Today, the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the names of 12 teachers selected to serve as Teaching Ambassador Fellows for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. Five teachers will become full-time employees at Department of Education headquarters in Washington, D.C., one will work full-time in the department’s Seattle regional office, and six will remain in their classrooms and participate on a part-time basis.
“It is critical that we work collaboratively with teachers to develop policies that will truly transform and elevate the teaching profession,” Duncan said. “I am proud of the work our Teaching Ambassadors have done to talk with and listen to other teachers across the country as well as the direct input they have given staff. I look forward to working with this year’s Teaching Ambassador Fellows to take this good work to the next level.”
Now entering its fifth year, the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program was created to give outstanding teachers an opportunity to learn about national policy issues in education, and to contribute their expertise to those discussions. In turn, Fellows share what they’ve learned with other teachers in their professional networks, contributing to a larger understanding of federal initiatives and encouraging broader input into policy and programs designed to improve education at all levels of government.
This year’s 12 fellows were selected from 625 applications from teachers and instructional specialists from traditional public and charter schools to alternative and private schools, from nearly every State, grade level and instructional area, and who teach in a wide variety of urban, rural, and suburban settings.
Six teachers will work full-time for the Department. The five Washington Fellows at headquarters are:
- Cindy Apalinski, a third grade teacher at School Number 6 in Linden, NJ, who will work on labor/management issues in the Office of the Secretary;
- Jennifer Bado-Aleman, the English Department Resource Teacher at Gaithersburg High School in Montgomery County, Md., who will work on middle-school reform in the Office of the Secretary;
- Dan Brown, an English teacher at the SEED Charter School in Washington, D.C., who will work in the Office of Educational Technology;
- Lisa Clarke, a social studies teacher from Kent-Meridian High School in Kent, Wash., who will work in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; and,
- Marciano Gutierrez, a social studies teacher at Alta Vista High School, an alternative school in Mountain View, Calif., who will work on teacher quality issues in the Office of the Secretary.
The newly created Regional Fellowship, a full time position based this year in the Seattle Regional Office, is designed to enhance direct teacher outreach. It will be filled by:
- Kareen Borders, a 2011 Classroom Fellow and middle school aerospace, physical and Earth science teacher at Key Peninsula Middle School in Gig Harbor, Wash.
The following six teachers have been selected to work part-time as Classroom Fellows:
- Aaron Bredenkamp, a mathematics teacher and technology director at the Westside Career Center, an alternative high school within Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Neb.;
- Patrice Dawkins-Jackson, a first grade teacher and grade level chair at Dunwoody Springs Elementary School in Sandy Springs, Ga.;
- Toni Hull, an instructional leader and science educator for Deming High School in Deming, N.M.
- Mike Humphreys, a physical educator instructor at Patrick Henry Elementary School in Arlington, Va.;
- Cheryl Redfield, an English Language arts instructor at Highland Junior High in the Gilbert, Ariz.; and,
- Ryan Vernosh, a peer assistance review (PAR) teacher in the St. Paul Public School district in St. Paul, Minn.