The Tennessee State Teacher Fellows Program launched in 2015 with exceptional teacher leaders from across the state.
Reflecting the diversity of Tennessee’s education landscape, these educators have teaching experience ranging from 3 years to 40 years. In their inaugural year, Teacher Fellows met with local and state leaders to discuss critical public education policy issues. Additionally, Teacher Fellows provided peer feedback to the Tennessee Department of Education on urgent classroom education issues, including teacher professional development, Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) and school climate.
Justin teaches AP English and Speech at Volunteer High School. He has been an educator for three years and was selected to be a Teacher Leader in Hawkins County School System in 2015. He has served on the Tennessee Digital Learning Project English III team in 2015-2016, was selected as a 2016 Tennessee Titans Teacher of the Week and has led several workshops on technology integration on the school, district and state level. Justin has a B.A. in English from Carson-Newman University and is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Educational Leadership.
Kenneth has served Huntsville Middle School for the last fifteen years most of that time has been spent teaching 7th and 8th grade history. He has served as the school’s Athletic Director, Department Chair and on various committees for the school. He also currently serves his county as the Scott County Education Association Vice President. Kenneth received his Bachelor’s degree in History from Tennessee Tech and his Master’s in School Leadership from Bethel University. During the 2016-17 school year, Kenneth was selected by SCORE to serve as a Tennessee Educator Fellow. Outside of the classroom Kenneth represents Scott County’s fourth district on the County Commission and is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Scott County 911 board.
Melissa Collins is a second grade teacher at John P. Freeman Optional School with Shelby County School District in Memphis. She has been teaching for 17 years. To help ensure that all children have access to a caring and committed teacher, she has mentored several teachers through the National Board Certified Teacher process. She has received the Horace Mann Teacher Excellence Award, Presidential Award for Excellence Mathematics and Science Teaching and West Tennessee Teacher of the Year. She received her Bachelor of Science in Early Elementary from Murray State, and Master, Specialist and Doctorate (Ph.D.) of Education in Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Ashley has taught at West High School in Knox County Tennessee for the last five years. She has worked as an Economics, U.S. History and Personal Finance teacher. She has served as Senior Class Dean for the past three years and worked on the Upper House Small Learning Community’s Leadership for that duration. She has served as Leadership Team Secretary and Professional Development presenter in Economics for Knox County for two years. She has also served as a Lead Teacher and Instructional Support Team member. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2011 and her Master of Science in Teacher Education from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2012.
Amy serves on Knox County’s PD Redesign Team and the Superintendent’s Transition Team. She has been a Tennessee SCORE fellow and recipient of the 2016 PTSA Tennessee Teacher of the Year. As a 23-year “veteran” classroom teacher, Amy has taught at the preschool, elementary and middle school levels and is currently teaching 7th grade English-Language Arts in Knoxville, Tennessee. She’s a graduate of Carson Newman University. She’s also the founder of Reach Them to Teach Them, an organization committed to appreciating, inspiring and challenging teachers to maximize their influence in student lives. Amy has a passion for using her time and talent to leave the world better than she found it!
Casey has served in Sumner County for eleven years. She taught three years at the Elementary level before moving to 8th grade math for eight years while coaching. She received Sumner County Middle School Basketball Coach of the Year in 2013. Casey is entering her first year as Lead Educator in Sumner County but has also acted as Demonstration Teacher, Co-Athletic Director and Department Chair for the Project Based Learning Committee. Casey received her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Cumberland University and a Masters in Instructional Leadership and Administration from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Al has taught mathematics in Knox County for the past nine years, the last three years at Karns High School. Prior to Knox County, he taught in two school districts in Maryland, spending three years at Howard High School in Howard County and 13 years at Laurel High School in Prince George’s County. Al has taught the gamut of courses from Pre-Algebra through Trig-Analysis/Pre-Calculus. He is also certified to teach Teen Leadership by the Flippen Group. During his teaching career, he was an assistant football coach for 22 years, a head football coach for two years and a head wrestling coach for 12 years. He earned the 1997 Prince George’s County wrestling coach of the year award from the Prince George’s Journal newspaper and the 2007 Howard County football coach of the year from both DigitalSports online newspaper and the Baltimore Touchdown Club. Al graduated cum laude from Bowie State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. He also holds a Master of Education degree in Secondary Education from Bowie State.
Erin Glenn is an 8th grade Social Studies teacher at East Lake Academy of Fine Arts. She has served as a TNCore United States History and Geography Coach, an item reviewer for state assessments and as a member of the Social Studies Educator Advisory Committee with the Tennessee Department of Education. Erin is a National Board Certified Teacher and was awarded Middle School Social Studies teacher of the year by the Tennessee Council of Social Studies. She participated in the Tennessee Educator Fellowship with the State Collaborative on Reforming Education and is a Steering Committee member for Chattanooga 2.0 and the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance. She’s obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Teacher Education from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Beth has taught in Maryville City Schools for 10 years. She began her teaching career in 2nd grade for two years and then moved to 4th grade for four years. For the past four years, she has taught Kindergarten. Beth earned her Bachelor of Arts from Maryville College in Child Development and Learning. She furthered her education and earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University as well as an Educational Specialist’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision also from Lincoln Memorial University. In 2017, Elizabeth completed her Ph.D. with a concentration in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The title of her dissertation was The Role of Administrators in Facilitating Change and Establishing a Positive Culture in a New School.
Jeff has taught 7th/8th grade social studies at Ridgeview Elementary School in Gray, Tennessee for the last eight years and adjunct professor for the Clemmer College of Education at East Tennessee State University for the last five years. In addition, he has taught 8th grade social studies and US History in five schools located in three different states. He also served as the American History Lead Teacher for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Throughout his twenty-three years as an educator, Jeff has served as Department Chair, AVID Coordinator, IBNA homofaber and Humanities Area Leader, Team Leader, and Principal designee, along with being FCA and Student Council sponsor. In addition, he has spent a great deal of time leading professional development opportunities for teachers throughout North America. Jeff received his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science in 1989 and his Masters in Teaching in 1992, both from East Tennessee State University.
Tanya Hill is a 3rd grade ESL teacher at Kate Bond Elementary. She is a National Board Certified Reading Specialist with over twenty years of teaching experience. Tanya has served as a Learning Coach, ESL District and Regional Presenter, ESL Seminar Leader for the New Teacher Project and a National Board Certification Candidate Support Provider. Tanya currently serves as a facilitator for Teach Plus Memphis leading their Teacher-Led Professional Learning Network. Tanya holds a Master of Education in Literacy and ESL and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of New Orleans.
Candace has served at Peabody Elementary School for the last five years. She has worked as a kindergarten teacher and is currently a Teacher Leader for the following organizations: Teach Plus Teacher Lead Practice Network (TLPN), Non-Tested Grades Teacher Leader (NGTL ) and previously served as a Common Core Math coach for the state of Tennessee. Candace trains teachers across the district, emphasizing strategies that encourage teachers to conceptualize learning and deepen teacher content knowledge. Candace graduated as a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society from The University of Memphis, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education.
Mary-Owen Holmes has served as a seventh grade Social Studies teacher in Maury County Public Schools for the last five years. While at Spring Hill Middle School, Mary-Owen has served as Department Chair, Instructional Coach for Project-Based Learning, Teacher Liaison for the MCPS Tennessee Teacher Leader Network, cheerleading coach and on the school leadership team. Mary-Owen was a 2016-2017 SCORE Tennessee Educator Fellow and is passionate about the impacts of technology, diversity, and cultural education within schools. Mary-Owen serves on the steering committee for the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance, as well as one of the co-moderators for Social Studies Chat (#sschat) on Twitter. She is a member of the Tennessee Council for Social Studies and the National Council for Social Studies and has participated in both range finding and item review for TNReady. Mary-Owen holds a B.A. in Political Science and Communications, as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching, Learning and Leading from Lipscomb University. In August 2017, Mary-Owen will complete an Ed.S. focusing on Technology Integration, also from Lipscomb.
Stacy has taught English at McNairy Central High School for the last nine years, while also teaching evening classes in composition, literature and poetry at the Selmer satellite campus of The University of Tennessee at Martin. Previously, she was a lecturer in English at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She served as a cohort among the second group of SCORE fellows from 2015-2016, contracted for two years as a Core Coach for the Tennessee Department of Education and currently works as a content reviewer for the 9-11 grade English Language Arts TNReady assessment. She writes a weekly column for The Daily Corinthian in Corinth, Mississippi. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from The University of Tennessee Memphis and a Master of Arts degree in English with a concentration in poetry writing from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Heidi King is a second career Business and Personal Finance teacher at Hamilton County HS where she was named 2016-17 Teacher of the Year. Prior to HCHS, she served as Dropout Prevention Coach on a three year school improvement grant in Walker County, GA. There she was an active member of the Leadership and Data Team and chaired the Attendance Action Committee. Heidi has been the Technology Lead and Webmaster at HCHS for five years and serves on the school’s Leadership Team. Heidi received her Bachelor of Business degree from Kennesaw State University in Marketing, her Master of Education degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in Secondary Education, and her Education Specialist degree from Valdosta State University in Performance-Based Leadership.
Lynnsey currently serves at Sterchi Elementary School as a K-5 TPaCK (Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge) Coach. She has worked in the Knox County School System for nine years, where she’s held multiple roles including RTI Coordinator, School-level Technology Ambassador, Certified Cognitive Coach©, TEAM Certified Evaluator and on the Leadership team. She is also a LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) Year-Long Reading Course Graduate. Lynnsey earned both her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies K-6 and her M.A. in Reading and Reading Specialist from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN.
Leticia Skae is a Literacy Teacher Development Specialist in Nashville, TN. This is her 12th year in education and she specializes in diverse and urban education and earned her master’s degree in education from Vanderbilt University. She is currently in MTSU’s Literacy Studies Ph.D. program. She was a finalist in her district for Middle School Teacher of the Year 2017-2018 and a Blue Ribbon Teacher in 2016. Leticia has served on MNPS’ Transition Team, Mayor Barry’s Teacher Cabinet. She is an advocate for improving sociocultural perspectives in education and for teacher retention and teacher empowerment. Some of her hobbies include reading, writing, spending time with her family and tweeting.
Rachel is a teacher at Hamilton County Adult High School, where she was named the 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year. She serves on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council, as a Teacher Ambassador for the Public Education Foundation, as a mentor to new teachers in her district and was awarded the “Outstanding Educator Award” by Humanities Tennessee in 2017. She is a former SCORE fellow, America Achieves Fellow, Teaching American History Fellow, PEF/HCDE Leadership Fellow, Fund for Teachers Fellow, Gilder Lehrman Fellow and NEH Fellow. She previously served on the TN’s U.S. History Rangefinding Committee and has been the recipient of several grants. Also serving as an Academic Coach for inner-city youth with the City of Chattanooga, Rachel understands the importance of advocating for students of all ages and backgrounds. She received her B.A. in History from ETSU and her M.A. in Education from Lee University.
Casey Ward currently serves as the RTII Coordinator and Dual Enrollment English teacher at Hillsboro High School. After working in higher education as an instructor of Rhetoric and Composition for six years, he became a Nashville Teaching Fellow and a founding 7th grade teacher at Nashville Prep Charter School. Since then, he has worked for high schools in Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) as an English teacher and Nashville Teaching Fellows as a session writer and teacher development coach. Casey is a member of the International Literacy Association. He holds a B.A. in English from Michigan State University and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The Ohio State University.
Mark Wittman has taught Kindergarten/1st Grade for the past 22 years. He currently teaches Kindergarten at Riverwood Elementary School in Shelby County. He is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher and passionate about student success. He is a leader amongst his peers serving as a District Learning Day Fellow and a Teacher Leader implementing an Alternative Growth Measure for Kindergarten teachers. Mark has served as a Tennessee Core Coach and is currently a Facilitator presenting on the Revised Tennessee Academic Standards. He holds a Master’s Degree from The University of Memphis in Leadership and Policy Studies. Mark received his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a Concentration in Early Childhood from Emporia State University.
Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter using #hsgedchat. To connect directly with our Tennessee Fellows, please contact Keilani Goggins, Tennessee State Teacher Fellows Program Director: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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