NEHS Advisory Council

Director

Chris Lockwood
Department of English
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
(815) 981-8682
ctlockwood@niu.edu.

Chris Lockwood spent twelve years as the Head of English, Bilingual, and International Education in Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico, and as the Upper School Principal at the American School Foundation of Chiapas in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. He taught upper-level classes on Modern Drama, the Contemporary Novel, and Shakespeare. Chris has studied at the University of Keele (UK), Loyola University New Orleans (USA), the University of Cambridge (UK), and the University of Buckingham (UK).

Eastern Region

Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington DC, West Virginia

Representatives

Michael Penna
Toms River High School North
Toms River, NJ
mpenna16@gmail.com

Michael Penna is an English and Theatre Teacher in the Arts Academy at Toms River High School North in Toms River, NJ. Michael has a PhD in Education from Walden University, an MPhil in Education from Walden University, an MA in Theater Studies from Montclair State University, and a BFA in Musical Theater from Syracuse University. Michael has over 25 years of experience in the Theatrical Arts. He has worked professionally on Broadway, on national tours, and at regional theaters.

Chris Tamarri
Bishop Eustace Preparatory School
Pennsauken, NJ
ctamarri@eustace.org

Chris Tamarri has been a teacher since 2006. In that time, he has served in places ranging from his high school alma mater to an international school in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Since 2017, he has worked at Bishop Eustace Preparatory School, where he teaches British Literature and AP Language and Composition, and acts as faculty advisor for the school’s Ethics Team and Book Club. Recently, he was named Chair of the English Department. He lives in Collingswood, NJ.

Far Western Region

Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington

Representatives

Tonatzin Rodriguez
West Covina High School
West Covina, CA
tonatzin.rodriguez@wcusd.org

Tonatzin Rodriguez is a dedicated English teacher at West Covina High School, where she has been inspiring students since 2011. Tonatzin works closely with her students to help them discover or rekindle their joy for books. Tonatzin’s NEHS chapter encourages members to share their love for reading with others, particularly with younger students who may not have had the same exposure to literature. Outside of the classroom, Tonatzin enjoys hiking through scenic trails or challenging herself with rock climbing; she finds solace and inspiration in nature.

Tara Ann Carter
Providence High School
Burbank, CA
tara.carter@providencehigh.org

Tara Ann Carter is a classroom teacher and English Department Chair at Providence High School in Burbank, CA. Tara has recently transitioned from nearly a decade of working in Philadelphia public schools to a radically progressive independent Catholic school community in the San Fernando Valley. As an educator, Tara seeks to provide students with opportunities to engage with non-traditional texts, both in format and content. As a Chapter Advisor of her school's O Pioneers! NEHS chapter, she enjoys encouraging the voices of young writers in her diverse school community. 

High Plains Region

Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming

Representative

Ryan Karpovage
Bear Creek High School
Lakewood, CO
rkarpova@jeffcoschools.us

Ryan Karpovage is an English Language Arts and Creative Writing Teacher at Bear Creek High School in Lakewood, CO. He holds an MA in English Literature and has extensive expertise in poetry and multicultural literature. Ryan advises Bear Creek’s NEHS chapter (BCHS Literati) and the BC Poetry Club where he fosters a creative community that frequently collaborates with local poets and creatives in the Denver area. Outside of academia, he finds joy in traveling and exploring different cultures, a passion he documents through photography and creative writing.

International Region

Christopher Lockwood
NEHS Director
ctlockwood@niu.edu.

Midwestern Region

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin

Representatives

Cami Badman
Sullivan High School
Sullivan, IL
badmanc@sullivan.k12.il.us

Cami Badman teaches at a rural high school in Sullivan, IL, and is an active member in her school district as a club advisor or coordinator for many different organizations. She has served on the NEHS Advisory Council as one of the Midwestern Region representatives since 2021. Cami finds joy in reading on vacation; loves watching her son play baseball, football, and swim; and helping her husband coach middle school and high school baseball in the district where she teaches.

David Hebestreit
Churchill High School
Livonia, MI
dhebestr@livoniapublicschools.org

David Hebestreit has been a high school ELA teacher for 26 years at Livonia Churchill High School. In addition to his high school duties, David has been an adjunct professor of writing at Madonna University for the past seven years. An avid reader and writer, David has been to 47 countries and 49 states (he has Alaska remaining!). He has been an NEHS Advisory Council member for three years and credits his NEHS chapter with keeping him in the profession. 

Southern Region

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia

Representatives

Jessica McCole
Heritage High School
Ringgold, GA
jmccole.hhs@catoosa.k12.ga.us

Jessica McCole has had the rare privilege of being involved with all of the secondary and postsecondary English Honor Societies (NEHS, Sigma Kappa Delta, and Sigma Tau Delta). She currently teaches Honors 9th & 10th grade English in Ringgold, GA. Outside of school, Jessica enjoys listening to true crime podcasts, rewatching comfort-comedies with her husband, singing Taylor Swift songs with her older daughter, trying to carefully absorb every moment with her younger daughter, and snuggling with her two Boston Terriers.

Bethany Seal
West Harrison High School
Gulfport, MS
bseal@harrison.k12.ms.us

Bethany Seal is an English teacher at West Harrison High School in Gulfport, MS. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she has been the English Department Chairperson since 2019, and has led her school's chapter of National English Honor Society since 2020. Aside from teaching, Bethany loves the sun, warm weather, and the beach, but her favorite hobby is spending time with her three (wild) yellow Labrador Retrievers. She also loves reading (standard English teacher answer!), trying out different brunch spots, traveling, and attending Southern Miss Athletics events. 

Southwestern Region

Arizona, Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma

Representatives

Lindsey Ward
The Woodlands College Park High School
The Woodlands, TX
lward@conroeisd.net

Lindsey Ward is a secondary teacher at a large (6 A) public school in The Woodlands, TX.  Throughout her career, she has taught English I, English III, and English IV as well as the Practical Writing, College Readiness, Bible Literacy, and Humanities electives.  She earned her BFA in RTV production from Sam Houston State University and her MA in Curriculum and Instruction for gifted and talented students, along with her grade 8-12 teaching certification, from The University of Houston.

Breanne Hicks
St. Mary's Hall
San Antonio, TX
bhicks@smhall.org

Breanne Hicks is the Cultivator for Interdisciplinary Studies at Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, TX. In this role, Breanne teaches Rhetoric, Composition, and Literature; Feminism and Literature; Echoes in the Borderlands: An Interdisciplinary Study of Selena Quintanilla; Transdisciplinary Research; and an Interdisciplinary Study of Walking. Breanne enjoys reading biographies, listening to true crime podcasts, and spending time with her family in the Texas Hill Country.