James Aycock is the Director of Scholar Support at Grizzlies Prep, an all-boys public charter middle school located in downtown Memphis. He previously served as the founding Special Education Coordinator with Tennessee’s Achievement School District, after several years as a special educator and baseball coach for Memphis City Schools. James served as a contributing writer for several years at Bluff City Education. His work has been featured by the Tennessee Department of Education, the State Collaborative On Reforming Education (SCORE), the Tennessee Charter School Center, Think Inclusive, Memphis School Guide, and SpecialEd Post. James is also the father of two children, a 1st grader and a 3rd grader, who attend a local Memphis public charter school.
Charlie Friedman is a 2006 graduate of Yale University where he graduated with honors in English Language and Literature. In 2008, he earned an M. Ed with distinction from the University of Pennsylvania. Originally from New York City, Mr. Friedman moved to Nashville in 2011 to start Nashville Classical. The school opened in 2013 with 89 students in kindergarten. Today, Nashville Classical enrolls 295 students in grades K-3 and will eventually grow to grades K-8.
Darren Hall is a seventh grade Language Arts teacher at KIPP Academy Nashville who started his career in education after receiving a graduate degree from Belmont University. Prior to teaching at KIPP, Darren served as English Department Chair for a middle school in Knox County.
Bryan Kariuki serves as the Numeracy Instructional Leader at Intrepid College Prep, a public charter school in Antioch, Tennessee. Prior to this role, he served as the seventh grade math instructor at both Liberty Collegiate Academy and then at Intrepid. Bryan is a Vanderbilt University graduate with a M. Ed in Instructional Practice from Lipscomb University. He is also a Teach for America Alumni of the Greater Nashville Region and has worked as an intern for the organization, in which his work focused on the arc of development for teacher-leadership in the region. Each day he is charged by making sure that each child, regardless of zip code or skin color, has the opportunity to receive an excellent education.
Eva Kohlmoos is a fourth-grade English Language Arts teacher at East End Prep, a public charter school in east Nashville, Tennessee. Eva began her teaching career in 2010 in San Antonio, Texas, teaching fifth-graders in a self-contained classroom. She also served as the Tennessee Department of Education’s Teacher Ambassador from 2012-2014. Prior to teaching, Eva worked on Teach For America’s public affairs team and also for an advocacy group to end the United States ban on travel to Cuba.
Bianca Larkin is 2013 Vanderbilt graduate with an M.Ed in learning, diversity, and urban studies. Before returning to her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, she taught in the Marquette Park neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Bianca has also worked in schools as a literacy interventionist, English language teacher, and translator for families new to the Nashville area. Presently, Bianca is a seventh grade English Language Arts teacher. Bianca is charged to be a part of a collective educational initiative to close the opportunity gap for children and families of color and low income students.
Teneicesia White has been education for 11 years. A former social studies teacher and instructional coach for Memphis City and Shelby County schools, Teneicesia’s passion for public education is evident every day as she interacts with the bright smiles and young minds of students. She is a wife, mother and woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She currently serves as the Dean of Students at Aurora Collegiate Academy.
Zak Zupko is the sixth-grade science teacher at Intrepid College Prep, a public charter school in Antioch, Tennessee. Zak is a University of Virginia graduate with an M.Ed in Secondary Education from George Washington University. Since graduating, Zak has taught in his home state of Virginia and currently in Tennessee. He also has several years experience teaching English as a foreign language in South Korea and Taiwan. Zak’s passion for teaching runs in his family- his mother is also a middle school science teacher.