New Coalition Established to Lift the Alabama Teacher Voice in Education Policy

(Special from Alabama Department of Education)

Montgomery, Ala. – The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) is pleased to welcome the initial cohort of the Network for Alabama Teaching Fellows (NATF). During the December 10, 2015, meeting of the Alabama State Board of Education, members of the initial cohort NATF was introduced. The NATF is an essential network of teachers that, through development of regional professional learning communities utilizing a variety communications tools, will act as a conduit between classrooms across Alabama and educational policy makers.

The Network for Alabama Teaching Fellows will allow key decision makers to glean innovative ideas from across the state and identify concerns and challenges at the school and classroom level. The fellows will inform developmental work with real input regarding the success of key initiatives and improvement efforts, all of which will energize and honor the voices of teachers across the state of Alabama.

Hillary Ellis, Teacher Fellow and educator at Hillcrest Elementary School, Enterprise City Schools, said, “The NATF is an opportunity to positively connect the voices of all Alabama teachers to policy makers in hopes of transforming future practice and policies that effects those most in the Alabama educational system.

Ellis continued, “My hope is for the often unheard voices of teachers to be valued in a way that they have never been before.  I am honored to be a part of this ground-breaking group that will be an agent of change for all teachers and students in Alabama!”
Each prospective member was recommended by leadership within his or her school or district and each submitted an online application and resume. Each of the new teaching fellows was chosen by a committee made up of representatives from AEA, A+ Education Partnership and the ALSDE, all partners in this process. The fellows will serve for two years. A new group will be named in summer 2017. Individually, the teaching fellows are all highly skilled and highly effective educators; collectively, they represent what is best in our profession.

“The creation of the NATF is the start of something great for Alabama’s students and educators. Alabama has some amazingly talented teachers, and we are going to capitalize on those talents by creating a collective voice to empower teachers. This endeavor will help guide our state toward a better education system that is responsive to both student and educator needs,” said, Kevin Balius, Teacher Fellow and ELA Department Chair, Semmes Middle School, Mobile County Schools.

2015-17 Network for Alabama Teaching Fellows

Anniston City – Anniston High School Gussie Stallworth
Athens City – Athens High SchoolPaige Hicks
Auburn City – Ogletree Elementary SchoolKathryn Knorr
Baldwin County – Spanish Fort Middle SchoolBeverly Floyd
Birmingham City – Bush K-8 SchoolJana Roland-Williams
Chambers County – Valley High SchoolEric Creel
Enterprise City – Hillcrest Elementary SchoolHilary Ellis
Escambia County – WS Neal Middle SchoolJessica James
Florence City – Forest Hills Elementary SchoolLaura Hillhouse
Homewood City – Homewood Middle SchoolJustin Hefner
Huntsville City – Westlawn Middle SchoolBonnie Garrett
Macon County – George Washington Carver Elementary SchoolTaryn Sanders
Madison City -lHorizon Elementary School – Gay Barnes
Mobile County – Semmes Middle SchoolKevin Benjamin Balius
Montgomery County – Fitzpatrick Elementary SchoolAnntonia Owens
Montgomery County – Montgomery County/Title III DepartmentVictoria Reese
Randolph County – Wadley High SchoolAmber Dudley
Scottsboro City – Nelson Elementary SchoolEmily Berry
Sheffield City – L.E. Wilson Elementary SchoolCarla Griffin
Sumter County – Sumter Central High SchoolKimberly Parker Pace
Tuscaloosa County – Duncanville Middle SchoolTraci Primm
Vestavia Hills City – Louis Pizitz Middle SchoolAshley Perry