About Our Teacher Panel

Glady Whitehead

3rd Grade Teacher, Monarch School

Glady Whitehead has been in education for 22 years, she began teaching high school for Juvenile Court and Community Schools in 2004 and is currently an elementary educator at the Monarch School site, which serves students impacted by homelessness.  Her experience with student populations from at-risk and vulnerable communities fuel her determination to work effectively with diverse populations as a cultural and restorative change agent. She holds a BA in Psychology and a minor in Sociology of the Workplace and is certificated in Youth Mental Health, Crisis Prevention and Intervention, and Restorative Practices training.  Her leadership roles include being a JCCS Head Teacher, on the Equity in Action Committee, and on the Regional Equity Leadership Team.  Glady’s focus on helping students connect with school, family, and community is part of why she was chosen as the 2018 San Diego County Office of Education Teacher of the Year.  Her commitment to provide character development and equity has led her to establish her nonprofit Homecourt Advantage, which helps youth impacted by homelessness get access to sports.

Curtis Taylor

6th Grade Math/Science Teacher, High Tech Middle Mesa

Curtis Taylor is currently serving as a middle school math teacher at High Tech Middle Mesa in San Diego, California, with 10 years of teaching experience. Taylor’s passion is for every student to see themselves as a brilliant mathematician. He is part of a Mathematical Agency Improvement Community that is working toward abolishing the phrase “I am not a math person”. Because of his passion, Taylor has made equity in math his priority. He currently serves as the co-project director for the Lesson Study Fellowship at all High Tech High Schools, a collaborative effort to promote more equitable practices in math classrooms. Taylor also is a faculty member of High Tech High’s Graduate School of Education, where he co-facilitates the capstone course for the Teacher Apprentice Program. Taylor holds a B.A in elementary education from Clemson University, a M.Ed. from the University of San Diego, and has recently completed his Ed.D in Educational Leadership from the University of California San Diego,  His dissertation focuses on the impact of lesson studies on math teachers’ understanding and self-efficacy in culturally relevant pedagogy.

Ellie Foust

6th Grade Science Teacher, Merrill Middle School and PBLWorks Faculty

Ellie has been an educator for 21 years and holds a bachelor’s degree in Science and a master’s in Information and Learning Technology, as well as passing the Special Education Generalist exam. She has used her educational background in a variety of roles throughout her career. Ellie has created and taught a STEAM interdisciplinary based curriculum for seventh graders, developed ways to effectively integrate technology within a PBL context, delved into teaching high school AP environmental science and chemistry within a competency based, design thinking high school, and coached and led professional development around how to effectively integrate PBL in a diverse urban middle school population. Her passion stems from the need to establish authentic opportunities for all students to engage with their community and take notice of the world around them to create positive change.

Erin Brandvold

10th Grade World History Teacher, Impact Academy, an Envision School

After earning a B.A. in History and Master in Teaching from Seattle University. Erin has been teaching World History for 14 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a founding staff member at Impact Academy of Arts and Technology, an Envision School, she has worked hard to build a strong culture of collaboration, equity, PBL, and college-readiness portfolios. Working with largely first generation college-bound students, Erin is passionate about innovative educational practices supporting all learners, teaching & learning with an actively anti-racist stance, and fostering a love of learning within her students. Erin is a National Board Certified Teacher in Social Studies and has also worked as a support provider at Stanford University’s National Board Resource Center. Erin was the 2015 winner of the Morris Weiss Award for Outstanding Work in Holocaust Education and has been featured on edutopia.org for her work on high-quality assessment. While teaching World History full-time, she also works as an instructional and curriculum-design coach at Envision Schools.