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!

Sara Stevick

Senior Instructional Designer

TPLD Founder & President | Programs Director | Content Developer | Mentor | Facilitator

After teaching for nine years, in February 2020 I decided it was time for a change-but when I first started my journey of leaving teaching, 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! I wake up every day and have the thought, "Is this real life?!" 

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.  

For more information on my background and experience, please check out my LinkedIn Profile here.

Alison Sollars

Learning Experience Designer

TPLD Vice President and Lead Community Manager

I began my career in marketing but began teaching abroad due to the Great Recession. My main interest in teaching was always focused curriculum design -- I was that teacher who "made things" and got put on committees because I was interested in the new standards or tools. In addition to teaching duties, I held leadership roles as a PLC Lead (school and district level), grade-level lead, program coordinator, committee chair, and curriculum leader. 

In my final year teaching, I finished a graduate degree in Educational Leadership that allowed me to do comprehensive staff training projects, but I never wanted to be an administrator. When I did a little soul searching, instructional design felt like the next step to continue to explore my interests in cognitive science, organizational leadership, technology, and human performance. I'm currently employed as a Learning Experience Designer with Landmark Healthcare, which is a part of Optum/United Healthcare Group. I live in Florida with my husband and two dogs and I love learning new technology, board and video games, D&D, and literature--really stories of all kinds! To connect with me, please find me on LinkedIn or my website. I enjoy helping teachers find their passions and upskill towards roles in L&D and Edtech. 

Bethany Kilgore

UX Designer, HR Recruiter

TPLD Director of User Experience (UX) 

I began my career as a 6th grade teacher, leaving my hometown of Columbus, OH to begin teaching in California.  What I didn't realize was how unprepared I was to address the challenges of inner-city students.  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 as I make a move into the world of HR Design using UX methodologies, I'm excited to craft the ideal experience teachers will have as they work with TNSLAT moving from teacher to instructional designer.  I look forward to hearing the uplifting stories that will fuel my passion working with this amazing group of individuals!

For more information on her background and experience, please check out her profile on LinkedIn here. 

Stephanie Diggins

Instructional Designer

TPLD Community Manager | Communications & Social Media Specialist

McKenzie Day

Senior Technical Instructional Designer

TPLD Community Manager

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.

You can connect with me on LinkedIn ( or check out my website at 

Meet the volunteers that contribute to our mission to help teachers and PAY IT FORWARD!

Tyler Banh

Senior Instructional Designer

TPLD Mentor

I am a former public educator now working as an instructional designer. I can tell you the grass on this side is 100% as green as it looks from the other side.


I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Spring 2014 with a B.S. Secondary Education – Mathematics degree and a Mathematics certificate. I lived and taught in the suburban Milwaukee, WI, area for four years before I decided it was time for some big life changes. I moved to Chicago in early September 2018 with some money I saved but without any job prospects. I finally got a job offer as an Instructional Designer in late November 2018 and started in early December 2018. Today, I’m still living in Chicago and working in this field.


I joined the TLPD team because I believe in the mission of providing FREE resources to teachers who are looking for their next career. It was challenging for me to navigate three months of unemployment without connections to other teachers who had already successfully transitioned. My goal is to help you get a new job faster than I did.


For more information on my background and experience, please check out my LinkedIn Profile here and my personal website here.

Ann Lopez

Learning Experience Designer (LXD)

TPLD EdTech Liaison | Job Board Manager

I’ve been in the K-12 sector for over 15 years. In 2019, I transitioned into edtech where I get to help school districts improve their data visualization and reporting processes. That experience made me realize that my passion is in leveraging technology to solve problems for others. 

My most recent position was serving as an Instructional Technology Coach for a Title I school district. I trained and helped teachers with technology integrations to drive student learning outcomes. Although I enjoyed that position, my heart was still very much set on getting back into the edtech sector because I wanted to extend my reach to more than one school district. 

When I tried to break into the edtech sector, I realized there was an extreme lack of free resources to help former educators like myself so I created my own. Edtech Jobseekers Board with a mobile app and the Employee Referral Database were designed to help jobseekers gain more visibility with recruiters and hiring managers. 

During my transition, I met a lot of generous and kind-hearted professionals who offered valuable tips and advice. I joined TPLD because I wanted to pay it forward. Changing a career is not easy so you shouldn’t have to pay for support or worrying about going through it alone. 

For more information about my background, check out my LinkedIn profile and my website

Karthick Richard

eLearning Designer, Project Manager, and Learning Management System (LMS) Administrator

TPLD Content Contributor | Resource Specialist

I’m a project/people manager and content creator with 11+ years of experience delivering training, course modules, assessments, ancillaries, and tools in the learning industry. As a project manager, I’m enthusiastic about project management that is efficient, client-focused, and people-centric. As a content creator, I’m passionate about creating evidence-informed, learner-driven, and engaging experiences.

I like working with organizations that contribute meaningfully to the world. In my current role at the European Hematology Association, I implement evidence-informed strategies to create better learning experiences for health care professionals in the field of hematology. In my previous full-time role at ansrsource, I managed the quality control and programming team to deliver accessible, e-learning content in higher education.

If you’re making a positive difference in the world of learning, I’d love to help you make the world a better place!

For more information about my background, check out my LinkedIn profile and my website

Nicole Rausch

Instructional Designer

TPLD Mentor

I taught 5th grade for about 4 years.  During that time I got a quick and cheap master's degree for that extra pay step, not even realizing that it was in Instructional Design. I honestly thought ID was just intense lesson planning at the time I went through the program.  During the COVID year, I realized how negatively teaching was impacting my overall health and began looking for other options.  I am now working at a community college as an Instructional Designer, helping faculty improve their courses online.

Alejandro Ruelas

Instructional Designer

TPLD Mentor

As a high school teacher, I was passionate about teaching learners the “hidden curriculum”. The untold rules, tips, and resources around learning that make a big huge impact on a student’s academic and professional career. When I decided that I was ready for the next phase of my instructional career, I was both excited and overwhelmed by the professional world outside my classroom walls because I didn’t know the “curriculum” of making a career change. I didn’t know industry landscapes, job titles, or how to navigate the job search. I was very fortunate to connect with many generous folks who mentored me in different capacities and helped break down the process of making a pivot into manageable and actionable steps. Thanks to this community, I landed at a big name software company with an amazing team. TPLD helped me realize that I already had valuable experience from teaching. I just needed a little help translating that into business-speak and filling a few skill gaps. Now I’m excited now to help others in their journey and share what I have learned along the way.