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 provided more than $520,000 in grants to 137 Hamilton County public school teachers over the last six years.




The Fund for Teachers application deadline is January 31, 2018 at 6:00pm.  Learn more about the program in the Teachers section of the FFT site.  Awardees will be required to attend a pre-fellowship Orientation on April 26.

Here are some helpful tips from Fund for Teachers to assist you with your application:

  • Visit the Application Learning Center where you can find everything you need from how to develop your fellowship ideas to tips for using the online system.
  • Writing tips for your application- we especially love tips #7, 8, and 9!
  • Applications are all judged against the Fund for Teachers’ Scoring Rubric.  Each section of the proposal is weighed equally.  Use the rubric as you write!
  • Once you have a final draft, reread the Application Guidelines to make sure you have covered everything.
  • Need help with the Online Application?  You can find tips for using the Online Application here.
  • You can also read the Fund for Teachers newsletters and blog for inspiring stories, tips, details, and dates.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about your proposal- kate@pefchattanooga.org.


  • Employed full-time as a PreK-12th grade teacher, curriculum specialist, curriculum head, Special Education Coordinator, media specialist/librarian, or other type of educator who spends at least 50% of their work week directly teaching students;
  • 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.

Congratulations to the 2017 cohort

Fund for Teachers allotted $70,000 in grant awards for Hamilton County public school teachers this year. Teachers could apply for up to $5,000 as an individual or $10,000 as a team. Sixteen grant recipients from nine schools will visit nine countries across three continents this summer. The 2017 cohort includes:

Kristina Culberson and Megan Lyness of Brown Middle will explore sites of cultural, historical and architectural significance in Scotland and England, as basis for project-based learning units integrating mathematics and literature;

Dale Dworak of Brainerd High and Kevin Aslinger of Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences will attend the 2017 Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers’ Seminar and visit sites in Germany and Poland, to improve understanding in students of this seminal event in human history;

Amy Freeman of Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences will attend a four-week Summer School of Archaeology in Abruzzo, Italy given by University of Pisa professors and work on two dig sites, to organize a local dig with students, and help them understand how a study of our ancient selves is prelude to present self-understanding;

Stephanie Brewer of Hixson Middle and Katherine Blake of Normal Park Museum Magnet will explore points of literary significance in New England as background for an interdisciplinary project to connect language arts and American History;

Andrea Dyer of Howard School will teach in a Guatemalan school for four weeks, explore culture and history of the area on the weekends, and spend a final week with families of her students from Howard School;

Frank Mangan and Brandon Hubbard-Heitz of Howard School will explore Alaska through a self-guided tour to study the history and effects of exploitation versus conservation, as catalyst for the school’s Outdoor Leadership Club and student conservation work at home and school;

Marcie Williams of Ooltewah High will attend a three-week teacher course on physics modeling to increase student understanding of physics concepts, and tour Arizona visiting observatories on the weekends for an astronomy unit;

David Helton of Sale Creek Middle/High will investigate the diet, fitness habits and reason for low obesity in England, France and Italy to create obesity/fitness programs in Hamilton County public schools;

Beverly Brotton and Karen Smith of Soddy Daisy Middle will explore Alaska’s landscapes in order to provide students with lessons on climate change and adaptations;

Sara Clarich and Jennifer Horton of Soddy Daisy Middle will tour World War II sites in England, France, Germany, and the Netherlands to experience the impact of war and to add depth and relevance to a historical fiction reading/writing unit based on this period.

More from Fund for Teachers

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


Fund for Teachers Q&A

For more information on Fund for Teachers contact:

Kate Skonberg Teacher Engagement Coordinator
423.648.4444 • kate@pefchattanooga.org