The Carnegie Educator Advisory Panel

The Carnegie Educator Advisory Panel actively uplifts the voices of teachers and school-based leaders across the nation. The nine selected Educator Advisors will be instrumental in molding our Future of Learning portfolio, with a specific emphasis on secondary education innovations.

By sharing their stories of impact, lessons learned, and experiences in today’s educational landscape, our Educator Advisors will advance the Carnegie Foundation’s mission to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life. With their collective insights, we are one step closer to realizing that vision.

Brooke Brown

English and Ethnic Studies Teacher, Washington High School (Washington)

Brooke Brown was named the 2021 Washington Teacher of the Year. She spent 15 years teaching English language arts and ethnic studies at Washington High School in the Franklin Pierce School District in Tacoma, WA. She uses her classroom to create a brave, inclusive environment that allows students to show up authentically, centering their experiences and encouraging them to develop empathy and compassion for others. She is currently in her third year as the Instructional Equity Specialist in the Franklin Pierce School District. Brooke has been married to her best friend, Eugene Brown, for 18 years and they have 4 children. She is a current doctoral student pursuing her PhD in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. She holds a master’s degree in education from Pacific Lutheran University and two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Washington in Sociology, History, and American Ethnic Studies.

Byron Durias

Principal, Sanford Middle School (Florida)

Byron Durias is a highly skilled principal who is dedicated to the recruitment and mentorship of Black male educators as well as advocating for students of color. He has made remarkable contributions to the education community by co-creating the digital platform #BMEsTalk, which supports Black male educators. Byron is also recognized as a distinguished presenter and workshop facilitator. He has achieved a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, which has equipped him with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in his profession. In his leisure time, Byron enjoys exploring African heritage foods and gardening.

Christopher Bronke

English Teacher and Department Chair, Downers Grove North School (Illinois)

After 19 years in education, Bronke has held numerous teacher leadership positions at the national level including a seat on the Teacher Advisory Council for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,  currently serving as the Past Chair for the Conference on English Leadership, and recently finishing his term serving on the Executive Committee for the National Council of Teachers of English. Bronke holds master’s degrees in Teaching and Learning, Educational Leadership, an EdS in Educational Leadership,  and is working on his EdD from Northern Illinois University in the field of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Bronke delivers presentations on assessment theory and design, standards-based instruction, Universal Design for Learning, Deeper Learning, ELA curriculum design, intentional integration of Social Emotional Learning into classrooms.  A champion of teacher voice, Christopher has been on the Executive Planning Committee for three Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching national convenings as well as the planning lead for two ECET2 regional events in Chicago. His work has been featured in The Atlantic, Teaching Channel, the Chicago Sun-Times, and more.  Additionally, his work has been highlighted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, on EduTalk Radio, at the Conference on English Leadership, and by the National Council of Teachers of English.

Dr. Kirstin Milks

AP Biology and Science Teacher, Bloomington High School South (Indiana)

Dr. Kirstin Milks (she/they) learns from and with AP Biology and Earth/space science students at Bloomington High School South. Kirstin’s family weathered emotional and financial instability while she was growing up, and she experienced first-hand the way school can be a refuge — and a launchpad — for students. In her teaching practice, Kirstin is committed to engaging young people in authentic scientific and personal practices, collaborating with students and community members to create justice-oriented spaces and opportunities, and supporting and making public the work of teaching and learning. She loves that a classroom can be a future-forward laboratory for discovery, creativity, community, and fun!

Lizzie Fortin

Instructional Coach, North High School (Massachusetts)

Lizzie Fortin is high school instructional coach, visual art educator, and visual artist whose work centers student relationships, antiracist pedagogy, and equitable access and outcomes using Universal Design for Learning. Her recent transition into instructional coaching has pushed her to transform her pedagogical work for adults. Her current visual artwork is contextualizing history through the use of timelines, text, and primary source images in order to make visual connections to what is currently happening in the world. She enjoys co-creating spaces to encourage dialogue around books, race, and education.

Oumar Diallo

Instructional Coach, Dunbar High School (District of Columbia)

Oumar Diallo is an instructional coach in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). He is currently supporting the redesign efforts of Dunbar High School by expanding teachers’ capacity to actualize the school’s new vision. Mr. Diallo strives to empower teachers to be at the forefront of the ideation of solutions to the most pressing challenges faced by their professional learning community. Oumar Diallo has worked over thirteen years in public education as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Writer, and District Course Chair. He specializes in the creation of culturally responsive content and the promotion of youth civic engagement.

Mr. Diallo is pursuing his Doctorate in Education Policy at American University, focusing on community engagement practices of DCPS high schools. His studies aim to design interventions to elevate the voices of families living furthest from opportunities to inform the direction of the District’s capital commitment plan. A native of Dakar, Senegal, Mr. Diallo is fluent in Wolof, French, English, and proficient in Spanish.

Whitney Aragaki

Teacher Leader, Waiākea High School (Hawaii)

Whitney Aragaki (she/they) is an educator, parent, and learner from Hilo, Hawaiʻi. They support students to learn through a lens of abundance that honors place, people and cultures. Their teaching focuses around conversations, practices and systems that sustain the intimate inter-relationship of public education, community and environment. They currently serve as a high school science teacher. Aragaki has a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Swarthmore College, and a Master of Science in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. They are currently at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Education, where they are pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy with a focus in curriculum and instruction. Aragaki is the 2022 Hawaiʻi State Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year Finalist. They are a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescence and Young Adulthood Mathematics, and a two-time state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. They were recently recognized as a 2023 Obama Foundation USA Leader.

Autumn Rivera

Science Teacher, Glenwood Springs Middle School (Colorado)

Autumn Rivera is a sixth-grade science teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School in the Roaring Fork School District in Colorado. She is also an adjunct professor at Colorado Mountain College in the Education Department. During her more than eighteen years as an educator, she has worked with students from elementary to postgraduate. Rivera empowers her students and strives to provide them with common background experiences. She was named the 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year and a Finalist for National Teacher of the Year, and is also a Golden Apple and Excellence in Teaching Awardee and PAEMST State Finalist. An active mother and teacher, she believes, “we make a living by what we get, but make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

Saletta Ureña

Spanish Language Teacher, Southern Guilford Middle School (North Carolina)

Saletta Ureña is a Jeanes Fellowship Coordinator in Greensboro, North Carolina. Rooted in the historic Jeanes teacher program of the early twentieth century, the Jeanes Fellowship Coordinator seeks to recapture the dedication to community uplift through public education and address the next needed change to advance strategic equity efforts. Saletta has identified enhanced curriculum as her focus area in that effort. In Saletta’s role, she works with district leadership and community partners to design innovative strategic initiatives that address issues of educational inequity through intentional community-school partnerships. As an educator, she centers second language proficiency and cultural sensitivity. Her classroom focus, social and racial justice advocacy, led to an enhanced Spanish curriculum to both decolonize Latin American history and educate on marginalized communities within the Spanish-Speaking world. Equity advocacy compels her to take action to uncover, confront and respond to racial injustice and inequity in schools and curriculum.

An active mother and teacher, she believes, “We make a living by what we get, but make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill