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 2019-2021 Team

Term begins August 2019

Lisa Castillo-Guajardo

Lisa Castillo-Guajardo, aka Mrs. 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 English educator at a public high school in Long Island, New York. She is a member of the 2020-2021 New York Times Teaching Project and was awarded the New York State Educator of Excellence award in 2019. She is also the founder of the Kaia Women Scholars award 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. She loves bringing literature to life for her students and loves encouraging them to take risks in their writing. She lives in New York.

Jeremy Hyler

Jeremy Hyler is a sixth- and seventh-grade English teacher at Fulton Middle School in Michigan. He is also an author and writing consultant for the National Writing Project. Jeremy has been teaching for 17 years and loves being able to help students recognize that reading and writing can lead to wonderful opportunities.

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.

Michelle Rankins

Michelle Rankins is an assistant professor of English at Cuyahoga Community College. Michelle is passionate about using creative writing techniques to help students improve their reading and writing skills. She believes it is a privilege to help students find their voices. Michelle lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lee Ann Rutherford

Lee Ann Rutherford is currently a second-grade teacher at Cherrington Elementary in Westerville, Ohio, and former Reading Recovery teacher and literacy coach. She loves inspiring children to find the power of their voices through reading and writing.

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 is a teacher and an English education PhD student at Arizona State University. Shawn has worked in education for almost 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 in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.