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Teaching Tolerance announces 2015 advisory board

The SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance project announced today the educators it has selected to serve on an advisory board that will help the award-winning program develop anti-bias materials for use in classrooms across the country.

The SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance project announced today the educators it has selected to serve on an advisory board that will help the award-winning program develop anti-bias materials for use in classrooms across the country.

The advisory board, established in 2011, is composed of educators from elementary to higher education, representing a variety of roles and disciplines. Board members are appointed to a two-year term, which begins June 1. These educators volunteer their time to review Teaching Tolerance materials, give advice and act as ambassadors for the program.

“This is an exemplary group of professionals we are bringing together to support the work of Teaching Tolerance,” said Maureen Costello, Teaching Tolerance director. “As they offer their insight and guidance in developing materials for teachers and students, we expect to learn from them and to be inspired by them.”

Teaching Tolerance reviewed nearly 600 applications with a focus on each applicant’s knowledge and experience as an anti-bias educator. The pool of applicants was narrowed to 25 board members, including five returning board members, representing a diverse spectrum of the education community. 

The board members include: 

  • Kim Estelle – Elementary school teacher; Huntsville, Alabama
  • Jane McGowan – Middle school science teacher; Selma, Alabama
  • Dale Allender – Assistant professor of education; Sacramento, California
  • Robert Sautter – Kindergarten teacher; San Francisco, California (returning board member)
  • Lhisa Almashy – High school ESL teacher; Palm Beach County, Florida (returning board member)
  • Amber Makaiau – University of Hawaii professor; Oahu, Hawaii (returning board member)
  • Sonia Galaviz – Elementary teacher; Boise, Idaho (returning board member) 
  • Demea Richards-Scott – Middle school counselor; Bolingbrook, Illinois (returning board member)
  • Mickie Wong-Lo, Ph.D. – Assistant professor of special education and director of undergraduate learning behavior specialist program; Chicago, Illinois
  • Carrie Gaffney – Middle school English teacher; Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Alice Garcia – High school ELL teacher; Gonzales, Louisiana
  • Veronica Menefee – Middle school English, social studies and special education teacher; Parkville, Maryland
  • Sarah Neely – Elementary school teacher; Grosse Pointe, Michigan
  • Scott Thomas – Elementary school principal; Eagan, Minnesota
  • Gail Heath – Elementary school English and social studies teacher; Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Lois Parker-Hennion – High school library media specialist; Orangeburg, New York
  • Barbie Garayua Tudryn – Elementary school counselor; Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Donna Saide – Elementary teacher and diversity coordinator; Gahanna, Ohio
  • Celeste Payne – High school science teacher; West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Kim Siar – Elementary school teacher; Norristown, Pennsylvania
  • Amber Neal – Elementary reading and language arts teacher; Houston, Texas
  • David Paschall – High school social studies and humanities teacher; Austin, Texas
  • Michelle Higgins – High school social studies teacher; Walla Walla, Washington
  • Amy Melik – K-12 ELL coordinator and teacher; Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
  • Joe Schmidt – Social studies teacher leader; Madison, Wisconsin

For more than 20 years, Teaching Tolerance has provided anti-bias education resources to teachers across the country through its award-winning Teaching Tolerance magazine, multimedia teaching kits, online curricula, professional development resources and classroom-friendly social justice documentaries. These materials are provided to educators at no cost.