About TeachKind

Welcome to TeachKind, the humane-education division of PETA! Our mission is to help schools bring animal rights and compassion into the classroom. We work with hundreds of teachers and school staff across the country to help them incorporate humane education into their lesson plans, start animal-rights clubs, replace animal dissection with humane alternatives, get healthy vegan options in their cafeterias, and more.

We provide schools with free educational materials and even host classroom presentations on many different animal rights issues. Whether you want to get your entire school district to ban field trips to the circus or just want some information on teaching kids about vegan eating, TeachKind is here to answer your questions and provide free resources so that you can make a difference for animals.

We know that educators have the power to plant seeds that can grow into a passion for helping others, so we want to make humane education easy. We hope that with TeachKind, you’ll find what you need to bring animal rights into your school!

Meet Lisbet Chiriboga, M.S. Ed., Our TeachKind Program Manager

Hello! I’m Lisbet Chiriboga, PETA’s TeachKind program manager. I work out of PETA’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the Sam Simon Center. Before joining PETA, I was a teacher in New York City for 12 years. I hold teaching licenses in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) for kindergarten through 12th grade and in elementary education for pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, with an additional Bilingual Extension Certificate. I have served on the Executive Board of the United Federation of Teachers’ Humane Education Committee for the past decade. I was also one of the original founders of Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART).

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    Throughout my teaching career, I’ve incorporated animal issues into classroom lessons. I’ve witnessed reluctant readers become motivated after learning about the plight of animals. I’ve also seen apathetic students with difficult behavior issues become the fiercest protectors of animals. Kids love animals, and we can use this inclination to help them not only learn academic content but also develop compassion.

    As a former classroom teacher, I’m well aware of the demands placed on educators as well as their daily stresses. I also know that there are many teachers who understand that bringing animal issues into their classroom has great benefits to animals and children alike. Teachers have so little time these days, and in many cases, so little freedom to include “extra” lessons on anything that isn’t in the mandated curriculum. So I’m here to help you! Our lessons and other resources help you teach academic skills and foster empathy for animals simultaneously.

    Here at TeachKind, I create lesson plans, visit schools to conduct teacher workshops and classroom presentations, and correspond with educators who want to make a difference for animals. Don’t hesitate to contact me for help with incorporating animal issues into your curriculum, and please share with us the great lessons that you create on your own.

    I look forward to working with you.

Meet Samantha Crowe, M.A., Our Science Education Manager

Hello! I’m Samantha Crowe, PETA’s science education manager. I work remotely from sunny South Carolina, but you may have seen me at a science teacher conference in your town.

As an undergraduate, I deliberated between majors in modern dance and biology but ultimately decided to study plants and animals—and the rest is history! I earned my undergraduate degree in biology from the College of Charleston and my master’s in biology from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. I began teaching at the college level soon after graduation.

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    I am a member of the TriBeta National Biological Honor Society, the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Association for Science Teacher Education, and the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society. Before coming to PETA, I worked in the biotech industry developing hematopoietic stem cell expansion and cryogenic media. Microscopy, particularly fluorescence, is my favorite!

    In my position at PETA, I help educators replace animal dissection and experiments with comprehensive and interactive software programs. My team and I have helped implement several statewide and district-level dissection-choice policies with software donations to schools all around the world.

    As an educator and a parent, I know that animals are not ours to use for education—or for any reason. My passion for animals and humane science is paramount, so I’m thrilled to effect ethical change in science education.

Meet Sally Sanders, M.S., Our Science Education Strategist

Hello! I’m Sally Sanders, PETA’s science education strategist. I work remotely from Tallahassee, Florida. I taught high school chemistry for 20 years before serving as a science curriculum and assessment specialist with the Florida Department of Education and the Wyoming Department of Education. My other work includes providing consultant services to support standards-based science teaching and learning; giving humane education presentations to middle school, high school, and college classes; and teaching Animal Sentience and Impacts of Our Food Choices courses at Florida State University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

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    My experience growing up on a small farm with cows, pigs, and chickens in rural northern Florida played a significant role in developing my view of animals as fellow sentient beings. I have been vegan since 2009 and have advocated for animal rights all my life. I am certified as a vegan lifestyle coach and educator and received my certification in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. I also serve on the board of the Tallahassee Vegan/Vegetarian Community.

    My role at PETA combines my advocacy for animal rights with my background in science education and policy. I provide teachers, school districts, state education agencies, and legislative bodies with support and guidance in developing humane education policies to end animal exploitation in schools, especially in science classes, which often use animals in the curriculum. Children and teenagers have a natural empathy for animals, and it’s very rewarding to help schools promote compassion for all sentient beings by implementing policies that foster and guide that natural empathy to make the world a better place for all of us.

Meet Morgan Apperson, M.S., Our Science Education Coordinator

Hello! I’m Morgan Apperson, PETA’s TeachKind science education coordinator. I work remotely in the beautiful mountains of northern New Mexico. For the past six years, I’ve been a STEM field educator at various institutions, applying effective teaching strategies that engage students. During that time, I also worked in chemical research and earned my M.S. in sustainability. I’m now an active educator at the University of New Mexico and independently lecture on animal issues as a public speaker. With my science background and public communication experience, I coordinate ethical solutions for education curricula that are economically and environmentally sustainable for students and animals.

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    As a science instructor, I believe that educators are important role models for young people and that the principle of showing kindness to all should be reflected in their work, providing students with the opportunity to exercise compassion in a space where core impressions and ideas are developed. At PETA, I work closely with educators and policymakers, helping them make the transition to ethical practices.

    I’ve been vegan for seven years, since the age of 18, when I truly started to understand the magnitude of animal exploitation. By then, I had finished 12 years of standard schooling but was just discovering compassion for animals. It all starts with education, which is why it’s a pleasure to lead a new way of teaching and learning that extends consideration to all sentient beings, both inside and outside the classroom.

Meet Faith Rutherford, Our Manager of TeachKind

Photo of Faith

Hello! I’m Faith Rutherford, PETA’s manager of TeachKind. I work remotely from northeast Texas. My animal rights journey started in college after a peta2 tour team made a stop at Arkansas Tech University, where I was studying early childhood education and child development. The compassionate message I heard inspired me to go vegan and speak up for animals as a peta2 campus rep before joining PETA in a full-time role in 2016.

 

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    I’ve always had a passion for children and education, and I’m thrilled to be able to combine that with PETA’s mission for animal rights in my role at TeachKind. I believe that creating a kinder world begins with children, and teaching them how to relate to the animals we share the world with is key to instilling compassion and empathy at an early age. I’m fortunate to work alongside some of the kindest people out there, and we’re all striving to support educators, schools, and parents in teaching young people to be kind to all animals, regardless of species. Contact TeachKind today if we can help in any way with your education needs!

Meet Kayla Noel, Our TeachKind and PETA Kids Social Media Coordinator

Hello! I’m Kayla Noel, the social media coordinator for TeachKind and PETA Kids. I work remotely from sunny Los Angeles. I grew up with many different types of animals, including cows and chickens, and spending time with them helped me develop some of my core values, such as empathy and respect. Because of these values, I became a member of PETA’s youth division at age 14 and began my animal rights journey.

 

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    After graduating from college with a degree in English, I became an educator through Teach For America. During my time with the organization, I committed to teaching in a low-income school district in eastern North Carolina. I wanted to create positive, meaningful change for students, regardless of their circumstances. I believe that all kids have the right to an excellent education, just as I believe that all animals have the right to live free from exploitation.

    Here at TeachKind, I combine my passions with my knowledge of education in order to help educators and inspire them to make a difference for animals and students. Whether I’m crafting social media posts, answering e-mails from teachers, replying to comments on TeachKind’s social media channels, or researching the latest and greatest online educational content, my work helps make the world a kinder place for students, educators, and animals!

Meet Julie Everett, Our TeachKind and PETA Kids Correspondence Coordinator

Hi there! I’m Julie Everett, the correspondence coordinator for TeachKind and PETA Kids. I work remotely from the rolling foothills just outside Charlottesville, Virginia. Before joining PETA, I taught a personal blend of storytelling, meditation, and restorative yoga for children in preschools, in K–5 public and private schools, and at summer camps. I hold certifications in Radiant Child yoga, Karuna yoga, and mindfulness meditation, and I maintained my E-RYT 500 yoga teacher registration with Yoga Alliance for over 10 years. Additionally, I have worked with students as an atelierista (studio teacher) and helped make the learning process visible by using various artistic representations. Through opportunities to connect with children via the languages of art and yoga, I have seen the extraordinary capacity for kindness, empathy, and compassion that’s naturally within each of us, and I’m continually inspired to help it grow.

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    I grew up in a family with lots of animal companions, and my parents were known always to be available to take in an animal in need. From an early age, this fostered in me a deep love for all sentient beings and a fierce desire to support and protect those who are taken advantage of or are unable to meet their own needs. After briefly pursuing what I believed would be an idyllic career of caring for goats and making cheese from their milk, I quickly learned through studying the processes involved that there’s nothing compassionate about taking another animal’s milk. I went vegan and never looked back.

    The opportunity to combine my love for all animals with the joy I experience when connecting with children is what brought me to TeachKind. I’m here to support teachers, kids, and families as they help end speciesism. I consider it an honor to assist you and your students in building a kinder world together, and I look forward to working with you.

Meet Emily Toth, Our TeachKind and PETA Kids Social Media Assistant

Emily Toth headshotHi there! My name is Emily Toth, and I’m the TeachKind and PETA Kids social media assistant. I work remotely from Cleveland. Growing up, I was extremely passionate about animals and was always looking for ways to be around them. As a child, it was my dream to work in animal advocacy, but I didn’t know how to make that dream come true. In college, I studied community health education and decided to pursue a career as a health educator at a local health department. In this role, I had the opportunity to educate young people of all ages on a variety of health topics. Although I loved education and making a difference in the lives of children, I knew something was missing.

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    During my time as a health educator, I discovered my love for social media content creation and digital marketing. I realized that I could use my skills in these areas to help animals in my free time. I went on to create a blog and a TikTok account dedicated to informing people about how to care for their guinea pig and hamster companions. This project inspired me to follow my dream and pursue a full-time career helping animals. That’s when I found TeachKind and PETA Kids.


    My position allows me to stay involved in everything I care about most. Not only do I get to use what I’ve learned from my experience in education, I also get the opportunity to highlight my strengths in content creation, all while advocating for animals and a kinder future. I’m so grateful to be a part of a team that spreads compassion and encourages young people to stand up for what they believe in.

Sarah Weldon, Our TeachKind Assistant

TeachKind Assistant, Sarah WeldonHi! My name is Sarah, and I’m the TeachKind assistant, working remotely from the Piney Woods region of East Texas. My journey to working for animal rights began in 2013 after I watched The Cove for a college English class. The film was a rude awakening and left me wondering, “If that happens to dolphins in Japan, what happens to animals here in the U.S.?” I reluctantly did a Google search, and what I learned compelled me to take immediate steps toward a more compassionate lifestyle. I went vegan in 2015.

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    Before I took an interest in animal rights, I wanted to work with children. I enrolled in an early childhood education (ECE) program after high school, but a twist of fate led me to join the U.S. Marine Corps instead—a complete about-face, I know! Once my four-year enlistment was completed, I enrolled in another ECE program. Shortly after going vegan, I took a job as an assistant teacher in a preschool classroom of 4- and 5-year-olds and discovered that I had a natural talent for talking with children about animal rights. But I didn’t feel comfortable talking about the subject with parents or other teachers out of fear of offending someone. This ultimately led to my decision to change my major to liberal studies, and once I graduated with a bachelor’s degree, I began working for an animal rights organization, talking to college students.

    I never forgot the intimidation I had experienced as an ethically conscious teacher, and when I learned about TeachKind, I knew I wanted to take part in its mission to help teachers and parents who may feel hesitant to speak up about animal rights or who are unsure of how to do so appropriately. I’m excited to be part of a team that helps educators confidently incorporate compassion and animal rights into their teaching.

Meet Akaysha Greer, Our TeachKind Tour Manager

Photo of AkayshaHello! I’m Akaysha, TeachKind’s tour manager. I work remotely from outside Salt Lake City. I first started touring with PETA in 2017, spending years on the road to bring the message of animal rights to a wide range of people. I conducted outreach at various festivals and concerts (such as Van’s Warped Tour), brought impactful virtual reality experiences to college and university campuses, and hosted presentations with TeachKind’s Carly the life-size mechanical cow to share the important message of empathy for all with young students across the U.S.

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    In my role with PETA, I work with youth educators to coordinate and schedule presentations with TeachKind’s animatronic animals at elementary schools and youth programs throughout the country. I oversee the TeachKind tour team, which travels extensively in order to bring the message of empathy to young students everywhere.

    I was born into a vegetarian family, went vegan in 2012, and have always had a deep desire to raise awareness of how our actions affect other animals while sharing how simple it can be to make a huge, positive difference. I’m overjoyed to be spending my days connecting with humane educators and working with them to help foster students’ natural compassion and empathy for all sentient beings.

Meet Robbie Broyles, Our TeachKind Tour Administrator

TeachKind staffer Robbie Broyles

Hello! My name is Robbie Broyles, and I’m one of the presenters on the Ellie the elephant tour. My tour partner and I travel across the U.S., helping Ellie spread empathy for all animals. I’ve advocated for empathy toward humans for most of my life, and when I went vegan in December 2020, I started advocating for empathy toward all other animals, too. Before I began working with TeachKind, I focused on adult learning by creating resources and online training curricula, conducting team discussions, and more. I learned the true power of empathy and compassion through my experience in customer service. I’ve also played the guitar and other instruments for over 20 years. These passions and activities have enriched my personal journey and allowed me to connect with audiences in unique and meaningful ways.

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    Having empathy for all is one of my fundamental values. By focusing on the human instinct for compassion, we can help others extend their consideration beyond humans to include all other animals, too. My passion for teaching, animal rights, and the potential that children hold for the future connect me directly to TeachKind’s mission.

Meet Matthew Collins, Our TeachKind Tour Crew Member

TeachKind staffer Matt CollinsHello! My name is Matthew Collins, and I’m one of the crew members on the fall Ellie the elephant tour. About 12 years ago, my Buddhist practice led me to become a vegetarian, and about seven years ago, I went vegan and became a dedicated animal activist. I’m a member of an animal rights group in the Albany, New York, area that has hosted protests, shown activist-themed movies at local libraries, and campaigned against a proposed slaughterhouse. Professionally, I have worked with individuals with developmental disabilities in group homes, individuals undergoing mental health events in hospitals, and children, particularly those on the autism spectrum, in school settings. These professional experiences have sparked my interest in intersectionality within the animal rights movement, particularly in relation to ableism, racism, and classism. In my spare time, I like to paint, volunteer at after-school programs, and study philosophy. I’m excited to work on the tour and to have the opportunity to hear and see kids express their innate empathy for all sentient beings.

Meet Jordyn Tacoronte, Our PETA Kids Project Manager

Photo of JordynHello! I’m Jordyn Tacoronte, the PETA Kids project manager. I have been working with PETA for almost six years and currently live in Los Angeles. Prior to assuming this role, I dedicated a significant portion of my career to customer care, which is how I discovered my passion for assisting others. This led me to pursue a B.A. in psychology, aiming to offer a sympathetic ear and a comprehensive understanding of the human mind and psyche to those around me. I strongly believe that many people often feel misunderstood, so I take pleasure in finding common ground in order to establish connections.

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    I consider it essential to find common ground with others when it comes to animal rights and speciesism. Humans often struggle to realize how much our choices affect other animals. So it’s important for me, especially in my work with families, to cultivate understanding in a gentle and informative way.

    My journey toward advocating for animals began at the age of 9, when I discovered that the burger I was eating was made from a cow. I immediately asked my parents if I could stop eating animals, and since then, I’ve been meat-free. During high school, after learning about the cruelty of the dairy industry, I went vegan. This ignited a deep passion within me to address animal-related issues and promote kindness toward all sentient beings.

    I believe that children possess a natural empathy for other species, and it’s crucial for us to nurture and cultivate it. By instilling kindness from a young age, we can contribute to the development of a more inclusive and compassionate society. At PETA Kids, my role involves sharing content with families, providing guidance on advocating for animals, fostering relationships, generating new ideas on animal issues, and overseeing various kid-friendly projects. I strive to inspire empathy and kindness in families across the U.S. and beyond through our social media platforms and the PETA Kids membership program.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind