Aliyah Bacca was called to education as a young child and has always pursued knowledge, justice, and equity from the moment she learned she had a voice. She holds a Bachelors Degree from Howard University in Washington D.C., which includes a major in English Literature with a minor in Secondary Education. She has been teaching middle school and some high school all over the country for over 13 years now, and she is passionate about the power of education to affect change in the global society. Additionally, she loves to read all genres of literature, but she especially loves historical fiction. When she is not teaching, she loves to go on long walks with her husband and furry poodle Jupiter. Her key goal as an educator is to help students actualize their dreams for their future and find their place in the world. 





Hello everyone! My name is Caray Long. I am so excited to join you all in growing, learning, and thriving at Rise Virtual Academy. I received my bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion from Weber State University and my bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Utah State University. I spent the early years of my career in education at Roy Jr. High School teaching Resource Math (8th grade), Resource English (9th grade), Social Skills, and coaching track and volleyball. As a Black educator, I have strived to use my voice to advocate for inclusivity and I participate in local social and racial justice community resource groups. Currently, I am using my voice as an Equity Compliance Officer at Davis School District. Outside of my career in education, I enjoy reading, being outdoors, learning about other cultures, and exploring everything the Earth has to offer. I look forward to learning with you and your families.




Adrienne Scott-Ellis embodies a spirit of professionalism that contributed to the achievement of high standards in education over the past 30 years. Adrienne recently retired from the Davis County School District, where she loved her profession and the children she taught. 


Adrienne is a native of Layton, Utah. After graduating from Layton High School in 1986, with high honors, she attended Utah State University, where she received both her bachelor’s and Master of Education Degrees. Adrienne began her career with an internship at Mckinnley Elementary in Tremonton, Utah. At Mckinnley, Adrienne served as the arts specialist, as well as the 4th and 5th grade core curriculum instructor. Following this internship, she was hired with Davis School District.


Adrienne taught sixth grade, at Whitesides Elementary School in Layton, Utah. She also served as the director of the Humanities/Arts Committee. This committee enhanced the quality of arts education and promoted the appreciation and awareness of cultural diversity. She authored and directed the implementation of the Utah State Office of Education/ Arts Council-Artist in Residence Grant and the 5-year strategic plan to advance the school-wide arts education program.


During her teaching years at Lakeside, she became a certified REACH instructor for the Davis County School District. She also received an ESL and Gifted and Talented endorsement. She was the recipient of the tenth annual Davis School District Hall of Fame and received the Board of Education Honor Recognition. Adrienne has received numerous awards and well-deserved recognitions. The most recent being the Robert “Archie” Archuleta UEA Human and Civil Rights Award for 2021


Serving as a fourth-grade teacher at Doxey Elementary.  Adrienne utilized Doxey’s Annual Literacy Night as a platform to highlight the contributions of individuals throughout history that worked toward the ideals of our democracy. As moving wax figures, students portrayed these historical figures and taught viewers of the words and actions taken to evoke change toward liberty and justice for all. 


Adrienne received the Exemplary Educator for Diversity Award, from NAME in recognition of her hard work and dedication to equitable education for all. Adrienne currently, serves on the board of Utah Black Round Table, is an active member of the NAACP, and the founder of Sowing Seeds of Change, a non-profit organization that uses a community garden to facilitate racial justice conversations. Adrienne is the mother of three boys and is married to a very supportive husband, Terrence Ellis.




   Jayrod P. Garrett longs for a world that sees each of us as human beings. As a part of the Black Lives Matter movement he lost friends and some he considered family for the cause.  Every sacrifice made him stronger. His goal as a writer and performer is to share art that moves us, as people away from the caricatures that our biases and systems determine others to be, onward to a place where we see each human being for all of who they are.

      He’s published work in local anthologies and as the co-founder of the Utah Black Artists Collective (UBLAC) and he’s editing a collection of poems titled “Being Black in a White Space” to be published and presented hopefully with performances from other members of UBLAC.

     He is a poet, educator, and aspiring fantasy author that graduated from Weber State with his Bachelor of English with an Emphasis on Creative Writing in 2014. He’s taught students how to succeed in college, High school Language Arts, and spent seven years of his life professionally mentoring high school and college students. He’ll be starting graduate school in a low residency program in the fall of 2021 at Sierra Nevada University, in Incline Village, Nevada, for a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with a fiction concentration. Having lived in Utah most of his life he’s an Ogdenite at heart, through currently lives with his wife and two kids in Bountiful, Utah.

Peace, Love, and Poetry,




Greetings families,


I am so excited to be a teacher at Rise Virtual Academy and afforded the opportunity to introduce myself. Prior to teaching in public school I received a bachelor of science in psychology. I worked as a marriage and family counselor, with at risk families, in both NY and Atlanta for four years. During that time, as an intern for a licensed clinical social worker,  I helped families who were going through child protective services stick to a reunification plan, start their healing process as a family, and reunite if at all possible. I also helped couples address marital issues. My intention was to become a clinical psychologist. 


However, I left my career in counseling when my son Elijah was diagnosed with dysgraphia, dyslexia, and unilateral deafness in addition to his moderate speech impediment. At the age of 9 Elijah was also still unable to read beyond a first grade level. I made it my absolute goal to not only teach Elijah to read well, but to excel academically. It was hard work but my efforts were justified when Elijah scored a 33/36 on the reading section of his ACT exam and an invitation only scholarship to The University of Utah.


Currently I am in my fourth year of teaching in the public school system. I have a M.Ed with a Reading endorsement. I will complete the course work for my Gifted & Talented Endorsement, ESL Endorsement, and Administrative Certificate later this school year. 


A a black educator I value the opportunity to teach an audience of black students the curriculum made available by Rise Virtual Academy. I am excited to go on this educational journey with you all and  look forward to building with you all. 




Nicole Herrera

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