Twenty-seven Hamilton County teachers were awarded fellowship grants from the Public Education Foundation to pursue self-designed learning adventures this summer, and those interested in applying for next year’s grants can now do so.

PEF funded these grants with help from Fund for Teachers, a national nonprofit.

The winners were selected based on their proposals of their ideal professional development experiences and their explanations of how these could inspire learning in their classrooms.


Examples of some of the 27 winners and their proposals are listed below:

-Lora Jenkins and Lonna Henriquez, Tyner Middle School Academy, went to Costa Rica to conduct biodiversity and conservation research for a documentary as well as curriculum materials for a schoolwide unit.

-Tammy Johnson and Kristy Kimball, McConnell Elementary School, went to Alaska with naturalists to explore the diverse landscapes, culture and environment. They used their finds to develop a science and social studies unit called “The Case of the Missing Sea Otter.”

-Katie Hawkins, Brown Middle School, and Rachel Price, Red Bank Middle School, attended the Reading and Writing Summer Institute at Columbia University-and met Lois Lowery, a popular young adult author-to discuss the craft of writing.

-Stacy Williams, East Brainerd Elementary School, and Rita Schubert, East Ridge Elementary School, attended a creativity workshop in Barcelona, Spain, and a brain-based workshop in Texas to acquire strategies for igniting creativity in students with low-income backgrounds.

-Susan Morrison, East Hamilton Middle/High School, went to Cambodia to meet survivors of the Khmer Rouge and saw the potential for grassroots activism in third-world economies.

“We were delighted to see the impact these Fund for Teachers experiences have had on our Hamilton County educators,” Leslie Graitcer, PEF Fund for Teachers coordinator, said in a prepared statement. “We knew from their applications that the Fellows would gain new insights, skills and experiences.It’s wonderful to see how those experiences are enriching classrooms and engaging students this fall. I strongly encourage teachers to apply for a 2013 Fund for Teachers fellowship.”

Applications for the 2013 Fund for Teachers fellowships areavailable online, as is more information and a full list of the 2012 recipients,and are due Jan. 28.

Last year was the first year Hamilton County educators were eligible for the grants. More than $1.8 million was awarded for 2012 summer exploration to 450 teachers from around the country.