Our Team

Staff

Tyler Brewster

Cohort Organizer

Tyler joined Teachers Unite in 2014, served on the Board for several years, and is now Cohort Organizer, providing coordination support to our Cohort Chairs. Tyler is a New York City native – born and raised in the borough of Brooklyn. She began her decade-long career in education at a small, 6th-12th grade school in Brooklyn, NY. While there, she served the community as a middle school mathematics teacher before moving on to become the Dean of Student Discipline. Several years later, she joined The James Baldwin School as the full-time Restorative Practices Coordinator. Tyler has since founded Peer Connect, an education consulting firm focusing on restorative justice and culturally responsive pedagogy. 

Sally Lee

Founder & Executive Director

Sally sustains TU’s organizational capacity, infrastructure, and overall direction, and helps link the organization’s work to social movements. Sally is a Black, multiracial native New Yorker and graduate of Stuyvesant High School, Wesleyan University, and Bank Street College of Education. She has worked in educational settings and nonprofits for nearly thirty years. Sally taught fifth and sixth grade in a Lower East Side public school before working at the Union Square Awards where she learned about the inspiring landscape of grassroots social justice organizations working across the city. As one of New York Collective of Radical Educators earliest members, she envisioned an organization that would sustain and grow the leadership of teachers who believed both in social justice and that schools could play a critical role in reshaping society. Sally founded Teachers Unite in 2006 as a strategic center for a new generation of education justice activists to reclaim their union alongside veteran teachers, and low-income communities of color. In the decade since, Teachers Unite has built a membership of hundreds, represented educators in the local and national Dignity in Schools Campaigns, and released a documentary, Growing Fairness, seen by thousands, that helped explode the conversation about Restorative Justice in schools across the country.

Board members

Rebecca Del Toro

Representative to DSC

Rebecca is a Special Education Teacher and Advisor at City-As-School, an alternative transfer high school in New York City. She also previously served as the Associate Director at Teachers Unite. In her current role as a board member of TU, she works to support and collaborate with members of the Dignity in Schools-NY campaign, a coalition of over 20 organizing groups working to end the school to prison pipeline. Rebecca also engages in school site organizing for restorative justice with her school community.

E.M. Eisen-Markowitz

Downtown Cohort Chair

Elana “E.M.” Eisen-Markowitz has been working in the New York City public schools since 2007 — as a social studies teacher, a union chapter delegate and now, as a restorative justice coordinator at City-As-School public transfer high school.  She is co-chair of Teachers Unite’s Downtown Manhattan Cohort and a member of TU’s Board of Directors. E.M. also maintains an art presence on social media called @Vent_Diagrams (www.ventdiagrams.com) with her friend and collaborator, art & cultural organizer Rachel Schragis.  She grew up in Washington, D.C. and Takoma Park, Maryland.

Tim Metzger

Brooklyn Cohort Chair

Tim Metzger is a Special Education teacher and Adviser at Brooklyn Frontiers High School, a transfer school in Brooklyn.  As a member of TU he has been active on the board and is the Chair of the Brooklyn Cohort, which brings together school staff across the borough to brainstorm solutions for transformative justice as well as organizes against policies that contribute to the school to prison pipeline and other oppressive systems.  Tim is a proud Chicagoan but loves his second home of New York.

Samantha Rubin

Finance and Fundraising Committee

Samantha has been a part of TU for more years than she can count. She is a a member of the Brooklyn cohort and loves to help with fundraising so that we have money to support our organizing. One of the things she loves most about TU is that we are a member-led organization and she got into fundraising and finance to make sure that we’re able to get funds from people we want to be accountable to. Throughout her time in TU, Samantha has attended and presented at workshops, rallied with the Dignity in Schools Campaign, discussed Restorative Practices with AFT leadership, and traveled to an incredible fundraising conference. Samantha is a Spanish teacher in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.  She joined TU to find community while working at a school that didn’t exactly align with her beliefs, found a teaching position at another school through TU contacts, and now runs a growing peer mediation program in its third year. You’ll also find her encouraging people to buy an extra cookie at the Full Court Press bake sale. One of the things she loves most about TU is that our organizing aims to have the people most involved in a school make the decisions that affect the school and its community. As a teacher, she has felt a lot of frustration with people who have never set foot in her school suggesting they know how it should operate. Teachers Unite has been a part of all of her professional successes and she’s excited to see where we go. 

Sydney Sasanow

Treasurer

Sydney joined the Board of TU in Summer 2018. As the Treasurer, she co-leads the Finance and Fundraising Committee and oversees the fiscal accountability in the organization. As a fourth-generation New Yorker and product of NYC public schools, she cares deeply about making public institutions more equitable and safe for all. Currently, her work at the Primary Care Information Project at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene centers around helping high Medicare and Medicaid volume primary care practices adjust to changes in health care delivery financing. She holds a BA from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and is pursuing an MPA at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.

Cohort chairs

"Herm" Jerome

Uptown/Bronx Cohort Chair

Bio coming soon!

Nichole Rowe Small

Downtown Cohort Chair

Nichole has been a TU member since about 2014, and is currently Co-Chair of the Downtown Cohort. She has represented TU at the Lehman College Restorative Practices conferences four years in row with her students, and in TU actions to speak with the DOE about restorative practices. Nichole believes in Teachers Unite and the importance of our work to move humanity forward in a positive way. “As a school counselor at the University Neighborhood Middle School, I love that the majority of TU members are or have been in classrooms. This is not simple philosophical pursuits, it is action required, and I see other TU members rolling up their sleeves and making positive and safe things happen within children, our communities and the world.”

Leaders

Anne Looser

Campaign Organizer

As Campaign Organizer, Anne’s goal is to support TU cohorts in finding resources that allow them to develop robust and authentic restorative justice practices in schools. Anne has been working with TU for nearly a decade.  During this time she has developed and led restorative justice workshops; collaborated in the development of TU’s internal organization; and developed restorative programs in her own school.  As a child, Anne’s public school was her safe haven; she had the privilege of attending a public school that was supportive when her home life was chaotic and unstable.  Anne is a dual-licenced high school history special education teacher who feels that Teachers Unite is a place where teachers, parents, and students can come together to build relationships.

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