TFA St. Louis Develops and Supports Teachers with Programs that Highlight Educator and School Leader Retention
The Aspiring School Leaders Fellowship, Instructional Excellence Fellowship and STEM Professional Learning Community help develop educators and school leaders to provide a high-quality, equity-focused education for students in St Louis.
November 1, 2022
At Teach For America St. Louis, educational equity remains at the core of our work. Because of our continued investment in equity-minded educators, nearly 1 in 5 schools in the city of St. Louis is currently led by a TFA alum, and students at those schools are three times as likely to exceed their growth targets in English Language Arts and math than students in schools not led by TFA alumni.
Programs and initiatives to find, develop and retain high-impact teachers, principals and school leaders for our region’s schools are critical to accelerate progress. This year, we’re thrilled to have three cohorts – Aspiring School Leaders Fellowship, Instructional Excellence Fellowship and STEM Professional Learning Community – to help develop the educators and school leaders who are committed to ensuring all students in the St. Louis region have access to a high-quality, equity-focused education.
Aspiring School Leaders Fellowship
Next to teachers in the classroom, research shows school leaders have the most significant impact on a student’s success. ASLF prepares a professionally diverse cohort of educators to cultivate skills that positively influence student outcomes and educational equity and supports them in advancing on a pathway to school leadership.
For the 2022-23 school year, 15 dedicated educators are committed to their professional growth and development by participating in ASLF:
- Valentina Bumbu (St. Louis ‘13), Secondary Science Curriculum Specialist, St. Louis Public Schools
- Andrea Carpenter, Assistant Culture Leader, KIPP Triumph Academy Middle School
- Sierra Crayton, Academic Interventionist, Ritenour High School, Ritenour School District
- Germetrious Dixon, Career Instructor, Kairos Academies
- Earl Dockett, Assistant Culture Leader, KIPP Inspire Academy Middle School
- Carmen Fita (St. Louis ‘19), ESOL Teacher, Long International Middle School, St. Louis Public Schools
- Maria Garcia Foz, Teacher, St. Louis Language Immersion School
- Shontrice Garrett, Teacher, KIPP Inspire Academy Middle School
- La’Ron Haymore (St. Louis ‘11), Assistant Principal, Metro Academic and Classical High School, St. Louis Public Schools
- Clifton Kinnie (St. Louis ‘20), Cross Categorical Special Education Teacher, Gateway STEM High School, St. Louis Public Schools
- Cate Pautsch (Charlotte ‘04), Assistant Principal, Brittany Woods Middle School, University City School District
- Yakasi (Kesha) Penny, Teacher, Westview Middle School, Riverview Gardens School District
- Joy Rogers (St. Louis ‘18), Teacher, Wyvetter Younge School of Excellence, East St. Louis School District
- Megan Rose, Teacher, KIPP Triumph Academy Middle School
- Erica Williams, Teacher, KIPP Wisdom Academy Elementary School
Instructional Excellence Fellowship and STEM Professional Learning Community
In its second year, the Instructional Excellence Fellowship (IEF) program is specifically for veteran teachers committed to the classroom. IEF is an 8-month program (October 2022-May 2023) designed to accelerate participants’ teaching skills and build a network of experienced, equity-focused educators, leading to stronger student outcomes and tenure in the classroom. Fellows can receive up to $1,000 for participating in the program and an additional $500 if they remain in education for the 2023-24 school year.
Since St. Louis is a center for geospatial intelligence, agri-technology and an emerging startup/innovation scene, it’s crucial for students in our region to be better prepared for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Bayer, a multi nationally recognized Life Science company, sponsors STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) PLC (Professional Learning Community). STEM PLC is a new TFA STL program designed to develop and retain STEM educators in St. Louis’ high needs areas and to increase student performance, particularly in 8th grade math, to prepare students for careers in STEM. The cohort’s primary goal is to support and develop STEM Educators by providing an opportunity to learn collaboratively with peer STEM educators.
This year’s 14 Instructional Excellence Fellowship cohort participants are listed below (note there are asterisks next to people who are also in our STEM PLC):
- *Samantha Kempf (St. Louis ‘15), Math Teacher, Rogers Middle School, Affton School District
- *Gianni Gardiner (Greater New Orleans ‘03), Elementary Special Education Teacher, Lafayette Preparatory Academy
- *Lex Kosieradzki (St. Louis ‘17), Science Teacher, Momentum Academy Tower Grove East
- *Erin Wicks, Chemistry Teacher, Vashon High School, St. Louis Public Schools
- Ny’Tia Langston, World Culture Teacher, KIPP Wisdom Academy Elementary School
- *Veronica Anderson-Johnston, Science/Social Studies Teacher, KIPP Victory Academy Elementary School
- *Fan Yang, Teacher, St. Louis Language Immersion School
- Kevin Reichardt, Social Studies Teacher, Vashon High School, St. Louis Public Schools
- Clare Hoernis, Teacher, Gordon Bush Alternative Center, East St. Louis School District
- *Leila Rollman, Science Teacher, KIPP St. Louis High School
- *Ciara Fisher, Science Teacher, Kairos Academies
- *Miranda Fisher, Science Teacher, Lift For Lift Academy
- *Ndeye Coumba Gueye, Teacher, St. Louis Language Immersion School
- Yvonne Jefferson, History/Social Studies Teacher, Vashon High School, St. Louis Public Schools
TFA St. Louis is glad to have invaluable programs that are helping retain and support teachers and leaders at this critical time. We’re thankful for our community’s continued care and investment in the TFA network which enables us to keep striving for student success.