The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) has announced that 50 educators have been chosen for the 2017-18 class of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship, including Erika Scissom from Swiss Memorial Elementary School.
“Our fellows bring incredible talents to the table- their expertise inside the classroom, their diverse perspectives, and their relentless focus on students and their academic needs,” SCORE Executive Chairman and CEO Jamie Woodson said. “These traits prove invaluable to state conversations on raising student achievement in Tennessee, as our fellows work both inside and outside of the classroom to prepare all students for success after high school.”
The Tennessee Educator Fellowship is a yearlong program that equips educators to advocate for their students and their profession as they continue teaching. Entering its fourth year, the fellowship now accepts not only teachers but also school counselors and librarians. Since 2014, the fellowship has helped nearly 100 teachers to contribute to the discussion about education policy by appearing at public speaking engagements, inviting policymakers into their classrooms, writing about their education experience in state and national publications, creating regional professional networks, and serving on state-level policy committees.
“Diversity – both in the selection of fellows and in the experiences the fellowship provides our educators – contributes to the program’s success,” said Tennessee Educator Fellowship Coordinator Peter Tang, a fellowship alumnus and former Memphis teacher. “As our educators interact with teachers from different backgrounds, grade levels, subjects, and regions and as they are exposed to a variety of opportunities, our fellows experience a tremendous amount of personal and professional growth.”
The fellows chosen for 2017-18 have combined teaching experience of 583 years, ranging from three years in the classroom to almost 50. These Tennessee Educator Fellows represent elementary, middle, and high schools in 35 districts across East, Middle, and West Tennessee. The members of the cohort teach English language arts, math, science, social studies, visual arts, career and technical education, and special education, and serve as librarians and school counselors in urban, suburban, and rural schools.
Scissom teaches grades 6-8 English language arts at Swiss Memorial Elementary School in Grundy County Schools. She has been teaching for 11 years.