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.


Modeled after CO.LAB’s 48HR Launch, 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.

A partnership between PEF and HCDE, Teacherpreneur brings together educators, entrepreneurs, experts and community members to make these ideas a reality, growing them into scalable, sustainable programs and businesses.

After a competitive selection process, a summer of planning and an intense 48 hours of pitch preparation, Teacherpreneurs compete for the funding to make those ideas a reality at the Pitch Night in front of the community and judges.

Teacherpreneur Cohort 5

We have some exciting changes to the program for its fifth year!  Selected Teacherpreneurs will be part of two rounds of programming designed to take ideas and put them into action.

  • Round 1 will include an 8-week course, CO.STARTERS, led by CO.LAB expert entrepreneurial facilitators starting late-August through mid-October.
  • Round 2 is our traditional 48HR Launch weekend where Teacherpreneurs will fine-tune their pitch, graphics, and build relationships.  Educators who spend their time in the Teacherpreneur Incubator will finish with the momentum and toolkit (and hopefully funds!) to implement their ideas.
  • Teacherpreneur Pitch Night will kick off Startup Week Chattanooga on Sunday, October 21

Applications are currently closed, and the cohort has been selected (see below).  The Teacherpreneur Incubator is open to all Hamilton County classroom educators, counselors, media specialists, and coaches.

Cohort 5 Educators:

  • Michelle Bettis (East Hamilton School), Stephanie Montgomery (STEM School), and Nikki Russell (Orchard Knob Elementary)
  • Tyler Roberson (Soddy Daisy Middle)
  • Michael Caraccio (Sale Creek School)
  • Chelsie Durham and Lauren Swanson (Lakeside Academy)
  • Maureen Clark (Soddy Daisy High)
  • Sherry Heinz (The Howard School)
  • Erika Martin (East Brainerd Elementary)
  • Karen West, Comelia Franceschi, Laurie Clifton (CSLA) and Susan Morrison (Tyner Academy)
  • Audrey Pulse (Wallace A. Smith Elementary)
  • Sam Martin (Red Bank Middle)
  • Tarah Kemp (DuPont Elementary)
  • Kristina Williams (Brainerd High)
  • Marcie Williams (Ooltewah HIgh)
  • Tad Russell (Soddy Daisy Middle)
  • Jessica Hoover (Hixson Elementary)
  • Chris Seanard (Dalewood Middle)

Pitch Night: October 21

Join us on October 21 from 4-6pm as these innovative educators take the stage to pitch their big ideas in front of a panel of judges and audience (that’s you!).  Tickets are free, but space is limited.  Register here to get your ticket.

For more information on Teacherpreneur contact:

Cliff Brittingham Instructional Development Coordinator

423.648. 4448• cbrittingham@pefchattanooga.org