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On October 6, Public Education Foundation (PEF) celebrated the most recent cohort of Hamilton County teachers who were selected as Fund for Teachers Fellows. For the tenth consecutive year, Hamilton County teachers worked with PEF to earn grants from the national non-profit organization Fund for Teachers to design and pursue self-designed professional development opportunities that enrich the learning of Hamilton County students. Over the past decade, 196 Hamilton County teachers from 52 schools have received more than $785,000 in grants from Fund for Teachers.

The celebration honored 14 HCS teachers from 11 schools. Their fellowships represent learning in nine countries on four continents to study a range of topics from the geology and ecology of volcanic regions in Pacific Islands to architecture at Auburn University. Each FFT Fellow received up to $5,000 to pursue opportunities they subsequently use in classrooms with Hamilton County students.

“PEF is honored to work in partnership with Fund forTeachers to provide Hamilton County educators with these extraordinary opportunities.  For ten years, HamiltonCounty teachers have used these grants to deepen their knowledge of the subjects they teach—to the benefit of our community’s children,” said Dr. Dan Challener, president of PEF.  “It is truly amazing what our children learn, thanks to this partnership and the dedication of our teachers.”

This year’s celebration highlighted the 2022 Fellows as well as the Fellows who were selected over the past two years and had their fellowships delayed because of the pandemic. At the celebration, each of the FFT Fellows displayed artifacts and images detailing what they learned and how they are incorporating the learning into their teaching.

“Together with PEF, Fund for Teachers has invested in Hamilton County teachers who now represent a cohort of school community leaders, innovators, and change-makers,” said Karen Eckhoff, FFT executive director. “Empowering teachers with relevant learning creates a direct conduit to authentic student learning, which invigorates education across the board.” This year’s celebration featured a wide range of fellowships including:

·MarcieWilliams - Ooltewah High School: Ms. Williams explored science museums in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle before attending the International Physics and Astronomy EducatorProgram at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory in Richland, WA where she learned methods for introducing high school students to classical physics, modern physics, and astronomy using inquiry-based activities that incorporate physics into real life applications.

Owen Bogolin - Clifton Hills Elementary School: Mr. Bogolin conducted fieldwork along rivers, lakes, and oceans across ten states to develop a curriculum unit that demonstrates evidence of human-induced climate change and provides students with opportunities to create innovative solutions in thei rown communities.

Lorrie Holland - Loftis Middle School: Ms. Holland learned how to teach students to survey their observations along the Tennessee River and protect its ecosystems by visiting the Reef Guardian School and multiple conservation organizations across Australia.

The Full List of 2020-2022 Fellows is below:

Taylor Amick, Sale Creek Middle High School, and Seth Amick, Sequoyah High School: Learned key insights to prepare students for medical and business careers as well as how to build stronger connections with our growing Latino/a population by enrolling in aSpanish language academy in Costa Rica specifically designed for medical and business professionals and participating in a national conference focused on the intersection of school counseling and world languages.

Japho Hardin, Red Bank High School: Developed new strategies to bring equitable access to quality design education to students by enrolling and participating in the Home Design/Build course at Yestermorrow in Vermont and by studying prominent works of American Architecture through the design build program atAuburn University.

Brianna Budd, Normal Park Museum MagnetSchool and Billy Budd, Howard High School: Conducted field experiments and interviews with science and STEM professionals about career pathways as they studied unique geology and ecology of volcanic regions ofPacific Islands.

Sayora Karimi - Eastside Elementary School: Researched how Alaskan Natives honored those in their communities to create curriculum that celebrates indigenous backgrounds of English Language Learners and their families within the school community.

Andrea McGuirt and Heather McIntyre, Ooltewah High School: Documented their personal cultural heritage in England and Ireland to demonstrate the connection between creative expression in the fields of fashion and art and inspire a celebration of diversity through students' personalized creations that document their heritage.

Brooke Hopkins, Soddy Daisy High School: Explored cities in Northern and Central Europe that are the settings for two popular graphic novels pertaining to individual experiences of the Holocaust to helpstudents feel more connected to the victims, perpetrators, and bystanders ofthe atrocities of this event in our world history.

Vanessa Moss, Harrison Bay Future ReadyCenter, and Justin Walley, Ooltewah High School:

Learned about sustainable living practices used in Alaska so that their students can learn how to build a functional model that shifts student thinking toward human impact on the environment and helps to launch a new school focus on “Next Generation Sustainable Living.”

PEF Celebrates Local Fund for Teachers

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