Teach Plus Colorado Names 2023-2024 Policy Fellows

Teach Plus Colorado Names 2023-2024 Policy Fellows

Denver, CO, September 11, 2023—Teach Plus, a national teacher leadership nonprofit, has selected 12 highly effective teacher leaders as Fellows in its eighth Colorado Policy Fellowship. The cohort will focus on a range of education issues important to Colorado’s students and communities, including school quality, chronic absenteeism, and ELL elementary student reading and writing achievement, as  well as teacher preparation and the recruitment and retention of teachers of color.

“The new Teach Plus Policy Fellowship cohort will build upon the outstanding work of the 2022-2023 Fellows who worked on legislation to create a teacher apprenticeship program, support teacher recruitment and retention of teachers of color, and improve school climate,” said Mark Sass, Teach Plus Colorado Executive Director. “Having excellent teachers from around the state bring their perspectives to bear on Colorado education policy is vital to ensuring that educators are charting the course of our students’ education along with other stakeholders.”

Amanda Escheman, a middle school teacher at the Cherry Creek Challenge School and 2023-2024 Teach Plus Colorado Policy Fellow, said: “As a Teach Plus Policy Fellow, I am excited about the unparalleled opportunity to influence education policy at a systemic level. This fellowship not only allows me to collaborate with thought leaders but also empowers me to embrace my role as an LGBTQ+ teacher-activist.”

The new Fellows come from across the state and teach in a variety of urban and rural districts and in charter, innovation, and non-charter public schools, and across all grade levels. Many of the Fellows are leaders in their schools and communities and have been recognized for their outstanding instruction. In addition to the new Fellows, four outstanding Teach Plus Policy Fellowship alumni will serve as Senior Policy Fellows to support the cohort.

Throughout the program, the Fellows are trained in policy and advocacy and develop the skills to advocate for changes for Colorado’s students. Fellows are selected through a rigorous application process which requires them to demonstrate effectiveness, commitment to equity, and pursuit of excellence and innovation in their teaching.

The 2023-2024 Colorado Policy Fellows are:

  • Hannah Branit, Denver Public Schools
  • Amanda Escheman, Cherry Creek Public Schools
  • Luz Galaviz, Garfield School District RE-2
  • Andrew Gitner, Jefferson County Schools
  • DonDre Harris, Denver Public Schools
  • Shannon Larsen, Denver Public Schools
  • Jonathan Martin, Denver Public Schools
  • Emily Mullenberg, Cherry Creek Schools
  • Nick Salazar, Boulder Valley School District
  • Emily Sturt, Widefield School District 3
  • Laura Vance, Harrison School District 2
  • Bret Wright, Douglas County School District RE-1

The 2023-2024 Colorado Senior Policy Fellows are: 

  • Karen Amidon, Boulder Valley School District
  • Mary Rose Donahue, Boulder Valley School District
  • Sarah Seaman, Denver Public Schools
  • Madison Stockton, Denver Public Schools

About Teach Plus
Teach Plus is dedicated to the mission of empowering excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that advance equity, opportunity, and student success. In pursuing our mission, Teach Plus is guided by our Student Opportunity Mandate: All students should have the opportunity to achieve their potential in an education system defined by its commitment to equity, its responsiveness to individual needs, and its ability to prepare students for postsecondary 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 for students.teachplus.org/co

For more information and to arrange interviews with the Policy Fellows, contact Kelly Pearce, kpearce@teachplus.org.