Working side by side with the TFA Indy coaching team and working within our placement schools, this body of alumni provides transformational coaching that promotes habits and dispositions which lead to equity for all students.
In the fall I will be starting my sixth year in the classroom as a second grade teacher. I have taught 1st-3rd grade. I am extremely passionate about early literacy, ESL students and social-emotional learning. I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA. Go Steelers! I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors in Social Work. After graduation, I participated in an AmeriCorps early literacy program as a bilingual tutor in Austin, Texas. After my experience with AmeriCorps, I was a founding co-teacher at a charter school in Austin. In 2016, I decided to join Teach for America here in Indianapolis and fell in love with this amazing city! Through Teach for America, I earned my Masters of Arts in Teaching from Marian University. I decide to extend my commitment after the corps to the classroom and to students here in Indianapolis. In my free time, I enjoy practicing and teaching yoga, cooking and going on long walks with my pup!
- Most Proud Impact: I am most proud of the relationships I have been able to form with my students and their families! By the end of the year we are no longer a class but rather our own family! We can support and push each other through anything!
- Leadership Quote: "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing." -Peter F. Drucker
Mary Brody is a third grade teacher and grade level chair at KIPP Indy Unite Elementary. Originally from the Indianapolis area, Mary went to DePauw University, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Education. After graduating, she joined the 2014 Teach For America Indy corps. Mary taught first grade for two years at IPS School 51 while earning her Masters in Education from Marian University. She then taught first grade for three more years at KIPP Indy. She expanded her horizons (slightly) in moving to teach third grade this past school year, and has already learned so much. She loves growing as a teacher, teaching guided reading, and digging into student data to help kids achieve their goals. Outside of teaching, Mary enjoys playing tennis, cooking (a new quarantine hobby), and being an aunt!
- Most Proud Impact: I am most proud of the progress my students have made each year. My favorite part of every school year is May/June, when we get to collectively reflect on the year. Students begin to realize how far they have come in just a year's time, and there is nothing more inspiring than seeing a student realize how capable they are!
- Leadership Quote: "Great leaders don't set out to be a leader. They set out to make the difference. It is never about the role - always about the goal." -Lisa Haisha
Teasa Cannon is a native of Indiana. She attended Indiana State University where she received a Bachelors in Elementary Education and Masters in Criminal Justice. She started her teaching career as a 2014 TFA Indy corps member. She has taught kindergarten, 5th and 6th grade. Teasa is currently a 5th Grade Lead ELA teacher at KIPP Indy Unite Elementary. She was raised by a fiercely independent, resilient single mother who taught her the importance of hard-work. She understands the value of a great education and passionate educators. Her experience as a student in Indianapolis classrooms has fueled her motivation to provide quality education to ALL students. Every day, in her classroom, she empowers her students to live their truth, challenge the oppression in this country, and overcome adversity. Teasa and her husband, Kofi, have recently moved back to Indy and are excited to get a puppy. She enjoys reading, taking long walks, and fun workout classes.
- Most Proud Impact: The impact I’m most proud of is empowering my students to speak out against injustice. We have done a lot of social justice work in my classroom and I’m so proud of the ways my students have challenged the system. I know they will one day be the leaders to move this country forward.
- Leadership Quote: "A leader sees greatness in other people. He nor she can be much of a leader if all she sees is herself." -Maya Angelou
Max D. Glenn
Max D. Glenn (he/him/his) is an artist and Special Educator beginning his new placement at Cold Spring School. Prior to his corps experience Max was a part of the broad education strategy of Cleveland Play House (America's first regional theatre) implementing wraparound services and helping implement and refine CARE (Compassionate Arts Remaking Education) a ground breaking theatre program that merges social emotional learning, trauma informed practices, and theatre artistic practices. He holds a Bachelors in Theatre Arts from Truman State University, a Masters in Theatre History and Criticism from The Ohio State University, and Masters in Special Education from Marian University. He lives with his wonderful partner Pamela, his daughter Eleanor, and dog Kaya.
- Most Proud Impact: I'm proud of the specific ways I was able to advocate for specific instructional strategies for students (case load and beyond). This is everything from creating IEPs that actually had paths back to full day instruction for a student who was placed on half-day due to destructive behaviors (yet never instructed on appropriate replacement behaviors). I'm proud of advocating for ENL students by working within our school community to insure that on interims they were actually getting access to language appropriate assessments. I'm proud of the trust I built with parents to be advocates in their children's educations, recognizing that a lot of power rests with them.
- Leadership Quote: "Prepare to be lucky."
Tammi Hanzalik is currently a Kindergarten teacher at Clarence Farrington 61 on the Northwest side of Indianapolis. Tammi is a Central Florida native and received her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. In her classroom she strives to not only teach essential skills like reading and writing but also the importance of Social Emotional Learning and the positive impact that it has on their development. She believes that children need the tools to understand and regulate emotions in a loving and safe environment. Tammi also believes that students should see themselves in their learning and is working towards fostering more independence and love for learning in her students. In her free time, Tammi enjoys spoiling her dog and cat, doing CrossFit, and spending time outdoors.
- Most Proud Impact: The amount of academic and personal growth that I have seen in them over the course of the year.
- Leadership Quote: "Leaders are developers, team builders, imaginers, culture caretakers, roadblock removers, and inspirers. Their success depends on enabling the success of others."
Austin Jenkins is a recent alumnus of TFA Indy. While in the corps, Austin taught high school science and math on the southside of Indianapolis. In this role, he relentlessly pursued educational equity for all students, especially students of special circumstances like our special education and ESL students. He pushed all students to master rigorous content, deepen their skills in supporting their claims with evidence, and become greater critical thinkers about the world around them. Austin hopes to continue this pursuit of strong academic outcomes as he moves to 8th grade to teach science and honors biology in the 2020-2021 school year. Additionally, Austin has partnered with a Biology teacher at Shortridge High School to create a speaking series of diverse STEM professionals to share their stories. Austin believes exposure to diverse STEM professionals is crucial to fixing the leaky pipeline from secondary to post-secondary to the work force of our diverse education population.
Before Austin joined TFA, he studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville. Throughout his undergraduate career, he worked with Upward Bound as a Lead Resident Assistant and tutor during the summer session and academic year. Austin's exposure educational inequity within his home city inspired him to enter the classroom at the high school level to ensure all students are aware of their post-secondary opportunities. Austin lives in north Indianapolis and is still exploring the city for new hobbies and hole-in-the-wall bars.
- Most Proud Impact: I am most proud of my student's ability to take risks in the classroom (admitting they are confused, asking for help, sharing answers that they may not feel absolutely confident about.) I am also proud of the rigorous content my students were mastering, especially their ability to justify their answers to rigorous questions with evidence.
- Leadership Quote: "Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position." - Brian Tracy
"Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar." -Orrin Woodward
Tyler Lega will be beginning is third year of teaching at Christel House Academy West. At West, Tyler serves as the middle school social studies teacher and lead teacher for middle school. During his time at Christel House he has piloted the Student Government Association, assisted with sports programs, and ran numerous club. Tyler is hoping to coach cross country this Fall and continue his work with the Student Government Association. Outside of teaching Tyler enjoys working closely with his fraternity in which he currently serves as the chapter advisor for the Iota Eta chapter at IUPUI. He graduated from Marian University with a Masters in Arts of Teaching and Transylvania University with a bachelors in the liberal arts. Some passions of Tyler's are League of Legends which he follows the professional scene closely, Kentucky, and of course bourbon.
- Most Proud Impact: I am most proud of developing meaningful opportunities for students to get involved in at school. The biggest example of this is the start of Christel House Academy West's Student Government Association in which in our first year the students were recognized for their philanthropic efforts from Riley's Children Hospital.
- Leadership Quote: "Leadership is an action, not a position." -Unknown
I was a corps member at Enlace Academy in West Indianapolis. I've taught 3 years at Enlace and plan to return for a 4th year this fall. I've taught Social Studies for grades 5 - 8th, but settled into teaching 5th and 6th. This year I'm looking forward to taking on Department chair, a student-teacher mentor role, and tinkering with new and better ways of connecting students with their world!
- Most Proud Impact: I am so proud to have assisted my students in developing the building blocks of evidence-based writing, verbal reasoning, and an awareness of world and U.S. geography.
- Leadership Quote: "Be the change you want to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi
Melonie Lynn is a TFA alumna who taught high school math. She joined TFA because she believes that education is a major key to health care, economic disparity, and other social issues we have in society. After being in the classroom for two years, she experienced hands-on educational inequity. She realizes that excellent education cannot be achieved with poverty and other social problems. So she decides to stay another year in the classroom to help navigate the students in those social issues as she also holds them in high expectations with their education.
- Most Proud Impact: I am super proud of the fact that some students have told me, "Thank you for being here every day and standing at the door every morning to greet everyone." This simple action might be nothing for some of us, but it meant a lot for some of my students.
- Leadership Quote: I am inspired by all the leaders out there who fought and are fighting for educational inequity and other social justice issues.
Sarah McManus is a high school English teacher at Riverside High School. As an educator, she believes in the power of communication and connection as the gateway to success. In 2017, Sarah joined the TFA corps in Indianapolis and taught English 9 and 10 at Emmerich Manual High School. She also worked as a Policy and Advocacy Fellow in the Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation in 2018, advocating for equitable funding measures for Mayor-Sponsored Charter Schools and researching pathways to bring pre-K education to Indianapolis. Prior to her role as an educator, Sarah was involved in various organizations that advocated for social justice and cultural diveristy, particularly within the Asian American community. Sarah earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Marian University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Connecticut.
- Most Proud Impact: Quantitatively, I led 53% of my students to pass the ISTEP+ ELA Exam during my time in the corps. I also helped develop a curriculum infused with social justice and critical consciousness that brought meaningful conversations into the classroom. Qualitatively, I developed strong relationships with my students from Manual. We all cried together when I left and I still keep in touch with quite a few of them today. Recently, I have been calling them to make sure that they've been doing their eLearning during quarantine.
- Leadership Quote: "You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated." -Maya Angelou
Sam is the 5th & 6th-grade math teacher at Vision Academy. This school year, she will also serve as the middle school math & science mentor teacher. Sam graduated from Fairfield University in Connecticut and moved to Indianapolis as a 2018 corps member. Before joining TFA, Sam worked as a reporter for her local newspaper.
- Most Proud Impact: I am most proud of the little victories: students working independently on a difficult problem, debates about whether an answer is correct, and listening to a community be built with a simple "you can borrow my pencil."
- Leadership Quote: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams
Brandon is currently a seventh grade science teacher at Westlane Middle School. A graduate of Indiana University Bloomington, Brandon taught high school algebra and geometry for two years at Arsenal Technical High School before making the transition to move to middle school. Brandon currently holds a B.S. in Neuroscience from IU and a M.A.T . In teaching from Marian University. An avid musician and gamer, Brandon can usually be found recording music for students or exploring fantasy worlds online, in between lesson plans, of course.
- Most Proud Impact: My greatest impact in my work has been the lifelong relationships I’ve created with students, especially while teaching high school. I was asked to be a groomsmen for one of my former students, and I can think of no higher honor or example of a successful relationship.
- Leadership Quote: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” -Unknown
Amy is a native of Daytona Beach, Florida. She is a proud Indy corps alumna. She taught at her placement school for 2 years teaching middle school social studies and will be teaching U.S. and AP U.S. History at Herron High School this fall. Before her time in TFA, she attended Florida State University and received her degree in psychology and criminology. She also was a member of the FSU Marching Chiefs in the clarinet section during her time in Tallahassee. Amy enjoys spending time outside being active, playing music, teaching history, and spending time fixing up her new home in Indy!
- Most Proud Impact: I am most proud of the long lasting relationships I built with my students and my ability to create an authentic and rigorous learning space for them.
- Leadership Quote: "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." -John F. Kennedy
Selena Schraven is currently a math instructor at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, where she intends to pursue school leadership in social-emotional learning and instructional coaching. She is a native Hoosier born in Gary, graduating high school in Hammond and attending undergrad in Valparaiso before settling in Indianapolis to pursue an unforeseen passion for education. In addition to teaching Algebra 2 and Geometry, she has taken on Psychology and painting as electives. Having just bought her first house with her partner, she is excited to add a financial literacy class in the coming school year in order to continue living out her professional philosophy that a school's primary purpose is to support the entire student on their journey to becoming informed and skeptical consumers of information. As a first generation college student on all sides, she believes that it is pivotal for every educated individual to lend a hand and information to those currently pursuing any form of education. It will take a village to achieve educational equity.
- Most Proud Impact: I am always most proud of the relationships of mutual trust and respect that I build with my kids, and all of the things those relationships lead to. I am proud of the conversations my students feel comfortable having with me and the spaces of vulnerability/discomfort they are willing to put themselves in. We have a lot of difficult conversations in math class, where students ask any and all questions they have because they trust me.
- Leadership Quote: "A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them." -M. D. Arnold. As a leader, you are never above the people you lead. You must always strive to be a member of the people you lead and gain understanding before daring to lead.
Carley Taronji is an alumni of TFA, going into her third year of teaching. She graduated with a B.A. in psychology from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. During her senior year of college, she tutored college students in history and facilitated in after-school program in metro Atlanta elementary schools. This experience shifted her passion to working towards equitable education across schools and that students have access to and are prepared for secondary education. Carley joined TFA in 2018 teaching first grade at Circle City Preparatory Charter School. In her second year, she looped with her students to teach second grade. Alongside teaching, Carley also held after-school tutoring providing reading support for all second grade students and a weekend program for third grade students preparing for middle school.
- Most Proud Impact: The work that I do to ensure that scholars are receiving quality literacy instruction is the work I am most proud of because reading is so critical to later success.
- Leadership Quote: "You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." -Woodrow Wilson
Samantha Yaros is currently serving as a lead elementary teacher at Adelante Schools at Emma Donnan Elementary and Middle School in Indianapolis. She has previously worked at an elementary school on the Near Westside during her years as a 2018 corps member. Before joining TFA, Samantha worked on political campaigns during the 2016 cycle and then interned in the US House of Representatives. Samantha spent most of her collegiate years working in residential services, as a campus tour guide and facilitating connections between alumni and current students. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Indiana University Bloomington and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Marian University. Outside of teaching future leaders, Samantha enjoys exploring Indianapolis and the Hoosier state with her partner William and their beagle-Bernese mountain dog mix.
- Most Proud Impact: Keeping family connections after teaching multiple siblings, attending after school events for students and their excitement to see me
- Leadership Quote: “Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you.” -Michelle Obama