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.


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 TLA’s Are Chosen

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

Our 2019-20 TLAs


  • Hopkins CDC: Michael McLaughlin (SPED)

Elementary, Southeast Zone:

  • John Muir: Yorda Weldeghiorgis (1st gr)
  • Emerson: Jeannie Wang (K-5 Literacy coach)
  • Sylvia Mendez: Estella Sisneros (K-5 Librarian)
  • Malcolm X: Jennifer Adcock (2nd gr)

Elementary, Central Zone:

  • Washington: Oscar Zarete (4th gr)
  • Berkeley Arts Magnet: Suzanne Wright (1st gr)
  • Oxford: Karen Sasumoto (K-5 Librarian)
  • Cragmont: Meridith Aki (Kinder) & Stefanie Wissmann (4th gr)

Elementary, Northwest Zone:

  • Rosa Parks: Kim Beeson (1st gr)
  • Jefferson: Jonah Cohn (K-5 PE)
  • Thousand Oaks: Anne Hirose (4th gr)

Middle Schools:

  • King: Geeta Makhija (math, 7th gr)
  • Longfellow: Juliana Jones (math,8th gr)
  • Willard: Sharon Arthur (math/science, 6th gr)

High School:

  • Berkeley High: Matt Laurel (after school)
  • Berkeley High: Monica Salvador (Spanish)
  • BTA/BIS: Sophina Jones (counselor)

Extended Learning:

  • LEARNS: Jason Nealy (Thousand Oaks)
  • BEARS: Jontanika Battle (John Muir)