15 Projects And 22 Educators Selected For 5th Annual Teacherpreneur Incubator

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Teacherpreneur Incubator is an innovative initiative led by the Public Education Foundation in partnership with Hamilton County Schools. The program is designed to provide support, time, and resources for educators to incubate big ideas and execute them in the best interests of their students, their profession, and the community.   

Now in its fifth year, Teacherpreneur Incubator has partnered with The Company Lab to offer selected educators the opportunity to go through their CO.STARTERS course, providing an exploration of their ideas as they develop the tools and relationships needed to turn their ideas into action. 

Also new this year, Teacherpreneur Incubator will host the annual Pitch Night on Sunday from 4-6 p.m. to kick off Startup Week Chattanooga, where the community will hear educators pitch their big ideas for what’s next in education. 

“On Oct. 21, some of Hamilton County’s finest teachers will pitch their best ideas for innovations that will strengthen our schools," said Dan Challener, president of Public Education Foundation. "We’re delighted that this year, Teacherpreneur Incubator will kick off Startup Week Chattanooga." 

“We are excited to see Teacherpreneur come full circle,” said PEF Director of Innovative Learning, Michael Stone. "It was inspired by the thriving entrepreneurial community in Chattanooga, and now will have the opportunity to showcase teachers who have embraced an entrepreneurial mindset to problem solving while kicking off a week that celebrates the incredible work in our startup community.”

"It is important that we support the entrepreneurial spirit in teachers, as they are the foundation for fostering a creative spirit in our children," said Marcus Shaw, CEO of CO.LAB. "CO.LAB is proud to support this initiative to build stronger public school systems."

After a competitive selection process, PEF and HCS announce that 15 innovative ideas from 22 enterprising educators representing a diverse group from 17 elementary, middle, and high schools in Hamilton County have been selected for inclusion in this year’s Teacherpreneur Incubator.   

This year’s Incubator boasts a wide scope of proposed projects, including:

A girls coding program to set the world record for "Most Girls Coding In One Place” 

Developing curriculum for the Applied Math course that will, in combination with a construction class, result in the students using their classroom math work to construct a tiny house 

A program to increase the appreciation for diversity in our community and to develop an understanding of other cultures 

The Benwood Foundation has been the premier sponsor and partner of this unique program since its inception in 2013, advocating for practitioner led innovation in education and elevating the teaching profession.  

The educators participating are:

Michelle Bettis (East Hamilton Middle High), Stephanie Montgomery (STEM School Chattanooga), and Nikki Russell (Orchard Knob Elementary) 
Tyler Roberson (Soddy Daisy Middle) 
Michael Caraccio (Sale Creek Middle High) 
Chelsie Durham and Lauren Swanson (Lakeside Academy) 
Maureen Clark (Soddy Daisy High) 
Sherry Heinz (The Howard School) 
Erika Martin (East Brainerd Elementary) 
Karen West, Comelia Franceschi, Laurie Clifton (CSLA) and Susan Morrison (Tyner Academy) 
Audrey Pulse (Wallace A. Smith Elementary) 
Sam Martin (Red Bank Middle) 
Tarah Kemp (DuPont Elementary) 
Kristina Williams (Brainerd High) 
Marcie Williams (Ooltewah High) 
Tad Russell and Regan Canada (Soddy Daisy Middle) 
Jessica Hoover (Hixson Elementary) 

For more information visit teacherpreneurcha.com and contact PEF’s Kate Skonberg at kate@pefchattanooga.org or 648-4444.  



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