Meet the First-Ever Tulsa Teacher Innovation Fellowship Class

It's no secret that Oklahoma is in a tough spot right now when it comes to education. As a matter of fact, our state consistently ranks near the bottom of almost every list you can find. Our teachers are underpaid, our schools are craving resources and education funding continues to be cut.

However, we are firm believers that crisis leads to innovation. That's why we started the Teacher Innovation Fellowship.

Made possible by a United Way Innovation Grant, the Teacher Innovation Fellowship identifies educators from across the Tulsa metro to participate in a two-week summer fellowship. Participants work in teams to identify specific problems facing schools, ideate potential solution and develop plans to initiate change. Concluding the workshop, teams present their solutions to a panel of judges for the opportunity to receive grant funding for their ideas.

Almost 100 teachers applied to participate in the first class, and needless to say, picking only 16 was difficult. Meet the folks who came out on top.

Ademola Adeyemi, Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences "I hope to learn hands-on strategies and plans that I am able to implement immediately in my classroom and share with the rest of my colleagues... especially in the area of Mathematics the subject area that I teach."

Ademola Adeyemi, Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences

"I hope to learn hands-on strategies and plans that I am able to implement immediately in my classroom and share with the rest of my colleagues... especially in the area of Mathematics the subject area that I teach."

Katerina Alder, Union 9th Grade Center "Summer is an amazing opportunity for professional development in general and fellowship with other devoted educators in particular. Our minds are fresh and our bodies are rested and ready to tackle the problems we face during the school year and find solutions."

Katerina Alder, Union 9th Grade Center

"Summer is an amazing opportunity for professional development in general and fellowship with other devoted educators in particular. Our minds are fresh and our bodies are rested and ready to tackle the problems we face during the school year and find solutions."

Hanna Al-Jibouri, Gilcrease Elementary "With this teamwork, I believe that I will have a toolbox of strategies and methods that will help to foster a positive and joyful school community that keeps children in school and away from school suspensions."

Hanna Al-Jibouri, Gilcrease Elementary

"With this teamwork, I believe that I will have a toolbox of strategies and methods that will help to foster a positive and joyful school community that keeps children in school and away from school suspensions."

Tiffany Bell, Hamilton Elementary "We have a vision of students being able to explore real world activities and problem solving techniques on their own in a safe exploratory."

Tiffany Bell, Hamilton Elementary

"We have a vision of students being able to explore real world activities and problem solving techniques on their own in a safe exploratory."

Deanna Braggs, Creative Geniuses & Oklahoma Outdoor Academy "Innovation requires creative thinking and problem solving."

Deanna Braggs, Creative Geniuses & Oklahoma Outdoor Academy

"Innovation requires creative thinking and problem solving."

Ashley Burke, Briarglen Elementary "I am excited to be able to work with collages and see how we can positively improve the overall classroom environment for teachers, students and staff."

Ashley Burke, Briarglen Elementary

"I am excited to be able to work with collages and see how we can positively improve the overall classroom environment for teachers, students and staff."

Erin Camp, Marshall Elementary "TPS is facing many financial cuts and I need to do my part as an educator to make sure these cuts aren't harming my students."

Erin Camp, Marshall Elementary

"TPS is facing many financial cuts and I need to do my part as an educator to make sure these cuts aren't harming my students."

Angela Clift, Briarglen Elementary "We feel like we can make a positive impact on the teaching staff and students by finding ways to improve mental heath in the classroom and school."

Angela Clift, Briarglen Elementary

"We feel like we can make a positive impact on the teaching staff and students by finding ways to improve mental heath in the classroom and school."

Jenny Dungan, Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences "I would love for all of my students to understand the importance of starting a healthy lifestyle while they are young."

Jenny Dungan, Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences

"I would love for all of my students to understand the importance of starting a healthy lifestyle while they are young."

Katie Fox, Briarglen Elementary "My team is made up of wonderful, servant minded women who are ready to find a solution to the mental health crises in the states, especially in Oklahoma."

Katie Fox, Briarglen Elementary

"My team is made up of wonderful, servant minded women who are ready to find a solution to the mental health crises in the states, especially in Oklahoma."

Ashley Henderson, Briarglen Elementary "It excites me to work with my teammates to research more about mental health and it's effects on the teaching staff."

Ashley Henderson, Briarglen Elementary

"It excites me to work with my teammates to research more about mental health and it's effects on the teaching staff."

Olivia Jean, Briarglen Elementary "[I] think that we can help with teacher retention in the public school system by improving mental health and lessening the effects of burn out."

Olivia Jean, Briarglen Elementary

"[I] think that we can help with teacher retention in the public school system by improving mental health and lessening the effects of burn out."

Miriam Kerler, Marshall Elementary "We need a system that will not rely on suspension; we need restorative justice and a process that will remind students of their support system and the purpose for their learning and involvement in school."

Miriam Kerler, Marshall Elementary

"We need a system that will not rely on suspension; we need restorative justice and a process that will remind students of their support system and the purpose for their learning and involvement in school."

Daniel Sharples, Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences "I think there is a need for outside help, for community engagement that happens in very purposeful and specific ways."

Daniel Sharples, Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences

"I think there is a need for outside help, for community engagement that happens in very purposeful and specific ways."

Danielle Terrio, Hamilton Elementary "I am... working to rethink expeditionary learning opportunities at Hamilton. Change is in the works, but the more thinkers, partners, the better."

Danielle Terrio, Hamilton Elementary

"I am... working to rethink expeditionary learning opportunities at Hamilton. Change is in the works, but the more thinkers, partners, the better."

Abigail Woodhead, Tulsa Public Schools "I believe that is the power of making a student feel human and loved. It goes beyond just our words, but also into our actions."

Abigail Woodhead, Tulsa Public Schools

"I believe that is the power of making a student feel human and loved. It goes beyond just our words, but also into our actions."

The fellowship is June 13 – June 23. We're excited to see and support the positive change that this great group of educators will create!

 
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