Staff Directory


Katie Hill


Katie is absolutely thrilled to be the Founding School Leader at KIPP Truth Elementary. Prior to joining the KIPP DFW Team & Family, Katie was a principal intern in Durham Public Schools and the Director of Special Education at Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, North Carolina. With KIPP DFW, she served as the Director of Special Education at KIPP Truth Academy, was a Miles Family Fellow and a Fisher Fellow. An alumna of Teach For America - Eastern North Carolina, she taught special education in inclusion, resource, and self-contained settings. Katie has served three times as a School Director for Teach For America at both the Mississippi Delta and Tulsa Institutes and was a Corps Member Advisor at the Chicago Institute. A recipient of the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award, the Sontag Prize for Urban Education, and a national finalist for Teach For America’s Alumni Award in Teaching, she is also featured in Teaching As Leadership: The Highly Effective Teacher's Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap. Katie received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Colorado State University and holds a Master of School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Katie is driven each day to see students and teachers expand the landscape of possibility for all of our kids in Southern Dallas.


Shama Batts

Assistant Principal

Shama Batts is an Assistant Principal at KIPP Truth Elementary. She graduated from Univeristy of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a concentration in The Arts Interdisciplinary. She reiceved her Masters in School Leadership from Columbia Univeristy. After working in a large urban school district in North Carolina and coaching teachers with Teach for America, Shama was drawn to KIPP DFW because of the commitment to learning alongside students and families. She's excited to work with so many passionate community and school leaders who are determined to provide students with the best educational experiences possible. Shama looks forward to building relationships and collectively working with others to ensure the academic and personal growth for students in southern Dallas is driven by the next generation of leaders who will change our world!


Arielle Kassner

Assistant Principal

Arielle Kassner is an Assistant Principal at KIPP Truth Elementary. She is a native Texan who grew up in El Paso, TX and graduated from St. Edward's University in Austin, TX. Prior to joining KIPP DFW, she worked as an Effectiveness Coach training and coaching first year teachers in FWISD for two years. It is through her experience coaching teachers across several schools and grade levels that ignited her passion for what is possible for students when a school's leadership is driven towards a collective support of teachers, students, and families. She believes in the power of high expectations through providing support and she looks foward to continuing to be a part of the growth, celebrations and successes at KIPP Truth and the community!


Elizabeth Plotkin

Director of Operations

Elizabeth Plotkin is the Director of Operations at KIPP Truth. She graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts. Liz began her career in finance but transitioned to education as a Teach for America corps member where she taught middle school science and served as grade level chair for two years. After working as a Teach for America staff member at the Tulsa Institute and DFW region, Liz is excited to continue fighting for educational equity and social justice at the school level. Liz is driven by her fellow KIPP Truth team and family, being a part of the growing KIPP DFW region, and working to ensure that students in Dallas receive a high quality education.


Holly Schlein

Special Education Director

Holly is the Special Education Director for KIPP Truth Elementary, KIPP Truth Academy, and KIPP Pleasant Grove Primary. This is her first year with KIPP DFW. Prior to joining KIPP, Holly worked for four years in Dallas ISD, first as a 2012 Teach For America Corps Member at JL Long Middle School and then at William Lipscomb Elementary, as a Special Education teacher. Holly is originally from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor’s Degree from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Early Childhood & Elementary Education. Holly is excited and passionate about supporting KIPP DFW’s Special Education teachers in refining their practice to foster KIPPster learning and independence and can’t wait to see what growth is made this year.


KIPP Truth Elementary 2016-2017 Staff Directory

Name Role Email Address
Shama Botts Assistant Principal
Jenna Bergstedt Kindergarten Teacher
Olivia Cannon Teaching Fellow
Mayra Castaneda Teaching Fellow
Keairra Chaney Special Education Teacher
Emily Deaso Beyond Z Team Lead & Social Justice Teacher
Shalonda Dukes 1st Grade Teacher
Tiffany Dumas-Ferrari Paraprofessional
Brae Gaspard Kindergarten Teacher
Rhonda Hightower Paraprofessional
Katie Hill Principal
Sarah Hoff Special Education Teacher
Brittany Hughes Instruction Coach
Kiley Janik 1st Grade Teacher
Arielle Kassner Assistant Principal
Brandi Kent Kindergarten Teacher & Grade Level Chair
Pay Lopez 2nd Grade Math Teacher
Angelique Mata 1st Grade Teacher
Gerald McGaughey Teaching Fellow
Anthony Mikkelson Special Education Teaching Fellow
Rosario Minier Community & Family Engagement Manager
TJ Newton Special Education Teacher
Lori Nunn Culture Coach
Carolina Pena Paraprofessional
Pedro Ramirez ESL Fellow
Carly Reiss 1st Grade Level Chair & 1st Grade Teacher
Feleesha Ridgeway STEM Teacher
Angel Rozier Dance Teacher
Morgan Taylor Intervention Fellow
Kenya Thomas 1st Grade Teacher
Angelica C Tinner Teaching Fellow
Liz Tuthill 2nd Grade Level Chair & 2nd Grade Literacy Teacher
Katy Villanueva Kindergarten Teacher
Keli Walker Kindergarten Teacher
Di'sha Wallace Teaching Fellow
Jazmine N Washington    2nd Grade Math Teacher
Brandon White Performing Arts Teacher
Shae White Special Education Teacher
Sian Whitfield 2nd Grade Literacy Teacher
Victoria Ranson Paraprofessional
Elizabeth Plotkin Director of Campus Operations
Holly Schlein Director of Special Education
Aliysa Patel School Operations Manager
Jorge Velasquez School Operations Associate


5th Grade Humanities


5th Grade Math


5th Grade Math 


5th Grade Science


5th Grade ELA


5th Grade ELA


6th Grade ELA


6th Grade ELA


6th Grade Math


6th Grade Math


6th Grade Humanities


6th Grade Science


7th/8th  Grade ELA


7th Grade Character


7th Grade ELA


7th Grade Math


7th Grade Science


8th Grade ELA


8th Grade Algebra


Math Interventionist


8th grade Science


8th Grade History


Assistant Principal


Literacy Coach


Assistant Principal



Assistant Principal


School Leader


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