New Year, New Challenges – Better Together

Introducing OUR’s 2020-21 Community Coaches

At the end of last school year when it seemed the world was falling apart, it was announced that I would be Open Up Resources’ first Teacher Leader in Residence.

Throughout the summer I again experienced the magic of the Open Up Resources Math and ELA communities in the Facebook groups, on Twitter, and at the annual HIVE Conference. I left inspired and energized, and my passion for all students to access high-quality materials grew even stronger. In years previous I blogged and shared about my experiences with the Open Up Resources 6–8 Math curriculum as a Community Coach and with my own young mathematicians in my middle school classroom in Iowa.

Today, I have the opportunity to announce a new team of educators that will step up as Community Coaches to learn, share, and grow alongside you! 

Celebrating New Voices!

I was thrilled about the number of passionate educators that applied to be Open Up Resources Community Coaches! The passion for our curricula from high-quality educators across the country is incredible to witness. It’s my pleasure to announce our Math and ELA Community Coaches.

Cathy Dickson

Grades 6–7 Math: 
Cathy Dickson

Lake Zurich CUSD 95
Lake Zurich, IL


Cathy Dickson is a 6th Grade Math Teacher in Lake Zurich, Illinois. This is her third year teaching both the 6th grade and 7th grade levels of Open Up Resources 6-8 Math. She is certified in Coaching High Impact Teacher Teams and serves as a 6th Grade Team Leader and Title I Math Tutor at her school. Her professional speaking experiences include:  Illinois Education Association Student Teacher Conference, 2016, National Title I Conference, 2017, and NCTM Annual Meeting, 2019. Follow Cathy’s math vlog here!

Nicole Mercurio

Grade 6 Math:
Nicole Mercurio

Gilliland Middle School
Tempe, AZ


Nicole currently lives in Tempe, Arizona, where she teaches 6th Grade Math for the Tempe Elementary School District at Gilliland Middle School. Nicole has 6 years of experience teaching math in Pre-K, 3rd grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, and 8th grade. She has spent all of her time in the classroom fostering the love of math to her students in many states including North Carolina, Arizona, and Massachusetts! Nicole loves to create resources for making math enjoyable and attainable for everyone. She is a New Englander at heart and loves all Boston sports! In her free time she loves to go to the pool to escape the heat!

Tashima Price

Grade 7 Math:
Tashima Price

MS Math Coordinating Teacher

Wake County Public Schools 
Cary, NC


Tashima Price is a Middle School Math Coordinating Teacher in North Carolina. As a teacher, she is committed to helping all students overcome barriers that impact their learning through establishing relationships, both inside and outside the classroom. In-spite of how students may feel about their ability to "do math," she stands on the principle of having a growth mindset around things that are most challenging.

Christy Hansen

Grades 7–8 Math:
Christy Hansen

Quantum Academy
Escondido, CA 


Christy is entering her 15th year of teaching middle school math and is currently teaching 7th and 8th grade students. She is an enthusiastic user of the Open Up Resources 6–8 Math curriculum due to the growth she's seen in her students. Christy loves to connect and support other teachers through Twitter. She is Nationally Board Certified in math and is a San Diego County Teacher of the Year (2019-2020).

Yimiya Pearson

District Leader:
Yimiya Pearson

Cumberland County Schools
Fayetteville, NC


Yimiya Pearson is currently beginning her 9th year as the Secondary Math Specialist for Cumberland County Schools in Fayetteville, North Carolina where she serves and supports 6-12 grade math teachers.  As a 25 year educator, she served as a high school math teacher, a middle school math teacher, and a middle school math instructional coach. Yimiya is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and a Master’s Degree in Mathematics Education.  Yimiya is a wife and mother of four teenage and adult children, and spending quality time with her family and extended family and friends is one of her favorite pastimes. Yimiya is passionate about mathematics learning and wants to help others live with math, laugh about math, and love and learn math. 

Ciera Searcy

Grades K–2 ELA: 
Ciera Searcy

Chrysler Elementary School
Detroit, MI


Ciera Searcy has been a teacher for 10 years. Although she has taught all subjects in 2nd through 4th grade, teaching English Language Arts has always been one of her favorites. Ciera is a Detroit native and Literacy Coach for Detroit Public Schools Community District where she is also a part of the Enhanced ModEL Detroit Curriculum Team. She is so excited to be a part of the Open Up Resources Community and to work with teachers all over the United States!

Justin Endicott

Grade 3–5 ELA:
Justin Endicott

Gilbert PK-8 Mingo County
Gilbert, WV 


Justin Endicott is from the Southern Coalfields of West Virginia centered at the heart of Appalachia. Justin currently teaches 4th Grade for Logan County Schools and recently became part of the Man Pioneer family.  Justin has 15 years of experience in education where he has served many roles including instructional coaching for teachers of grades K-5.  It is important to note that the majority of Justin’s career has been spent in a classroom full of kids where he finds himself the happiest.  Justin is a teacher at heart, but also loves his time in curriculum and standards where you will find him coaching teachers.  He works as a facilitator for Teaching Lab and serves as a 3-5 EL coach for Open Up Resources.  Justin has been creating and leading national PD sessions for the past 5 years.  In his spare time, Justin can be found enjoying the outdoors on his porch or dabbling in art.  

Sarah Said

Equity and Leadership:
Sarah Said

Founding Director of Language and Equity Programs

Elgin Math & Science Academy Charter School, Elgin, IL


Sarah Said is currently the Director of Language and Equity Programs at an EL Education school. She has worked with Multilingual Learners for 16 years. This is her second year as a community coach. She also spent the summer as a part time consultant for EL Education. Sarah is an avid blogger and tweeter. Follow her @MrsSaid17. 

morgan-stipe-mathMorgan Stipe, recently named Open Up Resources first Teacher Leader in Residence, combines her experience in teaching and school leadership and brings it to the OUR team. The team at OUR refers to her as our “Resources Ninja” as she is always creating and developing resources to support students that use Open Up Resources 6–8 Math, and is willing to share them with other teachers from around the country. Morgan also documents her classroom experiences on many social media platforms including #OpenUpMath and the Open Up Math Facebook Group.