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Reinventing Education

strategically, collaboratively, and sustainably

Unions, Foundations, and Policymakers

IDEA wants the actors and organizations (unions, foundations, teacher education programs, elected and state education officials, etc.) that influence schools and teachers to be accountable to young people and communities.

Meet our organizers working with unions, foundations, and policymakers:

Roberto Viramontes

Roberto Viramontes, Sr. Fellow - Los Angeles, CA

Roberto Viramontes is the Vice President of Education Policy for First Focus. He monitors legislation development as it relates to K–12 education, advocating for education policy that promotes educational equity for the students that face significant barriers to learning and academic achievement. In 2000-2001, Roberto completed a public policy fellowship (via the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute) in Washington, D.C. where he served with Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA). This was followed by an opportunity to work for former Los Angeles City Councilmember, Ruth Galanter. Roberto then utilized his previous policy experience while working for Dakota Communications, a Los Angeles-based, consulting firm with expertise in public communications, political guidance, and community relations. Aside from policy work, Roberto has dedicated most of his career to helping children as a social studies teacher for Green Dot Public Schools in Los Angeles. In addition, Roberto worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor and U.S. Citizenship teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. He also served as a fellow with Education Pioneers.

Don Ernst

Don Ernst - Little Rock, AR

Don Ernst is instructor of education policy at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. He teaches an elective course on education policy and serves as an advisor on student field service projects. He also currently serves as coordinator of the Children and Youth Initiative at the Central Arkansas Library System. Don has extensive experience in both the government and nonprofit sectors. He recently served as director of education policy in the office of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and previously served as a senior consultant to the Coalition of Essential Schools. A former social studies teacher, Don has also worked on education initiatives with the Stuart Foundation in San Francisco, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development in Alexandra, Va., and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform in Providence, R.I. He served in the policy offices of former Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh and former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.

Thu Nguyen

Thu Nguyen - Worcester, MA

Thu Nguyen is currently an undergraduate studying Sociology and Studio Art at Clark University. Growing up in the Main South area of Worcester, MA ignited her passion and desire to hopefully become an art teacher serving the urban youth. She spent a part of her summer as a volunteer assistant at Main I.D.E.A summer camp bringing fun and the arts to 3rd to 5th graders leaving her inspired and amazed by the potential of the urban youth. Currently, she is volunteering as a mentor for the Collegiate Success Institute, a program of the College of Worcester Consortium, helping juniors at Claremont Academy (where she graduated high school) to understand the college experience, application process, and acquire the skills needed to be successful. She is also working to end sexual violence by volunteering at Pathways for Change, the Rape Crisis Center of Central Massachusetts.

Hannah Sadtler

Hannah Sadtler - New Orleans, LA

Hannah Sadtler is an educator, organizer and student in New Orleans, LA. After teaching Language Arts at a charter middle school for two years, she is taking a break from the classroom to prioritize her own learning and development. As a part of this process she facilitates The New Teachers’ Roundtable, a group she co-founded to help herself and other new teachers in New Orleans understand the cultural, political and historical context of their work by creating a supportive space to engage in thought-provoking dialogue and reflection and connect with insightful individuals, organizations, and other local resources.

Jabreel "Jay" Chisley - Euclid, Ohio

Do you have a role outside of schools that influences schools and teachers, or do you know someone who does?

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