Ten from Massachusetts chosen for NEA/Teach Plus fellowship

Ten Massachusetts educators have been chosen as inaugural fellows in the NEA/Teach Plus Future of the Profession program.

The MTA members are joining teachers and colleagues in 13 other states in the year-long program. The educators, most of whom are in their first 10 years in the profession, will gain a foundation in education policy, research and best practices from around the nation in order to advise the NEA on policies that will serve students and retain excellent teachers.

MTA President Paul Toner said the association is proud that 10 of the 53 fellows nationwide teach in Massachusetts schools. The Commonwealth ranks at the top on many measures of student achievement, including nationwide and international tests, he noted.

“Massachusetts is often looked to as a leader for teaching strategies and approaches,” Toner said. “Our educators want to share what they know with educators from other states and learn their best practices as we continue to work together to find ways to narrow the achievement gap and help all students succeed. This program represents a great opportunity to do that.”

The 10 Massachusetts fellows are:

• Anna Noble, Sandwich High School
• Stephanie Molloy, Plymouth South High School
• Catherine Tighe, Arthur D. Healey School, Somerville
• Devon Humphries, Madeline English School, Everett
• Lauren Downey, Needham High School
• Robert Marx, Braintree High School
• Blythe Purdin of Johnson Elementary School, Nahant
• Anna Bartolini, William R. Peck Full Service Community Academy, Holyoke
• Peter Billman-Golemme, South Hadley High School
• Krystle Dalton, Greenfield Middle School

In addition to holding monthly virtual working sessions, the fellows will convene in Washington, D.C., three times over the course of the year to meet with NEA leaders and other key education policymakers.

For the NEA, the partnership with Boston-based Teach Plus represents a move to engage more intensively with union members in the first decade of their careers. The program will help ensure that the voices and perspectives of newer members of the profession are represented.

Teach Plus Executive Director Arielle Zurzolo, who will lead the program, said, “as a former teacher and union leader, I’m a huge believer in the power of teachers’ unions to advocate for the teaching profession and be a force for change.”

NEA is excited to partner with Teach Plus to help build the next generation of teacher leaders, said President Dennis Van Roekel. “Teachers must take the lead to ensure that every student has a qualified, caring, and effective educator in their classroom. The identified fellows will be instrumental in furthering NEA’s goal of providing great public schools for every student.”