Hamilton County Teachers Receive Summer Fellowships

Their Students Will Reap The Benefits

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Public Education Foundation (PEF) on Tuesday awarded fellowship grants totaling $96,630 to 27Hamilton County educators –– to pursue self-designed learning adventures this summer.  The fellowships are made possible through a grant to PEF from the national nonprofit organization, Fund for Teachers. 

The winning teachers responded to PEF’s invitation to propose their ideal professional development experience and explain how this would inspire authentic learning in their classrooms.  Among the exciting and innovative proposals:

Lora Jenkins and Lonna Henriquez, Tyner Middle School Academy, will conduct biodiversity and conservation research in Costa Rica for a documentary and curriculum materials to be used in a school-wide unit.

Brian Fahey, Normal Park Museum Magnet School, will travel the Netherlands and France to explore how cultural, economic and political needs affected human/environmental interaction throughout history.

Katie Hawkins, Brown Middle School, and Rachel Price, Red Bank Middle School, will attend the Reading and Writing Summer Institute at Columbia University and meet with young adult author Lois Lowery to discuss the craft of writing for young adults.

Stacy Williams, East Brainerd Elementary School, and Rita Schubert, East Ridge Elementary School, will attend a creativity workshop in Barcelona and a brain-based workshop in Texas to acquire strategies to ignite creativity in students from poverty.

Susan Morrison, East Hamilton Middle/High School, will venture to Cambodia to meet survivors of the Khmer Rouge and discover the potential for grass roots activism in third world economies.

These teachers and 19 others from Hamilton County will join 450 peers from around the country to whom Fund for Teachers awarded $1.8 million in teacher grants for 2012 summer exploration and learning.  This is the first year that Hamilton County educators were eligible for these fellowships, made possible through PEF’s new partnership with Fund for Teachers.  

“This has been a rewarding and rigorous process to select these 27 teachers from the 83 who applied.  Almost all had compelling ideas and proposals,” said Dan Challener, PEF president.  An independent Selection Committee of educators and community leaders made the final choice on the basis of the creativity of ideas, the thoroughness of research, and the passion expressed for teaching.  “Returning from their fellowships, these teachers will deepen the knowledge of their students thanks to the insights and experiences they gained from these grants.” 

Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the world that impact their practice, their students and their schools. For more information, visit fundforteachers.org and facebook.com/fundforteachers.

Public Education Foundation partners with Hamilton County Schools to help students succeed by offering professional training and coaching for teachers, principals and administrators; human and financial resources to promote research-based innovation; and research that promotes continuous achievement. Since 2000, PEF has helped to bring over $60 million in supplemental, philanthropic funding to the school system. For the full list of Fund for Teacher awards, please visit pefchattanooga.org/fundforteachers.


Tennessee Treasury Department To Host Series Of Webinars On Saving For College

In celebration of College Savings Month, the Tennessee Treasury Department wants to help make college planning easier. Beginning Sept. 10, the department will host a series of free web-based seminars - or webinars - on topics related to college savings. These webinars will include information about the TNStars 529 College Savings Plan, which allows people to save money for children’s ... (click for more)

Dalton State Magazine: A Glimpse Into Campus Life

Jacob Southern turned to two things to help him cope with struggles growing up: fishing and God. After becoming a student at Dalton State, he added conservation biology to that list.    Set to graduate in December, mr. Southern is making great strides in undergraduate research, all while finding himself as a young adult. His story is told in the latest edition of the ... (click for more)

School Board Unanimously Makes Cuts To Teacher Insurance; Spouses Can Only Stay On If They Have No Other Insurance

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to Increase the premium for spouses by $100 - a move officials said would save the schools from $2,040,000 to $3,040,000. Spouses will not continue to be covered if they have insurance available to them on their jobs. School officials said the 1,700 spouses on county school insurance last year had $10 million in claims. ... (click for more)

City Audit Hits Travel Abuses By Top Chattanooga Library Personnel; Report Forwarded To State On Possible Fraud

A report by Internal City Auditor Stan Sewell found travel abuses by top personnel of the Chattanooga Library. The auditor said he found possible instances of fraud and forwarded information to state officials in regard to "reported potential fraudulent activity" by Margaret Backus, Systems Administrator and Nathaniel Hill, Assistant Library Director. The report says, ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)