AACTE National Office Welcomes New Staff

AACTE is delighted to introduce the newest additions to its national staff: Ana-Maria Gutierrez, manager, digital content and IT, and interns Ann Marie Wernick and Gaëlle Gilbert.

Ana-Maria Gutierrez 

Ana-Maria Gutierrez has 20 years of experience working in strategic communications, technology applications, graphic design, and social media. In her last position, she worked in the Disabilities Studies and Services Center at Family Health International (formerly the Academy for Educational Development) serving as deputy director for several national projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education and Health and Human Services. Her career has been focused in the special education field, working primarily to promote the use of assistive technology (AT) to serve the needs of children and youth with disabilities. As the technical lead for a national AT information and training series of more than 100 webinars, she had contact with hundreds of special education teachers, pre-service teachers and post-secondary educators, which has provided her a unique perspective on the needs of educators as well as students.

Gutierrez, who joined the staff in January, worked as an AACTE contractor serving as its digital content manager since May 2019. As a member of the Member Services & Events team, she is eager to continue to serve educator preparation programs through advancing the Association’s online and digital presence and communications.

Ann Marie Wernick

Ann Marie WernickAnn Marie Wernick joins AACTE as the research, policy, and advocacy intern. She is a graduate research assistant and doctoral student at the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Her research interests coalesce around understanding and supporting teacher learning for both pre-service and in-service teachers. Wernick is particularly interested in designing collaborative learning spaces for teachers to enact skills, receive feedback and construct knowledge. To carry out this work, she examines how various forms of technology can be leveraged to nurture—and assess—teachers’ developing expertise as both instructional decision-makers and advocates for their students. Before her time at SMU, Wernick earned her M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame, and spent seven years as a classroom teacher and instructional coach. In these settings, she gained valuable experience working with teachers, which fostered her interest in teacher learning.  

Wernick’s dual interests in research and advocacy guide her work and drew her to AACTE. Her vision for AACTE is to advance educator preparation through policy, practice and research. In her role, she will help support the Research, Policy and Advocacy Team. Wernick joined AACTE in January.

Gaëlle Gilbert

Gaelle GilbertGaelle Gilbert, a recent graduate of American University, is the social media engagement intern at AACTE. She attained a master’s degree in marketing after a yearlong internship at The Walt Disney Company in Orlando, FL. She also completed an internship at AARP, where she managed client assets and the AARP social media channels under the Lifestyle Membership Team. Gilbert earned a BBA degree in marketing with a minor in psychology from the University of Houston, Bauer Business School.

“My mission as an intern is to help increase engagement with AACTE’s channels as well as build a stronger presence in the digital space,” says Gilbert. “The 2021 Annual Meeting theme of ‘Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope’ speaks to me the most, especially during this difficult time. I’m happy to work for a company that puts emphasis on bringing positivity and optimism into its brand especially when it comes to education.” Gilbert, part of the Member Services & Events team, joined AACTE in February.


Katrina Norfleet

Content Strategist, AACTE