Charlotte Teachers Institute Accepts 104 CMS Teachers as CTI Fellows

CHARLOTTE – May 27, 2013 – Charlotte Teachers Institute has accepted 104 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers into its innovative professional development program that kicked off this spring. These teachers come from 15 subject areas in 43 schools, in grades K-12.

The teachers will work with faculty from Davidson College and UNC Charlotte in a long-term effort that will challenge them to explore content areas and expand their own ideas for new curriculum, with guidance from the faculty. Seminars and their faculty seminar leaders include:

  • Charlotte as a New South City: Using the Collections of the Levine Museum of the New South,  Shep McKinley, History, UNC Charlotte
  • The Nature of Energy: How We Use and Store It  to Power Our Everyday Lives, Susan Trammell, Physics, UNC Charlotte
  • Math and Sports, Tim Chartier, Mathematics, Davidson College
  • Imagining Modern Bodies: Disability and Art at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Ann Fox, English, Davidson College
  • Grammar for the Real World, Ralf Thiede, Linguistics, UNC Charlotte
  • Human Social Groups, Lisa Slattery Walker, Sociology, UNC Charlotte
  • Chemical Magic, Durwin R. Striplin, Chemistry, Davidson College
  • Urban Encounters: Hispanic and African American Literature, Brenda Flanagan, English, Davidson College

Teachers will discuss and research the topics and collaborate on ideas to teach new content to their students in engaging ways. Their study culminates with each teacher creating an original curriculum unit to be taught in his or her classroom and to be published on the CTI website. Each Fellow is enrolled in one of CTI’s eight seminars throughout the entire period.

“We kicked off this year with our interactive orientation at Discovery Place,” said CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan. “The CTI Fellows will participate in three spring seminar meetings followed by independent summer study. We will pick up with weekly meetings again in September through November. This combination of collaborative work and independent research has proven quite effective in helping teachers explore their ideas.”

CTI is an affiliate of the Yale National Initiative to Strengthen Teaching in Public Schools and also links its Fellows’ units to the YNI website at Yale University as part of a national curricular resource bank for teachers.

“High quality professional development programs have common key characteristics,” Gartlan said. “They focus on content knowledge linked to pedagogy, teacher leadership, extended duration, collective participation and collaboration, and innovative and active teacher learning.”  He noted these characteristics are the pillars of CTI’s professional development program.

Fellows in this year’s CTI seminars are a diverse group of new and experienced teachers with an average of 11 years’ teaching experience. They represent the full range of K-12 instructional levels and a wide variety of disciplines: art, bilingual education, biology, chemistry, drama, earth science, English, French, history, math, media, physics, social studies, Spanish, and special education.

Charlotte Teachers Institute is an educational partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. CTI cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. Programs include long-term seminars and special events for teachers, as well as community presentations such as its “Exploding Canons” interdisciplinary discussion series. Resources come from the three Institute partners and private funding institutions, such as the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Belk Foundation, the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation and the Wells Fargo Foundation. The Institute is housed at UNC Charlotte within its College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

For a complete listing of the 2013 CTI Fellows, visit


For more information, contact CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan, 704-687-0078,

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools media contact: Tahira Stalberte, 980-343-0954

Davidson College Public Relations media contact: Bill Giduz, 704-894-2244,

UNC Charlotte Public Relations media contact: Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830,