New Roads School
Sean Brookes has been with the New Roads School in Santa Monica, CA since 2000. He currently teaches World Civilizations and Ethics courses to high school students, as well as advises the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force on campus. Sean holds a Masters degree in Urban Teaching from UCLA and has attended the University of Connecticut and California State University, Northridge.
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.
Da Vinci Schools
Steven is the U.S. History teacher at Da Vinci Communications High School and is excited to be an STF advisor. After growing up in Irvine, California, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Print and Digital Journalism from the University of Southern California and his master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to coming to Da Vinci Communications he taught 8th grade English and Social Studies at Wheeler Army Airfield on Oahu and AP U.S. History at Summit Tahoma High School in San Jose, California. Steven enjoys inspiring students to learn about their communities and seek opportunities to create meaningful change. When he is not teaching you can typically find Steven paddle boarding, running, going to concerts, or hanging out at the beach. He is also an avid traveler who has been fortunate to visit over 20 countries.
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.
The Archer School for Girls
Jacque Giebel holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Minor in Spanish from San Diego State University. In 2011, she graduated with a Masters of Library and Information Science from UCLA and began her career as an Archivist for a large corporation. Jacque transitioned from Corporate America to working as a Librarian/Archivist at the Archer School for Girls in 2016. When school is not in session, you can find her attempting to make sense of an archival collection or out on the ski slopes in her hometown of Lake Tahoe. This will be her first year serving as an advisor to the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force.
Subjects Taught: World Languages
Teaching Since: 1995
School: Valenica HS (Valencia, CA)
STF Teacher Advisor Since: 2020
Cristina Hernandez-Foster has been working as a World Language teacher for 25 years. She knows first hand the gift of speaking different languages since she grew up in a multilingual household. She has participated with the Human Rights Club for many years. She has attended many HRW events such as the annual fundraising Gala in Beverly Hills and the Women’s Leadership event at the Getty House with Mayor Garcetti.
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.
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.
Culver City HS
Andy graduated from UCLA in 1995 with a degree in History (Go Bruins!), and completed his MA in Education and Teaching from Chapman University. He began teaching at Culver City High School in 2006, and previously taught at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach. Andy currently teaches AP US History and 11th grade U.S. History. His hobbies include globetrotting, music, film, writing, an array of competitive sports, and raising his twin girls – a very demanding hobby.
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.
Sierra Canyon School
Tom has an M.S. in History from Texas A&M Commerce and a B.S. in History from Fort Hays State University. Tom brings 32 years of experience to the table, teaching in Palos Verdes, California during the mid-1980’s and the reminder of his career in Texas. He has spent his whole career working with students both inside and outside of the classroom. Tom has coached Academic Decathlon, football, basketball, baseball, track and field, and soccer. Having retired from teaching in Texas, Tom is now excited about his second career in California and looks forward to getting involved with Human Rights Watch as an STF teacher advisor!
Tom has two grown children. His son, Scott, is 27 and lives in Dallas, while his daughter, Tayler, is 22 and is doing her graduate work at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Subjects Taught: Assistant Director of School, Passion Projects Co-Chair
School: TREE Academy (West Hollywood, California)
STF Teacher Advisor Since: 2021
Storey Sheinberg is Assistant Director of School at TREE Academy for the Creative Arts, New Technology and Social Justice. Storey is a Los Angeles native having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Music from Pitzer College (the Claremont Colleges) and a Master’s Degree in Education focusing on Leadership and Change from Antioch University.
Storey is a lifelong, social justice advocate who believes that human rights education belongs in every classroom. Her passion for human rights began at a very early age when her grandmother exposed her to the atrocities of the Rwandan genocide. An activist at heart and in daily practice, Storey brings a robust portfolio of experience to the Student Task Force.
Storey’s grandfather, Sid Sheinberg was Vice Chair of Human Rights Watch and instrumental in the creation of the Student Task Force. Storey is proud to carry on his legacy as she co-leads TREE Academy’s HRW Student Task Force chapter.
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.
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
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.
Academy of the Canyons
Robert Walker is a social studies teacher for the William S. Hart Union District. He has developed and implemented two independent courses in human rights and racism for his district, and has worked for the integration of human rights lessons and textbooks in the social studies class at Academy of the Canyons Middle College.
Course Description: Human Rights – Race, Discrimination and Genocide
This course creates a companion course to the revised Human Rights in the 20th Century curriculum, satisfies student desire for more courses related to human rights and social consciousness, and furthers the District’s goal of encouraging awareness and respect for diversity in our community, nation and world. [Download the complete course description]