC-CAS scores up 20 percent, and raising three children of her own, she decided to take on the challenge of being a TCTL Fellow.
Before any of these accomplishments, Ms. Richards was an English major at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. She was co-founder of the Universities first black club, UMOJA, and Vice-President of her nationally known choir, Evangelistic Singers. At Lee, Chenise served as a school Peer Leader where she recruited college students and was chosen to co-teach the schools freshman seminar.
After graduating, Ms. Richards returned to her roots in Brooklyn, New York where she taught English for seven years. Her biggest accomplishment came at Bedford Academy High School where she was responsible for a 100% student proficiency rate on the New York State English Regents Examination and a 100% college and university acceptance rate for the graduating Class of 2007, the highest graduation rate in Brooklyn for that year!
Her efforts helped Bedford Academy to be ranked the number one high school in Brooklyn and the number two high school in New York City.
This year, Ms. Richards has been selected to serve as a Lead Teacher at Coolidge, where she will help analyze data and find ways to keep students moving proficiently through the education process. When asked about her goals for this year, she states: “to have 100 percent of my seniors apply and be accepted to a college or university and to complete my tenth year of teaching as strong as my first.”
This summer, Ms. Richards is contributing to the Office of Human Capital’s mission to recruit and select great teachers.