Teach Plus Names 15 Teachers to 2020-21 Commonwealth Senior Teacher Leadership Fellowship

Teach Plus Names 15 Teachers to 2020-21 Commonwealth Senior Teacher Leadership Fellowship

Boston, MA―Teach Plus, a national nonprofit that empowers teachers to lead improvements in educational policy and instructional practice, has selected 15 alumni of its Policy Fellowship for its inaugural Teach Plus Commonwealth Senior Teacher Leadership Fellowship. The new Commonwealth Fellows are a diverse group of educators who bring a range of perspectives to the conversation about teacher leadership in Massachusetts. The Fellows will work together to deepen their knowledge of and define the future of teacher leadership in the state.

“I am very excited to launch our latest Fellowship with a cohort of outstanding alumni from around the Commonwealth,” said Paul Toner, Teach Plus Senior Director of National Policy and Partnerships and the Northeast Region. “The COVID-19 crisis has surfaced many ideas on how best to reopen schools and meet the needs of our students. Unfortunately, engaging solutions-oriented teacher leaders has not been at the top of the list. Working with our Fellows, we hope to bring this discussion to the forefront and establish teacher leadership as the key element of successfully navigating this crisis and reimagining teaching and learning going forward.”

The Fellows will build upon their knowledge and skills developed through their Teach Plus training, as well as their personal instructional and leadership experiences, to develop a future-looking definition of teacher leadership and career pathways informed by their experiences in the COVID-19 teaching and learning environment. An overarching goal of the program will be to strengthen teacher-led networks across Massachusetts as educators manage their shifting roles and responsibilities in their new remote and hybrid work environments. Curriculum for the Fellowship will focus on addressing the education priorities of the day informed by Teach Plus’ Equity Focus Areas. Fellows will engage the alumni network and broader educator community through opportunities focused on generating solutions and advocacy efforts needed in the moment.
“I cannot thank Teach Plus Massachusetts enough for all the knowledge and support they have provided me over the past two years,”
said Chantei Alves, Pre-K Inclusion Teacher, Young Achievers K-8. “The workshops, connections to legislators, change agents, and cohort members have helped me grow as a teacher and teacher leader. I have found myself using my voice in rooms that make important decisions on the district and union level, and I have Teach Plus to thank for a lot of that confidence. More specifically, as a Black female teacher who is not a native of Boston, I’m grateful to Teach Plus Massachusetts for helping me to reimagine my role in the classroom and become an advocate. Teach Plus has taught me that I can take action from inside my classroom; modeling for my students what agency, advocacy, and activism looks like in the educational world. I am excited to be part of the new cohort to help build upon and share this brand of teacher leadership with others in our Commonwealth.”

The 2020-21 Commonwealth Senior Fellows are:

Chantei Alves, Young Achievers K-8, Boston Public Schools, Boston
Christina Balkaran, Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, Boston Public Schools, Boston
April Brunelle, TechBoston Academy, Boston Public Schools, Boston
Kevin Cormier, Nissitissit Middle School, North Middlesex Regional School District, Pepperell 
Gina Desir, Thomas J. Kenny Elementary, Boston Public Schools, Boston
Shauntell Dunbar, Roger Clap School, Boston Public Schools, Boston
Gwendolin Gardner, Alfred S. Letourneau Elementary School, Fall River Public Schools, Fall River
Pierre Jean, Boston International Newcomers Academy, Boston Public Schools, Boston
Tasha Jones, John J. Duggan Academy, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield
Natan Kotlyar, Elizabeth G. Lyons Elementary, Randolph Public Schools, Randolph
Jasvir MacIntosh, Carver Middle High School, Carver Public Schools, 
Takeru Nagayoshi, New Bedford High School, New Bedford Public Schools, New Bedford
Michael Phaneuf, Martin Luther King, Jr K-8 School, Boston Public Schools, Boston
Kayla Scholl, Sumner G. Whittier School, Everett Public Schools, Everett
Cristina Stanojevich, TechBoston Academy, Boston Public Schools, Boston


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 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