More than 70 public school teachers and university professors from across the country participated in the Yale National Initiative’s (YNI) 10th Annual Conference at Yale University, Oct. 31 – Nov 1, 2014. A total of 16 different school districts and five universities and colleges from nine states were represented. Charlotte’s five National Fellows included Gloria Brinkman, visual art, North Mecklenburg High School; Phil Carver, science, James Martin Middle School; Torrieann Dooley, 2nd grade, David Cox Road Elementary School; Alexandra Edwards, social studies, Bailey Middle School; and Teresa Strohl, visual art, Barringer Academic Center. Torrieann Dooley also serves as a member of the YNI’s National Steering Committee.
Also representing Charlotte Teachers Institute were: CTI’s National University Advisory Council Representative Shelley Rigger, political science professor, Davidson College; Michele Mason, executive director of leadership development, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools; and Scott Gartlan, CTI director.
The conference was packed with exciting activities – a panel discussion from the National Fellows describing their experiences teaching their curricula to their students, a poster session of National Fellows sharing examples of student work, and a preview of the 2015 Yale National Seminars led by Yale University professors. After Friday morning breakout sessions, Shelley Rigger led a conversation on wide-ranging topics of great importance to the Institute from retaining high quality teachers and developing teacher leaders in the classroom to integrating technology and teaching STEM in K-12 schools. On Saturday, Michele Mason and the other school district officials, including Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, participated in a school caucus led by Merv Daugherty, superintendent of the Red Clay School District (Delaware). They discussed the value of the Teachers Institute Approach and how best to support this work in local school districts and communities.