Murray Hill Academy is a Learning Forward and NCTAF Finalists

posted Jun 30, 2016, 2:03 PM by mohammed islam

Learning Forward and NCTAF Name 12 Finalist Teams in Agents for Learning Challenge

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SOURCE Learning Forward

Twelve states represented; finalists to convene in Chicago to present plans detailing ESSA-ready professional learning strategies to panel of educators and experts


WASHINGTON, June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Learning Forward and the National Commission on Teaching & America's Future (NCTAF) today announced 12 finalists in its Agents for Learning challenge, a nationwide call to action designed to engage educator teams in advocating for the best use of federal funding for professional learning under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The 12 teams - representing 56 teachers, administrators, and learning leaders from 12 different states - proposed plans that described a comprehensive vision for effective professional learning for their states, identified needs that exist and strategies to address them, and outlined roles and responsibilities for states, districts, and individual educators to achieve their visions. In addition, the plans discussed how educators would advise states and districts to use Title II funding to address critical needs of teachers and directly impact student learning outcomes.

The finalists will travel to Chicago July 21-22, where each team will present its plan to a panel of judges and a moderator:

·         Virginia Edwards, Editor-in-Chief and CEO of Education Week (moderator);

·         Stephanie Banchero, Program Director for the Education Program, Joyce Foundation;

·         Jahana Hayes, 2016 National Teacher of the Year;

·         Chris Minnich, Executive Director, CCSSO;

·         Rachel Wise, Chair, Nebraska Board of Education, NASBE.

"We're so grateful to all of the educators who participated in the challenge. We were proud to offer an opportunity to amplify teachers' voices in advocating for the professional learning that will make a difference for educators and students," said Stephanie Hirsh, executive director of Learning Forward. "States tell us they are looking for ways to capture stakeholder input, and the creative and bold ideas in the applications show how much these engaged educators have to offer as we enter the implementation phase of ESSA. I can't wait to learn more from them during our time in Chicago," continued Hirsh.

Before presenting their plans, teams will have time to engage in learning and coaching to refine their plans and build skills in advocating with policymakers. Learning Forward and NCTAF will webcast the presentations and disseminate the finalists' plans on the Learning Forward website to serve as models for educators around the country. Prizes and recognitions will be awarded to finalists by sponsors of the challenge.

As states and districts work to develop comprehensive plans to implement ESSA, Learning Forward and NCTAF believe it is critical that teachers' expertise, experiences, and input are heard. "As one of our finalist teams noted, 'teachers are an untapped resource to reform professional development,' and through this challenge we are incorporating the expertise of our nation's educators into the broader policy conversation," said Melinda George, president of NCTAF. "The plans submitted by these teachers make it crystal clear that great teaching for all students will only happen when teacher voice is included at every level – school, district, state and national. Including their insight into what works for students, themselves and their colleagues makes the difference in successfully transforming teaching and learning."

Visit Agents for Learning for more information on the challenge. For additional information or questions, or to request interviews or credentials to cover the event in Chicago, please reach out to the media contacts or send an email to

For team member names, school affiliations, and city/state of school, see the chart below.





Trey Ferguson

Cassie Reding

Carly Baldwin

Natalie Coleman

Debbie Hickerson


Leesville Road High School

Stevenson Elementary

Boyd County High School

Shafer Middle School

Cason Lane Academy


Raleigh, NC

Russellville, KY

Ashland, KY

Gallatin, TN

Murfreesboro, TN 


Kelley Cusmano

Sarah Giddings

Heather Gauck

Matt McCullough


Rochester High School

Washtenaw Alliance for Virtual Education

Grand Rapids Public Schools

Schoolcraft Community Schools


Rochester, MI 

Ypsilanti, MI 

Grand Rapids, MI 

Schoolcraft, MI


Clara Carroll

Nancy Fancyboy

Lori Martin

Leslie Sharp

Deb Walter


Harding University

Beebe School District

Otter Creek Elementary

Carnall Elementary School

Rogers New Tech High School


Searcy, AR

Beebe, AR 

Little Rock, AR

Fort Smith, AR

Rogers, AR


Rebecca Wattleworth

Jennifer Smith

Jacob Carlson

Virginia Valdez

Joseph Fatheree


Warrensburg-Latham High School

Monticello Middle School

Civic Memorial High School

Minnie Mars Jamieson Elementary School

Effingham High School


Warrensburg, IL 

Monticello, IL 

Bethalto, IL 

Chicago, IL 

Effingham, IL 


Christina Jusino

Jennifer Langdon

Desiree Darling

Emily Banta

Tuyet Dinh

Michael Macchi

Alicia Serafin


Spark Academy

Hurley K-8 School

Spark Academy

Lawrence Family Development Charter School

Mather Elementary

Phineas Bates Elementary

Whittier Elementary School


Lawrence, MA 

Boston, MA

Lawrence, MA

Lawrence, MA 

Dorchester, MA 

Roslindale, MA 

Everett, MA 


Cheryl Corpus

Gina Wilson

Tina Harma

Carrie Mattern


Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning

Early College Alliance @ EMU

Kent Lake Elementary

Carman-Ainsworth High School


Mount Pleasant, MI 

Ypsilanti, MI 

South Lyon, MI 

Flint, MI 


Steven Fouts

Lani Luo

Gabrielle Pike

Lynn Osborne-Simmons

DeJernet Farder


Douglass Academy

Howe School of Excellence

Burr Elementary

Curie Metropolitan High School

Morton School of Excellence


Chicago, IL 

Chicago, IL 

Chicago, IL 

Chicago, IL 

Chicago, IL 


Ashley Karlsson

Amy Fettig

Susan Boen


Washburn High School

Ubah Medical Academy

Washburn High School


Minneapolis, MN

Hopkins, MN

Minneapolis, MN


Maureen Torrez

Laura Burns

Kimberly Chavkin Moreno

Andrea Quintana


La Mesa Elementary School

Kirtland Elementary School

George I Sánchez Collaborative Community School

George I Sánchez Collaborative Community School


Albuquerque, NM 

Albuquerque, NM 

Albuquerque, NM 

Albuquerque, NM 


Stephen Rountree

Sonia Matthew

Kisha Dorch

Rodney Lewis II

Julie Hughey


Frederick Douglas High School

High Bridge Elementary School

Frederick Douglas High School

Barack Obama Elementary School

Prince George's County Public Schools


Upper Marlboro, MD 

Bowie, MD 

Upper Marlboro, MD 

Upper Marlboro, MD 

Upper Marlboro, MD 


Daniel Chu

Christopher Nielsen

Michael Lubing

Miyilyn Parra-Innocent


Murray Hill Academy

Murray Hill Academy

Murray Hill Academy

Murray Hill Academy


New York, NY

New York, NY

New York, NY

New York, NY

Shelly Moore Krajacic

Amy Mizialko

Ingrid Walker-Henry

Chauna Perry Finch

Heather Sattler


National Education Association

Milwaukee Teachers Education Association

Milwaukee Teachers Education Association

Milwaukee Teachers Education Association

Milwaukee Teachers Education Association


Madison, WI 

Milwaukee, WI 

Milwaukee, WI 

Milwaukee, WI 

Milwaukee, WI 



About Learning Forward
Learning Forward is a nonprofit, international membership association of learning educators committed to one vision in K–12 education: Excellent teaching and learning every day. To realize that vision Learning Forward pursues its mission to build the capacity of leaders to establish and sustain highly effective professional learning. Learning Forward supports its members and the field through services, learning opportunities, networks, and publications focused exclusively on what it takes to meaningfully build the capacity of K-12 educators to meet the needs of all students. Learning Forward's Standards for Professional Learning, adopted in more than 35 states, define the essential elements of professional learning that leads to changed educator practices and improved outcomes for students. Information about membership, services, and products is available from

About The National Commission on Teaching & America's Future (NCTAF) 
The National Commission on Teaching & America's Future (NCTAF) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 as a bipartisan effort to engage education policymakers and practitioners to address the entrenched national challenge of recruiting, developing, and retaining great teachers in order to ensure that all students have access to quality teaching in schools organized for success. For 20 years, NCTAF has worked to drive and inform the national dialogue about the importance of great teaching, especially in hard-to-staff schools. NCTAF's research and recommendations inform innovations and improvements in teaching quality nationwide, focus attention on the importance of equitable distribution and retention of teachers, and promote promising practices for the development of teachers' skills and career pathways. For more information, Follow NCTAF on TwitterFacebook, and subscribe to NCTAF's News Digest