Launched in 2013, the Kentucky State Teacher Fellows Program has the distinction of being Hope Street Group’s inaugural state fellowship program.

Teacher Fellows across the state have worked to provide feedback from thousands of their peers to the state’s Department of Education and drive impact on critical education policies, including the state’s Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (the state’s teacher and administrator evaluation system) and Kentucky’s Core Academic Standards.

Connect With a Teacher Closest To You

Kentucky State Teacher Fellows

Carly Baldwin
High School Science Teacher

Carly is a National Board Certified teacher at Boyd County High School and has taught for 6 years. Carly has coached Academic Team and FPS and just started coaching Science Olympiad. She works to develop Science literacy through Carly is passionate about developing teacher leadership demonstrated by her involvement in Boyd County’s District Leadership Team, ECET2 and KASC Leading Through Learning Cadre.  She is married and loves to go hiking with her husband and two dogs. Carly earned a Bachelor’s in Biology from Murray State University and a Master’s Degree in Education from University of Tennessee at Martin.

Andrew Beaver
8th Grade Math Teacher

For 6 years Andrew has been a math teacher at Olmsted Academy North Middle School in Jefferson County. Andrew is representing his school at conferences on Standards Based Grading and Professional Learning Communities this summer. Andrew is passionate about incorporating literacy into mathematics and developing student capacity to think critically. He earned his Bachelor’s in Business from Indiana University and was recruited into education through Teach Kentucky. Andrew earned his Masters in Teaching from The University of Louisville and is currently earning his Educational Specialist Degree from Bellarmine University.

Julia Durbin Bishop
6th–12th grade MSD Teacher

Julia has spent twelve years as a special education teacher working with middle and high school students for the Lee County School District. She is involved in teacher leadership initiatives across the state including Classroom Teachers Enacting Positive Solutions (CTEPS), EngagEDKY, the Kentucky Appalachian Teacher Network and the ECET2EKY planning committee. Julia earned her National Board Certification in 2014 and enjoys mentoring NBCT candidates. She received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Kentucky University and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Western Kentucky University. Julia is currently working towards a Ph.D in Educational Leadership from the University of the Cumberlands.

Amy Clancy
8th Grade ELA/Writing Teacher

Amy Cody Clancy has been teaching for 17 years as a middle grades educator at Walton-Verona Middle School (Boone County). Technology and Curriculum Design is a passion and she has worked with NGIDKY (Next Generation Instructional Design), LDC, and as an Online Professional Development Specialist and Course Designer through ELearning KY/Office of Next Generation Learners. She currently serves as the Newsletter Editor and board member for the KY Council Teachers of English/Language Arts. Amy earned a Bachelor’s in Middle Grades Education and a Master’s in Education at Northern KY University and is National Board Certified in Early Adolescent English/Language Arts (renewed).

Christina Crase
9th-12th Grades Algebra II, Pre-Calculus and AP Calculus Teacher

Christina has taught at BLHS in Floyd County, KY for 12 years. Her innovative teaching methods have helped to facilitate a classroom environment more conducive to learning. She is a KVEC Stem committee lead, district professional development presenter, site based decision making council member, peer mentor and she is involved in many other school based leadership tasks. Christina earned a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education with an emphasis in math from Pikeville College (now Upike); a Master’s in Administration from Morehead State University and is currently working on a Master’s in Mathematics at Western Kentucky University.

Heidi Givens
PK-12 Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Heidi, a National Board Certified Teacher, has taught deaf and hard of hearing students for 21 years, with 13 of those years in Daviess County. Heidi is the president-elect of the Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf and co-founder of the Kentucky Educators for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She is a current member of the Kentucky Commissioner of Education’s Teacher Advisory Council and has recently completed her two year term as a member of the 2014-2016 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Teacher Advisory Council. Heidi was also the 2013 Kentucky Elementary Teacher of the Year. She earned a B.S. in Deaf Studies and M.Ed. in Deaf Education from Boston University as well as a Director of Special Education certification from University of the Cumberlands.

Tiffany Gruen
4th and 5th Grade Social Studies Teacher

Tiffany has spent her 10 year career at John G. Carlisle Elementary in the Covington Independent School District. Her passion for civic education in urban settings drives the work that she does both in and out of the classroom. She’s a member of the Next Generation Social Studies Standards Writing Task Force, the Social Studies Regional Leadership Network and a Core Advocate with Student Achievement Partners. Tiffany was awarded the KCSS Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year award in 2014. Tiffany earned a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a Master’s in Teacher Leadership with certification in Gifted Education from Northern Kentucky University.

Brison Harvey
High School US History Teacher

Brison has taught four years at Lafayette High School. He has served as a team leader for Common Assignment Study with teachers in Kentucky and Colorado, project leader for Next Generation Instructional Design and teacher facilitator with the Pritchard Committee Student Voice Team. Brison has worked as a virtual community organizer and blogger with the Center for Teaching Quality, Superintendent Advisory Council, Redistricting Committee and Faculty Advisory Council. He received his BS degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Asbury University and is currently on his Master’s degree from Georgetown College in the Teacher as Leader program with Technology emphasis.

Stephanie Helton
Middle School Intervention Specialist and GT Coordinator

Stephanie has spent seven of the last nine years as a 4th and 5th grade social studies and literacy teacher. Last year, her passion for reading intervention led her out of the classroom as she traveled the Commonwealth to collaborate with teachers and administrators as a literacy consulate. Now back in Warren County Public Schools, Stephanie serves as the District Interventionist and Gifted and Talented Coordinator for South Warren Middle School. Stephanie has earned a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a Master’s in School Counseling from Western Kentucky University, and is currently persuing a Rank I in Teacher Leadership and Gifted Education from the same institution.

Elizabeth “Beth” Lovett
Music Teacher

Beth is an Itinerant Music Teacher in the Knox County School District for over 18 years, was a semifinalist for the 2015 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, and recipient of the Ashland Teacher Achievement Award.  Beth participates with Innovative Teacher Leader Cohort (ITL), Vice-President for KEA’s Upper Cumberland Education Association (UCEA), Knox County Education Association (KCEA), Senate Territory 21 State KEPAC Chair, and President-Elect for the Southeastern Kentucky Fine Arts Association.  Beth earned a B.A.M.M. from E.K.U., M.A., Rank I, from Union College in Music Education.  She created R.E.P.S. Program and grant lead on the E3 Grant for Lay Elementary.

Kari Patrick
High School English/Language Arts Teacher

Kari teaches at Shelby County High School where she serves as English department chair. In March of 2015, Kari hosted a Thinking Strategies Regional Lab Host Classroom with instructional coaches and Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC) facilitators. During the 2013-2014 school year she served on the Strategic Leadership Team with the superintendent and district teachers to review and create a plan for fostering 21st-century students & teachers. She enjoys hiking with her husband and two dogs. Kari earned a BA in English at Centre College and a MA in Secondary English Education at University of Kentucky.

Joe Payne
6th and 7th Grade Special Education Teacher

Joe is a special education teacher at Beaumont Middle School.  He has taught for seven years and also serves as department chair.  Joe is a district trainer in Safe Crisis Management.  He was named an Asbury Teaching Fellow for his work with students in the university’s education program.  He also spent two years in the FCPS Aspiring Leaders program.  Joe has presented at various conferences including the 2015 Engage! KCM Conference, and the School of Teacher Education Conference at WKU.  Joe earned his BA in Special Education and MA in Educational Leadership from the University of Kentucky.

Robin “MeMe” Ratliff
Elementary Physical Education and Health Teacher

MeMe has been the PE and health teacher at Greenwood Elementary in Louisville since 1997 and was the 2013 Kentucky Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year. She serves on the Teacher Advisory Council of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is the state lead planner for ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers) with the Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky. MeMe focuses her passions on teacher engagement and mobilization and co-founded the #KYEdvolution, a grassroots, teacher-led movement to connect the educators of Kentucky and optimize student learning. She is a proud graduate of Morehead State University.

Cassie Reding
5th Grade ELA Teacher

Cassie, National Board Certified Teacher, graduated from Murray State University and taught six years at South Todd Elementary before moving to Russellville to teach at Stevenson Elementary and coach girls’ high school basketball for the 2014-2015 school year. Cassie has devoted herself to maintaining a student-centered learning environment and instructional practice in which her students take ownership of their learning. Cassie is active in KEA and relishes the role of “hybrid” teacher-leader; it allows her to stay in the classroom while seeking professional development and sharing it with her colleagues. She is married to one of those colleagues; they are raising seven children together.

Jami Martinez Reynolds
Instructional Specialist

Jami is an Instructional Specialist at Bluegrass Middle School and has worked in the Hardin County School District for 10 years.  She is a current member of the 50-50 PGES Committee and KEA.  Jami served for three years as the math teacher leader for GRREC and is the ELA Department Chair.  She is currently the coordinator for programs such as ESS, Program Review, and KSI. Jami is passionate about empowering students with a growth mindset and using data to drive instruction. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Grades Education and her Master’s Degree in Technology from Western Kentucky University.

Jonathan Rogers
7th and 8th Grade Science Teacher

Jonathan has worked for the last four years at Bardstown Middle School in Bardstown, KY. From 2011-2012, he was employed at Bryan Station High School in Fayette County as a Chemistry and Physical Science teacher. Jonathan is motivated to have his students understand real-life applications to the content they learn. Jonathan is an active member of the Kentucky Education Association at the local, district and state level. Jonathan was graduated by the University of Kentucky in 2009 with a B.A. in Chemistry with a second major in Biology (B.S.). In 2011, he was graduated by UK with a M.A. in Education with a Rank II Kentucky Teacher Certification.

Tricia Shelton
High School Science Teacher (Integrated Science, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology)

Tricia Shelton is a Teacher and Teacher Leader with a BS in Biology, MA in Teaching, and Rank 1, who has worked for 20 years in Kentucky driven by a passion to help students develop critical and creative thinking skills. Tricia is a 2014 NSTA Distinguished Teaching Award winner for her contributions to and demonstrated excellence in Science Teaching. As a Professional Learning Facilitator, Tricia has worked with educators across the United States to develop Best Practices in the Science and Engineering classroom through conference presentations, webinars, co- moderating #NGSSchat on Twitter, and virtual and face to face PLC work.

Jolena Sizemore
4th-6th Grade Teacher

Jolena is a National Board Certified teacher at WB Muncy Elementary. She has taught school for 17 years and worked in the Leslie County School District for over 10 years. In addition to her work in the classroom, Jolena works to support NBCT candidates and is currently a Statewide Coordinator for the NT3Ky/Gates Grant Project. Jolena serves as President of the Leslie County Education Association, as well as being active at state and national levels as well. Jolena earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Berea College and a Master’s Degree from Eastern Kentucky University.

Ada Travelsted Skillern
9th-12th Grade English Teacher

Ada has spent her 20 year career at Bowling Green High School. She served for five years as an English Regional Advisor, Lead Teacher and English Content Coordinator for Advance KY/the National Math and Science Initiative, as English Department Chair for 17 years and in myriad leadership capacities for BGISD. Ada was awarded the Jaycees Outstanding Young High School Educator of the Year in 2000 and was a N.M.S.I./Advance KY Outstanding English Teacher of the Year nominee in 2012. A National Board Certified teacher, she earned a Bachelor’s in English and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of the South (Sewanee).

Allison Slone
6th-8th Grade Emotional and Behavioral Special Needs Teacher

Allison has been a special education teacher at Rowan County Middle School for 16 years. Originally from Knott Co, Ky., Allison earned a Bachelor, Master, and Rank I degree all from Morehead State University. Allison is the Program Review Coordinator for RCMS, a third term teacher member of the school’s SBDM Council, team leader, a Campbellsville University Teacher Leader in 2013-2014,  a member and school rep. for RCEA and KEA, and a teacher member of the RCMS Schools to Watch Leadership team.

Jeff Sorce
3rd & 4th Grade Teacher

Jeff is a third and fourth grade teacher at Estes Elementary School. Jeff is a member of The Fund for Transforming Education’s Innovative Teacher Leader Cohort and a member of OEA/KEA and a Communities of Practice Teacher Leader through the Green River Regional Education Cooperative. He enjoys thinking outside the box and teaching through innovative methods. Jeff has successfully implemented Project Lead The Way into his school to help drive student success. He earned his Bachelor’s in Social Studies/History from Western Kentucky University and his Master’s in Elementary Education from University of the Cumberlands.

Ann Marie Stevens
High School Spanish Teacher

Marie is a National Board Certified teacher at Scott County High School, where she has taught Spanish since 2007.  Before teaching Marie sold textbooks and developed educational technology programs.  She earned a BA in Spanish and English from Texas Wesleyan University and an MA in Education from Georgetown College.  Marie fell in love with Spanish by hearing friends speak it.  She hopes to foster curiosity and global-mindedness in her students through rich classroom experiences and engagement with the community. Marie travels with her husband and son, does yoga, reads, and runs.

Sabrina Tackett
6th-8th Grade Writing Instructor

Although new to Jenkins Independent Schools, Sabrina has fourteen years of middle school experience, and has just renewed National Board Certification.  Active in the Kentucky Writing Project (KWP), she has led numerous local, state, and national trainings for more than a decade, and founded KWP Online.  Sabrina was selected as the 2015 KCTE Middle School Vice President, as a 2014 Connected Educator by the Fund for Transforming Education, and for a 2009 Ashland Achievement Award.  She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at Morehead State University.

Latonya Taylor-Rowe
Elementary School Math Teacher

Latonya has spent 18 years of her teaching career at Highland Elementary in Johnson County. She enthusiastically enters her fourth grade classroom each morning where she teaches math. She has a passion for supporting teachers as they successfully integrate technology into their content. She earned a Bachelor, Master and Rank I all from Morehead State University. She is a member of engagEdKY, KCTE/LA, KEA and a Core Advocate with Student Achievement Partners. She also is active with ECET2 planning team and Coal Camp to Space Camp Curriculum Development. She was the 2004 and 2014 CEDAR Teacher of the Year and the 2014 PBS Digital Innovator. She is a proud mother of three and enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren.

Stan Torzewski
AP World History and AP Psychology Teacher

The 2015-16 school year will be Stan’s his 12th year in education. Stan, a National Board Certified Teacher, has held various leadership positions, including Assistant Principal during this time. However, love for the classroom brought him back to teaching from administration. Stan is active with the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) as well as Elevating and Celebrating Teaching and Teachers (ECET2). Mr. Torzewski is passionate about mentoring underprivileged students, and started a program at Fern Creek this past school year focusing on character development and leadership.

Leah Wheat Turner
7th Grade Writing Teacher and Component Manager

Leah teaches 7th grade writing at Wayne County Middle School. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Lindsey Wilson and graduate degrees from Eastern Kentucky University. She is currently a member of the Innovative Teacher Leader Cohort. She has been employed with the Wayne County School District as a teacher for 22 years. During the 2015-2016 school year, she will not only teach but will also be managing Wayne County Middle School’s Program Review completion and the monitoring of the school’s CSIP. She has two wonderful children who keep her busy being a baseball, basketball and bowling mom.

Angela Wilson
GEAR UP Academic Specialist

Angela has taught at Whitley County Middle School for 10 years. In those ten years, she has taught math and science before accepting a position as the GEAR UP Academic Specialist. Prior to becoming the Academic Specialist, Angela served 2 terms on the school’s SBDM as well as 5 years as the Academic Team Coach. Angela received her Bachelors of Science in Middle School Education from Eastern Kentucky University. She obtained her Master’s in Middle School Education and a Rank I in Leadership from the University of the Cumberlands.

See Previous Years' Fellows

Once a fellow, always a fellow.


Kentucky Teacher Fellows and their writings have been featured in state and national media, from Education Week and EduTalk Radio to Kentucky Teacher and the Lexington Herald-Leader, with coverage on topics as diverse as the Kentucky Core Academic Standards, professional development, and funding for arts education. Our partnerships across the commonwealth have led to Teacher Fellows participating in events such as the ECET2 KY and the U.S. Department of Education’s Teach to Lead Summit.

Learn More & Engage

Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter using #hsgedchat and #hsgky. To chat with other KY teachers, check out #kyedchat on Twitter every Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

To connect directly with our Kentucky Fellows, please contact Brad Clark, Kentucky State Teacher Fellows Program Director:

If you are a Kentucky teacher and wish to become a part of Hope Street Group’s Peer Learning Network, let us know via the button below:

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At Hope Street Group, even the publications are collaborative. Our reports aim to engage the country in meaningful conversations about reform and offer a combination of research, interviews, and expert insights from our network. They feature a unique combination of contributors, including practitioners and policymakers from a wide variety of industries and political beliefs, and are expertly honed by Hope Street Group staff and volunteers.


An Evaluation Of The Kentucky State Teacher Fellows Program, Year Two

Fall 2014 STF Report on PGES Implementation and Teacher Time Utilization

Spring 2015 STF Report on Teacher Leadership and Teacher Hybrid Roles

Teacher Voice in Action

Change is Good

Ann Marie Stevens for Kentucky Teacher

Measuring Success As A Process

Cassie Reding for Kentucky Teacher

The Way We Used To Teach Math Isn’t Cutting It Anymore

Joe Payne for the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence Blog

Not Loving Our Students to Failure: Productive Struggle, Persistence at Work in the Elementary Social Studies Classroom

Tiffany Gruen for All Students All Standards