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Meet the 2016 Ellevation Dream Team Teachers!


Here at Ellevation, our company values aren’t just something we post on our website. We believe deeply in Service, Continuous Learning, Persistence, Sustainability, and Living our Mission--and we act on those values. Few projects allow us the opportunity to cultivate and engage in all of those values better than our summer Ellevation Dream Team. For the second year in a row, we have been fortunate to partner with and learn from current ELD educators from across the country who help make our product better.

The Work
This past spring, we initially launched Ellevation Strategies in a half-dozen districts, small and large. Ellevation Strategies is a set of instructional resources that educators can use to help ELLs master content while learning English. We were purposeful in starting with a small roll-out so we could hone in on two values: Service and Continuous Learning.

Throughout the two-month pilot, we traveled around the country and met with educators in Tulsa, OK; Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC; and Alabaster, AL. We listened. We heard what districts loved about Ellevation Strategies and what needed improvement. Educators told us they loved the strategies and activities, and how they are able to support classroom teachers in becoming teachers of language. But something we heard time and again was that they needed more examples of how the activities fit into new college and career ready standards-aligned lessons.

To tackle the project of creating more content examples, over the summer we teamed up with six educators from Indiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas to author nearly 1,200 content examples. Each educator wrote a new activity and then created short examples of our activities in action in a 21st-Century classroom. We call this group The Dream Team Teachers.

Meet the Team
These six educators provided dozens of years of teaching experience, as well as expertise across grade levels and content areas. They each brought the ability to work from afar, stick to deadlines, and most importantly, collaborate and learn from each other.

StephanieCagle.png Stephanie Cagle
ESL Coordinator, Secondary Schools
Tulsa Public Schools
Tulsa, Oklahoma
EmilyGiltner.png Emily Giltner
ESOL Teacher, K-5
St. Charles Count
St. Louis, MO

Natisha Hampton 
ESOL/SIOP Instructional Specialist
Little Rock School District
Little Rock, AR

CarlotaHolder.png Carlota Holder
ESL Coordinator
Enlance Academy
Indianapolis, IN
AdamHoward.png Adam Howard
ESL Teacher, High School
Tulsa Public Schools
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Min. After teaching 7th grade language arts and literature for nine years, she is now the district 7-12 ELL teacher and coordinator.   

Sara Schmittgens
ESOl Teacher, K-5
Confluence Academy Charter
St. Louis, MO

What the Dream Team Teachers had to say about their work:

I really feel like I contributed to a project that will change the way many teachers think about how to teach ELLs... that they are able to learn just like everyone else and that activities that include best practices are good for ALL students!

For me, having time to really explore the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) across grade levels was invaluable. I am not a current classroom teacher and have been 'familiar' with the CCSS, but being able to really dig deep and actually apply them will definitely help me better support my teachers. Also, I must brag on the concept of us being a "Team.” Although I've never met any of my other team members (in person), I definitely felt like I was on a team, and being able to see their progress helped push me in my work.

I would love to author activities again or write more content examples. I enjoyed the challenge. I also enjoy learning from other EL educators that are as dedicated as myself and willing to do the extra work.

Ellevation thanks its ELL Dream Team for the impact this work will have on the more than 1.2 million students we serve. We're that much closer to helping all teachers be teachers of language and ensuring all students reach their highest aspirations. Content examples will be released this fall. In the meantime, click below for more information about Ellevation Strategies.