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Five area teachers named Teach Plus fellows

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Teach Plus New Mexico has selected five highly-effective teacher leaders from the Albuquerque area as fellows of its second New Mexico Teaching Policy Fellowship.

During the nine-month program, they will work on key state-level issues, such as quality Pre-K, teacher recruitment and pipeline, and quality professional development for New Mexico’s educators, organizers said in a news release.

The Albuquerque area Teaching Policy Fellows are:

Juan Aragon,

Albuquerque Public Schools

Ian Sunderland, Albuquerque Public Schools

Andrea Infantino, Rio Rancho Public Schools

Emily Holtz, Rio Rancho Public Schools

Darlene Fortier, Bernalillo Public Schools

“I am excited to be part of a grassroots education policy initiative informed by the perspective of teaching professionals, and by the lived reality of the school and community stakeholders they serve and collaborate with on a daily basis,” said Fellow Ian Sunderland, 6th grade teacher at The International School at Mesa del Sol, in a statement.

In the Fellowship’s inaugural year in New Mexico, Teach Plus teachers helped to create a more balanced and sustainable teacher evaluation system, said Hope Morales, Teach Plus New Mexico Policy Director in a statement.

“We’re looking forward to another impactful year ahead and to helping shape policies that improve education for New Mexico students,” she said.

The program is designed to help teachers magnify the impact they have in their classrooms through personal interactions with education leaders and opportunities to advocate for policies that will better serve state teachers and students.

Statewide, 20 New Mexico teachers have been selected for the Fellowship.

The 20 new Fellows come from traditional district and public charter schools across the Land of Enchantment, organizers said. Many of the incoming teachers have won teaching awards and hold teacher leadership roles with their various schools and districts.

The other Fellows outside of the Albuquerque area are: Ruth Gallegos, Central Consolidated Schools; Kim O’Byrne, Shelbi Simeone, Susana Rios, Ph.D., all from Las Cruces Public Schools; Shari Hicks and Dorinda Thompson, Roswell Independent School District; Debra Woodward, Grants/Cibola County Schools; Dawn Bilbrey, Texico Municipal Schools; Brittany Griffith and Jill Hutchinson-Bass, Santa Fe Public Schools; Katelin Cincis, Clovis Municipal School District; Aja Currey, Las Vegas City Public Schools; Kayli Laney, Reserve Independent School District; Edward Pena, Cobre Consolidated School District; and K. Celeste Murray, Farmington Municipal Schools.

Since its inception in August 2007, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 26,000 solutions-oriented teachers across the country.

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The organization seeks out top, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect student success. Its programs are designed to place highly effective teachers at the center of improvements in schools as leaders of their peers and outside schools influencing policy decisions that affect their classrooms.


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