TAMPA, Fla. (March 23, 2021) — The 21 & Change, Inc. Board of Directors unanimously appointed Shannon McKallip Moss and Sarah Karlo on Thursday, March 11, during the virtual monthly board of directors’ meeting.
“As we kick off our New Year strong, we are once again honored to announce two incredibly talented people to our rapidly expanding board of directors by welcoming Shannon and Sarah to our family at 21 & Change. Their diverse backgrounds, education, and passion will resonate well with our people and mission to challenge the status quo and fight for inclusion, education, and human rights for ‘differently-abled children and adults,” said 21 & Change President John Bodor.
Shannon McKallip Moss was born and raised in Florida and received her undergraduate degree in Special Education from the University of South Florida. It was her lifelong goal to teach students with Down syndrome and Autism. In 2007, she received her Graduate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. With over 21 years in Special Education and Behavior Analysis, she is now assisting families navigate the school system through Florida Professional Special Education Advocates.
Moss brings experience as a classroom teacher for students with unique abilities, District ESE Resource Teacher, Educational Consultant, and Director of a Charter School for Students with Autism. This broad scope of experience has allowed her the opportunity to advocate for and educate students to meet their full potential. She is passionate about working with families to support their vision, advocating for inclusion, and focusing on each child’s strengths.
Upon becoming a parent to an amazing daughter with Down syndrome, Moss recognized the need for family, educational, and community support to ensure the best school and life experience for children and their families. She is proud to have graduated from the Partners in Policymaking Program in 2014 and continues to stay involved by serving on the Florida Department of Health Bright Expectations Advisory Committee through an appointment from the Florida House Speaker. Last year Moss was nominated to serve on the State of Florida Advisory Council for Special Education.
She looks forward to serving and making a difference by joining the 21 & Change Leadership Team.
“Having a strong presence in our community 21&Change is dedicated to their vision and mission to advocate for all differently-abled individuals. As an Advocate, Professional and Parent, I share the same values, passion, and mission. Working in Special Education, I have seen firsthand the areas of need for both individuals with unique abilities and their families. Upon becoming a parent to an amazing daughter with Down syndrome, I recognized an even greater need for family and community support to ensure the best life experience for children and their families. Like 21&Change, I am passionate about making significant and permanent changes within our schools, communities, and at both the state and local levels. I am excited for the opportunity to join this wonderful organization to help bring about positive, meaningful, and lasting change,” said Moss.
Sarah Karlo came to Tampa in 2002 after completing a Master of Education in Language and Literacy and with a passion for improving literacy resources for schools and families in Tampa Bay. She has spent the last 20 years involved as a teacher, administrator, tutor, volunteer, and advocate for education throughout Tampa Bay.
Karlo’s undergraduate degree is from Vanderbilt University with a concentration in Secondary Education and English. She spent the first part of her career working in admissions and teaching and developing curriculum for her high school alma mater (The Lawrenceville School) and its pioneering abroad program in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Thus, began her fascination with challenging education norms for the non-traditional learner and challenging curriculum in traditional educational settings to celebrate the strengths of the differently abled and focus more on what are arguably more essential skills needed for success in life.
Karlo went on to teach middle school in Miami, where a struggling class of readers motivated her to pursue her Masters in Language in Literacy at Harvard University. This finite understanding of reading, a tremendous asset to tapping into the potential of so many children, has enabled her to make an even greater impact in the field of education. She began her career in Tampa as the Reading Resource teacher helping to open Liberty Middle School. She has taught sixth and seventh grade English at Berkeley Preparatory School and was Director of Studies at the Canterbury School of Florida. Furthermore, she has provided academic tutoring and counseling to families continuously throughout her career.
Karlo has spent the last 10 years in particular tutoring with a specialty in reading, writing, study skills, and overall academic planning. Sarah not only enjoys consulting families with reading and academic challenges but also connecting educators throughout the community. Over the past decade, her efforts at community connection include establishing a Little Free Library in her front yard and teaching Sunday school at her church. She also has enjoyed substituting teaching and volunteer tutoring at different schools across Tampa Bay, allowing her to see the different education needs in Tampa for a wide variety of populations. She loves to champion the “underdog” and continues to be passionate about strengthening education resources for all students and families in Tampa Bay.
“It is my hope that my background as a learning and reading specialist will provide added insight into how to capitalize on the differing abilities of the families championed by the team at 21 & Change. In my early teaching, I came across a program that really shaped my philosophy as a teacher and education advocate. The goal is simple: leverage individuals’ strengths to compensate for their challenges. If possible, make them, or their advocates, as metacognitive as possible of their differing abilities and then guide them in how to reach their potential by capitalizing on these strengths. I look forward to sharing my specialized education and experience as a reading specialist with this already incredibly talented board. Understanding the finite pieces of language has helped me help students connect the dots of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Cultivating literacy skills and overall comprehension opens doors of potential for all students, whether it be increasing their ability to communicate and express themselves or enabling them to prepare for a job; it is arguably one of the most valuable skills to accelerate possibilities for all people. It is my hope that these skills will contribute to 21 & Change’s already outstanding efforts to champion inclusion, education, and human rights for the ‘differently-abled,” said Karlo.
For more information, please visit www.21andchange.org.