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.

Rasheeda Bernard,
Ed. D.

Program 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.

Nicole Haskins,
M.S. Ed.

Director of Program

For more than seven years, Nicole was able to see first-hand the impact of TEACH’s work in Houston and Aldine ISD classrooms. The former Transformation Principal for School Turnaround attributes her campuses’ tremendous growth and progress to TEACH’s support. Today, as TEACH’s Director of Program, Nicole uses the insights she gained as both a teacher and principal to lead and support TEACH’s Program Managers, developing the organization’s curriculum and coaching framework to continue to impact classrooms in her Houston community.

Nicole knew she wanted to teach from a very young age, when she’d round up the other kids in her family to “play school.” Inspired by her father, Nicole would go on to attend college as a Ford Co. Scholar, earning her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Stillman College and going on to earn her Master’s degree in Education Administration from Texas Southern University. Education, Nicole says, is all about making an impact – on people and on communities – and no doubt, with TEACH, she’s getting to make the difference she so passionately set out to make.

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.

Stacy Swanson

Director of Communications

Stacy credits two great teachers for planting the seeds that would become her passion for mission-driven work. Having a connection to and an impact on her community has been an important tenet of Stacy’s work as a communications professional for nearly two decades. Prior to joining TEACH as Director of Communications in October 2022, she served as Director of Internal Communications at Ochsner Health in New Orleans and, previously, as a Senior Communications Specialist at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

A native Houstonian, Stacy is invigorated by the opportunity to blend her love of community, children and education to make an impact in her hometown. As TEACH’s Director of Communications, she shares TEACH’s story and work across a variety of channels and audiences, further helping the organization accomplish its mission to educate all children.

TEACH Team

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.

Lindsey Pollock, Ed.D.

Gregory Castille,
M.S. Ed.

Program Manager

A passion for education runs in Gregory’s blood. Growing up alongside his mom, who was an educator for more than three decades, and nearly a dozen aunts and uncles with close ties to education, Gregory was well poised to become a teacher himself. Fittingly, he went on to earn his Master’s in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington and spend a decade working in Aldine ISD as a teacher, instructional specialist, assistant principal and, most recently, as a Curriculum Assistant Principal at Houston Academy.

Inspired by the thoughtful approach of the great teachers in his own family, Gregory says he thrives when he sees the spark in a student’s eye. As a TEACH Program Manager, he is laser-focused on helping teachers improve student engagement and impact their continued growth, both inside and outside the classroom.

Lindsey Pollock, Ed.D.

Nahdra Curry,
M.S.

Program Manager

As Houston’s first TEACH-certified teacher, Nahdra was perhaps destined to become a TEACH Program Manager. During her 11 years in Houston ISD, she served as a seventh-grade science teacher at Key Elementary School and, most recently, as a Teacher Specialist at Mitchell Elementary – one of TEACH’s first campuses, where she also served as a fifth-grade science teacher. As a TEACH Program Manager, Nahdra now helps educators create calm and safe classrooms and increase student engagement, leveraging the very same skills that once empowered her as a teacher herself.

It was one of Nahdra’s high school teachers who inspired her to consider a career in education. A self-proclaimed “science geek,” Nahdra received a scholarship from The National Science Foundation to pursue her Bachelor’s in Biology from Mississippi Valley State University. She’d later also acquire her Generalist Teaching Certification and would go on to earn a Master’s degree in 2022. She considers teaching an immeasurable privilege and aspires to be a changemaker for educators and students alike.

Lindsey Pollock, Ed.D.

Kaci Maris

Events Manager

As a nontraditional college student and mother of three school-aged children, Kaci has seen the impact of education on a micro and macro level. At 29, she decided to pursue her Associate’s degree from College of the Mainland – and her determination paid off! Kaci was awarded with a full scholarship to the University of Houston, from where she’s expected to graduate this year, double-majoring in Business, Management & Marketing in Corporate Communications.

Prior to joining TEACH in May 2022, Kaci lent her penchant for event planning and fundraising to the Lettermen’s Association at Texas A&M. Working closely with former student athletes further ignited her passion for education and giving back. It’s that enthusiasm with which she helps plan and execute all of TEACH’s events advancing a mission close to her heart.

 

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 Manager

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 Manager, Tylea collaborates with all TEACH team members on all facets of operations to help TEACH achieve its mission.

Lindsey Pollock, Ed.D.

Jennifer Stephenson,
M.A.

Program Manager

Jennifer is emphatic in her belief that education impacts students well beyond the classroom. During her teaching placement while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in early childhood studies from Texas A&M, Jennifer saw first-hand how drastically different the school experiences were from one side of the railroad tracks to the other. She knew then that she didn’t just want to become a teacher but rather, play an active role in helping dismantle and repair the deep social issues that exist within our communities.

After spending more than a decade with KIPP Texas Public Schools, having served both as a Kindergarten teacher and as Assistant Principal, Jennifer joined TEACH as a Program Manager in June 2022. In this role, she’s most excited about helping teachers strengthen their relationships with students, maximize instructional time and help their students reach their fullest potential. Advancing TEACH’s mission, she believes, is all about making a long-term impact on children.

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