Meet the Team

On this page, you can meet the team of volunteers that makes all things Teaching: A Path to Learning and Development (TPLD) happen! Scroll down to learn more about the staff at TPLD and see how to connect with us.

Sara Stevick (Connect on LinkedIn

TPLD Founder, CLO, CEO, TPLD | Corporate Learning and Development Strategist 

In February of 2020, after nine years of teaching, I decided it was time for a change--but when I first started my journey of leaving teaching and transitioning to corporate, I didn't really know what that meant

I felt lost, as teaching was the only professional experience I had ever had, and I didn't know if I could do something else. Turns out, there are a lot of options out there if you have the time to piece it all together.  That's when I realized there were a lot of other teachers just like me...ready to make the switch, but maybe felt as I did: overwhelmed, unsure of where to start, and frustrated that all the roads out seemed to have expensive tolls.

I finally did find my way, and after job searching for four months, I was offered a position as a Sr. Instructional Designer with a major financial institution, which began my journey through L&D where I have worked as an instructional designer, technologist, consultant, and L&D strategist. This journey inspired me to start a new volunteer initiative-helping teachers make the jump to instructional design by providing free resources and webinars to help light the path.  

Alison Sollars (Connect on LinkedIn | See my Website

TPLD Vice President of Learning Programs and Lead Community Manager | Corporate Learning Experience Designer 

After getting an English degree focused on technical and content writing, I began my career in Marketing but found myself laid off amid the Great Recession and turned to teaching abroad. Later, I also worked in HR/Operations, coordinating training and client functions, before teaching English for nearly a decade in public school settings. My main passion and interests in teaching were always technology, curriculum design, and later leading projects and mentoring new teachers, so when I found instructional design, it was "love at first sight". Being an alt-career teacher, I believed I could make a move to a new field, and I did! TPLD helped me but also opened my eyes to how many teachers don't realize how translatable and valuable their day-to-day skills truly are, and I was inspired by Sara's passion and the work of her and many volunteers who came before me to join this team and support.

I'm currently employed as a Learning Experience Designer with Landmark Healthcare, which is a part of Optum/United Healthcare Group. I love that instructional design brings together my passions for technology, data analysis, storytelling, games, project management, cognitive science, human performance, and learning new things! 

TPLD Community Manager | Corporate Sr. Technical Instructional Designer

I am a Senior Technical Instructional Designer who creates digital learning experiences with purpose. After a decade of teaching in international schools around the world, I transitioned to an ID role in the financial services sector, before making the move to tech and joining a software company. My career has led me to diverse communities of learners from Antigua -> Quito -> Hong Kong -> United States.

I am an active advocate for DEI initiatives in the workplace, and I live those values by instilling authenticity and inclusivity into my work. Outside of L&D, I am a voracious bookworm and the member of a feminist community choir.

TPLD Community Manager | Senior Consultant - Instructional Designer

I work as a Senior Instructional Designer and spend my days creating impactful eLearning, microlearning, Instructor-led training, and job aids. I wake up daily excited to take on new challenges, interact with new SMEs, and work on new opportunities that improve performance. 

However, the journey to get there wasn’t overnight. After ten years in higher education, I decided to try something new. New tools, new audiences, new experiences. Like many leaving education, I was lost about what that new could look like until I discovered Instructional Design. As educators, we master a skill set that doesn’t always feel like a 1:1 transition into the corporate world. 

To accomplish my goal, I spent the next six months spending my nights figuring out what this career transition would look like and what people did during their 9-5. It was an eye-opening experience to see how many teacher-specific skills people could get hired for. After six months of learning, working out loud, networking, and putting together a portfolio I landed my first paid opportunity. Resources like the TLPD were invaluable in preparing me for my new role.

Jess Lighthall (Connect on LinkedIn | See my Website

TPLD Community Manager | Digital Training Specialist

After 13.5 years teaching high school and college English, Jess transitioned to a contract position as a corporate training specialist. After a year and a half contracting, she accepted a full-time position at Caterpillar Inc. as a Digital Training Specialist, where she focuses on designing internal trainings on the digital products her team supports.

Stephanie Diggins (Connect on LinkedIn | See my Website

TPLD Community Manager and Social Media Specialist | Freelance and Higher Ed Instructional Designer 

I am a former teacher and current Instructional Designer with 9 years of experience as a full stack developer of in-person, eLearning, and hybrid instructional programs. I thrive on designing effective learning solutions through creativity. My expertise lies in collaborating with Subject Matter Experts and stakeholders to build meaningful training materials aligned with learning goals. My product success is evidenced by metrics collected through formative and summative assessments, and ensured by using that data to drive design. I am a self-starter with the ability to execute project management in a fast-paced capacity while adapting to overcome challenges.

Bethany Kilgore (Connect on LinkedIn | Visit Target UX

TPLD Director of User Experience Design | Corporate UX Researcher and Designer

I began my career as a 6th grade teacher, leaving my hometown of Columbus, OH to begin teaching in California.  I went back to school to get my Master's degree, with the intent of returning to teaching after having a better foundation. I realized I could use the information learned in my Master's program to shape and educate students within a collegiate environment. I spent 12 amazing years working in residence halls, career centers, and business schools on campus.  I created mentoring programs for undergraduate students to connect with working professionals, established peer advising programs with upperclassmen giving guidance to underclassman, and advocated for a credit-bearing career professional preparedness program which was unanimously voted by faculty. My greatest accomplishment in Higher Ed has been, and continues to be, seeing the success of former students as they continue to climb in their professional careers.  My heart swells with pride when I get a random note from a student.  Doesn't sound too far off from being a teacher, does it?

Working as a recruiter for about 6 years, I've had the same privilege in connecting people to their dream jobs.  Since starting out in the HR world, I've had an impact in shaping the recruiting experience.  And now in the world of HR Design using UX methodologies, I'm excited to craft the ideal experience teachers will have as they move from teaching to L&D or User Experience.  I look forward to hearing the uplifting stories that will fuel my passion working with this amazing group of individuals!

TPLD Team: Meet some of our volunteer mentors, strategists, and contributors

Ann Lopez

TPLD Content Contributor

LinkedIn | The Pivoter Website

Karthick Richard

TPLD Content Contributor

LinkedIn | ID Transition Kit

Tyler Bahn

TPLD Volunteer Mentor

LinkedIn | Website

Nicole Rausch

TPLD Volunteer Mentor


Alejandro Ruelas García

TPLD Volunteer Mentor


Kassie Calvo

TPLD Volunteer Mentor


More mentors coming soon!
More mentors coming soon!