Kauffman Foundation Announces Kansas City's 2015 Fund for Teachers Fellows

National program allows Kansas City educators to embark on professional development opportunities around the world

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 2, 2015) — The Kauffman Foundation has unveiled the list of 12 educators who will embark on self-designed odysseys as Kansas City’s 2015 Fund for Teachers Fellows. Selected through a rigorous application process, the Fellows will travel this summer to destinations such as Cambodia, Swaziland and Harlem to pursue skills and knowledge that will transform their careers and classrooms for years to come.

Fund for Teachers is a national program that enriches the personal and professional growth of K-12 educators. This is the second year the Kauffman Foundation has brought Fund for Teachers to Kansas City to offer professional development for educators and retain and attract stellar teachers.

“We know that teachers are the biggest lever to increase student achievement,” explained Corey Scholes, the Kauffman Foundation’s director of education, “and Fund for Teachers allows them to dream big. This is a unique opportunity for teachers to determine for themselves the what, where, when and how that they need, in order to hone their craft — all to better connect students to the curriculum.”

Kansas City's 2015 Fund for Teachers Fellows are:

  1. Kathleen Cerve, Pathway Academy
  2. Christine Everhart, Nativity of Mary (KC-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese)
  3. Princeston Grayson, African-Centered Prep Elementary (Kansas City Public Schools)
  4. Kristen Holmes, Westridge Middle School (Shawnee Mission School District)
  5. Takiyah Olatunbosun, Crossroads Academy of Kansas City
  6. Michael Jonagan, Ewing Marion Kauffman School
  7. Alaina Mayfield, Hogan Preparatory Academy
  8. Randi McCreary, Académie Lafayette
  9. Isao Osuga Chapa, Alta Vista Charter School (Guadalupe Education System)
  10. Karis Parker, Spring Valley Elementary (Raytown Public Schools)
  11. Mary Powers, Crossroads Academy of Kansas City
  12. Robin Talley, Académie Lafayette
  13. Samuel Yi, Alta Vista Charter School (Guadalupe Education System)

The Fellows will work on the following projects:

Randi McCreary, Académie Lafayette

  • Researching the historical roots, cultural influences and influential writers of The Harlem Renaissance to help students connect with the period through a collaborative Webquest project.

Robin Talley, Académie Lafayette

  • Participating in Tai Chi, performing and visual arts, and cultural traditions throughout China, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia to create culturally relevant art and physical education units for K-3 graders, based on the Asian culture.

Princeston Grayson, African-Centered Prep Elementary (Kansas City Public Schools); Karis Parker, Spring Valley Elementary (Raytown Public Schools)

  • Exploring the ecosystems and educational practices of South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique to engage students in science, introduce apartheid's influence on education and create connections to life in Kansas City.

Isao Osuga Chapa, Samuel Yi, Alta Vista Charter School (Guadalupe Education System)

  • Investigating best practices in math education across South Korea and Singapore to refine a strategy that vertically aligns math curricula across grades 6-12.

Takiyah Olatunbosun, Crossroads Academy of Kansas City

  • Participating in a week-long math institute at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., which uses problem solving and modeling to share best practices in the field of geometry.

Mary Powers, Crossroads Academy of Kansas City; Kathleen Cerve, Pathway Academy

  • Exploring Latin American culture and customs through a three-week Spanish language immersion study in Puebla, Mexico, to improve school-wide communication, deepen family/school relationships, and increase engagement with Latino students and communities.

Michael Jonagan, Ewing Marion Kauffman School

  • Recording oral histories of Nicaraguans from varying ages and backgrounds to promote empathy and as an initial step toward forming a school-wide oral history project.

Alaina Mayfield, Hogan Preparatory Academy

  • Attending the Summer Literacy Institute at the Lesley Center for Reading Recovery in Cambridge, Mass., to enhance effectiveness as a K-5 reading specialist.

Christine Everhart, Nativity of Mary (KC-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese)

  • Embarking on a three-week road trip studying geologic formations throughout the western United States to incorporate personal commentary and experiences into lessons on science and stewardship for kindergartners.

Kristen Holmes, Westridge Middle School (Shawnee Mission School District)

  • Researching major European emigration ports and the experiences of American immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries to encourage students' exploration of their heritage and promote personal connections to history.

The application process for 2016 Fund for Teachers Fellows will open Oct. 1, 2015.