School Leadership Learning Lab (SLLL)

Adam Stanford

Austin Achieve Public Schools
Instructional Coach

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Candida Ayala

Kipp Austin Obras
3rd Grade Teacher

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Daniela Rubio

Austin Achieve Public Schools
Chief Achievement Officer

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Dong Hyun (Don) Kim

KIPP Austin Brave
Special Education Department Chair

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Janna McIntyre

KIPP Austin Obras
2nd Grade Teacher and Grade Level Lead

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Julia Sean

KIPP Austin Academy of Arts & Letters
Leadership Fellow and 6th Grade Lead Administrator

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Mariela Rubio-Mensik

Austin Achieve Public Schools
Principal Lower Elementary

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Pamela Bernal

KIPP Austin Brave
Mathematics Teacher

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Stephanie Chisholm

Austin Achieve Public Schools
Dean of Instruction

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Bethany Wiersma

IDEA Bluff Springs
5th Grade Teacher

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Ciro Guerra III

Austin Achieve Middle School
5th Grade Math Teacher

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Danielle Hill

Austin Achieve Public Schools
10th Grade Environmental Science Teacher

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Hannah Ferris

Deneen School of Excellence
ILT-lead Teacher

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John Hipp

KIPP Paseo Preparatory
Founding Principal

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Lizeth Barraza

Austin ISD
Special Education Teacher

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Matthew Ramira Gray

Austin Achieve Public Schools
9th Grade Ethnics Studies Teacher

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Sofia Papa

KIPP Austin Comunidad
3rd Grade Reading Teacher

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About the School Leadership Learning Lab

Teacher for America (TFA) Austin is seeking to build a coalition of educators and school leaders to lead schools that not only meet students’ current needs, but also prepares them to live, learn, and thrive right here in Austin. In partnership with Transcend, TFA Austin is creating a School Leadership Learning Lab that will provide educators and school leaders an opportunity to explore new and innovative models, develop leadership skills, and work to build their equity, design, and innovation muscles. Ultimately, TFA Austin hopes to catalyze a cohort of leaders that are reimagining and reinventing classrooms and campuses that better meet student needs now and in the future.

Alongside Transcend, TFA Austin has developed a customized series of “spark workshops” that give educators the opportunity to come together virtually to explore, connect, interrogate, and dream about what is possible for students in Austin. These workshops are designed to inspire participants to join a growing coalition of community members as part of our greater collective leadership efforts toward creating 21st Century learning opportunities for all students in Austin. Through a contiguous three-part workshop participants will explore the following questions:

  • How can looking at our past through the lens of inequity and oppression help us reach for something better?
  • How can imagining a new more equitable future help us reach for something better?
  • What can we do in the present to reach for something better?

Participants in the School Leadership Learning Lab will include classroom leaders interested in school leadership, new school leaders, and veteran school leaders committed to providing a diverse and equitable education to all students. As part of the School Leadership Learning Lab, participants will also have the opportunity to be paired with a mentor school leader, engage directly with students and families, and attend virtual visits to innovative school campuses within and outside of Central Texas.


Through the SLLL, participants will attend three virtual Spark Workshops that bring educators together to discuss key, timely issues in education, create community, and begin to elevate topics of reimagination and equity. The Spark Workshops are designed to cultivate and identify promising and rising school leaders throughout Austin.

Each workshop will run for 2 hours on February 24, March 24, and April 21 beginning at 4pm CT.

Workshop 1- February 24 
  • How can looking at our past help us reach for something better? Develop our Lens of Oppression/4 Levels to critically examine how our past has brought us to this present moment of inequity in Austin schools.
Workshop 2- March 24
  • How can imagining a new more equitable future help us reach for something better? Leaders of the Civil Rights movement lived during a time of racial terror and yet were able to imagine a radical future where Black folks could eat, play, and study wherever they wanted and without fear of violence. In that same vein, we invite you to radically imagine what the future of school could look like in Austin if every young person had what he or she needed to thrive in and transform our world.
Workshop 3- April 21
  • What can we do in the present to help us reach for something better? Given where we have been and where we would like to go, what are the actions we can begin to take now in our classrooms, schools, and communities to help us reach for something better in Austin?


The SLLL is open to any educator or school leader located in or interested in relocating to Central Texas working at a traditional public school, public charter school, or independent school. Participants do not need to be Teach For America alumni to participate.

SLLL members will be working in small groups throughout the Spark Workshops. To get the most our of the series and learn from others, participants are expected to attend all three workshops. Between workshops SLLL members will receive reading materials in preparation for the next workshop.

Thanks to our partners, TFA Austin is able to offer this workshop series free of charge to all participants.

Join Us!

Join us today to engage in meaningful conversation and develop leadership skills necessary to reimagine education for our all Austin students.

Questions? Email Christine Nishimura at

Key Dates

  • Application Opens 1/13
  • Application Deadline 2/1 at 11:59pm
  • Participant Notification 2/5
  • SLLL Spark Workshops
    • Wednesday 2/24 at 4pm
    • Wednesday 3/24 at 4pm
    • Wednesday 4/21 at 4pm

SLLL Materials

Workshop 1: Pre-work

Workshop 2: Field Work

Teach for America Austin

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