Jessica Chevalier, Secondary Literacy Director
Jessica has been an educator for 13 years, beginning as a fifth-grade bilingual teacher in Oregon. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Elementary Education and Spanish from Linfield College in Oregon and a Master’s in ESOL/Bilingual Education from Western Oregon University. Having taught across the country—in Oregon and Connecticut before coming to Texas—Chevalier has a unique perspective on education and is a driven advocate for students and teachers alike. At her core, Chevalier believes that all teachers and students want to achieve their goals, learn, and grow and that, as a curriculum and development team, it is our duty to meet their needs and support the pursuit of their goals. Jessica joined Secondary Curriculum and Development at the formation of the Secondary Literacy team in 2015. As a Teacher Development Specialist, she led the Literacy Empowered initiative, championed the Reading Inventory during its implementation, and provided continuous training opportunities for educators at all levels.Email: JCHEVAL1@houstonisd.org
Dr. Kerry McArthur, Teacher Development Specialist
Kerry has been an educator for over 20 years where she has worked at the elementary, secondary and university levels. In 2013 she joined Houston ISD after teaching and researching at the university in Arizona, Florida, and the Texas-Mexico border where she also co-directed the National Writing Project site. Kerry has experience in program development, curriculum writing, professional development, and grant writing. She has also worked as a Reading Specialist and is currently a Curriculum Specialist on the Literacy Team. Kerry earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education with a focus on Reading from Texas Tech University; a Master’s of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction (Reading Specialist) from the University of Houston; and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Language, Reading and Culture from the University of Arizona. Her professional interests are driven by the improvement of secondary teaching and learning. Specifically, exploring how language, both oral and written, first and second, informs and guides thinking, learning, and identity development across the disciplines in schooling.Email: KMCARTHU@houstonisd.org
Onyinye Ewulu, Curriculum Specialist
Ms. Ewulu has served in various educational roles for the past decade, most recently as teacher and English department chair. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Teaching and Learning from the University of Houston, a Master’s of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Sam Houston State University, a Texas principal certificate, and ESL certificate. Ms. Ewulu’s current role as Curriculum Specialist, in the Secondary Curriculum and Development – Literacy department, allows her to further her professional interests which include: curriculum writing, data analysis, team building, and partnering with campus’ to meet academic goals. Literacy, she believes, is a fundamental component to student achievement in any discipline. A life-long learner, Onyinye furthers her education to help students, teachers, and campus’ navigate 21st century classroom expectations.
Migdalia Trevino, Curriculum Specialist
I moved to Houston from the Rio Grande Valley, I grew up wanting to broaden my horizon and expand my potential in education. Learning from my students as they learn from me, I glimpse into their future and wonder how I can help. Broad and diverse, my career in education spans nearly two decades, with the last eleven years dedicated to administrative roles. I have served across all student populations as a Bilingual Teacher, Assistant Elementary/Middle School Principal, Elementary Principal, High School Principal, and Instructional Specialist. My educational background includes a Masters’ degree from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas-Pan-American along with three certifications. As an educational leader raising a young daughter, I never stop leading…and never stop learning.
Pamela Cunningham, Teacher Development Specialist
Pamela Cunningham has been with HISD over twenty-five years. During this time, she has had the opportunity to work as a teacher, a reading-teacher trainer, an instructional supervisor, an educational program manager, literacy specialist, and now as a teacher development specialist. She also has extensive experience supporting students and teachers participating in Special Education, Multilingual, and Gifted and Talented programs. Ms. Cunningham holds a Secondary English/Language Arts Composite Teacher Certificate and a Principal Certificate. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in mathematics and master’s degree in reading and language arts education. Her goal is to serve as an instructional resource for you and to provide you with real-time embedded professional development and support as appropriate.Email: PCUNNIN1@houstonisd.org
Samiya Sartaz, Teacher Development Specialist
Samiya Sartaz has been an educator in Houston ISD for the past 7 years. She began her professional journey at Patrick Henry Middle School where she taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade in her three years there. Afterwards, she moved on to other middle schools in the district where she served as a core English teacher, a department chair, and a mentor. She also has experience supporting students and teachers who participate in the Special Education and Gifted and Talented Programs. She has earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English/ Creative Writing with a minor in Print Journalism from the University of Houston. She hopes to pursue a masters’ degree in the upcoming year. She believes that all students deserve an education that ensures their success in future. She believes that this can only happen if we equip each student with the love of learning by providing them with multiple opportunities to experiment with language, reading and writing. In her current role as a teacher development specialist, her goal is to support each teacher with enough resources and methods to help them be effective, use relevant teaching practices, and create a classroom which represents a growth mindset.
Lisa Boze, Teacher Development Specialist
For the past four years, Lisa Boze' served as Assistant Principal at Daniel Ortiz Middle School. She started there as the Literacy Coach. After being in the position for three years, she became the Strategic Reading and Writing teacher and served in the role for four years. In 2015, she was promoted to Assistant Principal.
She has written and presented original workshops titled, “Literacy Centers in the Reading Intervention Classroom” and “Before You Teach – Classroom Management for New Teachers.” Coaching, developing, and mentoring teachers is something she enjoys and will continue to do.
Ms. Boze’ is a 2015 alumni of the prestigious Rice University Entrepreneurial Education Program (REEP). She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Master of Arts degree in Education Administration from the University of Houston Main Campus.
Jonathan Denning, Teacher Development Specialist
Jonathan Denning is a native Texan, educated in Houston, and both his parents were life-long learners and public educators too. His past private sector experiences translate into replicated strategies effective in closing the student achievement gap. After earning an advanced degree in Instruction, Jonathan worked primarily with high-density, low-income, and special needs populations, often leveraging constructivist philosophies to accelerate the learning cycle. Jonathan now works to overcome barriers in and across the district related to language acquisition and literacy with special emphasis on accelerating cognitive transformation with technology. His vision is seeing a district loaded with flexible learning environments that ensure all learners win. Our impact is to leave all learners feeling empowered to profoundly decode, decide, and describe reality to themselves and the world.
Sarah Racz, Teacher Development Specialist
Sarah Racz has been an educator for 12 years and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies from Texas Tech University and holds a certification in 4-8 English/Language Arts, Reading, Social Studies as well as ESL Generalist certification. She began her career in Lubbock ISD and taught 6th- 8th grade English for 7 years. She then moved to Houston ISD where she taught 8th Grade English for 4 years at both Hamilton Middle School and Frank Black Middle School. Throughout her career, she has served as a department chair, school culture committee member, campus professional development facilitator, district professional development facilitator, mentor, and campus Effective Practice Specialist. She joined the Literacy Team in 2018 with the goal of supporting efficacy and capacity in both teachers and students. She believes in empowering independent, successful graduates through the foundation of literacy.
Jessica Relph, Teacher Development Specialist
Jessica Relph is an Alabama native who has dedicated 7 years to the work of Education. Ms. Relph has a heart for all subjects but writing and reading are her favorite. She firmly believes that all students can learn, when the work as meaningful and relatable. Therefore Ms. Relph continues to be committed to finding new and engaging instructional methods to grow student knowledge. Relph holds a bachelors in English Education from Alabama State University and a masters in Educational Leadership from University of Alabama at Birmingham. More importantly, Ms. Relph has years of classroom and leadership experience in both the charter and public school systems. Ms. Relph is very elated to further her student impact as a Teacher Development Specialist with HISD.
Chloe' Batiste, Teacher Development Specialist
Prior to becoming an educator, Chloe Batiste pursued a career related to her degree within the Criminal Justice field. This sector of society afforded Mrs. Batiste the opportunity to engage in the lives of adults who could not read nor write. Fortunately for this experience, she was inspired to reach adolescents by becoming an educator that would assist students in growing academically. Her goal was/is to encourage, enlighten, and enhance students’ choices to understand the importance of being a life-long learner. Once into the educational field, she yearned for even more knowledge that would be impactful for both students and educators to mold them for greater success; therefore, she received her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction to go beyond the expected. She has worked diligently with underappreciated, under-privilege children and adults who she has assisted in identifying their true purpose in life. Her philosophy is reach and teach individuals of all ages to assure them that their auspicious destiny is in reach.