U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the appointment of 15 teachers as Teaching Ambassador Fellows for the 2010-11 school year. Five teachers will become full-time employees at Education Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the others will continue as full-time teachers while working as fellows part time.
“The Teaching Ambassador Fellows will offer invaluable contributions to the Department’s work to support reform in states and communities,” Duncan said. “They are the voice of teachers in the Department and truly act as ambassadors to teachers, students and parents across the country.”
Now in its third year, the Teaching Ambassador Fellowships were created to give outstanding teachers an opportunity to participate in policy development and to contribute their expertise to those discussions. Fellows, in turn, share what they’ve learned about federal initiatives with other teachers in their districts and states, encouraging broader input into efforts to improve education at all levels of government. The 2010-2011 fellows join a network and continue to work with the Department’s 38 previous fellows from the first two years of the program.
The 15 new fellows are participating in a four-day summit beginning today at department headquarters. They will learn about the Department’s programs as well as its priorities for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. They will also begin their year-long dialogue with Secretary Duncan and other department leaders about school and classroom practices that advance learning and student achievement.
This year’s fellows were selected from 500 applications from teachers and instructional specialists at charter and traditional public schools. Applicants submitted essays about their record of leadership, their impact on student achievement, and their insight into educational policy from school and classroom experience. Applications came from teachers across the country, at every grade level and instructional area in urban, rural, and suburban schools.
The five teachers selected as Washington Fellows who will work full-time at Education Department headquarters are:
- Laurie Calvert, an English teacher from Enka High School, Candler, N.C. , will work for the Office of Communications and Outreach;
- Nicholas Greer, a biology teacher from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, will work with the senior advisor to the secretary on teacher outreach.
- Edit Khachatryan, a U.S. history and government teacher at Clark Magnet High School, La Crescenta, Calif., will work in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development.
- Leah Raphael, a language arts and history teacher at the Charlotte Secondary School, a public charter school in Charlotte, N.C., will work with the senior advisor to the secretary on secondary school reform.
- Linda Yaron, an English teacher from the Edward Roybal Learning Center in Los Angeles, will work with the senior advisor to the secretary on teaching issues and labor relations.
The 10 Classroom Fellows are:
- Jeffrey Camarillo, a high school instructional leader at the East Palo Alto Academy, a charter school in East Palo Alto, Calif.
- Lisa Coates, lead teacher of S.O.A.R. Academy, a middle school special education program at Liberty Middle School for the Hanover public schools, Ashland, Va.
- Antero Garcia, an English teacher at Manual Arts High School, Los Angeles.
- Jemal Graham, a mathematics teacher at the Ronald Edmonds Learning Center, a middle school in Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Patrick Ledesma, a special education teacher and technology specialist at Holmes Middle School, Falls Church, Va.
- Stephanie Merriott, a fourth-grade teacher at Sycamore Hills Elementary School in Independence, Mo.
- Stephen Owens, a music teacher at Sharon Elementary School in Sharon, Vt. and Calais Elementary School in Plainfield, Vt.
- Pam Smith, online social studies and language arts instructor for middle and senior high students through Okaloosa Online, a part of Florida Virtual Schools , and a teacher of homebound students in Okaloosa County, Fla.
- Katherine Taylor, a classroom coach at Clover Park High School, Lakewood, Wash.
- Tracey Van Dusen, a U.S. history teacher at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich.
More information about the 2010-11 Teaching Ambassador Fellows can be found at:
More information about the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship is available at: