Introducing the Inaugural Ed Trust–West Educator Advisory Council

The Education Trust-West’s inaugural K-12 Educator Advisory Council (EAC) aims to strengthen relationships with educators in the field, providing more of a direct platform for feedback loops with educators. Our goal is to better incorporate educator voice, perspectives, and experiences into ETW’s work as an education research and advocacy organization.

Far too often, education policies and practices are designed without the input of the teachers and educators who work with students every day. The K-12 Educator Advisory Council seeks to disrupt that pattern by engaging in a collaborative and intentional dialogue with educators in California. From August 2019 through May 2020, the Council will weigh in on ETW’s current and future projects, commenting on ETW’s policy and legislative positions, and providing invaluable insights into classroom and campus practices.

Each of the Council members were chosen for their demonstrated commitment to educational justice and our hope is that this work will help support and sustain the local efforts Council members are engaged in. EAC members hail from different areas of California, and represent a range of areas of practice. Learn about the Council members and their backgrounds below.

Keep up with the Council on social media by following us on Twitter @edtrustwest and the hashtag #ETWeac.

Jamila Edwards Brooks

Jamila Edwards Brooks is a first grade teacher at Montclair Elementary School in Oakland. She is a graduate of the Developmental Teacher Education program at UC Berkeley where she earned a Multiple Subject teaching credential and an MA in Education. Prior to teaching, Jamila spent 15 years working in the policy and advocacy field, fighting for the rights of children and families. The highlight of her policy career was directing the Oakland office of the Children’s Defense Fund, a national child advocacy organization. Jamila is a Bay Area native and enjoys spending time with her children and watching the A’s, Raiders and Warriors.

Andre ChenFeng

Andre ChenFeng is an advocate for liberation-based healing in education. He is a Ph.D. student at Claremont Graduate University, with a research focus on the integration of empathy and equity in higher education, specifically, how contemplative practices coupled with a critical sociocultural lens can impact teacher wellbeing. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Claremont Graduate University in the Teacher Education Program. Andre received his B.A and M.Ed. from UCLA. He taught 7th and 8th-grade mathematics for eight years at the UCLA Community School in Los Angeles. In his spare time, he watches The Good Doctor with his wife and enjoys reading board books with his 22-month-old son.

Rubén González

Rubén González teaches English and AVID at Florin High School in Sacramento, California. He is the co-founder and co-advisor to the Social Justice & Equity Collective (SJEC), a student-led activist group on campus. Originally from Greenfield, California, Rubén attended Hartnell College and then transferred to Sacramento State University, majoring in English. In larger community settings, Rubén is an active member of the Association of Raza Educators (ARE) Sacramento, and Ethnic Studies Now (ESN) Sacramento and Elk Grove.

Ashley Christina Miller

Ashley Christina Miller is a change agent who works to create solutions to benefit our most vulnerable students. She served as a special education teacher at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, CA while serving on the School Site Council and Local School Leadership Team. She is currently a liaison between parents, the school and community as the Magnet Coordinator at Crenshaw High School. She was the co-author of an Educators for Excellence Policy & Advocacy Paper, “Rising Tide: Collective Leadership For All Schools.” Ashley is the founder of Homeroom, a platform that creates educational change by uplifting the voices of students and educators, by cultivating events that inspire hope and community and youth development. She loves to write, spend time with loved ones, relax, meditate at the beach, watch Netflix and attend comedy shows.

Dr. Manuel Rustin

Dr. Manuel Rustin has served for sixteen years in California public schools as a high school history teacher. He currently teaches U.S. History, American Government, and a Hip Hop Studies course that he created at John Muir High School in Pasadena, CA. He studied at UCLA and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is a recipient of the Milken Educator Award, the Pasadena NAACP Ruby McKnight Educator Award, and other distinctions for his service in the classroom. Dr. Rustin also serves as a commissioner on the California Department of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission and hosts All of the Above, a web show covering critical issues in education. Dr. Rustin earned his doctorate in educational leadership at UCLA and spends his free time traveling with his wife and playing with his three dogs.

Meghann Seril

Meghann Seril is a third grade teacher in the Mandarin Immersion program at Broadway Elementary in Venice, CA. She also serves United Teachers Los Angeles as a chapter chair and House of Representatives member. Seril earned her credential and master’s degree in teaching from the University of Southern California. She is a National Board Certified teacher and new teacher mentor. When Meghann is not in the classroom, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her bulldog, Bella.

Kim Vinh

Kim Vinh has focused her career on elevating student and teacher voices. She has taught English and journalism at the high school level, as well as graduate-level courses in education. At the Stanford Teacher Education Program, she worked on teacher wellness initiatives and advised a Teachers of Color group. She earned a B.A. in English and Urban Studies and a M.A. in Education at Stanford University. She worked with The Education Trust—West as a practice fellow to spearhead the Educator Advisory Council.