Posted Jul 01, 2015

Starting with the 2015-16 season, we will highlight our top educators from across the country on an annual basis. The NBA Math Hoops All-Star Teaching Team will convene each summer to advise and guide the program's strategy, work with Learn Fresh staff during the school year to monitor program quality and execution, and reconvene each spring to celebrate the season at a national program event.

We're excited to introduce this year's team, a group of 13 oustanding educators and administrators from Cleveland, Denver, New York, and the Bay Area. They'll join our staff in Denver from July 20-22 to prepare for yet another thrilling season of NBA Math Hoops programming!


Jesse Broadfoot - Denver, CO
Jesse is currently employed by Denver Public Schools as a Program Specialist for the Department of Extended Learning at Brown International Academy. A Physical Education graduate of Wingate University, Jesse really enjoys combining his passion for sports and education. NBA Math Hoops was a perfect fit for him, and he is looking forward to working with the team. Jesse enjoys golfing and coaching or playing hockey in his free time.


Christina Carlson - Denver, CO
Originally from New Jersey, Christina has lived in and loved Colorado for the past 10 years. She has worked with the Denver YMCA for 8 years in the School Age Child Care Department. Christina has a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and a Master's Degree in Nonprofit Management, and has attended national conferences focused on working with youth during out of school time. During her time with the Y, she has been able to develop partnerships with other youth serving agencies including SOS Outreach and Math Hoops to further the organization’s mission in youth development. 


Maura Heffernan - Cleveland, OH
Maura Heffernan is an intervention specialist at Cleveland Municipal School District. She was born and raised in the city of Cleveland, and attended college at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Maura just finished her second year of teaching and loves it! She is a Cleveland sports fan and has enjoyed every part of the NBA math hoops program in her classroom. Go Cavs!


Na’Dra Hennington - Oakland, CA
Na’Dra Hennington, graduated from California State University in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development. For more than 15 years, Na’Dra has enjoyed working in Oakland Unified School District developing, managing, and overseeing after-school programs. She has been with Bay Area Community Resources (BACR) for over 8 years. She began her work as a line staff and has worked her way to a program manager position.  

In her third year as an after-school program manager, Na’Dra manages eight programs in some of our toughest Oakland communities. To ensure program and individual success Na'Dra focuses on program compliance, diverse offerings, professional development opportunities for staff, and building intentional communities. She models BACR’s Collaborative Best Practices to all our stakeholders. Na’Dra believes in transparency, trust, relationship building, and creating a shared vision.


Colleen Johnston - San Francisco, CA
Colleen Johnston has been working in Out of School Time for Bay Area Community Resources for ten years, and have remained dedicated to providing the youth in our schools with curriculum that involves interactive learning techniques. In the past 3 years I have dedicated much of my time to STEM/STEAM, and have helped our team to implement 10+ curriculums across our 9 school districts. Our most recent, and arguably the most successful curriculum yet, is NBA Math Hoops. In addition to my work in the school setting, I love Giants Baseball, Cal Basketball and Football (Go Bears), and exploring everything in and around San Francisco.


Mariana Lopez - San Rafael, CA
Mariana Lopez is a native of Venezuela. She studied Interior Design in Institute Villasmil de Leon and Education in Universidad Metropolitana. Before moving to United States in 2004, she worked as the Assistant Principal at Institute Nuevo Amanecer, a school for students with ADHD in Caracas. She was the Program Manager of the Refugee Youth and Family Program for Miami-Dade County. Currently she is the after-school Program Coordinator for Bay Area Community Resources at San Pedro Elementary School Elementary in California, a Program Manager for Marin County School Volunteers and a Board Member of HeadsUp Foundation where she continues to be an advocate for immigrant children in Marin County.  

Mariana believes that access to quality education is the best way to improve a person's social and economic situation. In 2014 Mariana was presented with the BACR Best Practices Award for the After School Industry among seventy after-school programs in the Bay Area. Most recently Mariana received the Golden Bell Award from the Marin County Office of Education for her outstanding program in the San Rafael City Schools District.


Greg McCullough - Cleveland, OH
Greg McCullough is a middle school math teacher at Charles A. Mooney School in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in Cleveland, Ohio. He has taught at Mooney for 22 years, mostly in math and science. He also coaches high school football, and is the girls' basketball and track coach at Mooney. Greg has a Master's Degree in school counseling from Cleveland State University. This is the second year that Mooney has been involved in the NBA Math Hoops program.


Erik Moll - Oakland, CA
Erik Moll is a District Math Specialist in Oakland Unified School District with a focus on Middle School mathematics. His roles and responsibilities range from classroom support at focus middle school sites to K-12 math intervention lead for OUSD. His professional history includes 11 years teaching 6th grade in Hayward Unified School District in Hayward, CA, and 7 years as a District Elementary and Middle School School Math Specialist in Oakland Unified School District.

Eric has a BS in Communications from Boston University, an M.Ed in Elementary Education and Curriculum from Arizona State University, and an Administrative Services Credential from California State East Bay University.


Jeanne Shannon - New York, NY
Jeanne Shannon received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education from the State University College at Geneseo and a Master of Science in School Building Leadership from St. John’s University. Jeanne has taught at St. Elizabeth Catholic School/Academy for the last 29 years. She has taught on all levels from Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. Currently, Jeanne teaches Math in grades 5 through 8 while also serving as the school’s Assistant Principal. For many years, Jeanne served as a Visiting Team Member for the Middle States Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Additionally, she served on a Diocesan-wide Committee with noted Yale professor, Dr. Marc Brackett to promote social and emotional literacy in students. When not working, Jeanne likes to read and go to the theater. 


Sara Ulricksen - Denver, CO
Sara is currently employed by Denver Public Schools as a Program Specialist for the Department of Extended Learning at Cowell Elementary. Sara is finishing a degree with CSU-Global in Human Services to better serve the students and families in the Cowell community. NBA Math Hoops has been a wonderful addition to Cowell curriculum, and is looking forward to working with the team. Sara enjoys hanging out with her daughter, family and friends during her free time.


Steve Walker - Cleveland, OH
Steve Walker’s experience in nurturing and trying to instill life lessons within our youth started when he began working for the city of Cleveland Heights. He worked at the local Community Center as a Child Care Counselor in 2001, and took to it quickly because he enjoyed discussing situations that students might deal with whether it be at home or at school. From that point on he was able to clearly see that his role was to be there for each and every child that he could influence. While working at The Cleveland Heights Community Center, Steve has coached the Recreation League Basketball team for 8 years. He was later offered the position of Recess Aide with the CHUH School district, and has also been a Mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program of Greater Cleveland. As a result of his experiences, Steve feels that he can further inspire the students of Open Doors Academy and our youth in and around the city of Cleveland.


Virginia Young - San Jose, CA
Virginia Young is an educational leader who has spent the last eight years teaching math at Sheppard Middle School in San Jose, California. With a passion for all things math, Virginia earned her teaching credential after finishing her undergraduate degree in mathematics at San Jose State University. Virginia is currently the math department chair at her school and has organized several school-wide math festivals and Pi Day celebrations, and is the coach to her school’s MathCounts team. Virginia loves bringing fun math activities and games to her curriculum and was thrilled to be one the first educators in the country to pilot Math Hoops with her students. Virginia also enjoys using technology and frequently trains other teachers throughout her school district on a variety of tech topics. When Virginia is not teaching, she likes listening to music, playing video games, and spending time with her family.


Tamera Zelwin
Tamera Zelwin is a grades 7 and 8 math teacher at Orchard STEM School in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in Cleveland, Ohio, where she has taught for 17 years. Ms. Zelwin has a Master’s Degree in Education from John Carroll University and is a National Board Certified Teacher. As her school’s Lead STEM Practitioner, Ms. Zelwin integrates math into as many aspects of the curriculum as possible. She has worked with the NBA Math Hoops Program since its being piloted in Cleveland in 2012, and was one of the first teachers in the country to use this program.  

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