Teach Plus Names 15 Educators as Fellows of Inaugural Local Change Agent Policy Fellowship in Colorado

Teach Plus Names 15 Educators as Fellows of Inaugural Local Change Agent Policy Fellowship in Colorado

Teach Plus, a national non-profit that empowers teachers to lead improvements in policy and practice, has selected 15 highly-effective teachers as Fellows of its Local Change Agent Policy Fellowship in Colorado.  The program, which includes a challenging course of study in education policy, is being offered in partnership with local teacher associations in Adams, Aurora, and Eagle counties, and the Colorado Education Association.  During the 12-month experience the Fellows, many of whom are active association members, will work towards building a next generation union that focuses on such key issues as performance-based compensation and improved professional development for teachers.  The launch of the Fellowship marks the first time that Teach Plus, which runs education policy fellowships and practice-focused teacher leadership programs in seven states, is bringing its programs to Colorado.

“The Fellowship provides a way for excellent teachers to become a force for change in their local associations,” said Arielle Zurzolo, Teach Plus Executive Director for Strategic Partnerships. “It is an on-the-ground effort to shift union priorities so that they better align with teacher and student needs. We applaud the local Presidents who are showing strong support of teacher leadership as part of this program.”

“We are excited to welcome Teach Plus as a partner in our state.”  said Kerrie Dallman, President, Colorado Education Association. “Like Teach Plus, the Colorado Education Association is committed to student centered-learning and professional excellence.  We look forward to working with the new Teach Plus Fellows on a variety of teacher leadership opportunities in our local associations.” 

The new Fellows teach in Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Aurora Public Schools, and Eagle County School District.  Of the 15 teachers, five teach elementary school, three middle school, and four high school.  Three teachers serve as teacher leaders on special assignment in their district.  Many of the incoming Fellows have been recognized for outstanding instruction by their respective schools. 

The incoming cohort includes:

Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Dillon Bohlender, Northglenn Middle School

Sarah Doyle, Northglenn High School Dean of Students, Teacher on Special Assignment

Anne Rawley Eden, Northglenn STEM High School

Kim McLachlan, The International School at Thornton Middle

Erin Swain-Talburt, Century Middle School


Aurora Public Schools

Brandy Bixler, Aurora Quest K-8

Yolanda Calderon, Vista PEAK Exploratory P-8 in Aurora

Jessica Cuthbertson, Teacher on Special Assignment

Cassie Harrelson, Special Education Secondary Math Teacher on a Special Assignment

Joshua Quick, Hinkley High School  


Eagle County School District

Tonya Farmer, Gypsum Elementary School

Lindsay Hawkins, Gypsum Elementary School

Ashley Samek, Eagle Valley High School

Noreen Treadway, June Creek Elementary School

Bindu Pomeroy, Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy

“Teach Plus is providing me with the opportunity to meet with other educators to develop creative and alternative solutions that offer me hope for what teaching will look like in the future,” said incoming Fellow Erin Swain-Talburt, a 7th grade mathematics teacher at Century Middle School in Thornton, Colorado.


About Teach Plus

Teach Plus aims to empower excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Teach Plus runs three programs designed to place teacher leaders at the center of improvements in policy and practice: Teaching Policy Fellowship, C2 Initiative, and T3 (Turnaround Teacher Teams) Initiative.  The programs focus on demonstrably effective teachers who want to continue classroom teaching while also expanding their impact as leaders in their schools and in district, state, and national policy.  Since its inception in August 2009, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 20,000 solutions-oriented teachers across the country. www.teachplus.org