DENVER, CO–Teach Plus, a national non-profit that empowers teachers to lead improvements in policy and practice, has announced that Mark Sass has joined the organization as State Policy Director in Colorado. Mr. Sass will helm the new Colorado State Policy Fellowship program that will engage teachers in shaping key policy decisions at the state level such as the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation. A current high school social studies teacher, Mr. Sass was most recently U.S. Department of Education’s 2015-16 Teacher Ambassador Fellow.
“Mark’s deep-seated experience as a classroom teacher, teacher leader, and education advocate and his understanding of the needs of teachers and students in Colorado are second to none. We’re thrilled to welcome him to our team and to grow our work and partnerships in the state under his leadership,” said Dr. Celine Coggins, Founder and CEO of Teach Plus.
“I am pleased to be working with Teach Plus to ensure Colorado educators are actively involved in writing, implementing, and sustaining education policy over time,” said Mr. Sass. “The immediate work around ESSA will allow us to do what’s best for our Colorado students by ensuring the practitioners are at the policy table.”
Mr. Sass teaches social studies in the Adams 12 Five Star School District’s Legacy High School, a school he helped open in 2000. At Legacy, he has served as teacher leader, AP coordinator, and intervention coordinator. Mr. Sass helped bring Professional Learning Communities to Legacy and the district, and has facilitated the implementation of standards-based grading at the district level. He was a member of the LEAD Compact Committee that worked on rewriting Colorado state policy on teacher certification. Mr. Sass was a 2014 National Fellow for the Hope Street Group, a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Pahara Aspen Teacher-Leader Fellowship, and is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He is a member of the Practitioner Advisory Board for the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Denver where he also received his teaching certification.
Applications for Colorado Teach Plus State Policy Fellowship Now Open
The application process for the inaugural 2016 Colorado State Policy Fellowship program is now open. A highly selective program, the Fellowship will engage teachers from across Colorado to help guide policy decision-making at the state level. Eligibility, selection criteria, and applications are available at teachplus.org/colorado-teaching-policy-fellowship.
In the Fellowship, highly effective teachers participate in a specially-designed course of study and learn to develop their voice in policy and advocacy. The Fellows engage directly with key education stakeholders and policy makers, and work to shape and advocate for policies that meet the needs of their students and the teaching profession.
About Teach Plus
Teach Plus empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Teach Plus programs are designed to place highly effective teachers at the center of improvements in schools as leaders of their peers and outside schools influencing policy decisions that affect their classrooms. The programs develop excellent teachers into leaders who achieve change and mobilize others in their school, district, state, and across the nation to bring change to scale. Since its inception in August 2007, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 22,000 solutions-oriented teachers across the country. www.teachplus.org
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