The Project Inspire teacher residency, a partnership between the Public Education Foundation, Hamilton County Schools and Lee University, is celebrating the graduation of 20 new teachers.
“PEF is incredibly proud of these new teachers beginning their careers in Hamilton County’s high-needs schools and grateful that talented individuals from across the country chose to work with students in our community. They have worked hard to reach this milestone, and we know they will continue their teaching careers with the same passion and dedication,” said Dan Challener, President of the Public Education Foundation.
During the past year, each teacher earned a master of arts in teaching at Lee University while working alongside a mentor teacher in a high-needs school in Hamilton County. “We at Lee University have greatly enjoyed working with these students and Hamilton County Schools the past fourteen months. This partnership has benefited all of us, and we look forward to seeing the great work these teachers will accomplish in the coming years,” said Bill Estes, dean of Lee University’s College of Education. All 20 Project Inspire graduates were hired by Hamilton County Schools to teach during the 2018-2019 school year, and the majority will work in Opportunity Zone schools.
? Barger Academy - Matthew Bradshaw and Kelly Gibson
? Clifton Hills Elementary - James Cunningham and Rachel Graham
? Dalewood Middle - Makenzie Vandiver
? East Lake Elementary - Mary Ann Clelland, Hannah Clem, Whit Miller and Lauren Velo
? East Ridge High - Hannah Pell and Amanda Akin
? East Side Elementary - Catherine Casselman
? Ooltewah Middle - Jennifer Riley
? Orchard Knob Middle - Owen Bogolin
? Orchard Knob Elementary - Alexis Wyatt, Jonathan Ramirez, and Shaina Ranjan
? Red Bank High - Nick Boehm
? Woodmore Elementary - Emily Hoffman and Mackenzie Eschmann
“I feel immensely happy to be able to teach at Orchard Knob Elementary and very grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me by OKES, Project Inspire and Lee University. Now I have the opportunity and responsibility to teach my students in the most relevant way and
remain committed to the community,” said Jonathan Ramirez, a Project Inspire graduate who is joining the team at Orchard Knob Elementary.
"Our students deserve teachers who want to be here, and who are committed to being a part of positive change and culture in our schools. We believe that Project Inspire graduates will bring those qualities to their work at OKES, as they have already demonstrated their talent by completing a rigorous residency and impressed us with their strong sense of commitment to OKES throughout the hiring process,” said LaFrederick Thirkill, principal of Orchard Knob Elementary.