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GaDOE launches 2023-2024 Teacher Policy Fellowship

​MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office,

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November 29, 2023 – The Georgia Department of Education is welcoming 20 teachers from across Georgia to participate in its 2023-2024 Teacher Policy Fellowship.

The Teacher Policy Fellowship is a unique nine-month professional learning opportunity designed to introduce classroom teachers to the field of public education policy and policymaking. The fellowship uses a blended virtual and face-to-face learning approach so fellows can continue teaching in their classrooms while participating in the program. Throughout the program, fellows will gain knowledge and information on policy design and implementation at the state level. 

“One of the most important steps we can take to improve Georgia's public education landscape is investing in our teachers, including providing supports and opportunities for them to grow as professionals and give teachers a greater voice in policy decisions and discussions," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “The Teacher Policy Fellowship is an opportunity for the Georgia Department of Education to work directly with teachers to support the development of student-focused educational policy." 

Fellows will participate in conversations, seminars, and projects to broaden their understanding of the stakeholders involved in policymaking and examine the landscape in which leaders craft education policy. They will hear from policymakers, legislators, decision-makers, and experts from GaDOE and other public education policy agencies, and will use evidence-based research to create a policy proposal that policymakers could implement.

“This was such a great experience learning about the processes of state legislation but also feeling heard as an educator," said Ariel Whitaker, 2022-2023 Fellow, from Colquitt County School District. “I was able to talk one on one to GaDOE staff, receive feedback, clarity, and support throughout this fellowship. Everyone on staff always reiterated the importance of my voice and valued my ideas!" 

2023-2024 Teacher Policy Fellowship Participants

  • Veena Black, DeKalb County Schools
  • Tisha Boyd, Clayton County Public Schools
  • Heather Bui, Oconee County Schools
  • Stefnie Crites, Carrollton City Schools
  • Katlynn Cross, Peach County Schools
  • Kelli Dorminey, Thomas County Schools
  • Christie Drago, Cherokee County School District
  • Amy Garner, Colquitt County School District
  • Christine Geske-Stewart, Jones County School System
  • Nikki Hampton, Bartow County School System
  • Tara Hill, Houston County School District
  • Ryan Jones, Warren County School System
  • Mary Ashley McCue, Baldwin County Schools
  • Michelle Mickens, Oglethorpe County Schools 
  • Tiffany Moriarty, Wayne County School System
  • Trish Morrison, Cobb County School District
  • Sheena Orange, Dodge County Schools
  • Christopher Sampson, Franklin County Schools
  • Michelle Spears, Fayette County Public Schools
  • Dr. Samuel Sykes, Coweta County School System