Who we are
Maria Fenwick is the founder and Executive Director of The Teacher Collaborative. Maria taught in Boston Public Schools for six years and brings an extensive network of local education leaders from non-profits, foundations, districts/CMOs, and state policy. As an independent contractor, Maria has built a strong brand around her expertise in teacher engagement that is purposeful and outcomes-driven. Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Development from Colby College, a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a master’s degree in Elementary Education from UMass Boston/Boston Teacher Residency. Maria is mom to a first-grader and pre-schooler.
Director of Programs
Kat Johnston is the Director of Programs at the Teacher Collaborative and brings ten years of experience in the education sector to her current work. Kat has demonstrated ability to positively impact students and teachers across a variety of contexts - in the classroom as a first-grade teacher in North Carolina, managing nonprofit programs for early childhood education and high school leadership development, and in state-level policymaking. Kat holds bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Public Policy degree from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Kat lives in Somerville with her husband, toddler, and first child--Wylie the dog.
Desireé Vaughn is the Program Coordinator at the Teacher Collaborative. She has a true passion for education and enjoys serving and supporting others in the field. Desireé has gained significant experience and knowledge as a classroom teacher. She taught second grade in the Boston Public Schools for three years, as well as in the Salem City Schools in Salem, Virginia. While teaching, she enjoyed the thrill of learning from other educators, trying new things and problem solving across content areas and grade spans. Desireé holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in Elementary Education from UMass Boston/Boston Teacher Residency. Desireé lives in Boston with her husband.
Lindsey Minder is the Co-Lab Facilitator for the Teacher Collaborative. Lindsey has been a classroom teacher for the last twelve years and also has experience in clinical settings through her work as a Child Life Specialist. Lindsey holds a bachelor’s degrees in Psychology with a dual teaching certification in Elementary and Special Education from Marist College and a master’s degree in Child & Family Studies from Wheelock College. In addition to her work with the Teacher Collaborative, Lindsey is also the Social Emotional Learning Coordinator at Codman Academy in Dorchester.
Olivia is our intern this year and we are thrilled to have her insight and input from the student perspective. She is currently a senior in high school, and she is looking forward to studying international relations, and journalism in college. Thus far she has traveled to China and Japan within her four years of high school. In the future, she has dreams of traveling the world and serving her community in every way possible.
Olivia has thoughtfully stated, “As a student, I respect the drive teachers have, as well as the care they hold for each child in their classroom. Working in the school system can easily make any teachers’ voice feel stifled, and unheard, but The Teacher Collaborative gives teachers a chance to express how they feel. They have created a space that is inclusive to all. I fully support this organization because I believe it is very crucial in bringing teachers together to truly make a difference.”
The Educator Council is a group of 54 educators from across Massachusetts who set the vision for The Teacher Collaborative and help prioritize and enact next steps. Our goal is to engage 100 diverse educators from across the state. If you're interested, please reach out!
Board of Advisors
Our Advisory Board members will provide invaluable advice as we grow the Teacher Collaborative from an idea to a real entity. We are currently building our Advisory Board. Check back soon for more information!
We are grateful for the support of funders who are making this idea a reality:
Nellie Mae Education Foundation
The Barr Foundation
The Shah Family Foundation