Breakthrough Birmingham Staff

Mariohn Michel | Executive Director

Mariohn joined Breakthrough Birmingham in 2018 after working in urban and rural education spaces. She spent four years at a NYC school where she has been a data analyst, testing/program coordinator, social studies department chair, and teacher. Dissecting the story assessment data told was a stepping stone for her to find creative solutions to classroom differentiation, curriculum design and execution, and programming efficacy. Prior to that, she was a 2011 Teach for America corps member where she spent three years as a high school social studies teacher in rural Alabama, which fostered her love of the state and its unique culture. Mariohn graduated magna cum laude from Florida International University with a B.S. in Secondary Social Studies Education. She currently serves on the Teach for America Alabama Alumni Board. In her free time, she can be found hiking, reading, and traveling.

Liora Chessin | Program Director

Prior to joining the Breakthrough team, Liora Chessin worked in both public and private schools as well as the nonprofit sector. Liora started her career in education in rural North Carolina as a part of Teach For America. Liora taught 12th grade English and started the school’s first Advancement Placement English Literature course. Liora most recently taught middle school English and history in a Birmingham-area school where she organized a Professional Learning Community for the faculty and created the student-run Leadership Through Library program. Liora also worked as the school’s Director of Admissions and Communications building relationships with stakeholders and families. Liora has managed a state-wide college access program, worked in various marketing positions, and designed diverse curricula including middle school humanities and social justice education. Liora also recently finished her Masters in Education from Brandeis University in Massachusetts with a speciality in Teacher Leadership. Liora has a B.A. in English from the Ohio State University’s Honor College where she graduated summa cum laude. 

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