Dear Friends,

No one has worked harder than Tennessee teachers in helping Tennessee students improve their academic performance. The insight of these classroom teachers is valuable in helping Tennessee move towards the goal of ensuring all students graduate ready to succeed in life.

2015 TEF composite2Last year, SCORE launched the Tennessee Educator Fellowship, a yearlong experience for classroom teachers to learn about, reflect upon, and inform the policies, practices, and systems that affect student achievement and educator effectiveness. The fellowship was created to help lift up the voice of Tennessee educators in the discussion of how best to advance student-focused policies.

The 23 teachers in the first Educator Fellows cohort have blazed a trail that will leave lasting impact on them, their colleagues in education, and most important, their students. Through dozens of public appearances, one-on-one discussions, YouTube videos, and articles published on paper and online, the 2014-15 Educator Fellows have explained how education improvements in Tennessee have benefited their students. They also have helped illuminate where we need to provide more support to help teachers help students.

Their leadership has been acknowledged with appointments to statewide education committees, including the Governor’s Teacher Cabinet, and with teacher of the year honors at the school and regional level. They are eager to continue the work they have begun through Educator Fellowship alumni activities.

The 2015-16 Educator Fellows will attend their first convening on July 20-21 in Nashville. These 26 teachers come from rural, suburban, and urban schools in East, Middle, and West Tennessee. They teach students from kindergarten to 12th grade in a diverse set of subjects – ranging from math, English, science, and social studies to career and technical education, Jr. ROTC, and music.

Elevating the teaching profession was among the priorities set forth in the 2014-15 State of Education in Tennessee report. The Tennessee Educator Fellowship helps address this need by providing teachers with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to make their voices heard on behalf of student-focused education work.  I look forward to the impact these teachers will have for years to come.

Very truly yours,

Jamie Signature 4-2014