the Madeleine Maraldi Awards

for Teaching Excellence

Gresham School of Excellence Nominees & Administration

Staff Bios (click to open)

  • Brittany Anderson

    Ms. Anderson launched her career in education as a 2013-14 AUSL Resident Teacher. She was a part of the first Special Education Cohort and completed her residency at National Teachers Academy.  Followed by completion of the residency  program, she began her teaching career at Gresham School of Excellence.

    Ms. Anderson currently teaches  the 6-8 diverse learning population at  Gresham Elementary School and has been with Gresham for three years.  During her three years, she has taught every middle school subject. Ms. Anderson prides herself on building  personal connections and creating  sustaining classroom relationships with her middle school students. In her classroom, she creates high learning expectations for all students and establishes a culture where middle school learners take responsibility for their own learning.

    Ms. Anderson has used the Engage curriculum to increase the student achievement of our diverse learner population and has excelled in the implementation of the curriculum. This includes the effective use of differentiated instructional strategies and supports so that all students have access to the grade level curriculum. She takes the daily engageAUSL lessons and modifies them to her students' needs. Each diverse learner is given their own objective and learning goal based on their varying ability.  Ms. Anderson tirelessly guides and supports her students until they have the confidence and capability to succeed beyond what they think they can do. She has an exceptional ability to foster a love of learning by making learning engaging and fun with the use of visuals such as PowerPoints and videos to break down the engageAUSL materials. Using the module text, Ms. Anderson scaffolds her questioning and discussion techniques that leads students to the key understanding of the text.  Not only does Ms. Anderson expose students to grade level work , but she also  exposes students to work at their independent level. Using Anet and NWEA data,  Ms. Anderson uses small groups to provide tiered intervention. She gives students choice and autonomy to choose their activity in the small groups using tools such as Study Island and IXL for support.

    Ms. Anderson causes her students to gain a remarkable confidence in themselves and their abilities. Using engageAUSL as the guide and small groups for extra support, she has increased student achievement to close the reading gap and bring her students closer to independently reading and accessing grade level text.

  • Mariah Britton

    Ms. Britton is currently a kindergarten/first grade split teacher at Gresham School of Excellence and has been with us for three years.  Ms. Britton currently serves as the Primary Lead Teacher and is a part of the Instructional Leadership Team here at Gresham.  In addition, Ms. Britton serves on the network’s PLT.

    Prior to Gresham, Ms. Britton completed her residency at Myra Bradwell Elementary school in a kindergarten classroom.  Ms. Britton graduated from the AUSL residency program in 2014.

    Ms. Britton demonstrates excellence in the implementation of the CKLA curriculum. With the support of the AUSL coach, she has identified the key learnings of each unit and built a structure that effectively builds background knowledge while developing foundational skills in reading, writing, and math.

    Through her role as the Primary Lead Teacher, Miss Britton works to build the capacity of her colleagues through weekly and monthly professional development. Ms. Britton and her primary team piloted the Reading 3D assessment and worked closely with district consultants to effectively use this data to inform instructional practices around CKLA skills and small group instruction.

    This year, Ms. Britton has heavily focused on differentiation in student learning, due to the needs of her students and her grade level split. Ms. Britton consistently uses assessments within instruction to ensure that students are progressing and achieving their goals. Ms. Britton believes that students should take charge of their own learning, and confers with students weekly to create learning goals in order to help foster the mindset of being in charge of their own learning. Miss Britton strives to provide not only engaging learning experiences for her students, but also creates multiple opportunities to explore and learn social-emotional skills, which are crucial to the development of young learners.

    Ms.  Britton hopes that her love of learning is instilled and perpetuated in the minds and hearts of her young learners through her years of dedicated instruction.

    You can watch Ms. Britton in action on our video page.

  • Emily Shores

    Ms. Shores entered the field of education as a Teach For America 2014 Corps Member. She completed her Masters of Science in Early Childhood Education and English as a Second Language Endorsement through Dominican University in 2016. She currently serves as a team leader for a teacher training fellowship in Ghana through LRTT (Limited Resource Teacher Training), an organization that provides high quality teacher training to teachers across the world.

    Ms. Shores currently teaches the half day Pre-K program at Gresham Elementary School and has been with us for three years.  Ms. Shores believes that the most essential aspect of excellent teaching and learning is the authentic, well-nurtured relationships between the teacher, the teacher’s assistant, students and their caregivers. Ms. Shores has built positive relationships with the families here at Gresham and consistently keeps parents actively engaged in her students' academic achievement.

    Ms. Shores aspires to empower her students through choice and student voice, to cultivate their leadership skills, and foster their social-emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills. She implements developmentally appropriate practices that incorporate high-level language and social-emotional learning. Ms. Shores adapts and integrates practices from The Creative Curriculum, Tools of the Mind, and EngageAUSL to build a strong academic foundation, while meeting the needs of all students. One of the best practices she uses is Play Planning, a method adapted from the Tools of the Mind curriculum and used daily in her classroom. This practice develops her students’ emergent writing and print skills, increases their cognitive ability to represent an idea through drawing, and helps regulate their behavior during free-choice time. In addition to Play Planning, Ms. Shores implements practices such as Jolly Phonics, Heggerty, and the START Strategy by Rollins Center for Language & Literacy to further develop her students' literacy and language skills.

    Ms. Shores seeks to ensure that every student knows they are important and needed in this world. She encourages them to take ownership of their actions and approach challenges with creativity and endurance, while sustaining the endless curiosity they currently have as young learners.

    You can watch Ms. Shores in action on TchAUSL.

  • Sarah Wieckert

    Ms. Wieckert is an AUSL resident graduate and has been teaching first grade at Gresham since the school was turned around three years ago.

    Over the last two years, she has worked closely with AUSL coaches and the rest of Gresham’s primary team to fully implement the Eureka Math and CKLA curricula. Together, they have identified the key learnings of each unit, and the progression of learning throughout the primary grades. They have built a structure that effectively builds background knowledge while also developing foundational skills in reading, writing, and math. She loves being part of a team that is committed to building instructional coherence across grade levels and getting to see students gradually build their knowledge and skills from kindergarten to second grade. For a teacher, there is nothing cooler than teaching about the flooding of the Nile to a group of students who already know what farms, crops, and rivers are!

    Ms. Wieckert is also passionate about making the curriculum as engaging as possible. She tries to draw on a variety of instructional best practices she has learned from mentors and coaches over the years, like call and response, think pair share, quick writes, whiteboard work, and gestures to keep kids excited about their learning. She is also always trying to learn new engagement strategies from other teachers or PDs to keep things fresh. If the kids are having fun learning, her job is more fun too!

    Balancing whole and small group instruction in the classroom is another priority for Ms. Wieckert. with the rest of Gresham’s primary team, she has created a schedule and classroom structures that allow for daily small group instruction in reading and math. This year, the team has built differentiated small-group instruction into their whole-group literacy lessons as well. The team also occasionally “trades” students among the primary grades for small-group instruction to make sure that students are getting the targeted skills they need. With the help of teammates and coaches, Ms. Wieckert has also spent time developing differentiated centers in both literacy and math. In literacy, they have worked hard to pull in CKLA resources and strategies to differentiate centers, and in math they use the learning continuum to determine how and what to differentiate.

  • Tosha Jackson, Principal

    Principal Jackson sees transformational leadership as the compass that guides her work at Gresham School of Excellence.  Her approach focuses on developing teachers into strong practitioners and eventually strong leaders.  Principal Jackson’s vision for Gresham is founded upon a strong focus on addressing the social and emotional needs of students while exposing them to a rigorous and engaging curriculum that will accelerate student achievement.

    Developing a robust professional development series for supporting and improving teacher’s practice has been the focus for the leadership team of Gresham. Principal Jackson and her Academic Director, Kimberly Oliver, worked to establish an individualized, tiered professional development approach that provided intensive support for new teachers and a leadership focus for advanced teachers to develop their impact across the school. Principal Jackson believes that high expectations, expressed through the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, is what has led to Gresham’s success.