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June 7, 2016 • admin

PEF Launches Policy Fellowship

After a competitive application process, 19 educators were selected to join PEF’s inaugural cohort of Policy Fellows.  With the support of the Benwood Foundation, this group of teachers, coaches and counselors will spend the next 16 months exploring education and public policy.  They will study the challenges that face our community and our students, meeting with elected leaders, and, ultimately, use their knowledge and experience to advocate for their students and for public education.

“We’re very excited to launch this new program, nearly two years in the making,” said Dan Challener, President of the Public Education Foundation. “The voice of actual teachers is so often missing in the crafting of public policy, especially education policy. These nineteen extraordinary teachers—from schools all across Hamilton County—are experts in their field—who better to advocate for children and public schools?”

The members of the first cohort include:Policy Fellows

  • Adrianne Cowan – Ooltewah Middle
  • Andrew Browning-Couch – STEM School
  • Anthony Goad – Tyner Middle Academy [Facilitator]
  • Bo Chamberlain – Signal Mountain Middle-High
  • Brandon Hubbard-Heitz – The Howard School
  • Emeri Gordon – Hixson Middle School
  • Genise Fletcher – Brainerd High School
  • Greg Kubisak – STEM School Chattanooga
  • Jamie Petty – Normal Park Museum Magnet School
  • Jesse Goins – Battle Academy
  • Jessica Hubbuch – The Howard School
  • John Cunningham – Brainerd High School
  • Katie Hetrick – Battle Academy
  • Kennisha Cann – Rivermont and Harrison Elementary
  • Latanya Mason – Barger Academy
  • Leah Keith-Houle – Red Bank High School
  • Lisa Blakely – Big Ridge and Soddy Elementary
  • Pat Goldsmith – Red Bank Elementary School
  • Tad Russell – Soddy Daisy Middle School

During their first meeting, Policy Fellows joined the community for a talk by Amanda Ripley, journalist and author of The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got that Way, as part of the Chattanooga 2.0 series inspiring conversations and ideas about our education system. Fellows then engaged in a private conversation with Ms. Ripley, asking questions about how policies in other nations strengthen schools. Fellows came together again in May to learn about the history of change in Chattanooga and Hamilton County, from integration to Gig City, with Ken Hays, CEO of the Enterprise Center, Edna Varner, former Principal of the Howard School, and Bill Kennedy, Vice President of Leading and Learning at PEF. In the months to come, the Fellows will have opportunities to meet with community leaders, as well as elected officials from the city, county, and state.

Contact PEF’s Geoff Millener at geoff@pefchattanooga.org or 423-648-4448 for more information about Policy Fellows.