Francis W. Parker School
Andy Bigelow has been with the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, IL since 2022. He currently teaches US History, World History, Climate Science and Environmental Justice, and Elections to high school students, as well as advises the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force on campus. Andy holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Tufts University and majored in political science at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. He grew up in New England and taught in the suburbs of Boston before moving to Chicago in 2006.
Alan received his Bachelor’s Degree in History from University of Washington in 1995, and his Master’s in Teaching from Seattle University in 1997. He spent the first 20 years of his teaching career at Kellogg Middle School (Shoreline, WA) during which time he created and taught a Human Rights unit for 8 years. The 7 to 8 weeks unit focused on children in conflict, including child soldiers, the Invisible Children in Uganda, the Lost Boys of Sudan, and refugee children in the Darfur crisis.
Alan began teaching world history at Shorecrest High School in 2018 and plans to bring elements of human rights education into his curriculum in 2019. He also serves as Athletic Director at the school.
Palisades Charter HS
Subjects Taught: World Languages
Teaching Since: 2000
School: Palisades Charter High School (Santa Monica, CA)
STF Teacher Advisor Since: 2017
Myrna Cervantes is a Credential Spanish Language and Culture Educator and Co-Advisor of the Human Rights Watch, Student Task Force at Palisades Charter High School (Pali). She has developed and implemented curriculum in human rights for her classes. Additionally, she Co-Founded the Fuerza Unida Progam at Pali. This program advocates for the academic, cultural and emotional needs of Pali’s Latino students. Myrna has over 23 years of experience advocating for first generation college going students.
Myrna earned a Master’s Degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Principal Leadership Institute, with a concentration and under the framework of Social Justice and Equity. She organized and co-lead an Equity study at Pali and has used this study to begin conversations on this pressing issue.
Suzanne Cheatham is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and the Human Rights Club Advisor at Carson Academy of Medical Arts High School, in Los Angeles County. Suzanne provides mental health consultation, behavioral intervention, individual/group/family therapy, classroom evidenced-based interventions, and provides consultation with staff, administrators, parents, and other support providers. Suzanne has over 10 years of experience working clinically with diverse populations; youth in detention camps/on probation, in foster care, and severely mentally ill youth and their families. She is also a trained Dialectical Behavioral Therapist (DBT), with extensive experience facilitating DBT groups, which are geared towards those with borderline personality disorder, serious emotion regulation and relationship issues, and/or to address self-harm behaviors.
She earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Southern California in Social Work with a concentration in Community Organizing, Planning, and Administration. Her passion for the arts, social justice, and policy reform, along with the opportunity to direct a documentary in the Social Media and Change course, is what drew her to the program. Suzanne had the privilege of directing her first documentary, “Troubled Water”, on the water crisis at home and abroad. There her passion ignited around the needed human right, to access safe drinking water, as current in access to clean drinking water, is one of the leading causes of death abroad in many regions.
Suzanne is a Santa Monica native, who while in college, enjoyed choreographing and teaching dance to youth for 15 years. Suzanne believes in using the arts as a tool to encourage creativity and strengthen self-esteem and expression. Suzanne developed and ran dance programs at preschools, after school programs, and at the dance studio where she grew up, in Brentwood, California. Suzanne is in the process of creating new projects, utilizing media, education, and social enterprise, to raise funds, impact policy, and create awareness and change around human rights issues.
Hamilton High School
My name is Clare Colson. I am an Ethnic Studies and United States History teacher at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. I went to undergraduate at University of Wisconsin and got my master’s in urban education and social justice at University of San Francisco. I am excited to be the teacher coordinator for Human Rights Watch at our school! I am passionate about providing a space at school in which students feel they can make real changes to our campus community.
HRE Online Advisor
Bill Fernekes served for 36-and-a-half years as a social studies and Spanish language teacher at Hunterdon Central Regional HS in Flemington, New Jersey.
From 1987 to 2010, he was the supervisor of social studies at Hunterdon Central, overseeing the expansion of the social studies program and its recognition in 1997 as a national Program of Excellence by the National Council for the Social Studies.
Bill was an original member of Amnesty International’s Human Rights Education Steering Committee, and has worked in human rights education for over 25 years in New Jersey and other parts of the U.S. He also was the advisor for the Hunterdon Central student Amnesty International chapter from 1986 until his retirement, and was an invited participant for the recent conference at Harvard University to develop a national human rights education strategy for the U.S. He resides with his wife Sheila Fernekes, a self-employed jewelry designer, in Raritan Twp, NJ.
- Bill will be giving a presentation at the National Council for the Social Studies annual meeting in Washington D.C. in early December 2011, about the Natural Disasters Bulletin, along with Val Pang (co-editor) and Jeff Helsing, U.S. Institute of Peace (essay author in the Bulletin).
- He is also teaching a secondary social studies methods course at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ during the fall 2011 semester and will be integrating HRE within the class content and activities.
Recent HRE Publications:
- “Human Rights Education,” with Felisa Tibbitts. In Samuel Totten and Jon Pedersen, editors, Teaching and Studying Social Issues: Major Programs and Approaches. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2011. [view online]
- “Studying the Haitian Earthquake.” In Valerie Ooka Pang, Jack L. Nelson, and William R. Fernekes, editors. The Human Impact of Natural Disasters: Issues for the Inquiry-Based Classroom. Silver Spring MD: National Council for the Social Studies, 2010: 39-42.
- “Natural Disasters and Children’s Rights.” In Valerie Ooka Pang, Jack L. Nelson, and William R. Fernekes, editors. The Human Impact of Natural Disasters: Issues for the Inquiry-Based Classroom. Silver Spring MD: National Council for the Social Studies, 2010: 83-90.
Canyon High School
Chris currently teaches math and coach cross country and track. This year he will only teach Algebra, but he has taught everything up to AP Statistics.
He was a religion and business double major at Pt. Loma Nazarene College. Then he received a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and was a youth pastor for three years in Lake Elsinore. Chris has done work and service projects in various places, but that has been through the church, and not always directly HRE.
As for integrating HRE in his classroom, Chris usually aims for that type of discussion during STF meetings and other times.
Phyllis Mays is the newest full-time tenure-track Chemistry instructor at Cypress College. She is very proud to be the first Black full-time professor at Cypress College. Being the first is not new to her. She worked in the Aerospace Industry formulating aerospace paint for commercial and military aircraft. She started off as a bench chemist and quickly worked my way to Material Engineer, Technical Support and Sales, Customer Service/Technical manager. She has faced and overcome many obstacles as the sole Black female in an all male-dominated environment. Through her 14-years in industry, she taught chemistry at various colleges in California. Phyllis enjoys teaching students that chemistry is both challenging, exciting, and fun. She believes you can overcome anything if you are focused and committed to your future and your dreams. She’s very proud to be a part of the journey for our future health-care professionals and engineers.
Animo Locke College Preparatory Academy
Jasmine Nevarez is a teacher at Animo Locke College Preparatory Academy. She received her B.A. in English Education from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and her M.Ed from Claremont Graduate University. She currently teachers ninth grade English and AP Seminar and is the advisor for student government. She enjoys writing poetry, painting, playing piano, and reading in her free time, and is a champion for equitable arts educations for scholars.
Palisades Charter HS
Angelica Pereyra is a teacher and co-advisor to the HRW STF club at Palisades Charter High School. A contributor to STF since its inception, she has integrated human rights into math and art classes at Pali for the past nine years and is also a working artist.
Da Vinci Schools, Emeritus
Deepti Immaraju Reim
Deepti joined Da Vinci Communications to teach 12th grade English and to launch the Strategic Communications pathway course. Her goal is to help her students draw enduring connections between literature, their lives and the world around them, and equip them with the tools they need to make their voices heard and be compassionate changemakers in college and beyond. Before DVC, Deepti worked for a public relations firm in Los Angeles for several years, and spent a year in Mumbai with International Justice Mission supporting survivors of sex trafficking. Previously, she interned with the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force, mentoring high school students to become advocates for human rights in their schools and communities.
Originally hailing from Orange County, Deepti holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA (Go Bruins!) in Global Studies and French, as well as a teaching credential from California State University, Northridge. When she’s not in the classroom, you can find her running along the bluffs in Santa Monica, exploring a new hiking trail with her husband, engaging in deep conversations with friends over coffee, or curled up with a good book.
Santa Monica HS
Sarah earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA (‘01), an M.A. in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount Univ. (‘02), and a J.D. from Harvard Law School (‘09). In law school, she worked to document and advocate for access to health care and reproductive justice in northern Ghana and in California’s prisons for women. The 2018-19 school year will be her 14th year as a high school teacher and her second year teaching English and Ethnic Studies at Santa Monica High School. A focus of her work in the classroom is to help facilitate students’ interest in and engagement with critical issues of human rights and social justice. She looks forward to serving as an STF TA for the first time this year.
Animo Venice Charter High School
Tina Rose has been an art teacher for 18 years and a special education teacher for 7 years. She is a co-founder and artist of HelloYogaWorld as well, a project bringing together yoga and web3 technologies to help raise human consciousness and regenerate Mother Earth.
Kristi collaborates with human rights advocates, educators, and young people to create innovative programs and models of human rights teaching, dialogue, civic engagement, and reflection in classrooms and communities throughout Minnesota, the United States, and globally. She is a founding Steering Committee member for both the Human Rights Educators USA and the University and College Consortium for Human Rights Education.
Kristi has coordinated and edited the Human Rights Education Series, published by the University of Minnesota Human Rights Education Resource Center, and written articles on human rights education and training.
Kristi served as Co-Director of the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center and as an Adjunct Professor of Law and director of the Humphrey Fellowship Program at the University of Minnesota Law School. She has specialized in the field of human rights education and training since 1986.
Learn more about Krist’s work with STF: https://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?page_id=13012
Taipei American School
Darby Sinclair received her B.A. in International Relations and History from Graceland University (1998) and her MA in International Education Development (Peace Education and Conflict Resolution) from Teachers College Columbia University (2003). Darby is a Social Science educator currently working at Taipei American School. Her educational journey includes experiences in New York, Germany, Malaysia, and Taiwan. As a teacher of International Relations, IB Global Politics, and AP Research, she is passionate about cultivating a sense of global citizenship among students. She firmly believes that education plays a pivotal role in building a more peaceful world. In pursuit of this vision, she actively engages in Model United Nations, empowering students to develop diplomatic skills and an understanding of global issues. Darby has worked closely with international schools to develop their Model United Nations programs and build MUN networks within Asia.
Animo Venice Charter High School
Teaching in Public and Charter High Schools in both in Pennsylvania and California for the past eighteen years, Mary Tang is passionate about ensuring all students have access to excellent Public Education. Being part of Ánimo Venice from the initial years, Mary has had the opportunity to start school-wide and district-wide programs mentoring both students and colleagues through The Teacher Leadership Academy and Students Run LA. Mary is a proud National Board-Certified Teacher and Mentor to National Board Candidates where she is dedicated to the National Board’s Commitment of the support, recognition and retainment of accomplished teachers.
Her current passion is facilitating Project Based Learning to build education equity, deepen learning, and ultimately empower students to apply their learning outside of the classroom. During the Pandemic, while engaging in Project Base Learning, Mary was inspired by students and colleagues to go back to school to earn a Computer Science Credential. In addition, Mary has been a part of UCLA’s Freshmen Selection Team since 2008, where she is dedicated to the UC Mission of striving for excellence and diversity in Public Education. When not at a school, you can find Mary outside spending time outside with her husband, three daughters, and new puppy!
Santa Monica College, Emeritus
Susan Turner Jones
With an M.A. in English from UCLA and a B.A. in English from Carleton College, Susan brings special expertise to teaching world literature, poetry, publications and writing to Sierra Canyon. Since 1980, she has taught English and Journalism at Westlake School, Harvard-Westlake, Brentwood and Crossroads, where she has created, designed and developed numerous courses and programs in journalism, creative writing, memoir writing, gender studies, Dostoevsky, and other electives. She currently is teaching American Literature, Gothic Literature, and a Short Story elective at Sierra Canyon School to 11th and 12th graders, as well as overseeing the literary magazine and advising clubs in human rights and service learning through the Foundation for Arts, Mentoring, Leadership and Innovation (FAMLI).
Susan has a Certification in Journalism Education granted from the Journalism Education Association and has led four school publications to garner numerous national awards, achieving top 5% in scholastic level press associations. Susan is also a leader of multicultural and social justice clubs in community outreach, school service and diversity training. Since 2008, she has served as a literacy expert and mentor, working with FAMLI, Inc., teaching writing and life skills to South Los Angeles middle school Audubon students, at-risk and foster care youth.
Corona del Mar High School
Jennifer Yennie is currently in her 11th year at Corona del Mar High School teaching CompLit 2 and AP Language & Composition. This is her first year acting as an instructional coach on campus (and she loves it!) She earned her BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and her teaching credential from Cal State Fullerton. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing poetry, hiking, camping, playing pick-up soccer, and building Legos with her two sons.