My name is Akela Leach. I am a 5th grade ELA and Social Studies teacher at Lanier Elementary. This year is my 6th year as a classroom teacher and my 8th year working for Tulsa Public Schools. Prior to teaching, I was a para-professional and teacher’s assistant at Carnegie Elementary. For three summers, I was fortunate to intern with the Teaching and Learning Department at Tulsa Public Schools. I had the opportunity to assist with district level initiatives such as piloting the Tulsa Way, an online hub for Tulsa teachers. I am interested in joining the Learning Forward Oklahoma board because I am passionate about supporting other teachers and creating sustainable solutions to keep teachers in the classroom. Quality professional development empowers teachers to feel good about their work and encourages them to continue.