Thirty-one educators have been selected for the 2019-20 class of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship through a competitive admissions process, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) announced on Wednesday, May 8.

Deb Wimberley, a seventh-grade English language arts teacher at Coffee County Middle School in Coffee County Schools, was the sole Coffee County educator selected. Wimberley has been teaching for nine years.

“The Tennessee Educator Fellowship convenes talented and driven educators who are relentless advocates for improving student achievement through student-focused policies and practices,” SCORE President and CEO David Mansouri said. “The fellows bring unique and diverse perspectives and experiences that are invaluable as they participate in local and state-level conversations about preparing all students for success in college, career and life."

The Tennessee Educator Fellowship is a yearlong program that equips teachers, school counselors, interventionists and librarians to learn about education policy and advocate for their students and their profession. The educators chosen this year work in a variety of settings: traditional public schools, public magnet schools and public charter schools.

Since 2014, the fellowship has supported more than 180 educators to engage in critical discussions about education policy by speaking at public events, inviting policymakers into their classrooms, writing about their experiences in state and national publications, creating regional professional networks and serving on state-level policy committees.

“The 31 fellows — from different backgrounds, grade levels, subjects and regions of the state — bring diverse perspectives to policy and practice conversations with a clear focus on greater academic growth and opportunities for all Tennessee students,” SCORE Educator Engagement Associate Leigh Cooksey said.

This is the sixth year of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship. The fellows chosen for the 2019-20 cohort have a combined teaching experience of 358 years and represent elementary, middle and high schools in 26 districts across East, Middle and West Tennessee. The members of this cohort teach English language arts, math, science, social studies, STEM, construction trades and special education in urban, suburban and rural schools. The cohort also includes educators who serve as school counselors, a librarian and an educator who teaches English language learners.