Meet the Retro Report Council of Educators
These accomplished educators amplify and uplift teachers’ voices. They advise Retro Report on our educational mission, helping us to create outstanding free resources for teachers. To learn about our other advisory group, Teacher Ambassadors, click here.
Rockingham Early College High School
Valencia Abbott is a History teacher at Rockingham Early College High School in Wentworth, NC, and coming into her 18th year in education. After completing a Master's Degree in Liberal Studies, she received her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in African American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Valencia is the director of The Civil Rights Movement Beyond 1968: Griggs vs. Duke Power Company, a public history project with the county's museum.
Matthew Bunch works full time at MAST Academy on Virginia Key in Miami as a 12th- grade government and economics teacher. He also works part time as an online producer for the Miami Herald. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wonderful family and watching a wide variety of sports.
Bloomington High School
Fabian Carballo is an AP Government Teacher at Bloomington High School. In his 17 years of teaching, Fabian has also taught English and Adult Education. He is also the Social Studies Department Chair which sounds a lot more prestigious than it is. In his spare time, Fabian teaches Political Science at the local community college and pursues a PhD in Higher Education.
San Francisco, CA
Kevin Erspamer is currently a high school history teacher in Northern California with his family (spouse and two boys). Previously, he has taught in Germany, Massachusetts and New York City, and loves having the opportunity to critique the world with high school students every day. He enjoys genealogy, road trips and joking around with family, colleagues, friends and students!
Pine Crest School
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Trish Everett is a self-described "professional nerd," who teaches Psychology, Political Science, and Constitutional Law at an independent school in south Florida. She serves on teacher advisory boards for the National Constitution Center, Center for Civic Education, and iCivics Educator Network. Though she was named a James Madison Fellow (FL '12) and the ALA Teacher of the Year (2021), it is her interactions with her students which she finds the most enjoyable and fulfilling part of her job.
St. Michael's Episcopal School
Sam Futrell is a middle school social studies teacher in Richmond, Virginia, and Vice President of the Virginia Council for the Social Studies (VCSS). She moderates the quarterly VCSS Scholars' Hour, produces the Council's podcast, Content to Classroom, and is the newest member of the Moving Writers team!
College Preparatory School of America
Asim Gaffar is the Social Studies Department Chair and an AP Social Studies teacher at the College Preparatory School of America in Lombard, Illinois. He also is the Forensics (Speech) Director and Assistant Activities Coordination. Prior to teaching, he was a non-profit director and community organizer engaging with the South Asian and Arab communities in the Chicagoland area.
Longwood High School
Middle Island, NY
Lauren Goepfert has been teaching middle school and high school social studies since 2003. She is a James Madison Fellowship recipient (2018), and Dr. Tom and Betty Lawrence American History Teacher of the Year award winner (2017). She goes on archaeological digs, carries a pocket Constitution everywhere, and loves to share history with her students.
Neighborhood Charter School
Fatuma Hydara is an 8th Grade ELA teacher with eight years of teaching experience from NYC. As a Black, Muslim, First Generation American Woman, she is passionate about representation, diversity, equity, inclusive, and cultural relevant pedagogy.
Waverly Shell-Rock High School
Jason Milke has been teaching Social Studies for the past 7 years at Waverly-Shell Rock High School, where he has also taught American History, Behavioral Sciences, and Contemporary Issues. He received his BA (2015) and MA (2019) from the University of Northern Iowa in Social Science Education.
Gilroy High School
Lauren Piraro is a United States History and AP U.S. History teacher in Northern California and is passionate about creating learning experiences in her classroom that help students contextualize the America of today through historical thinking. In 2021, Lauren won the California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) Rookie Teacher of the Year award.
NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies
New York, NY
Pat Sprinkle, a son of the rust belt, is a 13th year, 11th and 12th grade social studies teacher in New York City. Throughout his career, Pat has served on the national advisory board for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Constitution Center, and the National Humanities Center. In addition, Pat was selected as New York's James Madison Fellow in 2013, and a National Teaching Fellow by C-SPAN and the Pulitzer Center in 2021.
Clayton T. Sweeney II
Homewood High School
Clayton T. Sweeney II has been in education for six years and has taught AP Macroeconomics and AP US Government in addition to US History, Economics, Government. Alongside teaching he sponsors the mock trial and mock legislature teams. In his free time he enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling with his partner and their dog Shiloh (the Corgi).
University School of Milwaukee
Chuck Taft is an 8th grade history coach and department chair at University School of Milwaukee. Chuck tries (heavy on the try) to make the nation's past come alive for 8th grade young historians through enthusiasm, activity, technology, humor, and massive amounts of Jolly Ranchers. He loves learning, ‘cuz learning is cool!
Jessica L. Torres
Education Service Center Region 12
Jessica Torres serves as the Continuous Improvement Liaison and Social Studies Content Specialist for ESC Region 12 in the heart of Texas. Mrs. Torres is passionate about developing educators to provide innovative approaches and experiences for all learners as they pursue their unique interests and learning passions. Jessica serves as an #sschat moderator, a member of the NCSS Trade Book Committee, and is an active member of the Texas Council for the Social Studies.
Boonsboro High School
Ashley Vascik has been teaching high school social studies since 2009 and currently teaches AP US Government and AP Comparative Government, while also coaching the We the People team. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, Department Chair, and AP Reader. In her free time she loves to read and travel.
North Hills Middle School
Joe Welch, an American History teacher from suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, serves as the 2022 CCSSO Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year and was recently recognized as a Finalist for the 2022 CCSSO National Teacher of the Year program. He is also recognized as a Gilder Lehrman Institute Master Teacher and was recognized as Gilder Lehrman's National History Teacher of the Year in 2018. An Apple Distinguished Educator and National Board Certified Teacher, Joe is a strong believer in bringing diverse stories, personal emotions, and community connections into his lessons as well as fostering excitement for quality and engaging educational opportunities.
Troy High School
Ryan Werenka has been a Social Studies teacher for over 20 years in the Troy School District. Ryan was named the 2021 Michigan History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Outside of school, Ryan loves spending time with his wife and 3 children, especially when cheering on the Detroit Pistons.
Trisa Woolley Swenson
Valley High School
Las Vegas, NV
Trisa Woolley Swenson has been a science educator for over 18 years, teaching Environmental Science, Biology, and Chemistry. She loves to share ideas to help students become lifelong learners. She loves to travel and learn about new cultures.
Onaway Secondary School
Kymberli Wregglesworth is a veteran teacher who has spent her entire career at her alma mater, Onaway Secondary School, teaching World History, Civics, and a variety of elective social studies courses. She was a Finalist for Michigan Teacher of the Year in 2019, was selected as a Gerstacker Education Fellow in the same year, and was Michigan's James Madison Fellow in 2011. When she's not teaching, Kymberli enjoys traveling locally and globally and spending time with her husband and 8-year-old daughter hiking and biking the trails across northern Michigan and on the beaches of the Fresh Coast.
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