The North Texas Teacher Council

The North Texas Teachers Council, powered by the Best in Class Coalition and Early Matters Dallas, is a diverse body of 20-30 passionate educators who provide critical input to the strategies of the Best in Class Coalition and Early Matters Dallas. Council members elevate their voices and expertise to impact students beyond their own classroom and will develop meaningful connections with other educators and education advocates

Key Objective

Provide necessary on-the-ground expertise and perspective to Best in Class.


Teachers are experts in their craft and in what their students need. Teacher perspective is essential in order for supporting organizations, like the ones that make up the Best in Class Coalition, to be successful.


Armitage Suzann Armitage

Suzann is passionate about early childhood education and about serving children with the greatest needs. She teaches in a Pre-K partnerships program.

Bonet Rikki Bonet

Rikki is a Pre-K 3/4 teacher with Dallas ISD. She has 18 years of teaching experience and has been honored to work with the State Board of Education to develop a 30-year plan for public education. Rikki has also worked on streamlining the social studies TEKS for grades K-3.

Bret Allison Bret

Allison teaches Kindergarten-Sixth Grade theatre at Texas School of the Arts, a performing arts charter school in Fort Worth. She holds her M.A. in Educational Theatre from NYU and has a passion for using theatre to create little learners with outstanding socio-emotional skills.

Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 1.59.55 PM Shamira Chappell

Shamira M. Chappell is a curator in Fort Worth Independent School District. This is her fourth year teaching STEM, and she prides herself on working with students whose narratives are not represented by mainstream America. Her journey as an educator has been full of valuable learning experiences and she consistently aims to change the life of every student she encounters!

Connor Brittnay Connor

Brittnay Connor is a Lead Bilingual 3rd grade teacher at The Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center in Fair Park. Before Teach for America brought her to Dallas, she was an English Teaching Fellow with Fulbright in Cali, Colombia. She has vast experience in the realm of educational non-profits from her work with Reading Partners and Eagle Scholars. She fosters her continued commitment to educational equity by teaching adult literacy classes at the Dallas Public Library. In her free time, she surprises her fiancé with culinary treks across the metroplex.

Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 1.27.32 PM Tonya L. Dorsey-Dews

Tonya Dorsey-Dews, M.B.A., M.Ed., is a proud math teacher for Dallas Independent School District. She has worked in the field of education for several years, in various capacities such as a paraprofessional, truancy officer, and a liaison. These experiences in these roles opened the door to her desire to become a classroom teacher. Tonya believes that meaningful relationships are the foundation for academic success, which is why it is imperative that we become part of a child’s circle of influence beyond the classroom.

Echols-Williams Linda Echols-Williams

Linda Echols-Williams is currently a Kindergarten Collaborative teacher at Arthur Kramer IB World School in Dallas ISD.  She has taught 39 years with experience in Kindergarten General Ed., Kindergarten Dual Language, Special Education and Mixed Age 1st/2nd.  She is a graduate of The University of Alabama and Texas Wesleyan University.

Foster Kelli Foster

Kelli Foster is a 15 year Elementary Education teacher. Over her 15 years, she has enthusiastically taught grades 1st-6th. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Administration and is currently seeking her Ph.D. in K-16 Policy Studies.

Hairston Kyle Hairston

Kyle Hairston is a 3rd and 4th-grade teacher at Clifford Davis Elementary, located in South Fort Worth. He is passionate about fighting for educational equity for our most socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

Golubski Lauren Golubski

Lauren Golubski is a current graduate student at Johns Hopkins University studying education, an education policy intern, and a full-time special educator. She has been teaching for four years and is passionate about change and advocacy in the education system for all students.

Harper Brian Harper

Brian Harper, M.B.A. M.Ed., is in his 17th year of teaching, 10 years in Dallas ISD, and the last five years in Richardson ISD. Brian wants to see everyone receive the opportunity to achieve their dreams.

Jackson Cheryl Jackson

Cheryl Jackson is a 4th grade math teacher at Highland Meadows Elementary School in Dallas ISD. When she is not taxiing her teenage snare drummer to a band gig, she is crafting unpublished OpEds railing against income inequality, racism and the inherent unfairness of pizza not being the cornerstone of a healthy diet. After 20+ years of teaching, hearing math-phobic kids exclaim, “Oooh! I get it now!” is still her jam.

Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 1.58.56 PM Brea Lewis

Brea Lewis is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development & Family Studies and also holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Brea teaches 3rd and 4th grade math and science in Dallas ISD. Brea is a huge movie buff who loves to bowl!

Mathieu Kaleb Mathieu

Kaleb Mathieu teaches upper school science at Greenhill School. His goal is to help every student succeed and spark an interest in science. Kaleb is interested in how people learn and applying this knowledge to make education more effective, as well as improving science education.  

McClung Alicia McClung

Alicia McClung is a proud Dallas, TX native and current Reading Intervention Specialist at Uplift Triumph Preparatory, a public K-5 charter school that she has taught at since its founding year in 2013. Her educator passions include early childhood education, literacy therapy and social-emotional learning.

Scoggins Issac Scoggins

Issac Scoggins teaches World and Human Geography at W.W. Samuell High School. He is currently working toward his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, and his interests are focused on Professional Learning Communities and Student Achievement. Issac is passionate about getting each student to discover their educational potential by improving 21st-century skills.

Smith Heika Smith

Heika Smith is a Music and Art Teacher with Dallas ISD. She has taught music for 13 years (in Arizona and Texas) and has taught art for five years (Texas only). Heika has been married for 15 years and has two kids ages 6 and 3.

Swanson Marisa Swanson

Marisa Swanson is currently in her third year teaching 8th grade ELAR in Dallas ISD. She has BSW and B.A. degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, and is a graduate of SMU’s Master of Education program. Marisa was also part of the 2016 Teach For America DFW corps, and is incredibly passionate about supporting and advocating for her students, their families, and the community they live in.

Tatum Pauline Tatum

Pauline Tatum has the privilege of teaching at Sunset High School for 19 years in the FLS Life Skills Unit. She is proud to be the coach of the first FRC Special Needs Robotics standalone team in Texas that competes at FIRST Robotics Competitions. Pauline lives by the saying her parents instilled in her: “If you want to put the world in order, begin here now.”

Turner Shelly Turner

Shelly Turner teaches Pre-K with Dallas ISD. She is with the Pre-K Partnership and assigned to a Head Start center in South Dallas. Early Childhood Education is her passion because the first eight years are such strong predictors of future academic success.

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