Alana Espinosa

Alana Espinosa is currently a Math Specialist within the Minneapolis Public Schools District where she has worked for the last 11 years. She has experience teaching first grade, third grade, math interventions, and coaching teachers. Alana is passionate about the Responsive Classroom approach and has utilized the strategies to create positive learning communities where both students and teachers see themselves as capable mathematicians. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling to National Parks and working on DIY projects as a new homeowner.

Alex Miller

Alex Miller is currently a second grade teacher in San Francisco’s Mission District. He has been a classroom teacher for seven years, teaching second through fourth grades. After receiving a BA in communication from the University of San Diego, Alex went on to earn his MA in elementary education from the University of Phoenix. He recently completed the Making Learning Visible course stemming from Harvard’s distinguished Project Zero program. In the classroom, Alex leans into the Teaching Tolerance standards and has a passion for teaching his students the value in becoming empowered and change-making citizens. Each year, he leads his students in creating an action- and project-based learning experience in which they identify a challenge faced in San Francisco and develop a strategy to create a meaningful impact. An avid squash player since age eight, Alex competes in tournaments across northern California. He also thoroughly enjoys spending time in his kitchen, particularly making homemade pasta and sauces.

Alex Supple

After five years as a per diem consulting teacher, Alex Supple joined CRS full-time as an educational consultant and coach. In the classroom and as an outdoor and community educator, Alex emphasized the importance of social constructivist and experiential learning. The Responsive Classroom approach was vital to creating safe and predictable learning environments. After graduating from Occidental College with a degree in philosophy, Alex worked in a range of program settings from independent schools to technology and nature camps. He obtained a master’s degree in education from Lesley University and began work as a middle school math and science teacher in Massachusetts. When he is not sharing the Responsive Classroom approach with teachers, Alex enjoys open-water swimming, going to the movies, and exploring new restaurants with family and friends.

Alicia Cardina

Alicia Cardina is a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools. She holds an MEd in elementary education from Lesley University and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and education from Hamilton College. Alicia discovered the Responsive Classroom approach during her master’s program in 2006 and became wholeheartedly committed to implementing the strategies in her own classrooms. Over the past fifteen years, she has taught first, second, and fifth grade in Asheville, North Carolina, and in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Alicia deeply values the power of intentional language and building a strong community among both students and teachers. Alicia brings her love for music, art, and nature into the classroom, creating opportunities for students to explore their own creativity while maintaining deep academic engagement. She recently stepped away from teaching full time to pursue her passion for teacher wellness through retreats and programming with the nonprofit organization Center for Inspired Education.

Allison Ovalle

Allison Ovalle has been working in education in various roles for 17 years. She has viewed the field from the perspective of an AVID tutor, a substitute teacher, an associate teacher, an elementary school teacher, and now a middle school reading remediation and yearbook teacher. She earned her BA in communications from Virginia Tech and her master’s in education from Marymount University. One of Allison’s strengths is that she is extremely reflective. She takes feedback and will implement it immediately and consistently. Her passion for Responsive Classroom comes from witnessing her students return to a love of learning, achieve academic success, and grow increasingly competent and fluid in their application of social-emotional skills. Allison enjoys spending time in and on the water and is an avid boat rider. She is a supporter of the arts and loves attending the theater. She can often be seen singing and dancing in her classroom.

Allison Sansone

Allison Sansone currently serves as a professional learning specialist in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Alli holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Old Dominion University, and she has over twenty-four years of teaching experience in the elementary setting. She deeply believes in the power of Responsive Classroom practices to foster belonging, significance, and fun with students and adults. Joining the CRS team has been a powerful experience, and she is thrilled to support educators on their Responsive Classroom journey. In her free time, she enjoys working out and relaxing at the beach with her family and friends.

Allyson Story

Allyson Story is a consulting teacher for Center of Responsive Schools and an assistant principal of an elementary school in New Fairfield, Connecticut. Prior to leaving the classroom to lead a school, Allyson spent 13 years teaching third grade in Wilton, Connecticut, and then went on to become a math specialist in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Allyson’s passion for Responsive Classroom began in college when she had the privilege of doing an internship at Sheffield School in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. There, she fell in love with Responsive Classroom practices and has been using them ever since. Allyson hopes to inspire and support teachers to embrace the Responsive Classroom approach and the ways in which it creates highly engaged learning and safe, challenging learning environments for students every day. In her spare time, Allyson enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, traveling, spending time outdoors, and cooking.

Alyssa Brunner

Alyssa Brunner currently works as a curriculum and instructional designer for Center for Responsive Schools in the Responsive Classroom Programs Department. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University and her master’s degree from Brooklyn College in childhood education, Alyssa moved from New York to Washington, D.C. When she taught first, second, and fifth grades, she used the Responsive Classroom approach on a daily basis to garner a positive learning environment. In her free time, you can find Alyssa rooting for her favorite football team (go Bills!) or spending time outdoors with her husband, daughter, and dog.

Amanda Stessen-Blevins

Amanda Stessen-Blevins is a primary grade teacher at a public school in Brooklyn, New York, and a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools. Originally from Syracuse, New York, she is the daughter of two teachers. Amanda has a background in teaching English language learners from all over the world. In her spare time, Amanda likes to read, listen to podcasts, and spend time with her family.  She is a coauthor of Empowering Educators: A Comprehensive Guide to Teaching Grades 3, 4, 5.

Amara Danielson

Amara Danielson currently teaches third grade in Des Moines, Iowa. After earning her master’s degree in culturally responsive education and leadership from Drake University, she focused on implementing social and emotional learning throughout her school and district. Amara commits to promoting and building relationships among students, families, and educators while providing every child with a high-quality, relevant education through the use of Responsive Classroom. Outside of education, Amara enjoys spending time outside playing, hiking, and camping with her husband, son, and dog.

Amber Searles

Amber Searles is currently a program developer and consultant at Center for Responsive Classroom. She began her education career as a middle school business education teacher. Implementing Responsive Classroom practices and strategies allowed her to receive the Teacher of the Year award from her school district and community members. She enjoys creating content and products that empower teachers to foster hope in their students and build communities in which students feel empowered by the work they produce. Amber believes deeply in the power of teaching academic, social, and emotional skills to equip students both in and out of school. She is thrilled to be supporting teachers and students both nationally and internationally. When she is not working, Amber enjoys watching movies, reading, playing with her dog, spending time with family and friends, and relaxing on the beach.

Amy Isenhart

Amy Isenhart is an elementary educator and consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools. Having worked in a variety of settings, Amy first experienced the impact of Responsive Classroom while working in an urban charter school where she witnessed the power of combining social-emotional skill development with an engaging academic curriculum to help children discover their strengths and develop a sense of belonging. As a teacher leader in her district, Amy leads collegial book studies and welcomes other teachers into her classroom at every opportunity. She truly enjoys sharing and learning with other inquisitive teachers. During her years as an educator, Amy has also served as an ELA coach, RTI coordinator, and music educator. Outside of the classroom, her happy place is exploring the rivers and lakes of upstate New York by kayak with her husband and their four children.

Amy Kelly

Amy Kelly is an educator and parent with 24 years of experience transforming thousands of classrooms and homes into cooperative, engaging, and joyful spaces to live, work, and grow. With master’s degrees in education and educational administration, Amy has been a teacher, assistant principal, and principal, and currently works as the district leader of social and emotional learning for Weston (Massachusetts) Public Schools, leading social-emotional learning work in several schools, grades pre-K–12. Amy has been passionate about the Responsive Classroom approach since she first experienced its magic as a student teacher 25 years ago and has been a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools for the past 14 years. Amy believes that the resource book from the Responsive Classroom Course for Middle School Educators is the key to transforming middle schools into engaging learning communities. When she isn’t searching for the best lobster roll in New England, Amy enjoys traveling, tennis, golf, and walking with her daughter and two dogs.

Amy Stenlund

Amy Stenlund currently teaches in Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia. She has been in field of education since 2004. She initially earned a BA in Psychology and later received her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction focusing on English Language Learners from Concordia University in Portland, OR. She has experience teaching Pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade; additionally Amy has worked in multiple educational settings including camping, daycare, and adult education. In her spare time, Amy enjoys playing with her rescue dogs, spending time in her craft room, creating greeting cards, and reading. Amy’s Responsive Classroom journey began when she read the book, <The Power of Our Words, by Paula Denton. After being hired at her current school, where Responsive Classroom is used school wide she saw the positive impact it had on students and she believes RC has made her a better teacher. Amy is thrilled to be sharing her passion for the Responsive Classroom Approach as a Consulting Teacher.

Amy Wade

Amy Wade is a school counselor for Canandaigua Primary School in Canandaigua, New York, where she began her career almost thirty years ago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an elementary teaching certification from SUNY Geneseo and a master’s degree and certificate of advanced study in counseling from SUNY Albany. In addition to her work as a school counselor, Amy is an adjunct college professor and teaches courses in education, human services, and psychology. Amy has been a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools for twenty years and has trained countless teachers from a variety of settings including urban, suburban, rural, private, charter, and parochial schools. Amy is coauthor of the book Empowering Educators: A Comprehensive Guide to Teaching Grades K, 1, 2. Amy’s greatest accomplishment is her family, and her most treasured time is spent with her husband and two daughters.

Amy Whittington

After teaching fourth through sixth graders in a Montessori upper elementary classroom and seventh and eighth graders in US and World History, Amy Whittington now teaches kindergarteners at Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, Texas. Her passion for the power of literacy in her work with a nonprofit, Project Transformation, led to her master’s degree in reading at The University of Texas at Tyler in 2020, where she has taught literacy in the content areas for grades 5-8 to undergraduate education majors. for the past three years. The transformative experience of Responsive Classroom training sparked Amy’s desire to become a Consulting Teacher in 2024. She believes Responsive Classroom practices lead to happy, learning students, and inspiring teachers. In 2023, Amy was awarded the Saint Mary’s Hall Master Teacher Award, earned the Harvard University Business School Online Certificate in School Management and Leadership, and achieved the Breathe for Change Yoga for Educators Certification. Amy enjoys traveling with her family and friends, reading books, watching movies, going to the theater, and doing anything outdoors with her dogs.