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.

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