Hollie Vessels, a Riverside Intermediate School teacher with Hamilton Southeastern Schools, has been chosen to participate in the Teach Plus 2023-24 Policy Fellowship cohort.
Teach Plus, a national teacher leadership organization, selected 13 teachers from Indiana for the fellowship program, according to an announcement. The fellowship is a yearlong opportunity for educators to learn about the policy landscape and advocate for solutions that improve opportunities for students while maintaining their critical role as classroom teachers.
“Having practitioners from the classroom participating in the policy dialogue is imperative as we continue to move forward in Indiana,” said Rachel Hathaway, Teach Plus Indiana executive director.
Fellows will work on key education advocacy issues affecting students and communities in Indiana, including teacher pipeline, school funding, student-centered learning and student and teacher mental health.
The cohort includes school and district teachers of the year, with both union and non-union members. The fellows’ experience spans two to 26 years of teaching, with half the educators entering the profession via a traditional program and the other half coming from an alternative pathway. With a third of the cohort identifying as teachers of color — compared to less than 10 percent of teachers statewide — Teach Plus Indiana Policy Fellows are reflective of the diversity of the state and its students. The educators hail from urban, rural, and suburban areas, teaching a variety of subjects and age levels from kindergarten to 12th grade.