Community Ambassador


Community Ambassadors are NCTE members who advocate for and celebrate NCTE in social media spaces as well as on the ground at events, with a particular focus on supporting new NCTE members and early-career educators. They work to strengthen the community of NCTE members by offering opportunities to connect and engage with fellow members online in safe, supportive spaces; act as hosts and welcome members at local, affiliate, and national events; and make connections between resources and classroom practice. Community Ambassadors also open the proverbial doors of their classroom to the wider teacher community, sharing their experiences and offering a real-world view of what it looks like, feels like, and sounds like to be a literacy teacher today. This is a high-impact role that provides opportunities both to connect new members to NCTE and build community among current NCTE members. Above all, Community Ambassadors are enthusiastic about NCTE and want to share that passion with others.

Meet the 2019-2022 Team

Term begins August 2019

Lisa Castillo-Guajardo

Lisa Castillo-Guajardo, aka Dr. G, is the proud principal of Mitchell Elementary in Houston ISD, the largest urban school district in Texas. She has worked in education for more than 15 years as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, and school administrator. She is a self-proclaimed bibliophile, passionate about literacy, and hopes to inspire everyone she meets to be a Reader Leader as well.

Jessica Hunter

Jessica Hunter is an educator in New York. She has worked with the NY Times, was the recipient of the Educator of Excellence award and was recently selected by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore various approaches to educational policy. She’s taken coursework at Harvard and Stanford. Ms. Hunter has given presentations to national audiences on diverse voices, mindfulness in the classroom, and the intersectionality of gender, race and class. She is also the founder of the Kaia Womens’ Scholarship Fund which provides small grants to minority women from underprivileged backgrounds as they embark on their college careers. She has worked in education for more than a decade.

Christina Nosek

Christina Nosek’s past 17 years have been dedicated to working as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach and new author. She finds true joy in supporting her fifth-grade students and fellow teachers in building joyful and empowered reading and writing communities. Christina happily calls her native San Francisco Bay Area home.

Lee Ann Rutherford

Lee Rutherford is a sixth grade ELA teacher and department chair in Westerville City Schools in Ohio. Lee is committed to connecting the equity work she does in the classroom to the community at large. She serves as a board member of a community-based organization that is dedicated to eradicating structural and individual racism. Her work with the Many Voices project in her city also helped bring inclusive and diverse classroom sets of books to over one hundred teachers in her district. Lee believes in the power of story to connect us and change our world!

Lindsay Schneider

Lindsay Schneider teaches high school English in North Carolina at West Forsyth High School. She has been in the classroom for four years. She is an avid reader and re-aspiring writer who is passionate about all things YA lit, building lifelong readers beyond the walls of the classroom, integrating the arts into the English classroom, drinking good coffee, baking, and cheering on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

Shawn Towner

Shawn Towner works as a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University. Shawn has worked in education for 15 years, starting as an elementary school custodian and eventually working as a substitute teacher, high school teacher, and university instructor. He hopes to spark his students’ passions for reading and writing. He currently lives just outside Savannah, GA.