The PBL Collaborative
The PBL Collaborative
A paid fellowship that trains teachers to develop and run project-based learning experiences


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Amanda Saucillo
Kindergarten Teacher
Perales Elementary
Edgewood ISD

Amanda Saucillo is proud to be a kindergarten teacher at Perales Elementary in Edgewood ISD. She graduated from Texas A&M University-San Antonio and began teaching in 2016. She has taught 3rd grade for three years, and this will be her first year as a kindergarten teacher. As an educator, she believes that when teachers set high expectations, students will achieve high levels of success.


Andrea Meyer
2nd Grade Teacher
Will Rogers Academy 
San Antonio ISD

Andrea Meyer is originally from Boston.  She began her teaching career in San Jose, California in middle school Special Education.  After two years in California, she moved to San Antonio, where she has lived for the past three years. She is currently in her sixth year of teaching, and her fourth year of teaching in San Antonio. She teaches second grade at Will Rogers Academy in San Antonio ISD where she is a member of the PBIS Committee, PTA, and the Raise Up Texas Team.

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Yevette Jackson
7th Grade
Kitty Hawk Middle School
Judson ISD

Teaching is my second career. I was a sales representative, sales manager, competitive intelligence marketing manager, and a grassroots marketing manager in a 9-state region in the Southeast for a telecommunication company. For the past 7 years, I have taught Texas History, World History, English, and Reading during the school year and summer school. I truly found my calling. I am the oldest of 3 girls which all worked in corporate America and now we are all teachers. My mother taught middle school math for 35 years.

In my class, I teach a wide variety of students who have different learning styles. I want all my students to see themselves in the history I teach. I am a culturally responsive teacher. Because of my belief, Project Based Learning helps me to meet the need of the students in my classes. Differentiation helps most students begin to believe they are smart and capable. They begin to see they are not dumb or stupid (which I hear from students every day) they just may learn differently. My goal by participating in this program will help me to sharpen and strengthen my skills by using PBL as a tool to teach the students I encounter. I want my students to be lifelong learners, and like corporate America and any job, all teaching is based on project-based learning. When students become workers, my desire is for them to apply what they learned.

Danielle Smith 
7th Grade History Teacher
Judson STEM Academy
Judson ISD

Danielle Smith has been teaching social studies for 12 years. She is currently the social studies department chair. Danielle earned a Master’s in Secondary Education from Texas State University. She currently teaches 7th grade Texas History at JSTEM Academy where her classroom encompasses a multitude of technology, the maker movement and project-based learning.

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Jennifer Carter
9-12th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Robbins Academy 
Alamo Heights ISD

Jennifer Carter has been a classroom educator for fourteen years, teaching children in their early stages of development as a Kindergarten and elementary teacher, but has recently endeavored to teach at the choice alternative high school in Alamo Heights ISD at the Robbins Academy. A mother of six, ages spanning seven to twenty-one, Jennifer has always had a passion and love for working with kids, whether it be her own children or her students. An advocate for those who are discovering the joy of learning, she champions the education and wellbeing of each student while challenging her pupils to grow as learners. Never just satisfied with the status quo, Jennifer seeks to constantly change and innovate the way she teaches, finding new and exciting ways to engage students. These include altering the classroom environment, incorporating more use of technology, and tapping into her classroom’s community and students’ strengths to develop new means and mediums by which to educate the students in front of her. She has a bachelor’s degree in History from UT-Austin (1997) and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Southwest Texas State University (2002).

Laura Ruiz
5th Grade Math and Science Teacher
Bowden Academy 
San Antonio ISD

Laura Ruiz is a fifth-grade math and science teacher at Bowden Academy in San Antonio ISD. Bowden has been her home away from home for the past six years where she has taught in second, third, and fifth grades. She tries to take learning outside of the classroom whenever possible and incorporates PBL to the best of her abilities. When she is not at Bowden, she enjoys spending time outdoors walking, kayaking, or camping. She and her family also like to play board games or sing karaoke on the weekends.

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Lauren Turley
1st Grade Teacher
Lamar Elementary School
San Antonio ISD

Lauren Turley is a first-grade teacher at Lamar Elementary School in San Antonio ISD. She loves to teach social justice to six-year-olds. She has experience in kindergarten and special education, but she loves to teach children how to read, so that first grade is the perfect placement. When she is not teaching, she loves spending time with her dog, Atlas, catching up with friends or doing yoga. She is excited to grow this year in her ability to plan and implement PBL units tailored to the needs and interests of her students.

Megan Correia
6th Grade Teacher
Lamar Elementary School 
San Antonio ISD

Megan Correia began her teaching career in Rhode Island by teaching newcomer ESL students American History. She quickly realized she needed to find an alternative teaching method that better engaged students and drew them into learning. She found a design thinking workshop that lasted a year that taught her how to integrate PBL into her curriculum. She engaged in great projects with her students. Megan moved to Texas and discovered that these teaching practices were much less common. She entered her doctoral program with a focus on exploring project-based learning. She is excited to work with other individuals who have different levels of experience with PBL, as she feels all teachers will bring different experiences. She is excited to learn from others, as well as other perspectives.

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Misty Tegeler
Pre-K Teacher
PreK4SA North Center

Misty Tegeler is a graduate of Sam Houston State University (Eat’em up Kats!!!) where she graduated with a degree in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood. She began her journey as an educator in the fall of 1996, where she taught Kindergarten in Northside ISD. After 11 years as a kinder teacher, she was ready for a change, and in 2008 she began teaching ECC (an employee preschool with the inclusion of PPCD). In 2015, she moved to Pre-K4SA North Campus. This is where she presently calls home, and she feels honored to be part of an amazing program. She loves teaching young children and feels passionate about advocating for the importance of “PLAY” in early childhood. When she is not teaching, she is hanging out with her family. She and her husband were college sweethearts, and have 3 wonderful children: Madyson, age 14, and twins Clea and Cohen, age 8. She loves reading, traveling, and turning junk into beautiful and functional treasures.

Oscar Garcia-Roman
9th and 10th Grade Teacher
CAST Med High School 
San Antonio ISD

Oscar Garcia-Roman is from México and has been a teacher for the state of Texas for the past 12 years. He majored in Chemical Engineering and has a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in STEM. He also completed another Master’s program in Mathematics at SFA. This is going to be his first year working in Bexar County for CAST Med High School in San Antonio ISD, and he is so excited for that.

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Rachel Jackson
PK-6th Grade Music Teacher
Lamar Elementary
San Antonio ISD

Rachel Jackson is a veteran SAISD educator of 12 years. She has spent her career teaching music at various schools in SAISD, including being a part of the design team for the Advanced Learning Academy, a PBL based school. She now teaches at Lamar Elementary, where she is continuing to learn and grow under great leadership. She has a wonderful husband and three dogs who she loves to have adventures with. Rachel is so excited to be joining this Collaborative and to have the opportunity to learn from her peers.

Rocielle Abigail Perez
5th Grade Teacher
School of Science and Technology Northwest

Rocielle Perez is originally from Beaverton, OR  and received her bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Elementary Education from Portland State University. Her commitment to service of others drew her to the Alliance for Catholic Education Teaching Fellows—an alternative Master of Education program through the University of Notre Dame focused on supporting under-resourced Catholic schools. Through this program, Rocielle taught 5th grade for two years in Jacksonville, FL while also completing graduate coursework for her M.Ed. Now in her 5th year of teaching, Rocielle has experience working in private and public schools and has developed a strong passion for culturally responsive pedagogy and social-emotional learning.

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Rosanna Garcia
4th Grade Teacher
Cotton Academy
San Antonio ISD

Rosanna Garcia has been in education for 15 years. The moment she knew she had made the right decision to pursue teaching came when she was tutoring a student during college. Her student was working on base tens and his teacher told Rosanna that he was just not getting it and that she had tried everything. As Rosanna sat in the library with the student trying a multitude of things to try to get him to understand, he suddenly looked at her and said, "I get it, this is what it means." He then explained it to her perfectly. She calls those the light bulb moments which is when the light goes on and the student shines. She feels that she is so lucky that she gets to be there when those light bulbs go off and her students light up the world.

Takiesha Martinez
7th, 8th, and Algebra Math Teacher
Bowden Academy
San Antonio ISD

Takiesha Martinez has been in education for 19 years with San Antonio ISD. She has worked with a range of students from elementary to middle school and has also worked with adults as a Curriculum Specialist. For the 2019/2020 school year, she will be teaching math to seventh, eighth and Algebra students.

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Taylor Ray
7th Grade Teacher
Judson STEM Academy
Judson ISD

Taylor Ray is a fourth-year teacher at Judson STEM Academy in Judson ISD. Her passion is bringing life to the math classroom by incorporating technology and real-life scenarios to her everyday lessons. Additionally, she has been coaching an award-winning FLL robotics team for four years. Mrs. Ray has a bachelor’s degree in math education and a Master’s degree in secondary education with a focus on educational technology from Texas State University. It was her Master’s degree program that sparked her love of Project-Based Learning.

Theresa Mayfield
Kindergarten Dual Language Teacher
Bowden Academy
San Antonio ISD

Theresa Mayfield is in her 15th year of teaching. She has spent her whole teaching career in San Antonio ISD. She has always been a kinder dual language / bilingual teacher. She is passionate about what she does. Simply put, she teaches kids how to read, problem solve, and be active participants in their learning; in her mind, that is the most important thing that she can teach them. Her students leave each year well prepared for the next grade level. She also mentors students who need assistance academically or emotionally. She has done her job effectively enough to have been awarded teacher of the year twice. Five years ago, she was nominated by one of her former students for educator of the year and was subsequently awarded this title.

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Zakia Abbas
6th and 7th Grade Teacher
Brooks Collegiate Academy

Zakia Abbas has been a teacher for the last five years. She has taught Middle School Math and business in the past. This upcoming school year, she will be teaching High School Business and also mentoring/supervising a Practicum course for seniors interning with local businesses. She has worn many hats over the years; her experience as a Software Engineer at Xerox and her business experience as an Auditor for New York State have enabled her to bring the real world experience into her classroom. She considers herself to be a passionate teacher, and believes teaching is more than just academics. Her philosophy is that building a relationship with a student is her first job as a teacher. Once that is established, the teaching and learning becomes a natural course that is an enjoyable experience for all involved. Currently, she is in the middle of pursuing her Master’s degree as well. This has already given her more insight as to how to be a better leader and a guide for students, not just for the duration of her class, but throughout their career as a successful students and individuals.

Leroy F. Howell Jr.
6th Grade Teacher
Terrell Wells Middle School
Harlandale ISD

I am a teacher at Terrell Wells Middle School in Harlandale ISD. This will be my 6th year in the teaching profession. At Terrell Wells I teach 6th grade World Geography: Contemporary World Cultures. I have been with my current school for the previous two years. I started teaching at Cotulla ISD in La Salle county Texas. I would drive from my home in San Antonio to Frank Newman Middle school in Cotulla which was one and a half hour drive one way. I taught 8th grade US History from 1607 to Reconstruction for 3 years. Cotulla ISD is a district that embraced Project Based Learning.

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Brandy Hawthorne
3rd Grade Teacher
Brooks Collegiate Academy

Brandy Hawthorne is entering her 30th year in the field of education. She considers herself a “jack of all trades, master of none” as her years as a teacher have offered a vast assortment of skills and experiences. Her years have been spent in public, private, charter, and Christian schools and the non-profit sector as well. She has worked with students of all physical and cognitive abilities as well as children from birth to 6th grade. Collaborating with peers in other fields who work with children has been a great learning tool.

A graduate of UTSA with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a specialization in history, she is currently teaching her 9th consecutive year in 3rd grade and loving it! This is her second year as a STEM teacher at Brooks Collegiate Academy (she was formerly an ELAR gal) and she is thoroughly enjoying diving into mathematic pedagogy in her spare time as she explores new and better ways to help her students become life-long learners and problem-solvers.