Public Impact announces culture fellows

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Public Impact has announced the seventh cohort of Opportunity Culture Fellows, made up of eight principals, including one from Ector County ISD, who have achieved strong results in their schools and districts.

Fellows provide support to their cohort, take one another’s ideas back to their schools, write columns or lead webinars about their experiences, and speak locally and nationally about their Opportunity Culture roles. Their feedback and leadership are invaluable in helping to improve the Opportunity Culture initiative, and all materials related to it. Last year, for example, fellows shared their expertise in these webinars and columns.

This year’s fellows come from Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, and North Carolina:

>> Matt Cowan, school leader of Compass-Midtown in Memphis, Tenn.

>> Victoria Groomer, principal of Gentry Primary in Gentry, Ark.

>> Susan Hendricks, principal of Ross Elementary in Odessa.

>> Virginia “Ginger” Hiltz, principal of Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Chicago, Ill.

>> Angela Jones, school director of Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary in Memphis, Tenn.

>> Christin Reeves, principal of Emerson Elementary in Midland.

>> Amanda Rice, principal of Hazelwood Elementary Middle in Baltimore, Md.

>> Julie Shields, principal of Bearfield Primary in Ahoskie (Hertford County), N.C.

“Opportunity Culture Fellows provide strong leadership to their schools, and we saw the many ways this eased the transition when schools went remote last spring,” said Sharon Kebschull Barrett, the Public Impact vice president who oversees the fellowship, working closely to learn from fellows’ experiences through interviews and column writing. “This fellowship gives them an opportunity to lead and advocate for a stronger profession well beyond their own schools. We are excited to have a cohort this year focused on principals, to use their feedback to keep improving Opportunity Culture for other school leaders.”

The national Opportunity Culture initiative, founded by Public Impact and now in more than 45 sites in 10 states, extends the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students, for more pay, within schools’ recurring budgets, a news release said.

Research indicates that Multi-Classroom Leadership, the foundation of an Opportunity Culture, helps teams of teachers produce substantially higher student learning growth than in typical schools. Multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) are teachers with a record of high-growth student learning and leadership competencies who lead a small teaching team, ensuring strong lessons and teaching methods through frequent, on-the-job development, while continuing to teach part of the time in various ways. School teams redesign schedules to provide additional school-day time for MCLs’ teams to plan and collaborate.