Teach For America Celebrates 10 Years of Impact on Education in Oklahoma City
More Than 200 Teachers, Leaders Convene for Anniversary Event to Celebrate Impact and Discuss Organization’s Role in Local and State Education
Oklahoma City, OK —Teach For America (TFA), a leadership development organization that develops and supports a diverse network of leaders to address educational inequity, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in Oklahoma City in a event with more than 200 teachers, youths, community leaders, philanthropists and other notable alumni and guests.
Since its founding in 2011, TFA Oklahoma City has recruited, supported and developed hundreds of teachers to teach students in low-income communities across the city. Today, the organization has nearly 200 local alumni working and leading in the greater Oklahoma City area, with 73% still working in the education sector as teachers, instructional coaches, school and district administrators, education nonprofit leaders and local and state education policymakers.
“When I moved to Oklahoma City nine years ago, I came because of the spirit of innovation, the ability to make an impact, and the community support,” said Sarah Park, Executive Director of TFA Oklahoma City and Greater Tulsa. “The past 10 years of impact showcases how leadership develops and starts inside the classroom but our work continues as alumni. We need leaders inside and outside of education advocating, raising awareness and transforming our system to support all students to succeed.”
During the event, the organization brought together educators and leaders from across the city and state, as well as out-of-state alumni, to reflect on TFA’s impact over the last decade, discuss the present reality of local and state education and share on the organization’s forward-facing direction. Notable speakers throughout the event included:
- David Holt, Mayor, Oklahoma City
- Lauren Jenks Jones, Executive Director Early Childhood, Oklahoma State Department of Education
- Kelly L. Offutt, Attorney, Hall Estill Attorneys at Law
- Cecilia Robinson-Woods, Superintendent, Millwood Public Schools
- Teresa Rose, Executive Director, Communities Foundation of Oklahoma
- Bob Ross, President and CEO, Inasmuch Foundation
- Elisa Villanueva Beard, CEO, Teach For America
During the event, Park and Villanueva Beard introduced the organization’s new national long-term goal: by 2030, twice as many children in communities where TFA works will reach key educational milestones indicating they are on a path to economic mobility and co-creating a future filled with possibility. TFA’s Oklahoma City region aims to collaborate more closely with the Greater Tulsa region to pursue this goal in these two communities. To do so, the organization aims to not only recruit, develop and support quality teachers but also invest in broader strategies and partnership initiatives to build a stronger future for students across the two regions and the state, including:
- Professional development programming for new and early-career non-TFA teachers through strategic district partnerships
- The Ignite Fellowship, a tutoring program for college students to build meaningful relationships with K-12 students, accelerate student learning and gain skills that propel forward their own leadership
- The Accelerate Fellowship, geared at attracting seasoned out-of-state TFA alumni teachers who have connections to Oklahoma to come back and teach in-state
- The Launch Fellowship, an aspiring school leaders program designed to connect and develop educators to earn a graduate degree and pursue school leadership roles
- A partnership with Cambiar Catalyst on a year-long fellowship that supports current and aspiring systems leaders to design and execute strategies that are inclusive, innovative and instructionally impactful
To learn more about TFA Oklahoma City, visit www.teachforamerica.org/where-we-work/oklahoma-city or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with 350 urban and rural communities across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today, Teach For America is a force of over 64,000 alumni and corps members working in over 9,000 schools nationwide in pursuit of profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they are reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, lead, thrive, and co-create a future filled with possibility. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.