Latoya Wilson – Founder and CEO
Founder and CEO Latoya Wilson is an educator, author, and advocate for social-emotional learning in the classroom. During her 16 year teaching career, she has built creative and safe classroom environments and strong, positive and supportive relationships with students, parents and staff. As the author of a newly-published children’s book, The Teacher Monster Club, Latoya shares a vocabulary and narrative for educators to connect with kids through unconditional and foundational acceptance.
Latoya is a graduate of the Cleveland School of Performing Arts, where she majored in vocal music. She earned her BS in Early Childhood Education from Central State University and her MA in Education in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis on English as a Second Language from University Of Phoenix & Old Dominion University. She is a contributor to the nationally-recognized “Positivity Project,” which empowers students to build constructive relationships and become their best selves. She is also a member of her school’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, a new-teacher mentor, and an advocate for equal and representative education. Her favorite teacher, Mr. Wood, saw her potential, encouraged her to harness her creativity and to find her own voice; she has never forgotten what he did to help her grow into the person she is today.
The inspiration behind her success came from her mother who encouraged her not to put limitations on her aspirations. She lives with her husband, children and dog, in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where they spend time exploring and having new adventures. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, traveling and being with friends and family.
Katherine Hughes –
Co-Founder and Content Manager
Katherine Hughes is a certified third grade Advanced Academics teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia with 20 years of experience in various school systems. As co-founder of The Teacher Monster Club (TMC) project, Kat’s goal is for students to feel secure and affirmed in order to cultivate critical thinking skills and a flexible, strong growth mindset. By creating a safe and nurturing classroom with solid peer and teacher relationships, Kat focuses on “character education curriculum,” and encouraging innovative, creative, independent and thoughtful thinkers who become “change makers.” She believes the TMC Project is the perfect platform to share stories, strategies and information with other educators committed to shaping the citizenship and character of our next generation
Kat earned a Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove University and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a focus on English and Communications from Michigan State University. She is currently part of Project TEAM: Preparing Teams of Educators to Assess and Instruct English Learners with and without Disabilities through Old Dominion University. Additionally, she is a curriculum contributor to the “Positivity Project” and an active member of her school’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Kat fondly remembers her second grade teacher, Mr. Morgan, who made his students feel validated and important so they could explore their natural talents and succeed in school. He was a significant factor in her decision to become a teacher.
Kat lives in Northern Virginia with her fiancé and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, going to concerts and keeping communicative and open relationships with everyone in her life. She attributes her success to her loving and supportive parents. She is a free-spirit whose philosophy is, “Life is too short, so you must always live in the moment.”
Amanda Davis –
Teacher Partner, Illustrator and
Amanda Davis is a high school art therapist for special education students in Virginia and the illustrator of the newly published children’s book, The Teacher Monster Club. Before beginning her art therapy career, Amanda served as a substitute teacher, an instructional assistant for special education students and as a full-time art instructor in general elementary education. Her creative and compassionate approach to teaching allows her to connect with students in visual and sometimes non-verbal ways, giving them space to explore who they are and how they learn. She believes that confidence and growth come from classroom relationships and are powerful gifts students can access and build upon.
Amanda received her BA in Studio Art from the University of South Florida and her MFA in Art Education (K-12 Visual Art endorsement) from George Mason University. Amanda remembers feeling disinterested in school until she made a connection with a teacher who made the act of learning an imaginative, inspiring and purposeful experience. Today, Amanda strives to bring that same enthusiasm and creativity to her students and to the TMC Project.
Amanda lives in the Washington, DC area, where she paints murals, continues to illustrate, and sells her original pieces. She is always looking for ways to create and bring joy to others with her artwork.
Mike Wilson -
TMC co-creator, Mike Wilson is an IT expert, salesman, father, educator and coach. As a lifelong learner, Mike understands the value of strong relationships between students and teachers, and he knows that solid connections allow kids to develop self-respect and confidence in the classroom. His philosophy for successful schools is that kids need identity, agency and authentic relationships with the adults so that they can grow into community leaders who make progressive changes in the world. The Teacher Monster Club, which he developed with his wife, is his passion project.
Mike earned his BS in Business Administration from Central State University in Ohio, where he created lasting relationships with peers and professors. He vividly remembers his high school law teacher, Mr. Sherlock, as a tough but fair educator, who offered him support even after he was no longer a student. Now, Mike works hard to constantly encourage and build up all children in his life. Mike credits as his biggest influences his wife, kids and his parents all of whom he has gained from wholesomely.
Mike lives with his wife, children and dog, in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where they focus on spending quality time together. He and his family have a collective network of people from all walks of life, and they value diversity and community as essential to a happy life. In his free time, Mike plays, watches and coaches sports, and enjoys podcasting, documentaries and building his sneaker collection.
Sean Spencer – Podcast Host and Media Manager
Sean Spencer serves as podcast host and media manager for the TMC Project, in addition to his work as a local youth leader, a caretaker for adults with disabilities and on-camera talent for Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. His upbeat and open personality make him a strong voice in delivering the TMC message that “Relationships Matter Most,” and his experience as a father, football coach and substitute teacher give him insight into the value of facilitating strong connections with young people. Sean’s focus is on establishing a healthy environment where people understand, accept and trust one another.
Sean is a student at Virginia State University with a pending degree in K - 12 Education. His biggest influence is his father, Robert Spencer, who continually inspires his son to be adaptive and flexible. Sean’s favorite teacher was Mrs. Phillippoom in kindergarten, first and third grades because she was a constant supportive force in school.
Sean lives in Northern Virginia with his fiancé, and enjoys driving cross-country, watching mysteries and films, learning about history, spending time with family and being involved in sports. His enthusiasm and optimism are supported by his family’s core philosophy: “The difficult we do right away; the impossible takes a little longer.”
Eden Schneider – Social Justice Advocate and Director Of Communications
Eden Schneider is a mother, former teacher, Guardian ad Litem and family court mediator. She focuses on issues of juvenile intervention, legal representation for marginalized communities, alternative dispute resolution processes and Restorative Justice. Eden believes that strong, protected, bonded and secure students learn better, expand their world views and become progressive leaders. She has taught trauma-focused art therapy, ESOL, culture & conflict, and creative writing, and has served in numerous volunteer positions within her community. She is currently president of her child’s elementary school PTA.
Eden earned her BA in English Literature from Salisbury University, her MA in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation from Abilene Christian University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a discipline in community-based conflicts at Nova Southeastern University. As a kindergartner, she bonded with Mrs. Haymond, who valued the uniqueness of her students and allowed each to express themselves without judgment.
Eden lives in Northern Virginia with her family. Her hobbies include watercolor painting, needle felting, cooking, travel, writing, restoration projects and meeting new people.
Grinder Spencer –
Ed Tech Coordinator
Grinder Spencer is a loving father, hard-working IT Professional, community contributor and youth mentor. As the TMC Project’s website designer, Grinder is responsible for effectively communicating the mission and vision of the organization and keeping information current and accessible. He serves as a volunteer parent and Vice President of his local Parent Teacher Association, specializing in communication management.
Grinder received his Computer Information Systems degree from Virginia State University. As a younger student, he remembers benefiting from several special teachers and principals who demonstrated authentic interest in who he was and how his future would look. The TMC Project speaks to his core values of encouragement, community development and educational success through safe and nurturing classrooms.
Grinder lives in the Northern Virginia tech-corridor with his family and enjoys spending time with his children and friends. A lifelong learner, he continually studies new information on a variety of topics.