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CEA A.C.E Fellowship Program

Our CEA fellows are at the forefront of modeling excellence in education at the local, state and national level.

CEA A.C.E Fellowship Program

Our CEA fellows are at the forefront of modeling excellence in education at the local, state and national level.

2022-2023 CEA Ambassador Fellows

Derene Armelin

Derene has taught for over ten years, and embracing equity is her passion. She actively seeks out individuals who share her vision to make equity what it was meant to be. She believes being an A.C.E. Fellowship participant is her steppingstone to help right the injustices that have affected so many lives.

Brittany Bates

Brittany is an educator with 15 years of experience and a box full of tools to help support every student who walks through her door. Through the A.C.E. Fellowship, she hopes to provide the same strong mentorship she received in order to boost retention and uplift other teachers who look like her. 

Patrick Jiner

Patrick began his fulfilling career as a teacher in the early 2000s. Beyond the classroom, he extends his influence to the sports arena, coaching and nurturing athletic talents in the community. He spearheads food and coat drives, ensuring that the less fortunate receive essential resources, especially during challenging times.

Taurean Hamm

Taurean is a sixth-year educator, an ELA teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School, and a Black Student Alliance (BSA) sponsor. He chose to participate in the A.C.E. Fellowship because he wanted a space to feel seen as a Black educator, be heard as a Black educator, and provide his experience and perspectives to empower other educators of color. 

Deborah Sims Fard

Deborah is a proud educator who has taught for over 20 years. Her career includes Culturally Responsive Teaching Coach, Bullying Prevention/Restorative Practice Specialist, and currently Second-grade Classroom Teacher at Stedman Elementary, where her students are affectionately referred to as “Brillant Minds.” Deborah plans to use her time as an A.C.E. Fellow to strengthen her skills to lead institutional transformation.

Trish Rue

Trish is a San Luis Valley Native who has been in education for over 20 years. She is a math teacher at Skoglund Middle School in the Center Consolidated School District. Trish believes the A.C.E. fellowship is pivotal in education today, allowing educators to find mentors and resources to continue the path in public education.

Veronica Wilder

Veronica is in her 19th year of teaching and is a first-generation BIPOC educator. She is currently a MLL teacher at Global Leadership Academy in Mapleton Public Schools. Veronica knows there is a strong need and value for having a support network and mentorship to retain our BIPOC educators. Representation contributes to a more inclusive and equitable space in our profession. The A.C.E. Fellowship is a perfect example of the work that must be done to achieve this.

Shamae D. Williams, RN, BS, BSN, NCSN

Sharmae is a 3rd generation Denverite and a Denver Public Schools alumna. She has been a school nurse with DPS for nearly 9 ½ years. She coordinates placement for student nurses in Denver Public Schools with affiliated nursing schools. Shamae is committed to working towards lasting change in our education system and beyond for BIPOC educators, leaders, students, and families.

Shamae D. Williams, RN, BS, BSN, NCSN

Sharmae is a 3rd generation Denverite and a Denver Public Schools alumna. She has been a school nurse with DPS for nearly 9 ½ years. She coordinates placement for student nurses in Denver Public Schools with affiliated nursing schools. Shamae is committed to working towards lasting change in our education system and beyond for BIPOC educators, leaders, students, and families.

Veronica Wilder

Veronica is in her 19th year of teaching and is a first-generation BIPOC educator. She is currently a MLL teacher at Global Leadership Academy in Mapleton Public Schools. Veronica knows there is a strong need and value for having a support network and mentorship to retain our BIPOC educators. Representation contributes to a more inclusive and equitable space in our profession. The A.C.E. Fellowship is a perfect example of the work that must be done to achieve this.

2022-2023 CEA Ambassador Fellow Mentors

Jill Connell

Poudre Education Association

Jill Connell is a music educator in Fort Collins. She has been teaching for 25 years. Jill has her Bachelors Degree in Music Education, and her Masters in Curriculum and Development with emphasis is Technology. Through her years in education, she has served as an AR in her local as well as Secretary on the Executive Board. She has been a mentor for the CEA Fellowship for four years, and enjoys working with educators around the state.

Taylor Davis

Taylor Davis is a K-5 General Music teacher new to Jefferson County. Along with this position, he is the Association Representative for Coal Creek Canyon K-8 for Jefferson County Education Association. Focusing on equity, inclusion, and antiracism are some areas where Mr. Davis spends his time inside and out of the classroom. Mr. Davis is excited to be a mentor for this class, having been through the program last year as a Fellow. Before moving to Colorado, Mr. Davis completed his Masters of Art in Education from the University of North Alabama in Florence, AL. In his free time, Mr. Davis loves to read, binge shows on Netflix and Hulu, and going on road trips.

Angelica Givler

Colorado Springs Education Association

Dr. Angelica Givler is a 5th-grade literacy teacher at McAuliffe in District 11 in Colorado Springs. This is her 14th year in education and has taught everything from 1st to 6th grade. Dr. Givler has a Bachelor’s of Art in Elementary Education, a Master’s of Education in Literacy, and a PhD in Education with a specialization in Reading, Literacy, Assessment, and Evaluation. Dr. Givler has been a union member in all of the states that she taught. Last year she was an ambassador fellow and through that fellowship found her voice to advocate for education. She is looking forward to being a mentor this year and helping others find their voice.

Kelly Osuna

Cherry Creek Education Association

Kelly Osuna (she/her/hers) is a National Board certified Spanish teacher at Overland High School in Aurora, CO, who has devoted her career to supporting, advocating for, and empowering her immigrant students and families. Kelly is a building representative and newly elected secretary for her local, Cherry Creek Education Association. She is also a founding member and current co-chair of CCEA’s Social Justice Council. She is a member of the LGBTQ pod within the SJC and the current pod leader for Teachers United for Immigrant Rights. As a 2020-21 CEA Ambassador Fellow, Osuna focused on community outreach and leadership development within Students United for Immigrant Rights (SUFIR), a student club formed by Osuna and her son in 2019.