HP Teaching Fellows
In collaboration with HP and Microsoft’s Reinvent the Classroom initiative, Digital Promise Global is supporting innovative elementary and secondary school teachers across the United States and Canada who demonstrate powerful teaching and learning with technology.
Fellows selected for the program demonstrate the principles of Powerful Learning in their teaching and learning practice. They design learning experiences that are personal and accessible; authentic and challenging; collaborative and connected; and inquisitive and reflective.
Meet the 2019 Cohort of Fellows
Old Bridge Public School District, New Jersey
A lifelong learner with a zest for cinema, literature, and technology, Chris Burica has always enjoyed helping people smile and discover new pursuits. Immersed in books at a young age, Chris found that the power of the written word and its subsequent effect can transform one’s entire attitude and overall outlook. Whether it was through designing and directing stop-motion animation videos or immersing himself in the latest movie reviews, Chris’ passion for writing and speaking continued to cultivate a veritable treasure trove of opportunity. Learn more about Chris.
River Dell Regional School District, New Jersey
Dr. Glen Coleman is a social studies teacher at River Dell High School in Oradell, New Jersey who focused his doctoral dissertation on laptop integration and student-centered learning. He organizes his teaching around essential questions to welcome divergent thinking. Currently, his students are wrestling with the following question: “Based on your understanding of the French Revolution, how can Venezuela avoid their own violent revolution?” He’s found that energy erupts when students are empowered to tackle contemporary issues through a historical lens. This inspires a growth process that drives students to ask and answer their own questions with urgency. Learn more about Glen.
Pflugerville Independent School District, Texas
David Conover designs learner-centered high school curriculum and creates interactive and applied learning experiences including virtual, mixed, and augmented reality. He runs a global video game lab, Serious Blockchain Video Games Lab, which participates in MY World 360°. Over the past several years he has helped develop multimedia content and collaborated with corporations to produce challenge-based and maker learning experiences. David re-mixes innovation in research, design, and education to help his students develop their STEM learning practices. Learn more about David.
River Dell Regional School District, New Jersey
Tiffany Correa has been a special education teacher serving grades 3-10 since 2010. She is currently working with seventh and eighth grade English students at River Dell Regional School District in New Jersey. She has a master’s degree in educational technology and serves as a professional development facilitator in her school’s district. In her leisure time, Tiffany enjoys reading literature and traveling abroad, while using her newfound knowledge to empower her students’ classroom experience. She is a strong believer in self-advocacy and autonomy through developing one’s perspective of personal motivation. Learn more about Tiffany.
Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland
Katie Dell is a middle school science teacher and department chair at Arbutus Middle School. She is a creative innovator willing to embrace any strategies necessary to get her students what they need to learn. She received her master’s degree in biology from Miami University through the Project Dragonfly Program with a focus on racial equity in environmental education and inquiry-based learning. Katie believes that the world around us is our first and best classroom and that every student can be motivated to reach their potential with the correct tools. Learn more about Katie.
Sitka School District, Alaska
Cindy Duncan has been teaching second grade with the Sitka School District in Sitka, Alaska for 13 years. She loves learning with her students and helping them to become the global innovators, thinkers, and problem solvers of today. Her classroom was featured in Ted Dintersmith’s book, “What Schools Could Be” and Dr. Lynne Schrum’s book, “Learning Super Charged.” She was one of the first Global Minecraft Education Mentors for Microsoft. Cindy was named Maker Champion of Change for her district and enjoys mentoring other elementary teachers about innovative classroom practices. Learn more about Cindy.
Hayward Unified School District, California
Francisco Gallardo is a technology teacher and summer STEAM academy teacher at Hayward Unified School District in Hayward, California. His position as a teacher and his opportunities to work on program development have granted him opportunities to provide students with a myriad of educational experiences involving technology. He believes all students must be prepared for the 21st century through comprehensive educational experiences with technology. Learn more about Francisco.
York Region District School Board, Ontario
Jen Giffen is a digital literacy consultant in the York Region DSB in Ontario, Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University and a Master of Education in curriculum, teaching and learning from the University of Toronto.
Jen is a sketchnoter, teacher matchmaker, cheerleader, mom of three boys, and up for just about anything. Co-host of #ShukesandGiff the Podcast, she is a believer that you have time to do anything you want – you just need to make time. Former player of the game of school, she now seeks to ensure learning is authentic and relevant, especially for struggling students. Reach her at @VirtualGiff — everywhere. Learn more about Jen.
South Fayette Township School District, Pennsylvania
Stephanie Harris is a seventh grade English language arts and American history teacher near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She holds a master’s in teaching from California University of Pennsylvania and is a Level 2 Google Certified Educator. Stephanie enjoys participating in school activities beyond the classroom and is a champion for lifelong learning. She has a passion for finding and sharing ways to bring innovative technology into the classroom that fosters student engagement. Learn more about Stephanie.
Regina Public Schools, Saskatchewan
Trevor Hlushko is a middle-years teacher at W.H. Ford Elementary School in Regina, Saskatchewan. He is working on his master’s in educational technology and design with interests in student engagement through creativity and curiosity.
Trevor has always enjoyed learning and problem-solving. He has a bachelor’s degree in English and Bachelor of Education through the University of Regina and is a self-declared tinkerer. With his love of learning, he seeks to engage students and captivate their curiosity through reinventing the classroom one day at a time.
Trevor lives in Regina, Saskatchewan with his wife, Caitie, and 3-year old son. Learn more about Trevor.
Edmonton Catholic School District, Alberta
Josh Luukkonen is a junior high teacher and tech coach in Edmonton, Alberta. Originally from the United States, he has worked in the US, the UAE, and now in Canada. He loves playing with new tech toys in the classroom to help students learn and express themselves in different and innovative ways. He is an Apple Teacher, Level 2 Google Certified Educator, and is a Microsoft Innovative Educator trainer. Josh is excited to partner with teachers around North America to develop ideas and activities for students in classrooms everywhere. Learn more about Josh.
Elizabeth Board of Education, New Jersey
Colleen McNerney is an instructional technology coach at the Elizabeth Board of Education in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from The University of Tampa and is working toward a master’s degree in educational technology with an interest in distance learning. She has had the great privilege of teaching technology courses to all grade levels from pre-K to 12th grade. She finds it fun and exciting to see teachers and students at all levels become motivated and engaged when learning about technology. She is the lucky one who gets to teach “the fun stuff.” Learn more about Colleen.
Hudson Lab School, New York
Celebrating her 25th year as an educator and school leader, Kim Mishkin is currently the founding middle school educator at Hudson Lab School, a progressive, project-based school in New York. Previously, she was the assistant head of lower school at The Spence School and she worked in public and independent schools in both urban and rural settings serving grades K-12. An entrepreneur, Kim founded SAS for Women, a consultancy helping divorced women. Kim holds a bachelor’s in education from Miami University, a master’s in science education from Wright State University and is licensed in educational leadership through The Ohio State University. Learn more about Kim.
Long Branch Public Schools, New Jersey
Nemeil Navarro was born and raised in the Philippines. His name “Nemeil” is partly an acronym for the Apollo 11 crew. He has three sisters and a brother. He met his wife, Soledad, at the University of Perpetual Help in Las Pinas. His son is attending New Jersey Institute of technology and his daughter will be attending Franklin and Marshall this fall. His youngest child is a junior at Long Branch High School. He has been with Long Branch Public Schools since 2002. He teaches algebra, principles of engineering and civil engineering, and architecture. He also coaches volleyball and basketball. Learn more about Nemeil.
London District Catholic School Board, Ontario
Jim Pedrech is the English and Canadian & world studies department head at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Strathroy, Canada. He strives to provide meaningful learning experiences for his students by extending the learning environment beyond the confines of classroom walls. He is particularly interested in the way all texts—ranging from primary sources of the past to video games—can help students better understand real and fictional worlds. Through the “Scanning History” and “Rebuilding Rome” projects, Jim’s students use 3D technology to not only recreate the past but also to share the past with authentic audiences. Learn more about Jim.
Toronto District School Board, Ontario
Mahfuza Rahman is a hybrid teacher-digital lead learner and assistant curriculum leader of science at West Humber Collegiate Institute. A lifelong learner, she continues to learn about different ideas and apps, sharing her learning with those around her. She has been a math, physics, chemistry, and general science teacher, as well as a guidance counsellor and a teacher-librarian. In all of these roles, she has utilized technology to engage and support her students and colleagues. Mahfuza empowers her students to see themselves as producers and change-makers, and as such, incorporates the UN Sustainable Development Goals and maker learning into her curriculum. Learn more about Mahfuza.
Santa Ana Unified School District, California
Steven Ramirez is an enthusiastic teacher, cheerleader, active listener of verbal and nonverbal communication, connector of services, problem advisor, father of one teenage boy, and advocate for real-world creative learning experiences. Steve believes in equity over equality and asks his students what they need to achieve their goals rather than providing each student with the same materials and instruction. Learn more about Steven.
Rocky View School Division, Alberta
John Remus-Everitt, B.Ed. has been teaching career and technology studies/foundations (CTS/CTF) for the last eight years in Airdrie, AB. Having successfully implemented the robotics program at Muriel Clayton Middle School, John embraced the challenge of becoming the lead teacher/course developer for both the junior and high school robotics programs. His current focus has been the design and implementation of the Academy of Mechatronics which is part of the high school redesign project at W.H. Croxford High School. John created the inaugural program for the 10 level students in 2017 and branched the program out to the 20 level in 2018. Learn more about John.
Leadership Public Schools, California
Lucy Rivera is the creator and lead teacher of the maker/design studio program at Leadership Public High School in Hayward, California. She began her teaching career as a visual arts teacher, but in the last three years saw the potential for a maker program to impact the lives of traditionally underrepresented students in the fields of design and technology. Lucy is passionate about student-directed learning, the influence of technology on student engagement, and cultivating student leadership in the classroom. She is a lifelong artist and maker, finding inspiration for her curriculum and her work in every possible place. She is passionate about students learning through new and unfamiliar experiences and creating opportunities for students to learn outside of the classroom. She currently lives in Berkeley with her husband and six year-old son. Learn more about Lucy.
Shelby County School District, Alabama
Chad Sorrells is a middle school math teacher at Helena Middle School within the Shelby County School District in Alabama. He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in instructional technology from Mississippi State University. He also has a master’s degree in elementary education and an educational specialist degree in teacher leadership from the University of West Alabama. Chad works diligently to integrate technology as a powerful tool to assist student learning. In addition to his work with middle school students, he also teaches education courses at the University of West Alabama. Learn more about Chad.
Suffield Public Schools, Connecticut
Dan Spada is a library media specialist with a bachelor’s degree in communications from Eastern Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in educational technology from the University of Michigan, and a post-graduate certificate in technology integration from Boise State University. Having previous careers in marketing and television production, Dan uses his unique background to work with teachers to infuse technology and media into their curriculum in order to provide rich and meaningful learning experiences for students. Dan created The EdTech Show on YouTube in order to share creative and innovative ways for teachers to use technology in their classrooms. Learn more about Dan.
Trigg County Public Schools, Kentucky
Michelle Strickland is a credit recovery and computer-based instruction teacher, a makerspace facilitator, and a Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle coach. Michelle came to education later in life than most. Her undergraduate degree is in educational psychology and she has a Master of Divinity. She spent several years teaching in church before she came to education in a traditional classroom. She worked more individually with students who needed help with credit recovery for eight years, and has worked with Trigg County High School’s makerspace for the past three years. She has maintained the computer-based instruction classes and dual credit students while also helping students intern through their CTE pathways in the makerspace. Michelle lives with her husband Jason and their son. Learn more about Michelle.
Ottawa Catholic Public School Board, Ontario
Rola Tibshirani is a seventh grade French immersion teacher at All Saints High School with the Ottawa Catholic School Board. Rola is passionate about students taking ownership of their learning and applying integrative thinking and design thinking processes when embracing challenges. She is also passionate about connecting students with real-world problem solving to take action and make a difference in their communities locally and globally. Learn more about Rola.
Lake Washington School District, Washington
Melissa Wrenchey is an educator in the Lake Washington School District and part of the planning and implementation team for a STEAM High School in Redmond. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, a Microsoft Innovative Expert, certified trainer, and NCWIT Nationally Recognized Educator. Her passion is using STEM to inspire underrepresented people to change the trajectory of technology and make it more inclusive with better user experience and informed design. She currently teaches entrepreneurship to ninth graders and designs integrated learning with an emphasis on the UN Sustainable Development Goals to solve authentic problems. She is an avid user of hashtags #TeachSDGs, #engipreneurism, and #TSTEMHS. Learn more about Melissa.
Old Bridge Township Public Schools, New Jersey
James Yanuzzelli is a technology integration specialist for Old Bridge Township Public Schools in New Jersey. He started his career in 2005 as a middle school social studies teacher. He holds a bachelor’s in history and education, a master’s in educational technology and online learning, and a master’s in educational leadership. He holds a Standard Certificate for Teacher of History, a Standard Certificate for Supervisor, a Certificate of Eligibility for School Leader with Principal Endorsement, and a Certificate of Eligibility for School Administrator. Jim lives in Aberdeen, New Jersey and has two daughters with his wife Lindsay. Learn more about James.
Clear Creek Independent School District, Texas
Jenna Zucha is a high school language arts teacher with a masters degree in literature from the University of Houston in Texas. She is a lover of literature and an advocate for a multiple literacy approach to teaching. In this rich-text world we live in, Jenna is helping students learn how to read everything from video games to documentaries to podcasts, and she encourages them to create products that reflect the powerful role technology has in shaping their experience. Jenna blogs with her students, challenges them to tweet favorite authors, and write insta-poetry. Jenna believes that technology can bring literature to life and can move students from the role of mere consumer to creator. Learn more about Jenna.