Public Education Foundation Announces 2nd Cohort Of Innovative Educator Fellows

  • Monday, July 25, 2022

Public Education Foundation announced the selection of 32 educators who will participate in the 
2nd cohort of PEF’s Innovative Educator Fellowship. The educators, who work in seven school 
districts, will spend a year developing innovations aimed at increasing student engagement and 
achievement. The Fellows began their work last week where they met with three educators who 
have earned national recognition for innovations they have designed and led. 

“PEF is delighted to be able to provide this group of outstanding educators the opportunity to
develop innovations that will strengthen public schools,” said Dan Challener, president of Public 
Education Foundation. “Smart, creative, and deeply committed educators are exactly the right 
people to develop innovations for our classrooms.”

The Innovative Educator Fellows program is designed to empower educators to cultivate an 
innovative mindset as they develop and lead initiatives to transform learning so that all students 
are prepared for success. The program provides extensive leadership development training for 
teachers. The program is led by PEF’s Innovation Hub in partnership with Hamilton County 
Schools and is generously supported by Benwood Foundation. It also is supported by 
Pittsburgh’s Grable Foundation and Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Fund. 

“Leadership is essential at every level of our district, and the development of teacher leaders is 
incredibly important,” said Hamilton County Superintendent Dr. Justin Robertson. “Whether 
teaching a lesson, chairing a grade-level or subject area team, or providing support to peers, the 
ability of teachers to innovate and lead others along the path of improvement is critical to the 
success of our schools and the students they serve. The Innovative Educator Fellows program 
provides the type of training and experiences that help build that leadership.”

The fellowship launched with a four-day intensive summer institute (July 18-21) where the 
fellows engaged with local and national educational thought leaders in a series of learning 
sessions focused on innovative leadership development. The institute featured sessions facilitated 
by recognized experts including Dr. Jeff McClellan, founder of StartSOLE and former founding 
principal of the first STEM school in the United States, Dr. Gary Stager, Founder and CEO of 
Constructing Modern Knowledge, and Thomas C. Murray, Director of Innovation for Future 
Ready Schools. The fellowship continues throughout the year with fellows engaging in monthly 
sessions where they will develop innovative initiatives that they pilot within their local context 
before working to develop plans for scaling successful initiatives across the region. 

“We know everything rises and falls on innovation and leadership,” said Michael Stone, PEF’s 
vice president for Innovative Learning. “Innovative Educator Fellows provides a unique 
opportunity for great teachers and leaders to collaborate as they leverage key insights from 
classroom experiences to develop strategies that transform how we prepare all students for a 
future without limits.”

PEF congratulates members of the 2022-2023 Innovative Educator Fellows Cohort.
Innovative Educator Cohort 2.0:

• Molly Anderson, East Lake Elementary (Hamilton County, TN) 
• Miranda Avdyukov, Taylor Elementary (Bradley County, TN)
• Jason Bevil, Apison Elementary (Hamilton County, TN)
• Leigh Broxton, Middle Valley Elementary
• Sarah Candler, Chattanooga Center for the Creative Arts
• Kyle Carrasco, STEM School Chattanooga
• Catherine Casselman, East Side Elementary
• Mendi Catlett, Ooltewah Elementary
• Jennifer Ellis, Global Center for Digital Innovation
• Burt Finley, East Hamilton Middle School
• Denise George, Charleston Elementary STEAM Academy (Bradley County, TN)
• Haley Graham, Battle Academy
• Evonne Hackett, Lakeview Middle School (Catoosa County, GA)
• Margaret Hall, East Side Elementary
• Curt Hitchens, Saddle Ridge Elementary and Middle School (Walker County, GA)
• Matt Johnson, Red Bank High School
• Dr. Beth Hutson, Brownsville School District (Fayette County, PA)
• Cindy Kean, Battle Academy
• Lakhyia Lee, Tyner Middle Academy
• Sierra Magee, Middle Valley Elementary
• Heather McIntyre, Ooltewah High School
• Amber Miller, Red Bank Elementary
• Fred Morecraft, Carmichaels Area School District (Greene County, PA)
• Nicole Morecraft, Carmichaels Area School District (Greene County, PA)
• Teysha Murray, East Side Elementary
• Taryn Painter, Apison Elementary
• Emily Phillips, Red Bank Elementary
• Wade Sacca, Walker Valley High School (Bradley County, TN)
• Julie Spino, McConnell Elementary
• Sarah Stumper, The Howard School
• Jennifer Whalen, Battle Academy
• Ed Zelich, Charleroi School District (Washington County, PA)

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