Meet Our Team

Leadership Team

Alvin Abraham,
M. Ed.

Executive Director

It was a postgraduate experience that ignited Alvin’s passion for education. As a Teach for America corps member in the Houston Independent School District, Alvin experienced first-hand the effects that a zip code, combined with life circumstances, can have on a child’s education. Twenty years into his career in education, Alvin relishes the opportunity to impact the lives of educators and students.

Prior to moving back to his native Houston, where he once served as principal of two HISD schools, Alvin was the founding dean of the Dougherty Family College at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Since stepping into the leadership role at TEACH in fall of 2020, Alvin continues to carry the torch for education, now within the community that paved his own learning, something he considers a special honor.

Lindsey Pollock, Ed.D.

Bruce Padilla

Director of Development

Having spent more than 15 years volunteering with and supporting a variety of nonprofit organizations, Bruce knew it’d only be a matter of time before he joined one full-time. His decades-long career in sales and development has provided him with a profound understanding of and interest in outreach, fundraising and event planning – all skills that he has proudly contributed to charitable causes over the years, collectively helping them raise millions of dollars.

Bruce joined TEACH in October 2021, knowing he had found his perfect match. As development director, he’s most excited to help increase awareness of TEACH’s mission in the community and attract new donors to help expand TEACH’s reach. A native of Albuquerque and a graduate of the University of New Mexico, he has seen first-hand the impact education has on the lives of children, particularly in underserved communities. He’s honored to have the opportunity to help TEACH continue to do more of its meaningful work to educate all children.

Taiam Simmons,
M. Ed.

Director of School Partnerships

A third-generation educator, Taiam has served as a principal, assistant principal, curriculum coordinator and elementary and middle school teacher over the span of more than 15 years with the Houston Independent School District. She holds a Master of Education from the University of St. Thomas and is CoachRICE-certified by Rice University’s Doerr Institute. While serving as principal at a TEACH school, Taiam saw first-hand the positive impact that TEACH’s curriculum and coaching made on campus culture and classroom management. In August 2015, Taiam joined TEACH as Director of School Partnerships, serving as the connector between school leadership and teachers to ensure the implementation of TEACH strategies campus-wide.

TEACH Team

Rasheeda Bernard,
Ed. D.

Campus Leadership Support

Rasheeda has always been focused on leaving a lasting mark, but she hadn’t always imagined pursuing a career in education. It was one of her favorite professors at Texas Southern University who sparked her interest and ultimately inspired her to embark on a professional journey – one that has earned her both a Master’s and a Doctorate degree in Education Administration. A former elementary school teacher and assistant principal within the Houston Independent School District, Rasheeda has seen TEACH’s impact on school and classroom culture first-hand. In 2018, she joined TEACH as Campus Leadership Support, training and coaching school leaders on the same TEACH strategies and skills that their teachers are learning and implementing in their classrooms.

Lindsey Pollock, Ed.D.

Jon Blasko

Program Manager

For Jon, school has always been a positive space for relationship-building, growing and learning, so he wasn’t surprised to find himself pursuing an undergraduate degree in secondary social studies education. During his seven and a half years at Nimitz High School in Houston’s northside, Jon’s role as a teacher and instructional coach provided him with the opportunity to coach teachers on best practices, aimed at helping build teacher capacity. This focus on helping impact education through the teacher-student relationship attracted Jon to TEACH, which he joined in June 2021. As a Program Manager, he’s most inspired by collaborating with others to make a significant, long-term impact. Through his work, he’s on a mission to show students that school can be a positive, enriching experience – much like his was.

Tabiatha Penson,
M. Ed.

Program Manager

Tabiatha’s relationship with TEACH began long before she joined the team. Having served as a Teacher Specialist with the Houston Independent School District for seven years, she saw first-hand the lasting impact the organization made in schools. In June 2021, Tabiatha joined TEACH as a Program Manager, bringing with her extensive teaching experience, various Texas education certifications and Master’s degrees in Educational Administration and in Curriculum Instruction from Prairie View A&M University. Tabiatha is particularly excited to make an impact in the classroom post-pandemic. Her role, she says, is all about making a lasting impact and seeing how the strategies she helps teachers implement make a difference in their lives – both inside and outside of the classroom.

Lindsey Pollock, Ed.D.

Tylea Powell,
M.S.

Operations Coordinator

Tylea learned first-hand the impact that education could have on a young person’s life. She’d go on to become the first in her family to earn an undergraduate degree, later earning a Master’s degree in Developmental Disabilities with concentrations in Leadership & Advocacy and in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Seeing how powerfully nonverbal communication strategies could help children on the autism spectrum, she also obtained her certification as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). Her skills and passion for helping advance children’s development ultimately led her to serve as the Operations Manager for InBloom Autism Services in Houston and paved the way for joining TEACH in November 2021. In her role as Operations Coordinator, Tylea collaborates with all TEACH team members on all facets of operations to help TEACH achieve its mission.

Lindsey Pollock, Ed.D.

Nzinga Shury,
M.S. Ed.

Program Manager

Nzinga wakes up every day with a single focus: to make an impact, even if it’s just on one person. Following her two-year placement with Teach for America, Nzinga served as a special education teacher and peer collaborative teacher at Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx and went on to earn her Master’s degree in Education from Hunter College. Prior to joining TEACH in July 2021, she was the Director of School Systems and Teacher Education at Achievement First East Brooklyn High School, a charter school in Brooklyn. In her new role as a Program Manager, she most looks forward to seeing the life-altering impact that her collaborative work with Houston-area teachers has on the students they serve.

Amelie Smith,
M.S. Ed.

Program Manager

Amelie’s professional journey in education began her sophomore year at Beloit College in Wisconsin, where as a reading tutor she first experienced the fulfillment of helping students reach their fullest potential. Amelie went on to earn her Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has focused her career on providing students with the opportunity to grow and succeed. Before joining TEACH in June 2021, Amelie was the National Alumni Program Lead at Genesys Works. She previously served as the Manager of Talent Development at Houston’s YES Prep Public Schools. Today, as a TEACH Program Manager, Amelie now empowers teachers to create a high-achieving and positive learning environment for all students.

Lindsey Pollock, Ed.D.

Robyn Thomas,
M.S. Ed.

Program Manager

While Robyn grew up surrounded by a family of educators, her personal passion for education was, fittingly, cultivated in the classroom, where she had a front-row seat to the immense impact she could have as an educator. After spending four years in the Houston Independent School District, Robyn knew she had found her lifelong career – one that would reward her with the opportunity to make a lasting, community-wide impact. It was Robyn’s commitment to serving her community through education that led her to earn a Master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins University and, ultimately, to join TEACH in July 2021. As a Program Manager, Robyn is most excited about seeing how her team’s work transforms Houston-area schools and helps enhance the community she proudly calls home.

Support TEACH

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Address

2900 Weslayan, Suite 375
Houston, TX, 77027

Email

info@toeducateallchildren.org

Phone

713.300.1097

 

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Support TEACH

When you shop at smile.amazon.com Amazon donates

Address

2900 Weslayan, Suite 375
Houston, TX, 77027

Email

info@toeducateallchildren.org

Phone

713.300.1097