Meet the 12 exceptional teachers chosen to write for the Scholastic Top Teaching Blog!

Nicole Ortiz  //  Sep 6, 2017

Meet the 12 exceptional teachers chosen to write for the Scholastic Top Teaching Blog!


The Scholastic Top Teaching Blog has introduced 12 outstanding contributors for the 2017–18 year! Chosen annually by Scholastic editors, these skilled educators consist of new and existing preschool through middle school grade teachers who are excited to share their expertise with readers throughout the year. 

From suggestions for improving reading comprehension to tips for family engagement, the Top Teaching Blog provides daily, original blog posts featuring grade-specific advice and general strategies for educators’ day-to-day efforts in the classroom, including lesson ideas, classroom strategies, book lists, videos, and more.

Here are the 2017–18 Top Teaching Bloggers! Don’t miss daily updates from these talented bloggers by checking out the Top Teaching Blog, and following the Scholastic Teachers team on Facebook and Twitter

Sandra Carrillo, Early Childhood – El Paso, Texas

My name is Sandra and I am from El Paso, Texas. I was a classroom teacher for 14 years, 9 of which were in kindergarten. I am currently the early childhood and new teacher coordinator in the Canutillo Independent School District. Here our focus is on providing our children with a solid foundation in the early grades, because this is where it all begins!

Shari Carter, Kindergarten – Boise, Idaho

I'm Shari, a wife, proud mom, and kindergarten teacher enjoying life in the great state of Idaho! I LOVE teaching little people and creating new ways to make learning FUN. When I'm not in the classroom, you can find me hiking the trails of the Boise Foothills, or cooking up a yummy meal for friends and family.

Nancy Jang, First Grade – Costa Mesa, California
I taught second grade for 18 years and am moving to first grade this year! I love teaching kids to be makers, thinkers, and problem-solvers. When I'm not teaching, I'm traveling the world, having adventures, or reading a good book on my patio.

Juan Gonzalez, Third Grade – Dickinson, Texas

I’m a third grade reading teacher in Texas with a never-ending love for literacy. In my classroom I teach BIG by creating engaging lessons, sharing new books daily, and helping students develop their literacy life with the use of books and lots of love. 

Julie Ballew, Fifth Grade – Houston, Texas

I am entering my 12th year in education and currently teach fifth grade in Houston, Texas. I am passionate about giving students choices, and helping them become active, engaged learners.

Mary Blow, Sixth Grade – Lowville, New York

I teach sixth grade English in a quaint farming town in Lowville, New York. After 13 years, I am still living my dream of inspiring youths to read and write, not just to learn, but as a tool to make the changes they want to see in the world. In my spare time, I am hammer-and-nails deep in DIY projects, creating or repurposing old things for my home and classroom.

Genia Connell, Third Grade – Troy, Michigan

As a third grade teacher in Troy, Michigan, my daily mission is to empower students to become curious, kind people who think critically, take chances, solve problems, have fun, and read every chance they get!

John DePasquale, Sixth Grade – Brooklyn, New York

I am a sixth grade teacher with 12 years of classroom experience from Brooklyn, New York. As a special education teacher, I am committed to making learning experiences accessible to all students. 

Kriscia Cabral, Fourth or Fifth Grades – Poway, California

I'm Kriscia: mom, wife, learner for life. I've been in the classroom for 12 years and am passionate about growth mindset, integrating technology into the classroom, and encouraging students to celebrate failing as a part of success rather than its opposite. Outside of the classroom I spend my time dancing, exploring the outdoors, and reading good books.

Meghan Everette, Kindergarten through Sixth Grade – Salt Lake City, Utah

As a K–6 math teacher on special assignment in Salt Lake City, I work to empower teachers and students through hands-on and engaging math practices, and powerful learning experiences. I hope to be an education advocate and encourage others to speak up for students and the profession. 

Brian Smith, Kindergarten and First Grade – Taylorsville, North Carolina

I'm Brian and I teach a kindergarten and first grade combination class in Taylorsville, North Carolina. For the past 16 years, every day has been a new adventure and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Rhonda Stewart, Sixth Grade – Somerset, New Jersey

Hi, I'm Rhonda. I have taught grades K–5, run professional development workshops, acted as a literacy coach, and served as a vice principal. I currently teach sixth grade literacy in Somerset, New Jersey. I am entering my 31st year of teaching and enjoy mentoring new teachers!