Lisa Alfonso

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Degrees and Certifications:

Lisa Alfonso

   I currently teach ESL here at TJHS. I graduated from Texas A&M University in 2015 and have a B.A. in English. I'm currently pursuing a Master's degree in ESL Education at University Texas of the Permian Basin. Thomas Jefferson is the first school I have worked at. I have a very interactive and student-centered classroom. My students work and learn together in an inclusive, safe, and fun environment. Classroom culture is a very important factor in my classroom. I love to learn about my students and find ways to connect their lives to what we are learning about.

 Robin Billings

Phone: (972) 502-7300

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

B.S. in Speech Communication from University of Texas at Tyler and M.S. in Theatre from Texas A&M University Commerce.

Robin Billings

  I graduated from U. T. Tyler in 2007; TX A&M Commerce in 2012; Lamar University in 2017. I have a B.S. in Speech Communication; M.S. in Theatre; Principal Certification. Perrin-Whitt CISD from 2008-2010; TX A&M Commerce from 2010-2013 were previous places that I have worked. I have been here at TJ since 2013. As a speech/debate teacher, I try to create a classroom environment that is uplifting and encouraging of each other. I am trying to teach my students how to be a professional for whatever their future holds. I also try to encourage students to be courageous.

 
 
 
 Devon Caldarera

Phone: (972) 502-7300

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

BS, Radio-Television-Film, 1985; MA, English, 2007

Devon Caldarera

   I teach English II Pre-AP ECHS. I attended the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at San Antonio. I received a B.S. in Radio-Television-Film in 1985 and an M.A. in English in 2007. I have been teaching for 20 years; have worked as a film editor in NYC, worked for the Village Voice newspaper, have taught in McAllen, San Antonio, and New Mexico at both the secondary and college level. My classroom can be described as student-centered and rigorous.

 Robert Delgado

Phone: 972-502-7300

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

English/Creative Writing (BA, 1993), American Literature (MA, 1999), Studies in Literature (MA, 2015)

Robert Delgado

   I teach AP and regular English 4 here at TJ. I graduated from UT El Paso 1993 (B.A.), UT El Paso 1999 (M.A.), UT Dallas (M.A. 2015). I have an English/Creative Writing (BA, 1993), American Literature (MA, 1999), Studies in Literature (MA, 2015). I have previously taught at Ysleta ISD (El Paso), Socorro ISD (El Paso), El Paso ISD, and Pasadena ISD (Texas). I like to teach and motivate students to take ownership of their learning so that they can individually nurture and cultivate it to as great a degree as possible.

 Erica Johnson

Phone: 972-502-7300

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

BA in English Minor in Education; Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction ESOL, Teacher Leadership

Erica Johnson

   I am the English/ESL CIC for TJ. I attended Wayland Baptist University 2004; Concordia University 2015. I have a BA in English Minor in Education; Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction ESOL, Teacher Leadership. A career highlight of mine is getting an ESL student that had only been in the country for 3 years to pass ALL of her tests and GRADUATE!!!

 Yuri Lopez

Phone: 972-502-7300

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Degrees and Certifications:

B.A. in English

Yuri Lopez

   I teach English I here at TJ. I attended the University of California, Irvine, Class of 2011. I have my B.A. EnglishMy career highlights include: 1) Intern, National Education Association, Washington D.C., 2) Family Advocate, First 5 Orange County, 3) Community Outreach Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District, 4) English I Teacher, H Grady Spruce High School, (southeast) Dallas, TX, 5) English I Teacher, Thomas Jefferson High School. My classroom can be described as urgent, funny, goal-oriented, hardworking, and engaging.

 Cheryl Mayne

Phone: (972) 502-7300

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor's Degree in Literature and Spanish

Cheryl Mayne

   I attended The University of Texas of the Permian Basin and grduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Literature and Spanish. I have taught 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grade English classes for Midland Independent School District, Uplift Williams Preparatory, West Dallas Community School and Dallas Independent School District. I spent three years as the Director of the Intermediate School at West Dallas Community School before I came back to the classroom here at TJ. In my classes, students read, write about, and analyze literature so that they can learn to read, write and speak English with excellence.

 
 
 Camille Munoz

Phone: 972-502-7300

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

B.S. in Political Science (minors Philosophy/History)

Camille Munoz

   I graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station with a B.S. in Political Science (minors Philosophy/History). I previously taught at St. Cecilia Catholic School, The Highlands School, and DISD Distinguished Teacher. English is taught through collaborative group work and classic literature with an emphasis on writing.

 Vanessa Melvin

Phone: 469-400-7773

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

B.A. Mass Communication

Vanessa Melvin

   I graduated from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin in 2010. I have a B.A. in Mass Communication with a minor in Art. Prior to working at Thomas Jefferson High School, I worked for various companies such as Johnson Equipment (Dallas), Abilene Police Deparmtent (Abilene), Verizon Wireless (Midland), and Abercrombie and Fitch (Midland). I currently teach English II here at TJ as well as Journalism. My hobbies include cooking, crafts, gardening, and photography. I'm a mother to a beautiful little girl named Ella. In my classroom, I incorporate a lot of station-based learning, humor, and peer groups. My structure is to teach the content first, then have group practice, followed by some for of independent practice and assessment. I constantly spiral in previous taught material to keep it all fresh in a student's mind. We read text and connect it to whatever is currently going on in the world. This keeps the lesson relevant to my students. 

 Matthew Summers

Phone: (972) 502-7300

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Arts in English, Masters in Educational Administration

Matthew Summers

  I teach English II Pre-AP, Debate, Golf, Mock Trial, and I'm the Sophomore Class Sponsor. I attended University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at Tyler. I have been at Thomas Jefferson High School my entire teaching career. My calasses can be descrived as busy and memorably unconventional.

 

 Autumn Slosser

Phone: 972-502-7300

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Teaching

Autumn Slosser

   I graduated from Edgewood College in Madison, WI in 2014. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Teaching. I have taught for 4 years at Thomas Jefferson. My classroom is an interactive experience where we read, write, listen, and speak to acquire English, study literature, and improve communication skills.

 Tyler Smith

Phone: 972-502-7300

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Literary Studies

Tyler Smith

   I currently teach AP English Language and Journalism. I graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2010 with a degree in Literary Studies. After graduation, I struggled to find a teaching job. DISD and many of the local districts were tightening their belts as a result of the recession, and it seemed as though they were not hiring a lot of inexperienced teachers. I returned to my college job - Wal-Mart. I worked in various management roles there for a few years, then returned to where I did my student teaching, Thomas Jefferson. I took on a job teaching reading here in the 2013-2014 school year. In my class, I try to simulate the sort of environment that I found in my college literature classes. I want my students to be reading outside of class, writing to develop their ideas, and discussing those ideas with myself and their peers in order to understand new perspectives.

 Victoria Smith

Phone: 972-502-7300

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

BA in English Language Arts

Victoria Smith

   I graduated from the University of North Texas 2016 with a Bachelors in English Language Arts. I teach English here at TJHS. Before working at TJ High School, I worked as a counselor at a home for adolescents with mental illnesses. The home was a residential facility where teens could receive therapy for depression (and other illnesses) and recover from substance abuse. I teach ELA Study Skills. It is a class dedicated to building skills that will help students pass the English STAAR test. My class size is usually very small, so I'm able to get a lot of one on one time with students. Because my students sometimes have multiple English classes, I am dedicated to providing them a relaxed and engaging environment. I try to get my students up and moving around and incorporate their personal interests into my lessons.

 
 
 
 Danny Whitsell

Phone: 972-502-7300

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Arts ( dual major ) Government & Politics, Economics and Finance, Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, Master of Business Administration, Texas Educator Certificate - English Language Arts - Grades 8-12.

Danny Whitsell

   I graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas - December 1985, 1992, 2002, 2006. Bachelor of Arts ( dual major ) Government & Politics, Economics and Finance, Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, Master of Business Administration, Texas Educator Certificate - English Language Arts - Grades 8-12. My career highlight is being able to work with the incredible students at Thomas Jefferson. In 2006, I completed my secondary teaching certificate in English Language Arts and Reading at the University of Texas at Dallas. Since 2006, I have worked towards the goal of moving from my previous career field to the Dallas ISD classroom. Previous to teaching high school, I enjoyed a career in telecommunications which was mainly focused on wide area networking and high speed broadband transmission. I have worked for both premise equipment manufacturers and operating telephone companies. Over the span of this career, I have engaged in a range of responsibilities which have allowed me to travel to all fifty states and outside of the USA borders. Each experience has enriched my life so that when the day came for me to enter the Thomas Jefferson classroom I would be ready to embrace the most important job of my career - teaching English III to your outstanding student / learner. Thank you for the privilege to work with your child, and for the trust you extend each day to me. It is my personal goal to make sure your child receives the best that Dallas ISD can offer. 

Your student and I, share an incredible classroom! It is the choir room or sometimes called the music room. It is large by any classroom standard. It has a three tier wooden stage and provides for what I consider to be a stage area in the front of the classroom. Our majority of junior English content is based on the McDougal textbook. In addition, we have outside independent reading, classroom discussion, small group work. Our Fall 2017, semester work will conclude with our three page term paper. This paper is a compilation of six weekly reports integrated into a rough draft and then edited into a final report with (MLA) Modern Language Association bibliography. Our plan for the Spring 2018, semester is to stage a short play in our stellar classroom!