Teach Plus Colorado Announces its 7th Cohort of Policy Fellows

Teach Plus Colorado Announces its 7th Cohort of Policy Fellows

Denver, CO—Teach Plus, a national nonprofit that empowers teachers to lead improvements in educational policy and instructional practice, has selected a group of 12 demonstrably effective teachers from around Colorado for its 2022-2023 Policy Fellowship cohort. The 7th cohort of Colorado Fellows will focus on a range of issues of importance to Colorado’s teachers, students, and parents, including diversifying the teacher workforce, reimagining teacher preparation programs, and transforming school climate.

Colorado Executive Director Mark Sass said, “We are excited to work with a diverse group of excellent teachers who are driven by equity and who will provide important perspectives to education policy at the local, state, and federal level.”

The Fellows hail from all over Colorado, including the Front Range, the Eastern Plains, and the Westslope. Their teaching experience ranges from two years to 18 years and the Fellows teach grades kindergarten through 12th and come from charter as well as traditional public schools. They have been trained through a variety of preparation institutions such as traditional undergraduate, master’s programs, and alternative prep programs. The Fellows have demonstrated their effectiveness through the rigorous application process. Supporting the Fellows are Teach Plus Colorado alumni. These four Senior Fellows will provide guidance and pass along their experiences as policy advocates.

“I believe that to enact change we must first understand the systems and policies currently in place. As a Teach Plus Colorado Policy Fellow I hope to gain insight into the education policies of Colorado, and then advocate for changes that will positively impact Colorado classrooms, and the profession of teaching overall,” said Teach Plus Policy Fellow Emily Heinrich, a middle school teacher in Colorado Springs.

Throughout the program, the Fellows are trained in policy, advocacy, research, and communications and develop the skills necessary to advocate for changes for Colorado’s students. Each Fellow was chosen based on their strong commitment to the classroom and to equity, their ability to articulate the needs of their students, and their pursuit of excellence and innovation in their teaching.

“Teachers are the foundation ensuring Colorado’s nearly 900,000 students receive a fair and quality education. Effective policy making brings the voices of those being directly impacted by decisions at the state and local level. I’m excited to be at the table to provide policy recommendations to our elected officials that will benefit public education in Colorado,” said Teach Plus Policy Fellow Charles Ferrer, a high school teacher in Denver.

The 2022-23 Colorado Policy Fellows are:

  • Alina Acosta, High School, Golden
  • Ana Chavira, K-3, Rifle
  • Charles Ferrer, High School, Denver
  • Emily Heinrich, Middle School, Colorado Springs
  • Erica Kouzmanoff-Vymyslicky, Elementary, Denver
  • Jeane Lakin, Elementary, Carbondale
  • Laurie Andreson, Middle School, Aurora
  • Lisa Wennerth, High School, Fort Collins
  • Melissa Gould Middle School, Colorado Springs
  • Nicole Pasillas Middle School, Denver
  • Sherise Dawkins Middle School, Fort Collins
  • Meghan Woodring Middle School, Colorado Springs

Senior Fellows

  • Madison Stockton, Middle School, Denver
  • Lorelei Jackson, Middle School, Denver
  • Sarah Seaman, High School, Denver
  • Mary Rose Donahue, High School, Boulder

About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has developed thousands of teacher leaders across the country to exercise their leadership in shaping education policy and improving teaching and learning, to create an education system driven by access and excellence for all. teachplus.org