Meet the Retro Report Council of Educators
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.
Derek Dubossi is an environmental science teacher at the prestigious LaGuardia High School in Manhattan, New York. His mission is to integrate the arts and the sciences while teaching the AP Environmental Science curriculum. Derek has been an educator for over twenty years in Virginia, New York, and South Africa.
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!
After teaching Psychology and Political Science for more than 17 years, Trish Everett proudly considers herself a “professional nerd.” She has served as an AP Reader, a Madison Fellow (FL'12), a mentor in the James Madison Legacy Project and as a Constitutional Fellow for the National Constitution Center and the National Advisory Council for the Center for Civic Education. She enjoys traveling and attending professional development events, and was named a 2021 Teacher of the Year by the American Lawyers Alliance.
Nicole is in year 13 of teaching at Jefferson High School in Rockford, Illinois and currently teaching Civics, Economics, AP American Government and Politics, and Introduction to Educational Psychology as well as is the Curriculum Implementation Leader for the school. She is the Illinois 2021 James Madison Fellow, member of the National Constitution Center Teacher Advisory Council, and one of the 2020 C-SPAN Teacher Fellows.
Sam Futrell is a middle school social studies teacher in Richmond, Va., and Vice President of the Virginia Council for the Social Studies. She moderates the quarterly V.C.S.S. Scholars’ Hour, produces the Council’s podcast “Content to Classroom” and is the newest member of the Moving Writers team.
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.
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.
Valerie Green Thomas
Valerie began her career as a founder of an Independent Business school in rural Jamaica for underserved adolescents. Her thirst for an awareness of the structures and systems in public education led her to high school teaching in Jamaica and later as an international teacher in a. middle school in South Bronx. She believes education is the backbone of any great. nation, and is passionate about education reform for all students success.
Brande Johnson has been a teacher since 2009 in both California and Nevada where she teaches Advanced Computer Science, English and History. Johnson currently teaches at a small rural school in Nevada where she teaches both junior high and high school. When she is not teaching she is spending time traveling with her family and dogs.
Jackie Katz has been teaching biology and chemistry at Princeton High School in Princeton, NJ for the past 10 years. She has been able to incorporate her love of scientific research by working to build a three-year research program at the high school. She completed an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship at the Library of Congress during the 2022-23 school year.
This is David Kendrick’s 21st year teaching children in Georgia, after earning a Masters in Social Studies Education and an Education Specialist in Reading, from the University of Georgia. In addition, as a strong advocate of social studies, he believes in developing critical thinking skills in his classroom. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Council for the Social Studies and is a Past President. Currently, he is an elected member of the National Council for the Social Studies Board of Directors.
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.
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.
My name is Alondra Salazar, I have worked in education for over 10 years I was born in Mexico City and have lived in Arizona most of my life. My main focus as a teacher has been social studies education in middle school, this year I am transitioning from the classroom to principal, and I am very excitied for that.
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
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).
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!
Jeremy Wang is a science educator and education research with over 18 years of experience working in K-12 schools, universities, and educational non-profits. He earned his PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota, conducting research on conceptual change in science education. When he is not teaching 6th-8th grade science, he enjoys coaching and playing soccer and golf, making music playing the double bass, and spending time with his wife and three daughters.
Shelina Warren is an Arkansas native, army veteran, and a national board social studies teacher/coach at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, DC, with 20 years in education. Shelina is also the director of the Eleanor Holmes Norton Law and Public Policy Academy, whose mission is to nurture students to use their civic voice to affect change. She is currently a Johns Hopkins University doctoral candidate focusing on student civic empowerment and a state and national award-winning teacher.
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.
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
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.
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 2019, 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.
Kim Yates, a native of Clintwood, Virginia, is an instructor at Pineville Independent Schools, located in Pineville, Kentucky, where she teaches 11th & 12th grade ELA, Mass Media, and dual credit writing and literature courses. She holds a Master’s degree in Education, a Master’s degree in English, and has been teaching for the past 12 years both at the high school and collegiate levels. Her passion is facilitating learning opportunities that challenge her students to think beyond the classroom and develop the thinking, speaking, interpersonal, and problem solving skills necessary to be effective, passionate, and contributing members of 21st century society.