Meet’s Teacher Leaders

About Teacher Leaders and Spotlight Funds’s Teacher Leader program allows exceptional teachers from across the country to share their skills and experiences with other educators. Teachers may apply to be a Teacher Leader in the areas of our Spotlight Funds (areas of particularly great need). 

To support our Spotlight Funds, click here.

Register your school or classroom to hear about upcoming grant opportunities from our Spotlight Funds.

Arts Fund

Shellie Sallas-Leveratt

Shellie Sallas-Leveratt is a National Board-Certified teacher and has been teaching since 2004. She currently teaches kindergarten and first grade students in a play-based program integrating art throughout the school day.

Marisa Bagwell

Marisa Bagwell teaches elementary general music and chorus in Greenville, South Carolina. She is a 17-year teacher and teaches voice lessons and choir outside of the school day.

Alston Albarado

Mr. Alston Alika Albarado, M.F.A (known as Kumu Alston to his students) is the Hawaiian Studies teacher at President Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. Drawing on his experience in youth theatre, he strives to integrate non-traditional methods into his curriculum, including educational technology, place-based learning, social-emotional learning, and differentiated instruction.

Inclusive Classroom Fund

Kelly Vankirk

Kelly Vankirk has taught 6th grade English Language Arts in Prescott Valley, Arizona for the last seven years. She is known for her extensive classroom library and infectious love of books!

Racial Equity in Schools Fund

Felicia Henderson

Felicia Henderson has been an educator for the past 16 years. She currently teaches 1st grade and relishes the opportunity to play a role in every student’s learning journey.

Amanda Haas

Amanda Haas has been an educator for more than 20 years and has spent the past 15 years teaching in the Detroit charter school system. She uses project based instruction in her classroom and believes that relationships are the most important aspect within the classroom.

Robert Halkitis

Robert Halkitis is a social studies and special education teacher for grades 7-12 from New York, New York. He is passionate about working with secondary school students and feels honored to have the opportunity to help students develop academically and socially.


Adam Haas

Adam Haas has been an educator for 15 years. He currently teaches K-5 STEM at a school in North Carolina and he relishes the opportunity to build adaptive problem solvers and critical thinkers every day.

Ana Soares

Ana Cristina Soares has taught in both Brazil and the United States in the past 24 years. She currently teaches in the Utah Portuguese Dual Language Immersion Program and is a big proponent of STEAM education.

Scott Donnely

Scott Donnely is a grade 5/6 science and social studies teacher at Carnegie Elementary near Pittsburgh, PA. He loves attending summer professional development and is an alum of NASA Space Camp, the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, and more.

Dr. Philip Kudish

Dr. Philip Kudish comes to teaching after a decade working in research and development for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as a decade in higher education. Nowadays, he enjoys teaching middle and high school students full-time.

Abbie Durr

Abbie Durr has been teaching elementary and middle schools for over 20 years. She currently teaches eighth-grade science and loves how the subject allows her to use creativity to create engaging, memorable learning experiences for students. She loves teaching Science because there are so many ways to incorporate activities and labs to make the lessons fun and memorable.

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