Member Directory

Margi Bhansali is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Senior Policy Fellow. She teaches pre-kindergarten at Beard Elementary in Chicago. She has been a mentor teacher for her network’s Preschool-2nd grade balanced literacy initiative and has led city-wide professional development during the annual “Ready, Set, Teach” summer conference. She is a National Board Certified Teacher. She graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with her BA in Early Childhood Education and received her MA in Reading from Webster University. She has an English as a Second Language Endorsement from Roosevelt University.

Christina Laster is a civil rights activist and humanitarian who serves as Director of Policy and Legislation for the National Parents Union. She is also the founder of the Inland Empire and San Diego Parent Unions, a former statewide community organizer with the California Policy Center, and a Black parent and grandparent in Southern California. Christina was formerly an executive committee member of the California Hawaii NAACP, the Education chairwoman and Youth Council advisor of Southwest Riverside County NAACP.

Ashley McCall and Lindsay Singer both serve as 3rd grade educators at César Chávez Multicultural Arts Center on the south west side of Chicago. Follow them on Twitter at @ashlm_12 and @ChavezSinger.

Veronica Rodriguez teaches 4th grade Spanish Dual Language at Juliette Low School in Arlington Heights, Illinois. She is a 2020-21 Teach Plus Illinois ILSTOY Policy Fellow and the 2021 Bilingual Teacher of the Year.

Fanny Diego Alvarez is a lifelong resident of Little Village, and mother to a son.

Erean Mei teaches kindergarten at KIPP One Primary in Chicago, Illinois. She is a 2020-2021 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow.

Brenna O'Brien, PhD, is a writer, researcher, activist, and former teacher who lives in Chicago with her family. Find her on Twitter @BrennaDemands.

Kymberli-Kamille Miller is a kindergarten teacher at LaSalle Language Academy in Chicago.

Kat O’Brien is a parent, LSC Chair at LaSalle Language Academy in Chicago, educator, writer, and executive producer of We Still Teach.

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Maureen Kelleher

Chicago Unheard blog manager Maureen Kelleher also serves as a senior writer and editor at brightbeam, a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and brighter future for every child. Before joining the brightbeam team, she spent a decade as a reporter, blogger and policy analyst. Her work has been published across the education world, from Education Week to the Center for American Progress. A former high school English teacher, she is also the proud mom of a middle-schooler. Find her on Twitter at @KelleherMaureen.

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