Blog

July 18, 2016

Don’t miss this year’s Teacherpreneur Pitch Night

Come listen on July 31st as Hamilton County’s most innovative teachers pitch their big ideas for public education. Starting at 4pm Teacherpreneurs, having spent the previous 48 hours honing their projects, will pitch in front of a panel of judges and our startup community (that’s you!) at the Church on Main. Admission is free, and there will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar – with two drink tickets provided with each purchase of a VIP ticket for $25. Audience members will also be able to vote online, awarding a $500 prize to the crowd favorite.

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Teacherpreneur is an event unlike any other. Come out and cheer on these fantastic educators as they take the stage! Space is limited, so register today.

July 5, 2016

Teacherpreneur Incubator crowdfunding campaign launches, runs through July 31

PEF has launched our first-ever crowdfunding campaign, and we need your help to reach our $5,000 goal. Give between now and July 31 to invest in the Teacherpreneur Incubator.

The teaching profession can be isolating, busy, and repetitive. The Teacherpreneur Incubator brings educators together with the community, gives them time, space, and support to develop big, innovative ideas for education, and keeps the job exciting and engaging by letting them explore new ways to enhance learning. We want the 2,000th day of teaching to be as exciting as the 2nd day of teaching. After two successful years, we’re ready for Teacherpreneur 3.0 to be the biggest yet. We need the support of a broader group of donors and public education advocates.

How does it work? Educators who are selected for the Incubator work all summer to develop their plans. Some are for-profit businesses, some are classroom projects, and others are community engagements and one-time events. From July 29-31, a 48-hour launch will give teachers access to professionals – lawyers, designers, programmers, and marketing professionals – to refine their ideas and pitches. On Pitch Night, each Teacherpreneur will present her idea to a live (and virtual through streaming!) audience. Pitches are judged by a community panel and winning ideas get up to $10,000. Other prizes and awards are given to help teachers bring their ideas to life.
By giving through our Causeway campaign, you’re investing in teachers, recognizing them as creative and dynamic professionals, and showing concrete financial support for public education. Thanks!

June 13, 2016

STEM Fellows Cohort 5 Announced

Congratulations to members of the fifth cohort of STEM Fellows!

The STEM Teaching Fellows program is an annual cohort of Southeast Tennessee educators from across the region who engage in a year of professional development activities focused on STEM best practices. These teachers become STEM leaders for their schools and districts.  Over the course of the year, members of the cohort receive training and coaching on best practices in problem-based learning, inquiry teaching, cross-curriculum integration and technology integration.

2016-17 Participants

Elementary
Taryn Painter, Apison
Kalah Newsome, Battle
Megan Leonard, Calvin Donaldson
Lauren Serio, CSLA
Sara Durst, East Lake
Colleen Ryan, Hardy
Arthur Williams, Lakeside Academy
Barbara Crosslin, Lookout Valley
Rachel Teas, Nolan
Margaret Hall, Red Bank
Christine Loveridge, Rivermont
Michelle Morgan, Parkview – Bradley County
Amanda Lann, Woodstation – Catoosa County
Karen Neal, Gilber t- Walker County
Angie Owens, Battlefield Primary – Catoosa County

Middle
Kara Semtner, Normal Park Upper
Krystal Bankston, Ooltewah
Rob Dodson, Signal Mountain
Madison Shaw (Lowry), Soddy Daisy
Michelle Collins, Soddy Daisy
Gretchen McDonald, Etowah City School
Lugenia Suttles, LaFayette Middle – Walker County

High
James Snyder, Central
Andrew Meador, CGLA
Japho Hardin, Howard
Jillian Simpson, Tyner
Jeff Scott, Red Bank
Rhonda Smith, Heritage – Blount County
Anna Spears, Cleveland High – Cleveland City Schools
Joy Samsel, Rhea County High – Rhea County

Working with leaders from business and post-secondary education, the fellows develop STEM lessons and projects for immediate implementation in the classroom. Exposure to innovative instructional strategies and classroom tools provides them with resources and ideas for their students and fellow colleagues.

STEM Fellows participate in a 3-day summer workshop and 4 full-day seminars during the school year.  Between meetings, the STEM Fellows can get coaching, ideas and supports from the program.

For more on the STEM Fellows program, contact Kate Skonberg.

June 7, 2016

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.

June 3, 2016

Follow the Fellows this summer

Our 2016 Fund for Teachers Fellows are off on their summer learning journeys! Follow some of the Fellows online through blogs, Instagram, and more.

Kathryn Russell and Amanda Colvin of East Hamilton Middle/High will travel to Poland and Israel to gain insight into the experiences of Holocaust victims, bystanders and perpetrators, and to see how the lessons of the Holocaust are being applied to improve the modern world. They travel between June 2 and July 2.

Sarah Lane of Woodmore Elementary and Zena Hanner-Buckley of Lakeside Academy will unlock students’ imaginations as a result of a quest to study the origins of fairy tales in France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, and England. Their trip is June 12 – July 14.

Latanya Mason, Mary Avans, and Daniel Silva of Barger Academy of Fine Arts will visit locales in Ecuador and Peru (including Machu Picchu and the Galapagos) to study landforms, wildlife, and indigenous peoples, then use findings and videos for environmental & cultural student projects. Their Fellowship is July 1-15.

We wish everyone safe travels and look forward to hearing from them this fall!

 

May 26, 2016

Summer STEM PD opportunities

PEF and Southeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub are offering free professional development opportunities for all regional public school educators. All sessions are free, but require online registration.

3D Printing Series

The 3D printing series will provide attendees with an overview of using a Makerbot 3D printer.  The workshop will also include practical classroom applications for easy implementation.  Resources will also be provided for future 3D printing needs.  The STEM Hub has several Makerbots available to check out for use in the classroom.

  • 3D Printing for SCIENCE: June 14 from 9am-12pm
  • 3D Printing for MATH: June 14 from 1-4pm
  • 3D Printing for HUMANITIES: June 16 from 9am-12pm

Robotics

The Robotics in the Classroom Series prepares educators to integrate robotics in their classroom including LittleBits, Cubelets, Sphero, Ollie, and MOSS.  Broken into grade level workshops, participants will learn about the highlights of the robotics available to check out through the STEM Hub. The workshop will also include practical classroom applications.

  • Robotics for HIGH SCHOOL: June 16 from 1-4pm
  • Robotics for ELEMENTARY: June 29 from 9am-12pm
  • Robotics for MIDDLE: June 29 from 1-4pm

The 3D printing and robotics sessions are sponsored by the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. The STEM Hub also maintains a calendar of summer learning opportunities in our area.

Questions or want to share your summer PD event? Contact Kate Skonberg by email or call 423.648.4444

May 24, 2016

Alumnae invited: Passport Scholars Reunion

Former Passport Scholars participants are invited to attend a celebration of 15 years of empowering young women of promise in Hamilton County. A reunion weekend is planned at Sewanee: The University of the South on  July 16-17, 2016 – alumnae are encouraged to complete a short save-the-date form. Formal invitations will follow.

Thanks to the generosity of Passport Scholars founder Kitty Caldwell, accommodations and meals will be provided for Scholars, their partners and children throughout the weekend. Events include a family picnic and formal dinner on Saturday, as well as Sunday brunch. Enjoy the beautiful Sewanee campus while reconnecting with other Scholars, mentors, and program staff.

Due to limited space, this event is open to former Passport Scholars (not currently in high school), their spouses/partners and child[ren]. For questions, contact Stacy Lightfoot at 423-648-4443 or slightfoot@pefchattanooga.org

 

May 5, 2016

2016 – 17 Leadership Fellows Cohort 18 Announced

We are proud to welcome the eighteenth class of leadership fellows. These fellows were chosen through a strict selection process by a committee that included an elementary principal, a secondary principal, a HCDE Director, a PEF Director and a business leader.

LF18 Cohort

  • Adrienne Alford – East Lake Elem./Lakeside Academy
  • Caleb Bagby – Red Bank High
  • Carrie Bishop – Hixson Middle
  • Valorie Bowers – East Brainerd Elementary
  • Ty Campbell – Ooltewah Middle/Barger/HCDE
  • Melanie Covert – Ganns Middle Valley Elementary
  • Kristina Culberson – Brown Middle
  • Samantha Eaton – Red Bank Elementary
  • Michael Franks – East Hamilton M/H
  • Charhonda Gardner – East Lake Academy
  • Whitney Grant – Barger Academy
  • April Gregorcich – East Lake Elementary
  • Sherry Johnston – Nolan Elementary
  • Rickey Jones – Woodmore Elementary
  • Cindy Kean – Battle Academy/ Donaldson Elementary
  • Sissy Markum – HCDE
  • Belinda Martin – Signal Mountain M/H
  • Yang Mathews – Signal Mountain M/H
  • David Moore – Brainerd High
  • Heidi Moses – Ooltewah High
  • Giselle Palmer – Barger Academy
  • Alecia Pappas – Ooltewah Elementary
  • Sarah Payne – Daisy/Ooltewah/Smith Elementary
  • Lindsay Prater – Hamilton County High
  • Eve Robles – East Ridge Middle
  • Claire Stockman – Red Bank Elementary
  • Tonya Taylor – Bess T. Shepherd Elementary
  • LeAnn Welch – Sale Creek M/H
  • Sara Whitener – Ooltewah Elementary
  • Colby Williams – East Hamilton M/H

Leadership Fellows is a partnership between PEF and the Hamilton County Department of Education.

– Chitra Chandrasekaran, Leading & Learning Coordinator

April 28, 2016

2016 – 17 Principal Leadership Academy Cohort 7 announced

We are proud to welcome the seventh class of aspiring principals to the Principal Leadership Academy!

PLA7 Cohort

  • Talley Caldwell – Woodmore Elementary
  • Karyn Cox – Hunter Middle
  • Tiffany Earvin – East Ridge High
  • Steve Lewis – Central High
  • Dawn Lim – Tyner Academy
  • Kristy Newson – Spring Creek Elementary
  • Ruthie Panni – Westview Elementary
  • Jeff Paulson – Thrasher Elementary
  • Matthew Thurman – Normal Park Upper

 

Congratulations to our sixth cohort of Principal Leadership Academy graduates

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  • Nikki Bailey – East Lake Elementary
  • Brenda Cothran – Ooltewah Elementary
  • Jacqueline Cothran – Brainerd High
  • Mary Catherine Gatlin – Signal Mountain M/H
  • Arielle Hayes – Orchard Knob Middle
  • Steve Henry – Soddy Daisy High
  • Travis Miller – Tyner Middle
  • Lindsay Starnes – Donaldson Elementary
  • Matthew Taylor – Howard High
  • Jeana Turner – East Ridge Elementary

The Principal Leadership Academy is a partnership between PEF, Hamilton County Department of Education, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

April 20, 2016

Opportunities for teacher leadership

Two opportunities for teacher leadership development are currently available through PEF. Please share these with your networks!

STEM Fellows 5.0

The STEM Teaching Fellows program is an annual cohort of Southeast Tennessee educators from across the region who engage in a year of professional development activities focused on STEM best practices. These teachers become STEM leaders for their schools and districts.  Over the course of the year, members of the cohort receive training and coaching on best practices in problem-based learning, inquiry teaching, cross-curriculum integration and technology integration. Working with leaders from business and post-secondary education, the fellows develop STEM lessons and projects for immediate implementation in the classroom. Exposure to innovative instructional strategies and classroom tools provides them with resources and ideas for their students and fellow colleagues. The program includes a three-day summer workshop, four full-day workshops during the school year, a job shadow, project, and a $500 stipend in addition to other support. Applications are online and are due April 22. Questions? Contact Kate Skonberg.

Teacherpreneur 3.0

The Teacherpreneur Incubator offers teachers support, time and space to incubate big ideas and execute them in the best interests of their students and their profession. The Incubator brings together teachers, business people, and community members to launch transformative ideas. Modeled after Co.Lab’s 48HR Launch, the Teacherpreneur Incubator’s 48HR Launch Weekend  is designed to connect public school teachers with the resources they need by developing compelling, short pitches for a panel of judges. Even if a project doesn’t receive funding, support and mentoring will continue to ensure that innovative projects can transform our schools. Learn more and develop a proposal during a meetup, then apply online by May 23. Contact Geoff Millener for more information.

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