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Top-Quality Math and Science Teachers to Be Placed in Michigan’s Neediest Schools

FOR RELEASE: May 12, 2011

CONTACT (press only):
Beverly Sanford   |   Vice President for Communications   |   (609) 452-7007 x. 181
Crystal Brown   |   Widmeyer Communications   |   (202) 884-7351

Note: Prospective applicants should call 609-452-7007 x141 or email wwteachingfellowships@woodrow.org.

TOP-QUALITY MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHERS TO BE PLACED IN MICHIGAN’S NEEDIEST SCHOOLS

Inaugural Class of Teaching Fellows to Help Prepare Nearly 20,000 Vulnerable Students for New Workforce

LANSING, Mich.—A former dolphin trainer. A neuroscience specialist. Several with international teaching experiences. An All-American water polo player who plans to swim the English Channel.

These individuals from diverse backgrounds were among the first 92 recipients of the highly competitive W.K. Kellogg-Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship announced today. Recruiting both recent college graduates and those seeking a different career, the three-year fellowship is awarded to promising educators with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Fellows receive $30,000 to pursue a customized master’s degree program that prepares them to teach in high-need urban or rural secondary schools in seven local districts across the state. (See above for additional materials including a fact sheet and biographies of Fellows or visit 2011 WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellows.)

By preparing and placing top-quality math and science educators in many of Michigan’s most underserved public schools, the fellowship program will ultimately provide nearly 101,000 students with the high-quality level of instruction they need to contribute to Michigan’s renewal and rapidly changing economy and workforce.

The Battle Creek-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation launched the statewide program in 2009 with $18 million in support, reflecting its dedication to innovative education practices and recognition that improving teacher quality is the key to raising the level of learning for all students. Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation, joined Gov. Rick Snyder and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in announcing the inaugural class of fellows, who were selected from a highly competitive pool of 1,500 applicants hailing from a variety of experiences and former careers in math and science-related fields.

“It is critically important to create conditions that prepare children for long-term success and independence, and in this case that means surrounding them with top-notch math and science instructors,” said Speirn. “Bringing high-quality teachers to our home state’s most vulnerable children and school districts honors the Foundation’s commitment to Michigan communities and to systemic education transformation statewide.”

The inaugural fellows will attend Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University, Grand Valley State University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Western Michigan University. Upon graduating, these fellows will not only be equipped to help the students they teach, but will represent a cadre of high-quality instructors whose knowledge and practices will positively impact their colleagues and make a real difference in the lives of students across the state.

“These Fellows are amazing-engineers and zookeepers and medical researchers and astrophysicists, some in midcareer, others just graduating at the top of their classes. They all bring real science and math expertise to the kids who most need strong teachers,” said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. “They learn to teach in real classrooms from the very beginning, just as doctors learn in hospitals. They’re prepared to succeed in teaching as a long-term career. They’re going to change the face of teaching, and they’re going to change tens of thousands of lives.”

“We need great teachers and great teaching to support our development of the highest quality education in Michigan,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “The teachers in this fellowship program will bring their much-needed expertise in key disciplines to some of our schools in which the need is greatest. We want our students to have every opportunity for success in this global economy. Greater exposure to these key subjects will provide that foundation.”

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The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, southern Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation identifies and develops leaders and institutions to address the critical challenges in education. It supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American institutions, and also supports innovation in the institutions they will lead.


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