Training Teachers in Education Policy and Research: Teach Plus and American University Launch Fellowship to Enhance Teachers’ Skills

Training Teachers in Education Policy and Research: Teach Plus and American University Launch Fellowship to Enhance Teachers’ Skills

Teach Plus and American University logos

Washington, DC, April 25—Teach Plus and the American University School of Education (AU SOE) have launched a new program to train teachers in education policy, practice, and research. Together, Teach Plus and the American University will work with 19 teachers from 12 states as part of the Teach Plus Senior Research Fellowship program. In this new collaboration, the teachers, all of them alumni of Teach Plus teacher leadership programs, will be trained in applied research in the areas of early childhood education, the science of teaching reading, social and emotional learning, and teacher diversity. This program builds on the existing collaboration between the two organizations, broadening the opportunities for excellent teachers to weigh in on education leadership and policy.

“I’m excited about our expanded partnership with Teach Plus,” said Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy of the American University School of Education. “After two years of education challenges due to COVID, there is a real need to equip teachers and educators with the best evidence and research for future policy change, particularly as we rethink and restructure equity-driven practices in schools.”

“This is a unique opportunity for these outstanding teacher leaders to both grow their own research skills and collaborate with other teachers to influence education policy and practice, elevate the profession, and build a more equitable system for students,” said Dr. Mark Teoh, Teach Plus Vice President of Learning, Research, and Impact and adjunct professor of the American University course.

As part of the new program, Teach Plus Fellows will engage in coursework at AU SOE that will allow them to conduct real-time research and policy advocacy work focused on core issues of importance to teachers, students, and the community. Teach Plus and AU SOE’s partnership began in 2019, when AU SOE’s graduate students collaborated with Teach Plus nationwide on education policy and research projects as part of their coursework.

“As a classroom teacher, I am constantly refining my instruction using research-based best practices. As a Senior Research Fellow, I am most excited about being a part of the process to understand best practices districts can use to recruit, support, and retain teachers of color. Coming out of the pandemic, and with an anticipated teacher shortage, it is vital that we support teachers to grow in the profession and inspire their students to achieve at the highest levels of learning,” said Meghann Seril, Teach Plus California Policy Fellowship alumna who teaches in LAUSD and is a Teach Plus Senior Research Fellow.

Senior Research Fellows include educators from Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and Texas.

The 2022-23 Senior Research Fellows are:

  • Saida Benromdhane, Western International High School, Michigan
  • Brittnay Connor, Geneva Heights IB World School, Texas
  • Shanita Dotson, Richard Lagow Elementary, Texas
  • Lauro Ill Esquilona, Swainston Middle School, Nevada
  • Robin Gleason, Pentucket Regional School District, Massachusetts
  • Iesha Green, Brady Elementary School, Arkansas
  • Hjamil Martínez-Vázquez, J.A. Hargrave Elementary, Texas
  • Briana Morales, Gordon Bush Alternative Center, Illinois
  • Deanne Moyle-Hicks, Natchez Elementary, Nevada
  • Treveon Murdock, Uncommon Public Schools, New York
  • Christina Nitsos, Lafayette Elementary School, California
  • Kelly Pearce, Rio Rancho Public Schools, New Mexico
  • Marsia Ronyak, Sagebrush Elementary School, Colorado
  • Alicia Serafin, Wilmington Public Schools, Massachusetts
  • Meghann Seril, Broadway Elementary School, California
  • Valerie Steele, Brandon Middle School, Mississippi
  • La’Tia Taylor, Chicago Public Schools, Illinois
  • Rickey Townsend, Overtime Elite Academy, Georgia
  • Peggy Wallace, Columbine Elementary School, Colorado

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 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.

About American University
American University leverages the power and purpose of scholarship, learning, and community to impact our changing world. From sustainability to social justice to the sciences, AU’s faculty, students, staff, and alumni are changemakers. Building on our 128-year history of education and research in the public interest, we say ‘Challenge Accepted’ to addressing the world’s pressing issues. Our Change Can’t Wait comprehensive campaign creates transformative educational opportunities, advances research with impact, and builds stronger communities.

Rebecca Basu, American University, 202.486.9296,