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Graduates in Chicago selected as Teach Plus fellows

by the College of Education at Illinois / Oct 4, 2017

Two College of Education graduates who are now elementary schoolteachers in Chicago were selected for the Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellowship, a selective leadership program for effective teachers.

During the yearlong fellowship, Amanda Kirshner ’04 C&I and La’Tia Taylor ’11 C&I will take part in a specially designed course of study in policy and advocacy, with the goal of developing skills to advocate for policies that will better serve students and teachers in Illinois.

Amanda KirshnerKirshner is a kindergarten and first-grade teacher in a multi-age classroom at Prescott Elementary School.


La'Tia TaylorTaylor is a kindergarten teacher at Thomas A. Hendricks Elementary Community Academy. 


The College of Education graduates will also collaboratively work on key education issues and interactions with district and state decision-makers.

The 15 new fellows come from traditional district and public charter schools in Illinois. Many of the incoming teachers have won teaching awards and hold teacher leadership roles with their various schools and districts.

“We’re looking forward to another exciting and impactful year ahead,” said Josh Kaufmann, executive director of Teach Plus Illinois. “Our new fellows bring expertise from across the state, and share a passion for improving education for Illinois students.”

Taylor said she has always been a passionate advocate for her students and for all students in Chicago.

“As a current teacher and Teach Plus fellow, I look forward to using my voice to positively influence policies that affect the learning experiences of my students and my teaching practices,” Taylor said.

Jesse Faber, an agricultural science educator at Pontiac Township High School and two-time graduate of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at Illinois, was also selected for the fellowship.

Learn more about Teach Plus.