Reopening: Moving Toward More Equitable Schools

Fund for Teachers

2020 Fund For Teachers Winners Announced

We are proud to announce this year's cohort of EL Education Fund for Teachers Fellows! They wrote visionary proposals for self-designed summer professional development, with the ultimate aim of creating transformational learning experiences for their students and contributing meaningfully to their schools. They join more than 500 EL Education teachers whose practices have been transformed by FFT, and we can't wait to see how these fellowships will impact their classrooms and communities.

Every April since 2004, it has been our great pleasure and pride to announce the new class of EL Education Fund for Teachers Fellows. Fund for Teachers (FFT) awards grants for self-designed summer professional development for teachers to help them grow in and out of the classroom.

EL Education teachers have won over 500 fellowships since 2004, and these teachers have become leaders in the network and beyond. Among their number are four Klingenstein Teaching Award winners, multiple state Teacher of the Year honorees, and many who have eventually become EL Education staff.

Each Fund for Teachers fellowship is as unique as the teacher who designed it, and since 2001, FFT has transformed $32 million of grants into growth for 8,500 teachers and their students (up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for teams). FFT fellowships have taken place in 152 countries on every continent, empowering teachers to explore new ideas, new cultures, and new ways to make a difference.

Interested in Fund for Teachers? Reach out.

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EL Education’s 2019 Fund for Teachers Fellows:

Diana Au and Shuna Lewis


School: Lighthouse Community Charter School

Project: Attend the International Association of Special Education’s 16th Biennial Conference in Magamba, Tanzania, to address the predicament of providing effective, sustainable inclusive education and establish pathways for reducing the dropout rate of special education students.

Sonja Bolotin, Samantha Green, Jenna Legambi, and Molly Malloy


School: Monarch Academy Glen Burnie

Project: Document literacy initiatives across Ethiopia while researching key cultural and historic sites to inform students' creation of Easy Reader books for Ethiopian peers and advance students academically and as active citizens.

Ryan Clapp


School: William Smith High School

Project: Enroll in language courses at Ahlan Egypt School in Alexandria, Egypt, while conducting research and interviews at surrounding sites to create a social studies and civics course about the youth-centric political and civic earthquake of the Egyptian Arab Spring.

Addison Cochrane and Mark Golden


School: Polaris Charter Academy

Project: Research in Cape Town, South Africa, the scientific processes and research-based practices used by experts who averted the Day Zero water crisis to empower students to use science as a tool for justice in Chicago.

Katherine Freiburger


School: Codman Academy Charter Public School

Project: Learn skills from artists in Grenada, West Indies, who represent students' Caribbean heritage to create a trauma-informed curriculum that awakens middle school students’ desire to create art as a means of expression and healing.

Ellen Lankford and Travis Lankford


School: West End Secondary School

Project: Investigate throughout Turkey how the history and physical geography of the Silk Road dictated cultural and religious diffusion to create a differentiated case study for science and social studies students that explores ways of increasing tolerance within the community.

Nathan Moore

Stanford Math

School: Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences

Project: Attend Stanford University's Mindset Mathematics workshop to increase personal exposure to a variety of math problems and create a positive math culture that encourages creative problem solving.

Debra Ortenzi


School: World of Inquiry School No. 58

Project: Work alongside field researchers at the Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center at the University of Washington and complete a field course in Denali National Park to design case studies that connect students with the best science-based information on climate change and prepares next-generation America to fight this global challenge.

John Schmitt

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate 04 850X567

School: Brooklyn Collaborative Studies

Project: Visit indigenous communities in the Dakotas and Minnesota and, afterwards Carlisle, PA, site of the first Indian Boarding School, to learn and document indigenous ways of community healing from trauma to inform student research and personal growth.

Meredith Schreiber


School: Lodestar Community Charter School

Project: Enroll in Spanish immersion classes at the Academia Contacto in Madrid, independently research the migrant experience in Spain, and attend the Migration Conference in Bari, Italy, to inform a four-month, middle school unit called "The Immigrant and Refugee Experience."

Rachelle Street

Dominican Republic

School: Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School

Project: Embark on a three-week language and cultural immersion in the Dominican Republic to strengthen Caribbean-Spanish skills, increase student exposure to artists relevant to their backgrounds, and cultivate strong relationships with students and their families.

Hallie Wannamaker


School: Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School

Project: Enroll in a Spanish immersion language program at the Don Quijote/Solexico Language and Cultural Center in Oaxaca, Mexico to build Spanish literacy skills, develop Spanish components of interdisciplinary units and learn about the the region's art forms to incorporate into a third-grade dual-language curriculum.

EL Education's 2018 Fund for Teachers Fellows:

Angela Ackerman

Angela Ackerman

School: Christa McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School

Project: Study photojournalism and storytelling with expert photojournalist Stella Johnson in Chania, Crete while documenting the personal stories and daily life in Nea Chora to create a documentary narrative of compelling images that tell a story.

Rachel Brill

Rachel Brill

School: Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School

Project: Embark on a four-week language and cultural immersion in Nicaragua and Costa Rica in order to strengthen family relationships, increase student achievement, and cultivate a strong school community.

Jessica Cimini-Samuels

Jessica Ciminisamuels

School: Marsh Avenue Expeditionary Learning School

Project: Attend the Space Port Area Conference for K-12 Educators at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida where I will network with NASA scientists, engineers, astronauts and educators from the around the country. After the conference I will tour the Space Center and experience the Astronaut Training Experience exhibit.

​Rebecca Friedland

Rebecca Friedland

School: Lighthouse Community Charter School

Project: Experience Biology field work firsthand by volunteering with Marine Biologists who study and restore coral reefs. This experience will help me create meaningful Biology curriculum that anchors our learning in coral reef case studies, establish a culture of environmental activism in my classroom, and increase my Spanish fluency.

​Eric Levine

Eric Levine

School: Springfield Renaissance School

Project: Participate in the CDC’s Science Ambassador Fellowship program. This fellowship will begin with a five-day residency at the CDC in Atlanta, and continue  as a remote curriculum development collaboration between fellows and CDC scientists.

​Meaghan McKinnon and Christina Caceres

Mckinnon Carceres

School: Harvey Elementary

Project: Visit civil and human rights museums in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. to explore historical changemakers, meet with grassroots organizers in D.C., and then connect this learning to the structure of the federal government to learn the process by which individuals can make a difference in order to cultivate a mindset of change in our students.

J​ill Padfield and Carly Connor

Padfield Connor

School: Franklin School of Innovation

Project: Our team will visit Wellington, NZ, Melbourne, AU, and Singapore to conduct interviews and collect data about biophilic and sustainable design in architecture and in schools. Using this data, our 10th grade English and Math students will write a math-driven proposal for a sustainable, biophilic addition to our new school building.

​Regena Pauketat and Lily Carey

Pauketat Carey

School: Lighthouse Community Charter School

Project: By taking Spanish language immersion classes and exploring indigenous and Spanish culture in Oaxaca, Mexico, we will build a culturally relevant curriculum to engage students in core classes, serve English Language Learners, focus on the intersection of art and activism, and extend communication and relationships with Spanish-speaking families.

​Ryan Pleune


School: Pacific Heritage Academy

Project: Investigate language, culture and ecology intertwined in Gaelic to develop a unit for my curriculum and to better relate to, engage, teach and understand language and cultural minority students and families. Immerse in minority language revitalization to uncover implicit biases as a white teacher and unconscious oppressor in a monolingual culture.

​Layne Rose


School: Atwater Elementary

Project: Attend the Space Port Conference for Educators at the Kennedy Space Center to enhance the current space colonization unit I have created. This 5th grade student led unit focuses on problem solving, is inquiry based and includes numerous subject areas to create a unique and engaging learning experience for all.

Elizabeth Schibuk and Chris Schroeder

Schinbuk Schroder

School: Conservatory Lab Charter School

Project: Create a self-directed short summer residency to study Hurricane Maria, and use it as a proxy for better understanding the human impact of an increasingly warming planet. We will use our experience to write an 8th grade STEAM learning expedition.

Linda Vaglia


School: Amana Academy

Project: Enroll in a Spanish immersion program at the Gaia Amazon Spanish School in Ecuador in order to learn Spanish, improve communication with my students and their Spanish speaking families, and help the students improve their English language skills while gaining an understanding of the unique ecosystems and animals of the Amazon rainforest.

​Rebecca Wenstrom


School: Two Rivers Public Charter School

Project: Research the evidence and impact of climate change on the wetlands near Churchill, Manitoba with the Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC), in order to learn the skills and methods of scientific field research and develop an authentic fieldwork component on for our 6th grade earth science curriculum.

​Tracy Wu


School: Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies

Project: Conduct interviews and observations of models of schools that have successfully implemented systems of restorative practices in New Zealand; Bethlehem, PA; Oakland, CA; and Santa Cruz, CA. Learn restorative discipline best practices from experts and school sites in order to strengthen my school’s restorative discipline system.

​Ed Yoo


School: Codman Academy Charter Public School

Project: Enhance my science course curriculum by establishing a permanent educational partnership with the Utila Dive Center (UDC) and Whaleshark and Oceanic Research Center (WSORC) in Utila, Honduras and receive training to lead “Discover Scuba” Classes through our local YMCA Community Pool.

2017 Project Spotlights

About Fund for Teachers

Fund for Teachers supports educators' efforts to develop skills, knowledge and confidence that impact student achievement. By trusting teachers to design unique fellowships, Fund for Teachers grants validate teachers' professionalism and leadership, as well. Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has invested 30 million in nearly 8,000 teachers, transforming grants into growth for teachers and their students.

2017 Winners

Alejandro Avalos
Victoria Cavanaugh
Carly Coles
Christine Dunbar
Simon Farrell
Charles FitzGibbon
Greg Gentile
Lauren Greenspan
Julia Handelman
Matthew Hicks
Bethany Hobbs
Abigail Kirchman
Kevin Mears
Glen Meinschein
Kara Morrison
Dana Nelson
Shilisha October
Sharon Rixner
Toni Sulmers
Lynn Vona
Katie Woodbridge

2016 Winners

Whitney Anopol
Kristen Burgmaster
Melinda Caparco
Taiese Carson
Frederick Carstens
Lori Davis
Laurajean Drake
LaToya Dunbar
Brian Fedele
Cynthia Grapel
Adam Hanlon
Jessica Harrington
Audrey Hight
Jenny Johansson
Christopher Kenny
Ariel Kramer
Todd Kutyla
Robert McCloy
Suzanne Mitchell
Anne Moore
Susan Muir
Jianan Shi
Rosella Striffler
Jason Sullivan
Kathleen Surface
Luseane Tafisi
Lisa Tilley
Julia Tomasko
Cherie Wood
Lisa Zeller

2015 Winners

Sarah Barney
Elizabeth Barszcz
Heidi Batchelder
John Paul Bennett
Sara Boeck
Teresa Carr
Patricia Davis
Kevin deKay
Christopher Dolgos
David Durnell
Jon Exall
Ty Flom
Nina Gribetz
Kelly Habecker
Shane Heideman
Paul Joyce
Marin Leroy
Jessica Mascle
Tamra Plotnick
Holly Pratz
Carrie Ann Pusey
Molly Rosinski
Victoria Schroeder
Abigail Sewall
Katherine Shapiro
Pollyanna Sidell
Catherine Smith
Erin Thesing
Elizabeth West
Erin Zarko

2014 Winners

Erica Adelman
Stefanie Baker
Howard Brinkerhoff
Kayleigh Carvalho
Adam Chasen
Erin Cooper
Milagros Cruz
Nicole Cummings
Megan DeRitter
Emily Edwards
Alexandra Edwards
Sarah Fishstrom
Charity Johnston
Hillary Kelkenberg
Scott Lammer
Jennifer Love
Nessa Mahmoudi
Teresa McEntire
Julie Neumaier
Brandon Olszewski
Adam Pavelchik
Maria Peláez
Jesse Pryor
Elizabeth Smallwood
Elizabeth Smith
Matt Strand
Trina Thomson
LuAnn Underwood
Opal Wecker

2013 Winners

Angela Ackerman
Marilu Alvarado-Hernandez
Lewis Alverson
Molly Brady
Karen Bruun
Brian Cole
Miriam Cooper
Genevieve Dunzelman
Jeffrey Dyer
Trina Ford
Ellen Fracassini
Melissa Fredericks
Joy Free
Theresa Funk
Royce Hale
Sarah Henkel
Lauren Hotz
Caitlin Hutt
Graham Johnson
Courtney King
Megan Mahan
Brett Marcotte
JoAnna Miller
Kelly Nickell
Carmen Noel
Debra Ortenzi
Shari Parks
Paula Russo
Katherine Schutte
Cassandra Seiter
Sarah Shay
Kayla Shea
Melisa Siegel
Jennifer Sime
Kyla Spindler
Siddharth Sudan
Jennifer Sunderland
Debra Susi
Gian Tornatore
Marisa Weinstein
Theresa Williams
Craig Wisniewski

2012 Winners

Hadley Bachman
Sara Batke
Kevin Denton
Edward Dougherty
Adam Driggers
Simon Farrell
Marten Frazier
Michael Gelbart
Rachel Gruner
Melissa Larry
Karen Lechner
Eric Levine
John Lydon
Rachel Madris
Jessica Mascle
Kimberly Maxey
Anne Moore
Anthony Riccio
Thomas Rochowicz
Eric Shieh
Joshua Steckel
Nathaniel Streicher
Michael Taylor
Maria Vaughan Hockett
Diane Williams
Toni Wright
Jennifer Wu

2011 Winners

Wilson Boyd
Jessica Bruck
Kristen Burgmaster
Rhonda Carpenter
Sydney Chaffee
Rayna Dineen
Jane Doherty
Christopher Dolgos
Debra Duffe
Isabel Estrada-Jamison
Jonathan Esvelt
Melissa Glantz
Catherine Henzel
Kelly Kroese
David Lenzner
Bridget Maio
Sarah Manuel
Penny Patrick
Cynthia Pawlowski
David Peplinski
Diana Pollock Garcia
Seth Rader
Jennifer Rightmyer
Ann Rybak
Kimberly Scher
Geoffrey Schutte
Suzanne Shakespeare
Susan Shiney
Kylee Shipp
Lisa Tilley
Alicia Whitney

2010 Winners

Beth Adel
Denali Alt
Daniel Anderson
Kari Bangtson
Sarah Bruskotter
Linda Bullock
Cynthia Cassidy
Mia Chmiel
Ashley Clark
Jennifer Dines
Brittany Dore Keeler
Laurajean Drake
Noel Falk
Jennifer Falkowski
Tera Fieri
Stephanie Gallegos
Erin Hale
Lisa Hazel
Natasha Kruithof
Steven Lee-Davis
Spero Michailidis
Marina Mutz
Ethan Newlin
Crystal O'Brien
Dana Parlier Pease
Viviana Perez
Jeffrey Reiche
Isabelle Renot Giannella
Jeffrey Schneider
April Slagle
Gabrielle Smith
Tracy Teetaert
Anne Thulson
Jackson Westenskow
Jason Wiedmaier
Jessica Wood

2009 Winners

Natalie Ball
Alan Beaulieu
Sarah Boddy
Mary Bohning
Allison Bol
Gabrielle Bougher
Allison Carey
Tara Cudia
Deidre Cuffee-Gray
Edward Dougherty
Molly Dykman-Wilson
Liza Eaton
Jeanette Edelstein
Adelina Gonzales
Ryan Grindel
Molly Hall-Payne
Kathreen Harrison
Cynthia Landergan
Brigette Ligenza
Aerie Maymudes
Jenifer McCrory
JOhn McLeod
Lenora Medcalf-Bauske
Kathy Millar
Beth Mowry
Lucas Newman
Jennifer Parsons
Josan Perales
Leah Plath
Rhae Reiker
Jennifer Rockers
Corrine Sieser
Susie Smith
Leslie St.Lawrence
Matthew Strand
Lesley Sullivan
Randy Walters
Karen Wambold
Rachael Wooden
Toni Wright
Tracey Zaval Horvath

2008 Winners

Stephanie Aberger
Sarah Akhtar
Heidi Bergmann
David Bertram
Jeanne Boland
Elaine Colella
Sandra Collins
Josh Cornwell
Cynthia Coughlin
Tarik Cranston
Katherine Daniels
Mary Eschen
Kristine Favaloro
Anne Goldkamp
Amy Gookin
Anna Hadgis
Jennifer Henderson
Laura Hewett
Stephen Hitchcock
Aurora Kushner
John Lester
Rachel Lloyd
Judith Locicero
Mark Martin
Michael Maxwell
Danielle Meeker
Lynne Mooradian
Danny Moore
Charles Murphy
Eileen Murphy
Sharon Olsen
David Peplinski
Diana Garcia Pollock
Robert Rinehart
Marcia Salem
Clark Schlegel
Timothy Sennett
Callie Shanahan
Lindsay Slabich
Walter Thornton
Audrey Valiton
Deborah Warshaw
Mary Westlund
Katherine Williams
Rivkah Wircberg
JoZeph Zaremba

2007 Winners

Todd Bohannon
Kristopher Charles
Kerry Distelrath
Jake Dobson
Matthew Edinger
Paula Eichner
Robin Fountain
Brianna Gask-Wilson
Jena Hanes
Tracy Harris
Kristin Harrison
Susan Healey
Peter Hill
Giselle Isbell
Luey Kane
Jennifer Lawson
Marcia Leibold
Martie Lenk
Victoria Lewis
Lindsay MacCuaig
Elizabeth Magee
Dirk Matthias
Ashli McMahon
Rachel Milos
Brenda Murphy
Chris Napolitano
Dorothy Natoli
Carolynne Schleede
George Sharp
Sidney Shepherd
Sara Stoebner
Sarah Sutter
Pelaez Tere
Rodney Ward
Erica Wernsmann
Jennifer Willison
Kira Wilsterman
Kristine Wollermann

2006 Winners

Lydia Abreu
Kelly Becker
Maria Cahillane
Harik Cofer
Melissa Conklin
Christopher Dolgos
Diane Dowell
Elizabeth Duncan
Susan Durkee
Joshua Feiger
Jaun Galarza
Steve Glickman
Keri Gonzalez
Gus Goodwin
Denise Greenberg
Ann Hemming
Jessica Hewit
Jessica Hewit-Siebert
Tamra Hill
Suzanne Jerol
Margaret Kane
Beth Kassler
Michelle Kellman
Kathleen Kingsley
Karen MacDonald
Amy Martin
Susan Mattice
M. Sean Mclean
Carol Nylen
Lisa Ostapinski
Stacy Peterson
Casie Regan
Leif Riddington
Jenny Rikkers
Carolina Riveros-Ruenes
Andrés Rodríguez
Scarlett Salamone
Marni Silverberg
Kevin Smith
Joanna (Jo) Smith
Kenneth Steffen
Kristin Stoddard
Shannon Stoll Hillman
Celeste Tibbets
Karen "Rennie" Watson
Monica Wright

2005 Winners

Loyda Abreu Paris
Erica Allen
Tamara Arroyo
David Bailey
Elaine Barker
Emily Becker
Lori Berryman
Joanne Brown
Tracie Burroughs
Christenia Coast
Carol Dryden
Brian Faulkner
Joanne FitzPatrick
Berta González
Christi Gubser
Lee Harvey
Norma Hessling
Peter Hilling
Krista Hollis
Leslie Hornan
Samae Horner
Patricia Howell
Jean Hurst
Tehuti Imhotep
Reid Jorgenson
James Laidlaw
David Manzella
Ramón Morales-Rivera
Aixa Muñiz
Matt Newsum
Janet Nieves
Stephanie Owens
Carmen Perez
Gerald Reyes
Eduardo Rivera
Melody Rockwell
Ruth Schneeberg
Claudie Smith
Lise Spangenthal
Sarah Spencer
Janice Stone
Heather Tate
Carri Thomason
Heather Thompson
Iremig Torres-Perez
Keri Troehler
Myrna Vanderburg
Kristin Varness
Cathy Weber
Diane Welch
Mitchell Whitehurst
Stephanie Williams
Kathleen Wilson
Bree Woodruff
Christine Worozbyt
Todd Worple
Monika Zawkiewicz

2004 Winners

Jessica Aronson
Kathy Berg
Nancy Bernard
Karen Bradley
Mari Brockhaus
Patsy Cada
Linda Colman
Eleanor Davis
Eric Dueppen
Philip Dyer
Susan Edwards
Frank Falduto
Jospeh Farrell
Terre Ferrell
Judy Galli
Monica Gatzow
Nancy Germani
Carrie Haymond-Hesketh
Teresa Hill
Sarah Hinton
Lynn Hovey
Sally James
Mark Jordan
Lila Klahn
Barbara Knapstein
Becky Kusche
Shelley Lotze
Ruth MacLean
Wanda Maldonado
Valerie McKern
Caitlin Munroe
Paula Murphy
Sarah Newcomer
Myrna Padilla
Diane Pancratz
Adriana Paredes
Kimberly Parker
Myra Parks
Carla Patch
Amy Pinnegar
Sydney Potestio
Dora Powell
Traci Price
Anita Ranum
Ryan Roling
Nibia Rolon
Sandy Roney
Nilda Rosario
John Sava
Danielle Schiffhouer-Catone
Aaron Schildkrout
Sheerie Slatton
Maggie Smiley
Pam Smith
LariKay Smith
Brett Smith
Helen Spruill
Elizabeth Spruill-Ryals
Matt Strand
Vicki Sullivan
Peter Thulson
Patrice Tucker
Brittain Villaflor
Tracy Vining
Tammy Wittmeyer
Jennifer Wood
Donald Worley