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A Glimpse at Progress for Equity-Minded Teachers and Leaders in St. Louis

Teach For America St. Louis celebrates alumni impacting local schools and communities.

July 6, 2022

Educators are the backbone of communities. As part of an organization that’s committed to developing and supporting equity-oriented leaders, Teach For America (TFA) St. Louis is thankful everyday for our region’s teachers who expand opportunities for children, starting in the classroom. Last month, during our 2-part Alumni Induction Celebration on May 12th and May 13th, as we recognized and honored the impact our network had on this city’s educational landscape, it was critical to think of how far we’ve come and why we’re hopeful for every child’s success.

How It Started

In 2002, Teach For America opened its doors in St. Louis. For twenty years, TFA St. Louis has recruited nearly 1,000 innovative educators to the city. Our focus to grow the size and scale of our network continues to have a positive impact on our larger school, district and metropolitan area communities.

How It’s Going

With a focus on developing equity-minded teachers and leaders working inside and outside the classroom, TFA St. Louis currently supports over 600 educators and regional leaders who impact over 21,000 students throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 

To achieve systems-level change, we strive to further develop, support and retain a diverse network of educators, as well as recruit TFA alumni teachers outside the region and increase the number of TFA alumni in school leadership positions. 

Celebrating Our Network

Efforts to nurture and expand our existing St. Louis educator network takes shape through programs like the Aspiring School Leaders Fellowship (ASLF) and Instructional Excellence Fellowship (IEF).

On Friday, May 13th, TFA St. Louis connected with our alumni network at the historic Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop. We celebrated the progress of ASLF and IEF participants and their strong completion of the 2021-2022 school year. During the commemorative event, several attendees expressed their gratitude for inclusion into the programs. 

“I had an injury in 2019 and came to a crossroads in my career,” said Ashley Hagerty, an IEF participant and TFA alum (‘11) who works at Hollenbeck Middle School in Francis Howell School District. “TFA felt like a place that would help me grow as an educator being supported and not judged.”

While the Instructional Excellence Fellowship program is credited with helping veteran educators continue their teaching careers, the Aspiring School Leaders Fellowship is designed to accelerate participants’ leadership development through networking with education leaders in the region. ASLF participants engage in many offerings that allow them to grow as leaders, including reflective exercises that encourage them to conceptualize what their role in working for education equity looks like, and how they’ve connected with their community this past year.

Jasmyne Clay-Griffin, a TFA Alum (‘03) and Learning Support Teacher at KIPP St. Louis High School, stated “leadership this year has meant keeping a positive attitude and helping my colleagues stay positive.”

TFA St. Louis appreciates the zeal and dedication of our alumni network. We look forward to continuously seeing the growth and vision of these equity-minded teachers and leaders as they move forward in their journeys.