Native American Initiatives Trainer


Jessica joined the team from the classroom, where she most recently taught biology. Throughout her time in the classroom, Jessica taught students from diverse populations, including at Sanders Middle School, in a rural area of the Navajo Nation, and at Phoenix Collegiate Academy in south Phoenix. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Northern Arizona University and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University. Jessica’s teaching experience extends outside the classroom. She previously worked in outdoor education at the Grand Canyon with National Geographic Expeditions. Wanting to incorporate her knowledge from the field and kinesthetic learning into lessons in the classroom, Jessica entered the classroom as an Arizona Teaching Fellows 2012-2013 Corps member. In 2014, after her second year of teaching, Jessica was named Apache County Teacher of the Year. In addition to preparing her students with rigorous academic instruction, Jessica has also served as a department chair, head boys varsity basketball coach, head girls volleyball coach and district science fair coordinator. Jessica has served as a mentor teacher for many students from Arizona State University and is passionate about working with administrators and teachers to open pathways of opportunity for students from underserved communities.

Alli Ember

Teacher / Substitutes Any Time

"This is my 3rd training session with Jessica Makowske, and I learn something new every time. To me, her and teachers like her, are the gold standard. I wish every teacher in Arizona were able to attend her training. The benefits would be huge!"