Teach Plus Names 15 Educators as Fellows of Inaugural Statewide Teaching Policy Fellowship in Mississippi

Teach Plus Names 15 Educators as Fellows of Inaugural Statewide Teaching Policy Fellowship in Mississippi
Fellows Will Work on Teacher Recruitment and Retention, and Early Childhood Education 

Jefferson City, MS—Teach Plus, a national non-profit that empowers teachers to lead improvements in policy and practice, launched its first cohort of Mississippi Teaching Policy Fellows with 15 outstanding public school teachers from around the state. During the twelve-month program, Fellows will focus on the issues of importance to the teachers, students, and parents, such as how to recruit and retain high-quality educators, and how to ensure that all children in Mississippi have access to early childhood education.  The Fellows will study the issue and pursue a rigorous course in education policy in order to advocate for policies that will better serve Mississippi’s students, teachers, and communities.

Teach Plus Mississippi will be led by Aisha Carson, who joined the organization in August as State Director.  Carson will lead Teach Plus’ policy and teacher leadership work in the state, and will oversee the Teach Plus Mississippi Teaching Policy Fellowship program.  She joined Teach Plus from the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi where she led the organization’s educational opportunities and criminal justice reform work 

“I was thrilled to join Teach Plus, an organization whose core expertise is to train and engage teachers in education policy, and to begin my work in collaboration with such a phenomenal group of educators,” said Carson.  “I’m looking forward to working with our new cohort of Fellows as they bring their expertise to bear on key issues that impact the profession and ensure every child in Mississippi has a chance to succeed.”

The new Fellows, who represent schools in 13 School Districts across the state from Pass Christian to Desoto County, have a combined 180 years of teaching experience. Each teacher was chosen based on their strong commitment to the classroom and their ability to articulate the needs of their students. The incoming teachers have been recognized for their outstanding work and commitment to the teaching profession both at the district and state level. 

“There’s no surer way for any governing body to ensure their policies are having a positive affect than to be inquisitive about their implementation,” said Sadie Sherril, a Teach Plus Mississippi Teaching Policy Fellow who teachers in Aberdeen, Mississippi.  She added that “what is exciting about this fellowship is we’re preparing to answer questions that not many people surrounding the teaching profession even know how to ask.”

The 2018-19 Mississippi Teaching Policy Fellows are:
Torri Clay, Tupelo High School, Tupelo Public Schools 
Joni Cooks, Pass Christian Middle School, Pass Christian
Nancy Curry, Watkins Elementary, Jackson Public Schools
Chevonne Dixon, Walls Elementary School, Desoto County School District
Tiffany Fisher, Meridian High School, Meridian Public School Disrict
Neomi Green, Canton Elementary School, Canton Public School District
Caroline Greene, Quitman County Middle School, Quitman County School District
Greg Howard, Petal High School, Petal School District
LaShana Middleton, GreenHill Elementary, North Panola School District
Shelley Putnam, Columbia High School, Columbia School District
Lynne Schneider, Murrah High School, Jackson Public Schools
Sadie Sherrill, Belle-Shivers Middle School, Aberdeen Public School District
Dorothy Straughter, Van Winkle Elementary School, Jackson Public Schools
Julie Viguerie, Lamara County Center for Technical Education, Lamar County


In addition to Mississippi, Teach Plus runs highly-selective, rigorous Policy Fellowships for teachers in nine states, including California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Texas. Fellows participate in an intensive course of study and learn to develop their voice in policy and advocacy. They engage directly with key education stakeholders and policy makers, and work to research, shape, and advocate for laws and policies that improve outcomes for their students and build the teaching profession.

About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success.  Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes and improving the instructional practices of teachers to create an education system driven by equity, access, and excellence for all students.  teachplus.org