2017 WW Georgia Teaching Fellows Named

FOR RELEASE: Thursday, June 29, 2017

CONTACT: Patrick Riccards |  (703) 298-8283

Pipeline of Excellent Beginning STEM Teachers
for Georgia’s High-Need Schools Continues to Expand

For Third Year, Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellows
Prepare to Meet State’s Needs for Math, Science Teachers

ATLANTA, GA (June 29, 2017)— Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, today honored the State of Georgia’s ongoing commitment to close the achievement gap and provide all students with high-quality teachers, recognizing the third class of Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellows at the State Capitol.

The 63 aspiring educators named today are part of 159 teachers who have been prepared through the WW Georgia Teaching Fellowship program to lead STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) classes in the state’s high-need secondary schools.  The program is hosted at Columbus State University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Mercer University, and Piedmont College during the 2017–18 academic year. The highly competitive Fellowship recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math.

“Sandra and I are honored to welcome this third class of Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows into the program,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “Georgia has earned many accolades over the past several years, and none of them would be possible or sustainable without our leaders in the classroom. This program creates a pipeline of dedicated math and science teachers to the schools that need them the most, and we wish the best of luck to this year’s class.”

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship focuses on preparing top-quality educators for many of Georgia’s most underserved public schools.  Each Fellow receives $30,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master’s degree program based on a yearlong classroom experience. In return, Fellows commit to teach for three years in the urban and rural Georgia schools that most need strong STEM teachers. Throughout the three-year commitment, Fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring.

“As Georgia re-emphasizes its commitment to turning around the state’s low-performing schools, it is essential that every Georgia child has access to excellent educators, particularly in subjects like science and math,” Levine said. “With the WW Georgia Teaching Fellowship program, Georgia colleges are ensuring Georgia classrooms have a pipeline of needed teachers both committed to teaching in high-need schools and with the skills and abilities to boost student learning. Teachers like our Georgia Teaching Fellows are key to future success.”

Through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation will contribute to the University System of Georgia’s initiative to produce 20,000 new teachers by 2020. Woodrow Wilson is administering the program, with in-state coordination by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) and support from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. Current project funding is $13.7 million.

The university partners, selected in a statewide review by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, have spent years tailoring their teacher preparation programs to meet the Fellowship’s standards for intensive clinical work and rigorous related coursework. All five participating universities received $400,000 matching grants to develop their teacher preparation programs based on standards set by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. For each of the program’s past three years, the participating Georgia colleges and universities have each enrolled approximately 12 Fellows annually, totaling 180 Fellows over the three-year period.

The Woodrow Wilson Foundation is also partnering with a wide range of school districts across the state on this effort, including Atlanta Public Schools, Banks County School System, Bibb County School District, Chattahoochee County School District, Clarke County School District, Cobb County School District, DeKalb County School District , Dodge County Schools, Franklin County Schools, Fulton County Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Habersham County Schools, Hall County Schools, Houston County Schools, Marietta City Schools, Marion County School System, Monroe County Schools, Muscogee County Schools, Paulding County School District, Stephens County School System, Union County Schools, Walton County Public Schools, and White County School District.

“One of the most important elements to increasing student achievement is the effectiveness of the teacher,” GPEE President Steve Dolinger said. “The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship has an exceptional record of helping improve teacher training, especially for STEM teachers, which ultimately benefits students. We continue to be proud to help coordinate these efforts.”

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship is also offered in Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio. The Georgia program brings the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s total commitment to the Fellowship to more than $90 million nationally. More information on the national program can be found at http://woodrow.org/fellowships/ww-teaching-fellowships/.


About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.

The 2017-18 Class of Georgia Teaching Fellows include:

Columbus State University

  • Tonie Curry
  • Carlos Del Orbe
  • Justin Fairchild
  • Craig Henning
  • Jayla Johnson
  • Molly Lichtner
  • Samuelle Mangibin
  • Bethany Manning
  • Antonio Rainey
  • Jose Ruiz
  • Bridget Smith
  • Michael Steinagel

Georgia State University

  • John Alberts
  • Kireon Bunkley-Hill
  • Monica Cooper
  • Victoria Doctor
  • Felicia Goldsmith
  • Rebecca Morrissey
  • Janee Nealey
  • Michael Peterson
  • Elizabeth Quinche
  • Morgen Ricketts
  • Jared Siler
  • Hannah Tompkins

Kennesaw State University

  • Darby Bagwell
  • Mars Berwanger
  • Carol Bowe
  • Sara Brumbaugh
  • Jennifer Callison-Bliss
  • Luke Green
  • Rena Ingram
  • Nidhi Loomba
  • Diane Overton
  • Katherine Thornton
  • Starrissa Winters
  • Jessica Wise

Mercer University

  • Morgan Akridge
  • Joey Chan
  • Julius Collado
  • Dezmon Gay
  • David Jones
  • Austin Lord
  • Angela Monetta
  • Jiyou Oh
  • Chelsea Robinson
  • Shakevia Robinson
  • Lynetria Sanders
  • Jose Santana
  • Ashley Stirges

Piedmont College

  • Jami Brownlee
  • Colin Cederna
  • Robyn Chuck
  • Zanoria Echols
  • Sarah Hunnicutt
  • Jonathan Long
  • Benjamin Manning
  • Stephen Owensby
  • Aharon Poorman
  • John Sexton
  • Jennifer Smith
  • Martina Smith
  • Theresa Trice
  • Dustin Williams

For short bios on the 2017 Fellows, click here.


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