Tamela Brown - Principal http://browntd.wordpress.com
Tamela Brown has a master’s degree in education from Grand Valley State University, and is currently enrolled in the university’s Doctoral Program for Educational Leadership Program. She also has a bachelor’s degree in bio-medical sciences from Western Michigan University. She holds teacher certification in Biology and Library Media Science. Mrs. Brown has a successful 10-year career in secondary education, most recently as a leadership coach, trained in cognitive coaching, to coach teacher-leaders in student achievement. She began her career as a library media specialist in 2002, where she launched a literacy program for 400 middle and high schools students. She also has experience as a biology teacher at the high school level. Mrs. Brown brings a strong skill set in thematic curriculum integration and instructional leadership. She is very passionate about conveying the vision of Ellington Academy to its students, families and faculty. Mrs. Brown has a track record of cultivating innovation and data-based research in school models that will prepare students in a practical way for college and beyond. She is married to Kenya Brown and has two young children Kenyae and Reign.
Andaiye Spencer-English (ELA) http://spencerad.wordpress.com , http://theatrespencer.wordpress.com
Ms. Andaiye Spencer is originally from Southfield, Michigan. She received her Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts and Language Arts at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Not long after that she attended Eastern Michigan University’s Drama/Theatre for the Young Program and received a Master of Arts degree. After a year of teaching the arts in Michigan, she was off to the University of Exeter in England for another Master of Art in Applied Theatre. She has taught in charter schools across Michigan and has been a guest artist at schools all over the United States, England, Germany, Italy and Australia. After all of that traveling, she is extremely excited to be back in the classroom at Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts & Technology where she belongs.
Nicholle Taurins – Math Taurinsne.wordpress.com
I graduated from Hope College in May 2011 with a K-8 teaching certificate as well as Mathematics and English endorsements. I am also taking Master of Education courses through Lesley University. My educational goal is to obtain a M.Ed. degree with an additional endorsement in Special Education: Autism Spectrum Disorders. I am passionate about teaching math through hands on learning techniques. I love creating a learning environment where my students are able to experience Math through various manipulatives that engage all five senses (touch, hear, see, smell and taste). Teaching at GREAAT gives me an opportunity to explore my passion for teaching and for enhancing the learning process for Ellington students.
Amanda Vezino – Math vezinoar.wordpress.com
Ms. Vezino received her Bachelors Degree from Grand Valley State University in April of 2012, in Secondary Mathematics Education and Psychology. Ms. Vezino grew up in Lowell (20 miles east of Grand Rapids) and graduated from Lowell High School. As a young person, Ms. Vezino was a dancer, a baton twirler on a show team, a gymnast, and played bass clarinet in band. For the past nine years she has coached competitive cheer for Young Champions. She has a real passion for working with youth. This passion is what led her to teaching. She is very excited for the school year and looking forward to leading the student artists through a successful year!
Zyra Castillo – Mixed Media Art/Comp Apps castilloza.wordpress.com
Ms. Castillo has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an Emphasis in Sculpture, and received K-12 certification in Art Education from Grand Valley State University. Ms. Castillo was born in Kawit, Cavite, Philippines and came to the U.S. in July of 1990. Where she lived with her family in Rudyard, a small community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Prior to graduating high school, Ms. Catillo seriously considered joining the Navy. During that time, she was also applying to colleges, and was offered a scholarship to Grand Valley State University. It was then she decided to take the opportunity and be the first to go to college in her family. Before attaining her certificate, Ms. Castillo volunteered within the Grand Rapids area, and was involved in various projects and education oriented events. She noticed how much arts involvement enriched my life, and the community. It was then she decided to get her teaching certificate so that she could be part of arts education. She is excited to be part of the Ellington team. She looks forward to working in an arts community and watching the development of our young artists.
Jena Razor – English (ELA) greaatrazorj.wordpress.com
My name is Jena Razor, from Benton Harbor, MI. Before coming to Grand Rapids, I had been residing in Kalamazoo, MI. I graduated from Western Michigan University in 2009 with my Bachelors of Arts in English Education. I have been working in the middle school environment for four years, where I have served in multiple capacity, most recently as a Site Coordinator, where I managed the after school program. I absolutely love to read and have a great time with people. Reading and writing equals peace to me and I hope to give a piece of that peace of mind to my students. I am so excited for this opportunity at GREAAT and look forward to engaging and learning with all student artists.
Ryan Lane – Social Studies mrlaneellington.wordpress.com
Mr. Lane has a Bachelors in Secondary Education from central Michigan University inn 2012. Mr. Lane is from Lowell, MI. He is a huge sports fan and enjoys playing basketball, golfing, and camping. For the past seven years he has been very involved in coaching basketball and track at different levels. His passion for coaching and Social Studies lead him to the teaching profession and he is very excited to be apart of the Ellington Academy community.
Oscar Thomas http://psychologyofhistory.wordpress.com
Forrest Page – Physical Education http://mrpagepe.wordpress.com/
Mr. Page was born and raised in Mason, MI. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health Education from Grand Valley State University. At a young age he realized his passion for teaching and working with people, and decided to pursue a degree in a teaching field. At GVSU, I met my wife of four years, Bathany. We have two children, Gibson, age 2 and Cadence, 2 months old. He is an avid sports fan and huge family man. Mr. Page comes from a family of educators; his father is a teacher and his mother ran a daycare. His favorite educational quote is, “People don’t care what you know, until they know you care.”
Lisa Camilleria – Band/Choir http://camillerill.wordpress.com/
Lisa Camilleri graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, with flute as a primary instrument. While at GVSU, she marched in the Laker Marching Band, was a member of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, as well as taught private lessons to students around West Michigan. Music has been Ms. Camilleri’s passion since age 10. I grew up in a small town called Grosse Ile (located south of Detroit). I am very excited to be apart of Ellington Academy!