About Us - Awesome Teacher Leaders

Teachers, media specialists, librarians, principals, district directors, college professors, tutors, continuing education instructors and education writers have all worked with us as Awesome Teacher Leaders! With their guidance and contributions, we build apps, expand website functionality and continuously add to AwesomeStories content and community.

As teachers build stories and lesson plans/assignments, our ATLs and membership team have consistently provided invaluable advice and technical support. We are story-driven, but we are also teacher-driven!

Awesome Teacher Leaders have made onsite and online presentations to demonstrate use of stories, primary sources, and media to support the Common Core. ATLs implement AwesomeStories in their own school, and spread the word in other schools and districts. Contact [email protected] to connect with an ATL in your area!

Read more about these Awesome leaders below:


Judy Bee

Judy Bee, Associate Director, Teaching with Primary Sources at Illinois State University, Library of Congress, Midwest Region, Normal, IL  

Judy Bee has taken an active role in the development and delivery of professional, graduate, undergraduate, classroom, community courses and workshops. She uses a variety of modalities in delivering courses and workshops including on-line, face-to-face, and train-the-trainer models...Read Full Bio

Vickie Burkins

Vickie Burkins, Teacher, Sixth Grade Social Studies, Gifted and Talented, Dutchman Creek Middle School,Rock-Hill, SC

Vickie Burkins teachers Sixth Grade Social Studies plus the Gifted and Talented at Dutchman Creek Middle School in Rock-Hill, South Carolina.  She has been teaching since 1987 and taught in Texas and Pennsylvania before moving to SC...Read Full Bio

ATL Mora da Silva

Mora da Silva, Executive Director, Charlotte Adult Learning Center, Adult Education Teacher

Mora worked ten years for the McLean Project for the Arts and Corcoran School of Art near Washington, D.C., where she designed standards-based social studies and science tours of the art galleries and taught a variety of visual arts workshops. She freelanced as a proofreader and editor on projects for PBS Educational Media and collaborated on publishing Ladies, Liquor, and Laughter Mischief of an Architectural Historian 1930s -70s Loudoun County, Virginia, by John Lewis...Read Full Bio

ATL Michelle D'Augusta Portrait

Michelle D'Augusta, K-12 Educational Consultant, Greater San Diego Academy, CA  

Michelle D’Augusta currently is an Educational Consultant at Greater San Diego Academy, a K-12 charter homeschool program. When she started in education, in 1996, she had no idea this is where she would be...Read Full Bio

Kelly Hansen

Kelly Hansen, Reading Specialist, grades 6, 7, 8, Shallotte, NC

Teaching is Kelly Hansen’s passion. She was late coming into the profession, becoming licensed on her 37th birthday, but teaching had been her desire and goal since childhood...Read Full Bio

ATL Al Haskvitz Portrait

Al Haskvitz, Teacher, K-12, All  Subjects Walnut, CA

Alan Haskvitz teaches at Suzanne Middle School in Walnut, Calif., and makes staff developmentpresentations nationwide...Read Full Bio

Kristina Holzweiss

Kristina Holzweiss, "The Laptop Lieberrian" - School Library Media Specialist

Throughout her career as an English teacher, school library media specialist, and professional developer Kristina Holzweiss has learned that building relationships and collaborating is the soul of education. Kristina has taught library information skills, 7th grade English, GED, evening high school, and summer school over her 18 year career...Read Full Bio

ATL Marily Howard Portait

Dr. Marilyn Howard, Associate Professor, Department of Humanities, Columbus State Community College

Dr. Marilyn K. Howard earned a BA in criminal Justice from Ohio Dominican College; an MA in political science from The Ohio State University (Thesis: The Entrance of Black Voters Into the Mississippi Electorate) and her PhD in American history from The Ohio State University (Dissertation: Black Lynching in the Promised Land: Mob Violence in Ohio 1876 - 1916). She was an associate professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences Social Sciences at Columbus State Community College, and is now an associate professor in the Department of Humanities...Read Full Bio

Scottie Kersta-Wilson

Scottie Kersta-Wilson, Writer, Teacher, Photographer, Editor, Chicago, IL

Scottie Kersta-Wilson is a Jill-of-all-Trades, she writes, teaches, photographs, edits, and is known to play a musical instrument from time to time. Her passion and focus are wars in which the United States has been engaged...Read Full Bio

Marsha Lewis

Marsha Lewis, Teacher, Social Studies, Grades 6-8, Detroit Lions Academy, Detroit, MI

Marsha currently works in the Detroit school district as a social studies teacher.  She has been involved in many professional development and training initiatives including National Board training, College Board training, and ISTE conferences...Read Full Bio

ATL Sandie Linn

Sandie Linn, Associate Professor, Continuing Education, San Diego Community College District, San Diego, CA

After moving from Chicago in 1982, Sandie Linn began teaching for the San Diego Community College District at Continuing Education’s Centre City campus. Her first assignment was teaching English as a Second Language in a multi-level class...Read Full Bio

Lindsay Merritt

Lindsay Merritt, 2nd Grade Teacher, Koontz Elementary, Rowan Salisbury Schools, NC

"You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream"- C.S. Lewis These words are what  Lindsay strives to bring to life in her teaching career, and life in general.  Lindsay has been teaching for 6 years in various grade levels from Kindergarten to Third grade, and has tutored all ages through high school...Read Full Bio

Patricia Paugh

Patricia Paugh, Library Media Specialist, Writer, Educator, North Warren, NJ

Patricia Paugh was a print journalist for 23 years before dedicating herself to teaching young people what she loves best: reading, writing, information literacy, and critical thinking skills. Patricia has been nationally recognized by the International Society for Technology in Education and James Patterson's Read Kiddo Read for her technology and literacy efforts in the classroom...Read Full Bio

ATL Melissa Purcell Portrait

Melissa Purcell, Media Specialist, Glynn Academy, Brunswick, GA

Dr. Melissa Purcell is the media specialist at Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Georgia and is a part-time professor in the Instructional Technology department at Georgia Southern University...Read Full Bio

Wendy Quinones


Wendy Quinones, Teacher Trainer and GED Instructor, Gloucester, MA

Wendy Quiñones is an adult educator with over 20 years in the field, teaching reading and writing primarily to students working toward their GEDs, in transition-to-college courses, and in community college. She has developed and facilitated numerous professional development activities and courses, both locally face to face in New England and nationwide online, with an emphasis on differentiated instruction and multiple intelligences...Read Full Bio

ATL Jacquie Sewell Portrait

Jacquie Sewell, Library Media Specialist, Grades K-4

 Jacquie has been an elementary school librarian for 11 years and loves introducing children to the interesting people and curious creatures that share our amazing world. Stories, like the ones created in Awesome Stories, are her favorite way to share information with children...Read Full Bio

ATL Julie Straub Portrait

Julie Straub, Elementary Gifted Teacher, Elementary Social Studies Content Specialist, Ephrata Area School District, Ephrata, PA

Julie Straub has been teaching for 36 years in the Ephrata Area School District in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. She has been a sixth grade teacher for 5 years, an elementary media specialist for 27 years, and an elementary gifted teacher for 4 years...Read Full Bio

ATL Kay Teehan Portrait

Kay Teehan, Technology Resource Specialist/Trainer, Polk County Pulic Schools, Lakeland, FL

Throughout her career as a classroom teacher, library media specialist, college instructor, and technology professional developer, Kay Teehan has recognized the value that technology --and particularly online resources -- adds to the successful engagement of students with the content material.  Kay has received a BS in Education from Northern Illinois University, and a MA in Instructional Technology from Governors’ State University...Read Full Bio

Tara Walters

Tara Walters, 5th Grade Teacher, Waynesboro, VA

Tara Walters is a 5th grade teacher in Waynesboro, Virginia. She received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education in 2004 from King's College in Wilke-Barre, PA, and her Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Scranton, in Scranton  PA in 2006...Read Full Bio


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Author: Bond-Upson, Deborah 106stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 31, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Mar 13, 2020

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Awesome Teacher Leaders" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 31, 2016. Mar 28, 2020.
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