Teacher Leadership

The most effective way to increase student learning is to improve teaching. We are committed to developing teachers through every stage of their career, empowering them as professionals for the benefit of our students.

Fund for Teachers

Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the world that make the greatest impact on their practice, students and school communities. Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has awarded 6,300 teachers $23.5 million in grants to visit 141 countries on all seven continents.

PEF is proud to be the local partner for Hamilton County Department of Education applicants. Fund for Teachers has awarded more than $450,000 to 121 Hamilton County teachers since 2012.

2017 Fund for Teachers application


  • Employed full-time as a PreK-12th grade teacher and spends at least 50% of their work week in direct instruction with students in a classroom or classroom-like setting;
  • Intends to continue teaching in the consecutive school year; and
  • Has at least three years teaching experience as a PreK-12th grade teacher.

Individuals may apply for up to $5,000 and teams may apply for up to $10,000 (while team members may be from different schools, districts or states, all members must meet the eligibility criteria).

See the Fund for Teachers site for full eligibility information, including restrictions on how grant funds may be spent.


Applications are due January 31, 2017.  Learn more about the program in the Teachers section of the FFT site.  Applicants will be notified of the selection committee results on April 5, 2017.  Awardees will be required to attend a pre-fellowship Orientation.  You can also read the Fund for Teachers newsletters and blog for inspiring stories, tips, details, and dates.

More from Fund for Teachers

There is a wealth of information available to applicants at fundforteachers.org, including:

The 2016 cohort includes:

Cara Stiles of Sale Creek Middle/High will explore Iceland with a National Geographic team to pique student interest in global warming, geothermal energy, and space travel;

Jessica Hubbuch and Sean Brown of The Howard School are environmental science teachers who will trek through Costa Rica, Belize and Guatemala to explore tropical rainforests, plate tectonics, aquatic diversity as well as Central American culture and the Spanish language;

Christopher Raynolds of Signal Mountain Middle/High plans to investigate the historical and cultural effects on Japan resulting from scientific innovation during World War II, to provide deeper perspective and context for history and science classes;

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;

John Echols, Elizabeth Bullard, and Melanie Collins of Center for Creative Arts will attend the Boothbay Literacy Retreat in Maine in order to develop collaborative strategies and knowledge that will transform literacy teaching and school culture across 6th, 7th and 8th grade classrooms;

Michele Pesce of East Ridge Elementary and Reanee Jackson of Ivy Academy will attend several Spanish language/cultural immersion programs in the US and in Central America in order to learn and evaluate different language acquisition strategies, then employ those with the greatest potential to raise academic achievement;

Stevie Davis of East Ridge Elementary and Veronica McCuiston of North Hamilton County Elementary will research and observe endangered North American red wolves in several habitats of the Southeast US and use this information to create wolf-study activity boxes and lesson plans available to all Hamilton County teachers;

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; and,

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.

Fund for Teachers Q&A

For more information on Fund for Teachers contact:

Leslie Graitcer Coordinator
423.648.4446 • lgraitcer@pefchattanooga.org