Nicole Awwad is a high school Academic Resource teacher. She is a graduate of the Spark program and holds an MA in Sustainable Development from the School of International Training. She has 4 years experience working  with local NGOs as a grant writer and communications manager. As a teacher, critical analysis of the world informs her practice. By inviting student experience into the classroom she works to elicit meaningful connection and build content knowledge and understanding.

Olya Clark

Kelly Juno

Nina Kunimoto is a doctoral student in Urban Education, Leadership and Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her area of research is social justice teacher preparation programs. She is also a Spark alum. She teaches Global Social Problems and Race, Class and Gender at the Community College of Vermont. Her teaching experience includes secondary social studies and she has taught internationally in Japan, India and in refugee camps in Thailand.

Anna Mullany is a doctoral student in Public Health at the University of MA, Amherst.  The focus of her work is around the political economy of rural poverty, criminality, and health.  She also teaches courses on Health Communication and Population Health and Imperialism to undergraduates in the Public Health Department at UMass, Amherst.   Prior to her studies at UMass, Amherst she worked for 6 years at the Women’s Freedom Center in Brattleboro, VT – a crisis center responding to domestic and sexual violence.

Janaki Natarajan, Co-Director

Maresa Nielson is a 2nd grade teacher in Springfield, VT.  She is a 2013 graduate of the Spark program and has an action-research background in elementary pedagogy, with a focus on literacy.  Maresa has taught grades pre-K through 4 in southern Vermont, Massachusetts, and Uganda. She holds a Master of Arts in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management from the School for International Training.

Becca Polk – is a middle school social studies teacher and a graduate of the Spark Teacher Education Institute. She is working to help her students critically examine their own thoughts and the world, in order to help make the world a better place, not just for the few wealthy people, but for all people. 

Mikaela Simms, Co-Director

Patrice Strifert