EdSurge Voices of Change Writing Fellowship

Whitney Aragaki

Role: Biology teacher
School: Waiākea High School
City, State: Hilo, Hawai‘i
Years in Education: 13 years

Whitney Aragaki (she/they) is a high school biology and environmental science teacher at Waiākea High School in Hilo, Hawai‘i. Aragaki supports students to learn through a lens of abundance that honors place, people and cultures. Their teaching focuses on conversations, practices and systems that sustain the intimate relationship between public education, community and the environment. Aragaki is the 2022 Hawaii State Teacher of the Year and a 2022 National Teacher of the Year Finalist.

Katerra Billy

Role: Diverse learner educator
School: KIPP East Academy in New Orleans
City, State: New Orleans, Louisiana
Years in Education: Eight years

Katerra Billy (she/her) is a versatile professional with over eight years of experience in education and education-adjacent roles. Billy is in her third year as a diverse learner educator at KIPP East Academy in New Orleans. As a 2021-22 SELF NOLA Neurodiversity Fellow and Teach for America Leadership for Educational Equity Policy Fellow, Billy has grown in her expertise in exceptional learners and the educational landscape. She received her master’s degree from New York University and a recently obtained Master of Arts in teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. Billy also enjoys reading, traveling, cooking with and for loved ones, music and cultural events.

Isabel Bozada-Jones

Role: Deeper learning coordinator
District: Reynoldsburg City Schools
City, State: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Years in Education: Eight years

Isabel Bozada-Jones (she/her) is the deeper learning coordinator with Reynoldsburg City Schools. Bozada-Jones began her career as a teacher at Herbert Mills STEAM Elementary in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, where she spent her days building robots and coding with elementary school students. She is pursuing her doctorate in education at Ohio State University. Bozada-Jones was born and raised in Beavercreek, Ohio, home of the Battling Beavers. She now lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, son, and their cat.

Alice Domínguez

Role: English language arts and yoga and mindfulness teacher
School: Mater Dei Catholic High School
City, State: Chula Vista, California
Years in Education: 15 years

Alice Domínguez (she/her) earned a Master of Arts in critical literacy at San Diego State University and has over 15 years of teaching experience. Presently, she teaches English language arts and yoga and mindfulness at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista, California. Her students live on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. In her English class, students explore diverse literature and research the legacies of local and international policies on their transborder communities. She loves encouraging her students to publish and share their writing with authentic audiences.

Patrick Harris II

Role: English teacher and dean of students
School: The Roeper School
City, State: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Years in Education: Eight years

Patrick Harris II (he/him) is a middle school English teacher and dean of students at The Roeper School in Detroit, as well as the author of “The First Five: A Love Letter to Teachers,” a memoir with a call to action. Harris hails from Detroit and identifies as a Black queer writer and storyteller. He has won multiple national teaching awards for his leadership and innovation in the classroom, including recognition from the National Council of Teachers of English, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the International Literacy Association. Teaching is only part of who Harris is; he is also a big brother, a cat dad and a lover of all things horror.

Matt Homrich-Knieling

Role: Youth organizer and former English language arts teacher
Organization: MIStudentsDream
City, State: Detroit, Michigan
Years in Education: Six years

Matt Homrich-Knieling (he/him) is a youth organizer, writer and parent based in Detroit. Before becoming a youth organizer, Homrich-Knieling taught middle school English language arts for six years and was awarded Middle School Educator of the Year in 2019 by the Michigan Association of Middle School Educators. As a youth organizer for MIStudentsDream, he centers and practices culturally sustaining pedagogies, restorative justice and project-based learning.

Avery Thrush

Role: Science teacher
School: STEM Prep Academy
City, State: Nashville, Tennessee
Years in Education: 3 years

Avery Thrush (she/her) is a former sixth grade science teacher in Nashville, Tennessee. She is passionate about making science accessible to culturally and linguistically diverse students. A Wake Forest University graduate, her professional goals include working to improve education systems through data and research-driven policy implementation. Most recently, she obtained her master’s degree in education from Lipscomb University.

Corey Winchester

Role: History and social sciences teacher and staff coordinator of Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR)
School: Evanston Township High School
City, State:Evanston, Illinois
Years in Education: 14 years

Corey Winchester (he/him) is a locally, regionally and nationally recognized educator with over a decade of K-20 expertise. He primarily serves as a history and social sciences teacher and the staff coordinator of Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR) at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois. He has various roles with Breakthrough Collaborative, Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Aspen Institute's Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship. Winchester received a Bachelor of Science in education and social policy and a Master of Arts in learning sciences from Northwestern University. He is currently working toward his doctorate in learning sciences at Northwestern University. Additionally, he obtained a Master of Education in cultural and educational policy studies from Loyola University Chicago.

Fellowship Editors

Marisa Busch (she/her) is an editor at EdSurge, where she works with fellows, contributors, columnists and reporters on stories about how teaching and learning is changing. Previously she was a research manager at EdSurge and before that, she was a teacher, coach and curriculum developer in schools for over a decade. Busch holds a Bachelor of Arts in music composition and creative writing from New York University and a Master of Science in learning disabilities from Hunter College.

Cobretti D. Williams, Ph.D., (he/they) is a fellowship editor for the Voices of Change Fellowship at EdSurge. Cobretti has nearly 10 years of experience in higher education administration, research and editorial production for academic journals and higher education media sites. He received his doctoral degree in higher education from Loyola University of Chicago.

The Voices of Change fellowship is supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. EdSurge maintains editorial independence over all of our journalism, in keeping with our ethics statement. This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Learn more about EdSurge operations, ethics and policies here. Learn more about EdSurge supporters here.
Get our email newsletterSign me up
Keep up to date with our email newsletterSign me up