July 1, 2019
Indianapolis, IN — Teach Plus, a national non-profit that empowers teachers to lead improvements in policy and practice, continues its work in Indiana with 20 newly-inducted Policy Fellows, all demonstrably-effective teachers, from across the state. During the Fellowship, the teachers will take part in a course of study in policy and advocacy specially-designed to help them develop the skills to advocate for changes for Hoosier students.
Last year, the Policy Fellows focused on teacher retention, social-emotional learning and charted new recommendations to improve teacher preparation, while addressing the teacher shortage statewide. The new cohort will continue the progress made on building career ladders for teacher leaders in Indiana and will continue to inform the work happening around the teacher residency pilot grant program that was advocated for by the 2018-19 cohort. The new Policy Fellows also hope to continue making education funding transparent for each district while pushing more dollars to the classroom and teacher pay.
"This year's cohort of Fellows is a group of motivated, passionate educators. They represent varied backgrounds, geographic locations, and experiences, and they’re all committed to ensuring equitable opportunities for students across the state,” said Indiana Interim Executive Director Rachel Hathaway. “We look forward to working with this group of Fellows on various issues including teacher preparation and teacher retention, in our continued effort to improve the overall teaching profession in Indiana."
“I’m excited about learning how to influence educational policy. As a teacher leader, I want to use my voice and empower others to use theirs in educational decision making,” said LaShonda Huff, 8th grade language arts teacher at Clifford Pierce Middle School and Teach Plus Indiana Teaching Policy Fellow.
The new Fellows hail from large urban spaces like Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Goshen, Terre Haute, and Evansville, as well as from rural areas such as Bloomington, Merrillville, and Richmond. Their teaching experience ranges from two years to 26 years and they teach across all subjects and grade levels. The teachers represent a variety of preparation institutions such as traditional undergraduate, master’s programs, and alternative prep programs and about half of the teachers are currently involved in the teachers' union. The Fellows have demonstrated their effectiveness through the rigorous Fellowship application process and many have recognitions such as finalist for 2019 Indiana Teacher of the Year, current district teacher of the year, and a Golden Apple Award winner.
The 2019-20 Indiana Policy Fellows are:
Kirsten Archer Bunner, Richmond High School, Richmond Community Schools, Richmond
Adam Bogs, Indianapolis Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy, Lighthouse Academies, Indianapolis
Dianne Burpo, Ouabache Elementary School, Vigo County School Corporation, Terre Haute
Michael Flake, North Junior High School, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, Evansville
Molly Glassey, Clear Creek Elementary, Monroe County Community School Corporation, Bloomington
Brandon Gleason, Danville Community Middle School, Danville Community School Corporation, Danville
Rebecca Guest-Scott, Edgewood Junior High School, Richland Bean Blossom Community Schools, Ellettsville
LaShonda Huff, Clifford Pierce Middle School, Merrillville Community Schools, Merrillville
Theresa Hussey, Goshen Middle School, Goshen Community Schools, Goshen
Vaughn laptiste, Christel House Academy South, Christel House Schools, Indianapolis
Jennifer Love, Louis B. Russell Jr. School 48, Indianapolis Public Schools, Indianapolis
Andrew Lutz, Summit Middle School, Southwest Allen County Schools, Fort Wayne
Alyssa McCool, Washington Woods Elementary School, Westfield Washington Schools, Westfield
Sarah Medve, Thomas Carr Howe Community High School, Charter Schools USA, Indianapolis
Jeanie Mitchell, Penn High School, Penn Harris Madison School Corporation, Mishawaka
Susan Seitz, Parke Heritage Middle School, North Central Parke Community School Corporation, Marshall
Kerry Sensenbrenner, Harwood Career Prep High School, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, Evansville
Christina Shaul, Theodore Potter International Spanish Academy, Indianapolis Public Schools, Indianapolis
Alexander Uryga, Michigan City High School, Michigan City Area Schools, Michigan City
De Meita Vincent, Purdue Polytechnic High School, IPS Innovation School, Indianapolis
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 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 access, and excellence for all students. teachplus.org