The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) announced Thursday the selection of 26 teachers for the 2015-16 class of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship.

The nonpartisan advocacy and research organization also tapped an experienced teacher from Shelby County Schools to lead the program in its second year.

“Teachers are the most important in-school factor for increasing student success, and their insight is crucial to developing the policies and practices that can sustain and accelerate student growth in Tennessee,” SCORE President and CEO Jamie Woodson said in a news release. “The Tennessee Educator Fellowship equips and empowers classroom teachers to advocate for their students and their profession.”

The program’s 2014-15 Educator Fellows have appeared at numerous public speaking engagements, invited policymakers into their classrooms, written about their education experience in state and national publications, and served on state-level policy committees.

Woodson announced that Peter Tang, a master teacher at Kate Bond Middle School in Memphis and a member of the first cohort, will be the new Educator Fellows Coordinator.

“The Tennessee Educator Fellowship was a powerful and enriching experience for the 22 teachers who made up the inaugural class,” Tang said.

The new class includes teachers with more than 300 years of combined teaching experience and represent elementary, middle and high schools in urban, suburban and rural systems across Tennessee. They teach math, English, science, social studies, history, government, engineering and robotics, music and junior ROTC.

The 2015-16 fellows are:

  • Dana Casey, eighth-grade English language arts teacher at Highland Rim School, Lincoln County Schools
  • Cindy Cliche, second-grade math teacher at McFaddon School of Excellence, Rutherford County Schools
  • Amanda Cole, fifth-grade math teacher at John Adams Elementary, Kingsport City Schools
  • Cory Concus, grades 9-10 math teacher at Covington High School, Tipton County Schools
  • Andrea Doyle, seventh-grade math teacher at Three Oaks Elementary, Dyer County Schools
  • Meagan England, grades 5-6 English language arts teacher at Midway Elementary School, Claiborne County Schools
  • Brad Gentry, grades 9-12 engineering and robotics teacher at Greene Technology Center, Greeneville City Schools
  • Anthony Goad, seventh-grade science teacher at Tyner Middle Academy, Hamilton County Schools
  • Lindsey Hagan, grades K-5 music and student leadership teacher at Bess T. Shepherd Elementary, Hamilton County Schools
  • Curtis Herring, grades 9-12 science teacher at Overton High School, Shelby County Schools
  • Stacy Jones, grades 11-12 English language arts teacher at McNairy Central High School, McNairy County Schools
  • Bonnie Lowery, sixth-grade science teacher at Coulter Grove Intermediate School, Maryville City Schools
  • Elaine Luther, grades 9-12 math and science teacher at South Gibson County High School, Gibson Special School District
  • Samantha Massey, ninth-grade English language arts teacher at West High School, Knox County Schools
  • Becky McBride, ninth-grade English teacher at Brighton High School, Tipton County Schools
  • Amanda Nixon, fifth-grade teacher at Riverwood Elementary, Shelby County Schools
  • Danielle Rutig, fourth-grade writing, science and social studies teacher at Andersonville Elementary School, Anderson County Schools
  • Martha Shaffer, grades 9-12 Air Force Junior ROTC teacher at Maplewood High School, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Samantha Singer, 10th-grade English language arts teacher at John Overton High School, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Leticia Skae, 10th- and 12th-grade English language arts teacher at Hillsboro High School, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Heather Snodgrass, seventh-grade math teacher at KIPP Academy Nashville, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Angela Staples, seventh-grade English language arts and history teacher at Elmore Park Middle School, Bartlett City Schools
  • Meka Wilhoit, kindergarten teacher at Washburn Elementary School, Grainger County Schools
  • Tammy Wilson, first-grade teacher at Farmington Elementary School, Germantown Municipal School District
  • Jeff Yawn, 12th-grade U.S. Government teacher at Beech High School, Sumner County Schools
  • Mary Beth Young, kindergarten teacher at Woodland Elementary School, Cannon County Schools

The new fellows will hold their first gathering in July. Throughout the year, they will participate in seminars and will serve as liaisons between their colleagues, communities and policymakers.

Peter Tang
Peter Tang
PHOTO CREDIT: SCORE

Tang has been teaching for five years in the Memphis area and is an alumnus of the Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellows program, where he briefed national and state policymakers about teacher development and academic standards. He serves as a Tennessee Department of Education Core Coach and on the board of EdReports.org, a nonprofit that provides Consumer Reports-style reviews of instructional materials.

Tang succeeds Cicely Woodard, who has been on leave from Metro Nashville Public Schools and is returning to the classroom as a math teacher at West End Middle Prep.

SCORE was founded in 2009 by former U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist. The Nashville-based group works collaboratively to support Tennessee’s work to prepare students for college and the workforce.