Teach Plus Names Illinois Kicks Off Two Policy Fellowships with 52 Teachers from Across the State

Teach Plus Names Illinois Kicks Off Two Policy Fellowships with 52 Teachers from Across the State

Sarah Campbell

Fellows Will Focus on a Range of Issues from Early Childhood Education to Teacher Preparation and Recruitment

Chicago, IL —Teach Plus, a national non-profit that empowers teachers to lead improvements in policy and practice, launched two new Fellowship cohorts in Illinois for the 2019-20 school year. The 21 Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellows are home-based, school-based, and center-based educators, while the 32 Teaching Policy Fellows are all classroom teachers who span grades K-12. Both Fellowships include teachers from across the state. The Fellows will focus on a range of issues of importance to Illinois’ teachers, students, and parents, from effective teacher preparation and recruitment to ensuring that all Illinois’ children have access to high-quality early childhood education.

“As legislators and policy makers work to provide all of Illinois’ children with access to a great education, they need to ensure that teachers are at the table creating policies that focus on teacher shortages, particularly among teachers of color, as well to address teacher quality and the wraparound supports that all students need to be successful,” said Teach Plus Illinois Senior Executive Director Josh Kaufmann.

Using the advocacy, communications, and research skills acquired during the Fellowship, Teach Plus Illinois Fellows have worked to reform Illinois’ outdated funding formula and ensure equitable resource distribution across state; improve school-level implementation of alternatives to suspension; and grow the pipeline for preschool teachers. The 2019-20 Fellows will continue to build on the work and advocacy of previous Teach Plus Illinois cohorts.

“I believe that in order to empower our students to maximize their potential, teachers must be on the front lines of advocacy,” said Bob Chikos, a Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow and special education Teacher at Crystal Lake Central High School in Crystal Lake. “I know that it will take research, collaboration, and open minds to determine how to make the changes our students need, and I am excited to develop these skills and to support others in this work.”

Each Fellow 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 at the school, district, and state level.

The 2019-20 Earlychildhood Educator Policy Fellows are: 

Ann Harmon, Caring Hands Daycare and Preschool
Aubry Stapleton, Cadence Education
Barbara Grandberry, Chicago Child Care Society
Cindy Rice, Southern 7 Headstart
Demone Williams, Illinois Action For Children
Emily Bermes, Catalyst Maria Charter School
Enid Hopkins, Chicago Public Schools
Hanni Reutter, Illinois Action for Children
Jared Hennen, Chicago Public Schools
Joanna Dau, Crete-Monee 201U
Jodi Eppenstein, East Aurora School District 131
Jordan Kripton, District 97
Katie Cannady, Acero Schools – Brighton Park
Maddi Bodine, Genoa-Kingston School District #424
Nidia Carranza, Chicago Public Schools
Nora Ryan, Polaris Charter Academy
Phyllis Bliven, Illini Central School
Qiddist Ashe, Washington Elementary
Roisleen Todd, Chicago Public Schools
Shayna Steinberg, Children’s Home and Aid
Terry Jay, Family child care center
Tracee Hawthorne, The Stepping Stones Group

The 2019-20 Illinois Policy Fellows Are: 

Adelaida Jiyun Kim, Walt Disney Magnet School, Chicago Public Schools
Alexander Parker, Cossitt Avenue Elementary School, La Grange School District 102
Alexandra Downer, Henry O. Tanner Elementary School, Chicago Public Schools
Amie Reed, Edward A. Fulton Junior High, O’Fallon 90
Anita Thawani Bucio, Evanston Township High School, Evanston Township High School District 202
Arnetta Thompson, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, OPESD 97
Betrice Jones, Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, Campaign Unit 4
Bob Chikos, Crystal Lake Central High School, CHSD 155
Carla Jones, John W. Cook Academy, Chicago Public Schools
Charity Freeman, Ogden International School of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools
Christa Valencia, William H. Ray Elementary, Chicago Public Schools
Crysta Weitekamp, Springfield Southeast High School, District 186
Daisy Lopez, Btrentano Math and Science Academy, Chicago Public Schools
Ellen Nabeti, Sunnyside Intermediate School. Berkeley School District 87
Emily Hogan, Oriole Park School, Chicago Public Schools
Jessica Day, O’Fallon Township High School, O’Fallon Township High School District 203
Jessica Kibblewhite, National Teachers Academy, Chicago Public Schools
Jessica Kwasny, Eugene Field Elementary School, Community Consolidated School District 64
Jordan Hohm, Wyvetter Younge Alternative Center, East St. Louis School District 189
Jordan Lanfair, Chicago Public Schools
Karyn Baldwin, Huff Elementary School, U-46
Keisha Rembert, Clifford Crone Middle School, IPSD 204
Krista Wilson, ACERO Jovita Idar, ACERO Charter Schools
Lisa Love, Hawthorne Scholastic Academy, Chicago Public Schools
L’Rae Robinson, Mount Vernon Elementary School, Chicago Public Schools
Lisset Rosales, Cleveland Elementary School, Chicago Public Schools
Nicole Vick, Abingdon-Avon High School, Abingdon-Avon CUSD 276
Rachel Brick, Pritzker College Prep, Chicago Public Schools
Shayla Ewing, Pekin Community High School, District 303
Staci Ward, Champaign Unit 4 Schools
Tia Taylor, Hendricks Community Academy, Chicago Public Schools
Victor Idowu, Vanderpoel Humanities Academy, Chicago Public Schools
William Polasky III, Stillman Valley High School, Meridian C.U.S.D 223

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. 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