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Kevin Carney

Beyond Textbooks Chief Executive Officer
Phone: 520-879-3961
Kevin Carney is in his 23rd year as an educator. Prior to his current role as the Chief Executive Officer of Beyond Textbooks, Kevin was a middle school principal for nine years and an elementary school teacher for seven years. Kevin leads the Vail School District's Beyond Textbooks program, a shoulder-to-shoulder, systematic approach to improve student achievement, which is now used by over 100 school districts and schools, in seven states, encompassing over 13,000 teachers, and hosts over 45,000 teacher created digital resources.

Providing hundreds of professional development training sessions to thousands of educators on an annual basis, the Beyond Textbooks frameworks are used by three of the top five performing school districts in the state of Arizona. In fact, success is evident in increased student achievement by 'BT Partners' through increased teacher collaboration, access to digital resources, and implementation of research based best teaching and learning practices.

In addition to being a winning honoree of a 2016 NSBA Magna Award and the 2014 Center for Digital Education's Digital Content and Curriculum Achievement Award, Beyond Textbooks was also recognized as the 2011 ISTE Sylvia Charp Award winner.

Justin Chesebrough

Director of Beyond Textbooks
Phone: 520-879-3964
Justin Chesebrough is in his 17th year as an educator. As an administrator, he opened Ocotillo Ridge Elementary in 2006 and served in that capacity for five years. Prior to becoming an administrator, Justin was a classroom teacher in the Vail School District.

He taught 5th grade at Mesquite Elementary for three years and 3rd and 5th grades at Desert Willow Elementary for four years. Justin recently left education and was working as an executive for Target.com in Tucson. His love for education and working with students, teachers and administrators brought him back to the education field. Justin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University in 1998 and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University in 2002.

Justin is proud of serving as the principal of an Excelling school for five years, being selected as one of the “40 under 40” emerging leaders in the Tucson community in 2009, serving as the Arizona School Administrators (ASA) Pima County representative from 2009-2011 and serving as the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Arizona State representative from 2010-2011. Justin is married to Elizabeth, a PE teacher in the Vail School District and has two daughters, ages seven and nine.

Megan Folkers

Assistant Director of Beyond Textbooks
Phone: 520-730-2900
Megan Folkers is in her 13th year in the Vail School District, and 14th year in education. She was raised in Prescott, Arizona by a family of educators who taught her the value and rewards of the education profession.

She began her teaching career in Prescott, teaching middle school, and then came to Vail where she taught third grade for five years at Sycamore Elementary. During that time, Megan received her Master's Degree in Educational Leadership with Principal certification from Northern Arizona University. She then became the Student Achievement Teacher at Sycamore, where she led and coached teachers on how to analyze curriculum and make data-driven decisions to help ensure that every student has the opportunity to learn successfully.

Megan has been acknowledged for her contributions to education on many occasions. In 2008, she was named Teacher of the Year at Vail's Sycamore Elementary School, and in 2004 she was the recipient of the Yavapai County Outstanding First Year Teacher Award. Megan was selected as one of the “40 under 40” emerging leaders in the Tucson community in 2013. It is also noteworthy that Megan was a teacher in an Excelling school for seven years as recognized by the Arizona Department of Education. In October 2010, Megan joined the Beyond Textbooks team, and is now the Assistant Director for Beyond Textbooks, where she greatly enjoys interacting with other educators who share the same passion for helping students succeed and be prepared for their futures.

Brent Edwards

Assistant Director of Beyond Textbooks
Phone: 520-879-3966
Brent Edwards is in his 14th year as an educator, all with the Vail School District. The first half of his career was as a math specialist, teaching high school math to qualified middle schools. In 2009 he moved into administration and has helped lead two highly performing middle schools in Rincon Vista Middle School and Desert Sky Middle School.

He is a proud Wildcat, with undergrad and Master’s degrees from the University of Arizona, in Educational Leadership. Even when serving as an administrator he was focused on student achievement and growth, and maintains his passion for highly effective instruction. This passion led him to be published by the National Council of Teachers of Math in 2005, to be selected as a national Raytheon “Math Hero” in 2006, and to be an invited speaker at the National Middle School Association’s national conference in 2010.

Brent is married to Jenna, a cardiac Nurse Practitioner in Tucson, and has three children: Andrew attends Central Arizona College, and Isaac and Audrey attend Desert Sky Middle School.

Jennifer Strosin

Beyond Textbooks Coordinator
Phone: 520-879-3967
Jennifer Strosin is entering her 11th year in the Vail School District. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree with Distinction in Technical Theatre from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.
After several years of working with various regional and touring theatre companies across the country, Jennifer settled in Tucson to work for the Arizona Theatre Company. During this time, she also began working on her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with Northern Arizona University. Over her years as a second grade, fourth grade, and Student Achievement Teacher at Ocotillo Ridge Elementary, Jennifer continued to be drawn to curriculum, effective teaching practices, and the “backstage” aspects of education. She is especially proud of being a three time Teacher of the Year nominee at an Excelling school. Being a part of the Beyond Textbooks team is an exciting opportunity to engage and collaborate with teachers on one common goal, academic success for all students.

Chelsea Scopellite

Beyond Textbooks Coordinator
Phone: 520-879-3963
Chelsea Scopellite is in her 15th year in education and her 9th year in Vail. Chelsea was raised in Tucson, Arizona, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Arizona.
She began her career in California, where she was a Middle School Language Arts teacher for six years while earning her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Here, Chelsea served on numerous curriculum based committees and helped establish common formative and benchmark assessments for the district. Upon returning to Arizona, Chelsea taught at both Desert Sky and Rincon Vista Middle Schools, while continuing to grow in the areas of developing and implementing curriculum. She then served as the Student Achievement Teacher for Vail Academy and High School, a K-12 charter school within the Vail School District. She joined the Beyond Textbooks team in July of 2011, and deeply enjoys working with both teachers and administrators toward the common goal of increased student achievement. Chelsea is married to Mike, and has two children, ages seven and nine.

Kristin King

Beyond Textbooks Facilitator
Kristin King was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. After graduating from the University of Arizona South in 2005 and being honored with the Outstanding Graduating Senior award, Kristin began her career in The Vail School District.
She taught fifth grade at Old Vail Middle School for one year, then transferred to Desert Willow Elementary where she taught grades 4 and 5 for six years. During this time, Kristin enjoyed several different roles in addition to being a classroom teacher, such as grade level team leader, instructional facilitator, Child Study team member, writing benchmark scorer, and member of the District Formative Assessment Team. Kristin especially enjoyed roles related to curriculum. In 2012 Kristin stepped away from the full time classroom as she took on the role of motherhood, and began working at Cienega High School where she taught one section of an Early Childhood Development class for the school's JTED program. Kristin has enjoyed having the opportunity to work at all three levels of schools within the Vail School District. She was very excited to join the Beyond Textbooks team in 2013 and continue working in her area of passion, curriculum, as well as participate in an amazing collaborative effort to help educators succeed.

Eileen Short

Beyond Textbooks Facilitator
Eileen Short was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. After completing her Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from the University of Arizona, she joined the Vail School District in 2001 teaching math at Desert Sky Middle School until 2008.
After the birth of her daughter, she continued her work at Desert Sky, working part-time as a Student Achievement Teacher. In addition to being a teacher in a six time Excelling School, Eileen was also chosen as the Teacher of the Year at Desert Sky Middle School in 2004. As part of her ongoing commitment to lifelong learning, Eileen completed her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University in 2006, attends and presents at various math education conferences, and has worked closely with the University of Arizona’s Center for Recruitment and Retention of Mathematics Teachers. In January of 2009, Eileen joined the Beyond Textbooks team where she currently serves as the Beyond Textbooks Facilitator.

Karen Nichols

Beyond Textbooks Facilitator
Karen Nichols has lived in Tucson for 29 years and is in her eighth year as an educator. Prior to earning her Bachelor's in Education, Karen worked as an Instructional Aide at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind, a job that motivated her to make teaching a career. Karen graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arizona South in 2008.
A day of “mock interviews” at the campus resulted in a wonderful job opportunity at Senita Valley Elementary, then the newest school in Vail. In this first year, Senita Valley offered a middle school while Rincon Vista was under construction. Karen taught a self contained 8th grade class and fell in love with the kids and the curriculum. When the new middle school opened the following year, Karen accepted a job teaching 8th grade Social Studies and remained in this awesome position until May 2016. During her time at Rincon Vista Karen enjoyed working with educators who demand personal and academic excellence. Preferring student-centered extra curricular activities, Karen co-sponsored the Washington, DC trip three years, and worked as a Student Council advisor for two years. Building relationships with students is her favorite part of teaching. Desiring to spend time nurturing relationships at home, Karen had decided to step away from the classroom for a season when an opportunity to join the BT team in a part time capacity was presented. Having used BT on a regular basis as an classroom teacher, Karen is thrilled to be a part of a program that provides solid support for educators in the Vail School District and beyond.

Mark Breen

Director of Technology
Phone: 520-879-3960
Mark Breen taught middle and high school band and technology classes for seven years in Vail and other parts of Arizona. He started in Vail at Rincon Vista Middle School in 2009 as a specialist teacher then eventually moved into a technology coordinator position for the campus.
Mark currently works in the IT realm as the Director of Technology, aiding in various technology projects centered around the Curriculum as well as District-wide tech initiatives. Raised in Phoenix, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Arizona State University and his Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Northern Illinois University. He is also a member of the Arizona Technology in Education Association (AzTEA) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Mark provides technical support for Beyond Textbooks and it’s Partners by assisting in managing and maintaining related servers and database systems.

Valerie Alvarado

Executive Assistant
Phone: 520-879-3965
Valerie Alvarado moved to Tucson, Arizona in January of 2016. She has been working in higher education for over ten years. She worked for Central Texas College Europe Division for the past four years in Rota, Spain as a site director and adjunct faculty member for the Criminal Justice program.

Valerie graduated from Florida State University with her Bachelor's in Criminal Justice. In 2009, she completed her Master's in Business Administration. Valerie is married to her husband, Joe, and they have a daughter, Izabella. In her spare time, she and her family enjoy traveling the world.

Physical Address: 13801 E. Benson Highway P.O. Box 800 Vail, AZ 85641

Fax: 520-879-2001

Last modified
19:19, 29 May 2017

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