In the fall of 2019, the Berkeley Public Schools Fund convened for the first time an esteemed and diverse group of educators, our Teaching & Learning Advisors (TLAs), to advise the Schools Fund on our multiple grant making and volunteer programs. Our staff and board continue to meet with TLAs two to three times each year. TLA input is critical to the Schools Fund’s ability to stay responsive to emerging needs in BUSD.

TLA Goals

Teaching & Learning Advisors contribute to the success of Berkeley Unified School District by:

  • Evaluating and informing current Schools Fund programming
  • Advising on the design of future Schools Fund programming
  • Increasing educator engagement in Schools Fund programs through site-based communications support

How TLAs Are Chosen

TLAs are chosen for a combination of factors, including their knowledge of and direct experience with Schools Fund programs, their capacity for district-wide systems thinking, the diverse perspectives they bring, and the endorsement of their Principal. Our TLA collective currently includes pre-K-12 classroom teachers, coaches, counselors, afterschool program staff, and librarians.

Our 2021-22 TLAs


  • Hopkins CDC: Michael McLaughlin (SpEd)

Elementary, Southeast Zone:

  • John Muir: Michael Fowler (PE)
  • Emerson: Jeannie Wang (K-5 Literacy Coach)
  • Sylvia Mendez: Robin Harley (science)
  • Malcolm X: Jennifer Adcock (2nd Gr Teacher)

Elementary, Central Zone:

  • Washington: Mindy Geminder (5th Gr Teacher)
  • Berkeley Arts Magnet: Sumita Soni (3rd Gr Teacher)
  • Oxford: Karen Sasumoto (K-5 Librarian)
  • Cragmont: Meridith Aki (Kinder Teacher) 

Elementary, Northwest Zone:

  • Rosa Parks: Rosa Moreno (3rd Gr Teacher)
  • Jefferson: Jonah Cohn (K-5 PE)
  • Thousand Oaks: Anne Hirose (4th Gr Teacher)

Middle Schools:

  • King: Geeta Makhija (Math Teacher, 7th Gr Teacher)
  • Longfellow: Aaron Lechuga (8th Gr Teacher & Restorative Justice Counselor)
  • Willard: Zabed Monika (Science Teacher)

High School:

  • Berkeley High: Matt Laurel (Academic Support Coordinator)
  • Berkeley High: Monica Salvador (Special Education Lead)
  • Berkeley High: Jasdeep Malhi (Intervention Counselor)

Extended Learning:

  • LEARNS: Jason Nealy (Specialist, Thousand Oaks)
  • LEARNS: Greg Williams (Instructional Tech, Thousand Oaks)

Office of Family Engagement & Equity (OFEE):

  • Jocelyn Foreman