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Thanks to a grant from the McCormick Foundation to National Louis University, we welcome this distinguished group of Chicago Public Schools educators to the 8th Annual Summer Institute in Digital Literacy

2021 SCHOLARS

XELA DE LA X 

Women eat last in my community and usually, by then, alone. The constant shuffle of servitude, pausing briefly and only after everyone has had their fill; rarely with enough time left or even opportunities to explore the full extent of our capacity, skills, abilities and talents. I look on with a range of emotions layered and complicated, mostly fighting against my compulsion to flip the entire table over until every last plate is smashed and broken on the floor. No masters, no servants, eating neither first nor last but together collectively. My name is Marcella ‘Xela de la X’ Macias and I’m an anarchist, urban indigenous, queer feminist, exploring ways to bring resources to the women in my community while raising my daughter to eat the world.

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DIEGO SPITALETTI TRUJILLO 

I started my career with a undergraduate degree in History at PUC São Paulo, and then progressed to a postgraduate program on the Use of New Technologies and Teaching and became a Master in Educational Communication and Digital Media at Portugal Open University. Recently, I completed my MBA in Instructional Design and Active Methodologies. Today I work as an English Teacher, Consultant, Educational Technology Teacher and content developer. These are some words that describe how I am and how I deal with my work and personal life: Optimistic, Dreamer, Enthusiast, Scholar, Effortless, Creative, Collaborative, Google Educator, Trainer and Innovator.

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MONICA Z. UTSEY

I am an educator, writer, blogger, and 20-year homeschool veteran. I have written for a variety of local and national publications and I currently chronicle my homeschooling and travel adventures in my blog Chocolate Covered Boy Joy and on my YouTube Channel Chocolate City Homeschool Life. Currently, I work as a social studies and language arts tutor for the Maya Angelou Young Adult Learning Center Public Charter School. I am a proud graduate of Howard University with plans for post-graduate work in Curriculum Design and Development.

2020 MCCORMICK CPS SCHOLARS

KASSANDRA CROSBY

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LaDwonda Hill

LaDwonda  Hill is an Early Childhood Specialist with Chicago Public Schools.  She has taught in the field of Early Childhood Education for 22 years and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from National Louis University. 

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DAVE JABLONSKY

David Jablonsky is a Social Studies and English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Multicultural Arts High School in the Little Village neighborhood.  He has taught courses in Media Studies, Civics, AP US History, and multiple levels of ESL.  

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Kassandra Cosby has a track record of successful teaching and education reform for over twenty-five years. She has an M.Ed. from Roosevelt University in Educational Administration and is finishing her 2nd Masters in Special Education from Chicago State University.

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SALIYHA JOHNSON

Saliyha Johnson is a K-3rd Diverse Learner Teacher with CPS. Her work with students includes decreasing adverse behaviors, engaging low performing students in learning, and creating innovative plans to reach and teach the whole child.

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TRICIA MCGANN

Tricia is a school librarian serving K-8 students at CPS' Mark Sheridan Math & Science Academy. She has been in education for over twenty years as a classroom teacher, reading specialist and now librarian. She has earned her Master’s in Reading and endorsement in Library Sciences. 

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JAMI RHUE

Jami Rhue is the School Librarian & Media Specialist at Providence Englewood Charter School. She also serves as a faculty, staff, and leadership team member at PECS.  While there, she has coordinated and hosted many school-wide literacy events, as well as taught digital literacy, research, and technology skills to K-8 students.  

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PABLO OCHOA

Dr. Pablo Ochoa is currently a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) bilingual (English/Spanish) educator with 26 years of teaching experience as well as adjunct professor for Chicago State University (CSU). He is also a Reading Specialist with an English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement. 

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JEN KOSZYK

Jen teaches 9th grade World Studies, 11th grade Civics and 11th grade IBDP Theory of Knowledge. She also teaches a cohort with OneGoal, a non-profit that supports high school students to achieve their postsecondary aspirations. 

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JAMI RHUE

I am the School Librarian & Media Specialist at Providence Englewood Charter School. I also serve as a faculty, staff, and leadership team member at PECS. I have coordinated and hosted many school-wide literacy events, as well as taught digital literacy, research, and technology skills to K-8 students..This is my second time at the Summer Institute and I am participating in Tier 2.   

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COURTNEY TREADWELL

I  was born and raised in Chicago, IL. I earned her bachelor's degree in English Education from Langston University and have been an English teacher for nine years. I have primarily taught in alternative education settings serving ages 16-21. Beyond education, I am a wife and mother to two boys. This is my second time at the Summer Institute and I am participating in Tier 2.  

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JARON BURNETT

I am a professional audio engineer, musician and educator.  I began my journey in education as a digital literacy instructor for out-of-school youth.  I currently serve as an Adult Education and Digital Literacy instructor for Philadelphia OIC.  I earned a B.A. in Communications from Cheyney University of PA and an M.S. in Education from Neumann University. 

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RACHAEL POPOOLA

I am a doctoral student at the University of Rhode Island in the School of Education. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology at Temple University and my Master’s degree in Education at Chestnut Hill College. My research interests include secondary STEM education, game-based learning, the current opportunity gap, and bringing equity to education. In addition, I enjoy a good book and a nice cup of tea. 

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FELICIA ULWELLING 

I have been teaching high school English for over a decade and am now working at Williams Prep. Born and raised in Chicago, I am a proud alum of Chicago Public Schools. After working in corporate America, I decided to go back to school and become a teacher. This is my second time at the Summer Institute and I am participating in Tier 2. 

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Ariel Garcia

Ariel currently works at Harlan Community Academy in Roseland on the south side of Chicago, teaching English. An avid reader of books at an early age. Ariel's love of literature fostered a passion for writing. 

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Courtney Treadwell

Courtney Treadwell was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She earned her bachelor's degree in English Education from Langston University and has been an English teacher for nine years. She has primarily taught in alternative education settings serving ages 16-21. Beyond education, Courtney is a wife and mother to two boys. 

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Jeannette Alfred

Jeanette Alfred has been an ELL (English as a New Language) Teacher for Chicago Public Schools for the past 20 years. She also currently teach online classes to children in Haiti through her charity Haiti Reads which she founded in 2007. She also serves as 

 Public Relations Manager for two popular Chicago bands; one a reggae and the other a Haitian roots band. 

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Felicia Ullwelling

Felicia Ulwelling has been teaching high school English for over a decade and is now working at Williams Prep. Born and raised in Chicago, she is a proud alum of Chicago Public Schools. After working in corporate America, she decided to go back to school and become a teacher. 

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Danielle Williams

Danielle Williams works at Simeon Career Academy where she serves as English department chair. She received National Board Certification in 2010 and graduated from Concordia University with an M.S. in Educational Leadership. 

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LaTis' Barnes

LaTis' Barnes is driven to help students overcome barriers that impact their learning. She has taught in various classroom settings including co-teaching in a special education, self-contained half-day preschool program as well as co-teaching in a blended early childhood education classroom. LaTis' received the Excellence in Teaching Award for Reading in 2019.

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Keviyona Ray Smith

Keviyona Ray SMith has worked as an educator for 16 years for Chicago Public Schools. She has taught multiple grades and subjects but is most passionate about Literacy.  I She serves as the assistant principal of A. Philip Randolph Elementary School on the southside of Chicago. 

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NIKOLE LEWIS DICKENS

Nikole Lewis Dickens teaches middle school English Language Arts at Beethoven Elementary School in Chicago, IL.  She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning with a major in Reading, Language, and Literacy at National Louis University. 

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Sharon Boyd

Sharon Boyd is an educator with 20+ years experience. She has worn many hats in the classroom, as librarian, and educational technology specialit. She has learned be open and flexible to new ideas. She is currently teaching Educational Technology (pre-K through 8th) at Arthur Ashe Elementary School. She encourages students to get rid of the excuses and limits placed upon them because with a little encouragement and guidance they can succeed and accomplish anything they set their minds to.

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ERIKA HARRISON

Erika Harrison is a graduate of National Louis University with a Masters in Special Education. She is a full time teacher with experience in teaching at the K-8 grade level with a focus teaching Literacy and Social Science. Erika has a passion for reading and teaching students to think critically. These skills build readers' background knowledge to be used when engaging the world around them.