Our Team


 IMG 0539     Kimishawne Davies

Kimishawne Davies has been teaching the underserved students of Los Angeles County for over 14 years. She graduated with her BA in Pan African Studies from Cal State Northridge and MA in Education from National University. Her career started in Compton Unified in 2000 and led her to teach at Dr. Hollie's laboratory school, CLAS for 10 years.  She became a consultant for The Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning(CCRTL) in 2006. As a result of her many roles over the years, including lead teacher and onsite CLR instructional coach under the leadership of Dr. Hollie, she has developed her expertise in the areas of training teachers to build relationships, increase engagement, and elevate the learning of their students by implementing the CLR strategies in all subjects. 


carrieeicher  Carrie Eicher

Carrie Eicher has been an educator and staff developer for the past 15 years, serving diverse communities of students and staff. She holds a K-6 teaching degree, a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Arts Integration, as well as a K-12 principal license from Saint Mary's University. Carrie has taught all grade levels K-12 and worked extensively with adult learners. Carrie has served as Dean of Academics and currently serves as Instructional Coach in the North Saint Paul school district, where she concentrates on building district staff development in Culturally and Linguistically Responsive teaching and learning. She has successfully led multiple cadres through the Coach 1 and 2 process, focusing on classroom implementation and consistent support and follow through as teachers dive deeper into the pool of responsiveness. Carrie is thrilled to be on this journey with The Center of Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning.

Paddy   Paddy Greely

Paddy Greely has been an educator in Madison, WI for twenty years.  After working as a preschool teacher, and receiving her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Paddy joined the Madison School District as a classroom teacher.  She has spent time as a literacy coach and a professional learning coordinator. Since 2008, Paddy has immersed herself in culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and learning, studying and practicing under many of the experts in the field.


feliciapic  Felicia Homberger

Felicia Homberger received her Masters in Education from The Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1996, where she first developed a passion for culturally responsive teaching.  She has been teaching high school English ever since, primarily at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minnesota.  Since 2004, she has also been the High School Staff Development Coordinator at Hopkins, where she has successfully worked with staff to infuse CLR both in instructional practices and building policies.  As a CLR coach who is actively teaching, she understands both the challenges and benefits of deepening one's CLR integration and enjoys working with other teachers to further develop their skills.


 IMG 4421  Carolyn Kaneda

Carolyn Kaneda has been teaching, leading, coaching and consulting for public, charter and private schools in metropolitan cities countrywide for the past 20 years. She earned a bachelors degree from Mount Holyoke College and her master's degree from Simmons College in Boston, MA. Carolyn is an advocate for constructivist and collaborative growth of teachers and teacher leaders, particularly in the areas of cultural and community responsiveness. With over 15 years of experience in planning school district, and national teacher/leader professional development  initiatives, Carolyn now serves the Teaching Excellence Network as Director of Education Partnerships, supporting the growth of knowledge, infrastructure and collegial collaboration for community responsiveness.


 Lusiani-085   Nicole Lusiani

Nicole Lusiani Elliott has served as a CLR coach and professional development instructor, coaching teachers K-12 with a specialization in secondary history.  Prior to that she was a practicing CLR educator, serving 19 years teaching English and social studies at a high-needs East Bay public high school. In addition to working as an instructional coach for CCRTL, Nicole works as a professional development instructor and instructional coach for the Hollyhock Fellowship housed in Stanford University's Center to Support Excellence in Teaching. 


  Photo on 12-5-14 at 12.01 PM 3   Lydia McClanahan

Lydia McClanahan has been an educator in the Los Angeles area for 25 years. Her passion for reaching and teaching underserved and marginalized learners began early on in her career while teaching at Crenshaw High School. She was introduced to CLR and became a facilitator for the Academic English Mastery Program(AEMP) in the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1995. She began working with Dr. Hollie as a responsive literacy consultant in 2003 and joined the staff at his laboratory school, the Culture and Language Academy of Success(CLAS) in 2005 as the founding middle school teacher. For the last 15 years she has been deeply dedicated to her work as a consultant, lead teacher and mentor  in culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy.   Her areas of expertise are responsive vocabulary and literacy instruction, including identifying and utilizing culturally authentic texts.


Orange   Dr. Tonikiaa Orange

Tonikiaa Orange has worked in education for over 15 years.  She is a former elementary and middle school principal, and Math/Science teacher.  Her experience and interest lie in evaluation, teacher leadership and culturally linguistic and responsive pedagogy.  She has participated in the evaluation of projects such as the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Restructuring Initiative and the Ford Foundation’s Devolution Initiative.  She served as Program Manager in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction for Chicago Public schools where she helped manage a new K-12 curriculum for the district. She currently teaches Curriculum and Instruction in the UCLA Center X Principal Leadership Institute and Social Foundations for the UCLA Teacher Education Program.  Dr. Orange received a MA from Teachers College, Columbia University in Politics and Education, an Ed.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in Administrative and Policy Studies and  was a Lilly Endowment Evaluation Fellow.  Also, Dr. Orange has an MA from UCLA focused on Urban School Leadership and Social Justice, and is a graduate of the UCLA Principal Leadership Institute.


sonjiowens opt   Sonji Owens

Sonji Owens has been an educator in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 26 years. She has served as an Academic English Mastery Program(AEMP) facilitator, and a SEL Data Coordinator. Sonji receieved her teaching credential from  CSU Dominguez Hills and has been an independent consultant for CCRTL for 15 years. Her areas of expertise are the infusion of CLR in primary grades and creating instructional activities for Mainstream English Language Development(MELD) to support the academic achievement of Standard English Learners. 

10446676 1454944518132414 6716298854450509614 n    Daniel Russell

Daniel Russell has over two decades of experience working with underserved students in the Los Angeles area. He began his journey in 1995 as a facilitator for the Academic English Mastery Program(AEMP) and has dedictated his career to finding the most effective instructional strategies to improve the achievement of struggling and reluctant learners. Daniel has been an instructional coach with CCRTL for 10 years. His areas of expertise are Responsive Classroom Management, Responsive Test Taking and Social Studies. 

 Kiechelle  Kiechelle Russell

Kiechelle Russell has been an educator in Los Angeles since 2000.  Graduating with a BA from California State University, Northridge, an MA in Special Education from California State University, Dominguez Hills and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from UCLA.  She immediately put her education to work as a special education teacher in LAUSD.  After learning about the Academic English Mastery Program (AEMP), research-based program designed to address the language needs of Standard English Learners, she reflected on her own K-12 experiences as an African American Language speaker.  As a result of being singled-out for her rich use of African-American Language as a teen, she became an AEMP facilitator to help prevent her students from experiencing some of the same challenges.  She honed her skills in culturally responsive pedagogy at Dr. Hollie’s laboratory school CLAS and  was groomed to be a senior consultant for  CCRTL. She takes pride in training teachers to deepen their knowledge in culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy while implementing strategies that build on their own students’ culture and language.


 Tsehai   Tsehai Russell

Tsehai Russell has worked in the area of Culturally Responsive Teaching for over 14 years. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, holds a Master’s degree in   Curriculum and Instruction and received her undergraduate degree from renowned Spelman College.  Tsehai, who is currently a classroom teacher, creates a rich learning environment which develops an enthusiasm for learning. She is a strong advocate for being responsive to the social and cultural context in which students live. She has written exemplar units of study for the Los Angeles Unified School District, served as an Academic English Mastery Program Fellow and Lead Teacher, and has successfully facilitated a multitude of forums for teachers to collaboratively improve both their individual and collective efforts in responsive education. Although her skill set is vast, her greatest expertise is in adapting complex strategies and curriculum to be used in primary grades. 


javier opt  Javier San Ramon

Javier San Román has been an educator for 18 years serving the largely Latino and African American communities of South Central Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Javier’s expertise is in the area of culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy (CLR) with a particular emphasis on CLR for Chicano and Latino students. During his career as an educator, Javier has been an elementary and middle school teacher, a Bilingual Coordinator, a Program Specialist and a Coordinator with the Academic English Mastery Program (AEMP)- a national model program for Standard English Learners.  In 2004, Javier was invited to teach at the Culture and Language Academy of Success (CLAS), an innovative laboratory school that served as a national model for CLR. While teaching at CLAS, Javier began to work with the Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning, taking his experience with CLR and demonstrating how the approach applies to a variety of different student groups, particularly Latino Standard English Learners and English Learners. Javier holds a BCLAD credential, a Masters in Educational Administration, and a Tier II Administrative Credential. Javier has received the AEMP Directors Award for superior service to Standard English Learners in LAUSD, the LAUSD Board of Education Certificate of Recognition, and the Association of Mexican American Educators Fuego Nuevo Award for serving as a new light in the education of Latino students. 


    Maggie Schoon Maggie Schoon

Maggie Schoon has been an educator since 2003 after receiving her teaching credential and Master of Arts in Education from UC Davis. She has served as an elementary school teacher and instructional coach for preschool-12th grade teachers (in Antioch USD and San Ramon Valley USD),  a faculty member at University of Phoenix’s School of Education and an educational consultant for schools, teachers and families. She has been immersed in CLR teaching for her entire career and has not only helped educate underserved students, but coached teachers in how to utilize CLR strategies in their classrooms. She has been a Coach with CCRTL since 2015 and specializes in helping staff connect to the cultures of their students, second language learning and student engagement.


 Sklarsh   Dr. Sandra Sklarsh

Dr. Sandra J. Sklarsh has over a decade of experience in the field of education in the South Central Los Angeles/Watts area within the Los Angeles Unified School District.  She started her teaching career in 1997, has taught grades three through five, and has been a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) for twelve years.  Sandra began her work in CLR during her time working with LAUSD's Academic English Mastery Program.  Sandra earned her Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a Business Administration Minor from Loyola Marymount University, and continued graduate studies in education at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, where she received a Masters Degree in Multicultural Education.  Sandra is also a consultant for the Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning (CCRTL), where her expertise is in teaching the Latino student.  


GinaSpooHeadshot    Gina Spoo

Gina Spoo has been teaching in the Hopkins Public Schools in Hopkins, Minnesota since 1999.  She holds a Masters Degree in Literacy Education from Hamline University.   She has taught fifth, second, and first grades at Meadowbrook Elementary School.  From 2011-2014 she was an instructional coach for Hopkins teacher evaluation process along with being a literacy coach.  Currently, she is  a literacy coach working with teachers K-6.  In addition, she is an elementary instructional mentor for new teachers.  Her role with Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning started when she created  an online course for teachers in her district. She currently provides CLR staff development along with literacy staff development as a literacy leader in Hopkins Public Schools.


jterry   Jennifer Terry

Jennifer Terry is a third grade teacher at Skyview Elementary in Oakdale, MN. She has always had a passion for helping under-served families and children and has sought out opportunities to help families and children in her school connect with local services through Project Family Connect and a snack program for hungry students.  In 2012 she was motivated to implement the CLR strategies and pedagogy into her classroom when she heard Dr. Hollie speak during back to school week.  In the last three years she has been able to lead a cadre of teachers in the practice of CLR at her school. She looks forward to working with teachers  on their journey into culturally responsive teaching. 


williams    Dr. GeNita Williams

Dr. GeNita Williams was born, raised, and educated in St. Louis, Missouri. A former high school English teacher, Dr. Williams has been a teacher and school leader for 16 years. Dr. Williams earned her Bachelor’s degree from Harris-Stowe State University, her Master’s degree from the University of MO – St. Louis and her Doctoral degree from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Williams has been a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated for 20 years believing wholeheartedly in its motto “Greater Service; Greater Progress”   Dr. Williams loves learning and academia, joining The Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning (CCRTL) in March 2015. Dr. Williams is most encouraged by CCRTL and its potential impact on children and teachers everywhere. 


 Yvette-Pic opt  Yvette Williams

Yvette Williams has been using CLR pedagogy to make a difference with underserved youth for many years. She is a fifth grade teacher in the Fontana Unified School District and teaches reading at the San Bernadino Valley College. Yvette has a masters degree in Language Arts and a Reading Specialist Certificate.  She looks forward to working with students and teachers on their journey with Culturally Responsive Teaching.


Contributing Consultants ~

Amy Coventry

Dr. Letitia Davis

Dr. Jamilla Gillenwaters

Cheri Reaves






Devin Chicas, Executive Assistant, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
4712 Admiralty Way #1141 Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Office 323-292-2000 fax 323-292-2323

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