Core Collective

The core collective is a smaller group within our broader network that helps keep TEN organized and which steers our work together. Some of us are classroom teachers, and some of us work in education from other positions. We are committed to a core collective that prioritizes working at the nexus of trans justice and dismantling white supremacy, in part through maintaining a majority of people of color in leadership. We also strive to represent a range of genders, geographic locations, and professional/personal experiences in our core group.

aArav Sundaresh

[pronounced: Aar-like the letter, “R” -av, rhymes with “love,” emphasis on the first syllable; Sun-, like “soon,” -dar-rhymes with “far,” -esh, like “fresh”]

Aarav is a visual arts educator committed to activating student voice and honoring personal experience through creative practice. He has taught at both middle and high school levels and has been involved with LGBT and arts focused youth and community development organizations. Aarav believes in the importance of reflecting on our own personal, educational and professional experiences to build awareness of our roles and impact as educators, and to build connection and understanding with the youth populations we serve. Aarav is South Asian, second gen in the United States. He lives in New England with his partner and two kids.

Abby North

[pronounced: Ab-ee NOHRth]

Abby North (she, her, hers)  is queer transgender woman who has been in love with the adventure of living in Alaska since she moved to Fairbanks to attend university in 2001. Abby earned her B.S. in Geology from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, then studied paleontology in graduate school at UAF before switching programs to teaching. When Abby isn’t hard at work with her teaching, you’ll find her anywhere from the great outdoors to fighting for intersectional justice and equality. Abby lives in Fairbanks with her wife, their Alaska Husky, Peach, and six chickens.

alice Grimm

[pronounced: AL-iss GRIHM]

Alice Grimm (she/her) is currently located in Oakland, CA. Alice grew up in Wellesley, MA and Amherst, NH and is in her 7th year living in the East Bay. Alice is currently a math teacher at Lick-Wilmerding High School, a private college prep school located in San Francisco, CA. Before that she was a math teacher at Deerfield Academy, a private New England boarding school. She got into teaching as a means of political action that felt sustainable for her, and her work with wealthy predominately white institutions has been interesting. Ask her about Deerfield. She believes in community as the unit of transformation, and feels a fierce need to build and participate in community.

Jamey Jesperson

[pronounced: JAY-mee JESS-person]
Jamey Jesperson (they/them) is a white ex-Mormon non-binary trans femme educator, activist, and researcher based in New York City. They completed their degree in Global Gender Studies at The New School in 2016 where they studied queer justice movements with a critical focus on trans and intersex rights, anti-racism, and settler colonialism. Following graduation, Jamey joined the Trans Identity Formation Study (TIFS) at NYU as a Research Assistant and started working full-time as the Education Associate at GLSEN in charge of educator support and managing their national Professional Development training program. Jamey is passionate about achieving trans liberation in tandem with decolonization by dismantling the colonial gender binary through education.

Harper B. Keenan

[pronounced: HAR-puhr KEY-nan]

Harper is a white queer and trans former New York City elementary school teacher, and current Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. At UBC, he serves as the Robert Quartermain Professor of Gender & Sexuality Research in Education. Harper has worked in the field of education for almost 15 years as a classroom teacher, teacher educator, and scholar. He earned a PhD in Curriculum & Teacher Education from Stanford University in January 2019. His work broadly addresses the social curriculum of childhood, and his current projects are focused on anti-racist queer/trans pedagogies and violence prevention in education. Harper loves watching films/theater/performance art and spending time outdoors.

Jamil Moises Liban-Ortañez

[pronounced: ha-meeel moy-sez]

Jamil Moises (they/them, zie/hir, he/him) is a writer, installation artist, and school counselor currently holding space in Oakland, CA. Their heart practices lie at the intersection of artivist-healer-rad dad. By day, they work as a middle school counselor in San Francisco. By night, they write zines, support local queer food pop-up, and practice Filipinx healing traditions. They are a core organizer with Teachers for Social Justice, H.E.L.L.A. East Bay Teachers of Color, and Ninunong Gamot Philippine Ancestral Medicine. Jamil Moises’ creative and literary practices align with the kind of world they want to live in: one that supports empowering learning environments, intergenerational healing, and realizing just and caring cultures. In solidarity with the TEN Core Collective they hope to cultivate radical support systems where non-binary and transgender educators can feel seen, heard and deeply rooted in people power.

Kaleo Tevaitea Ramos

[pronounced: Kah-Leh-O (Kaleo) Rah-Mo-S (Ramos)]

Mario Itzel Suarez

Mario Itzel Suárez (he/him/his) is a recent doctoral graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  He also has a BA in Ethnic Studies (emphasis in Mexican American Studies) and a MA in Mathematics Education from The University of Texas at Austin.  Part of what brings him to this work is his experience as a trans teacher of color from the Texas-México border living most of his life in the South and as a first-generation college student.  He was a high school mathematics teacher at a Title 1 school in Austin Independent School District for 8 years, and came out as trans in his second year of teaching.  He had to learn how to navigate the lack of legal backing and anti-discrimination policies in Austin. As a result, Mario, along with some concerned teachers, staff, and parents, formed his union's LGBTQ School Equality Initiative and the Austin ISD LGBTQ Advisory Committee, which contributed to some progress for Austin’s LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff.  As a researcher, he now tries to contribute to the community by doing research that is relevant to queer students and teachers, whether it be in a mathematics context or otherwise.  He is especially trying to center the experience of trans, gender nonbinary, and gender diverse individuals in education.  He is excited to be a part of this group of extremely talented and brave individuals and am happy to help in any way he can.  He currently lives in Logan, Utah with his wife, Guadalupe, and two dog daughters, Brodie and Joy, where he will begin a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Utah State University this Fall 2019.

Mauro Sifuentes

[pronounced: M-ow-ro with a rolled “r” See-fwen-tez]

Mauro works in Oakland as a social justice-focused youth educator in nonprofit and community settings. Any and all pronouns work for him/her/them. Mauro is drawn to work focused on gender and racial justice with young people in the field of education because youth are so curious and open-minded and want to develop collaborative communities for shared futures.