CTI Recognizes CMS Classroom Teachers as Leaders

Charlotte Teachers Institute Recognizes CMS Classroom Teachers as Leaders

CHARLOTTE – Feb. 24, 2014 – Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) recently announced leaders who will guide its 2014 seminar season. These educators, K-12 through the university level, represent the inclusive and creative focus that distinguishes this unique professional development initiative. Fifty-four CMS Teachers and eight UNC Charlotte and Davidson College Faculty will lead the 2014 CTI Seminars.

“Our teacher leaders from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) and our faculty leaders from UNC Charlotte and Davidson College are the lifeblood of our work,” said Scott Gartlan, CTI executive director. “They offer a depth and breadth of experience and knowledge that is critical to our efforts to strengthen teaching in CMS.”

CTI is a partnership of UNC Charlotte, Davidson College and CMS working to cultivate content knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among CMS teachers.

One CTI Fellow and CMS Teacher will represent the Institute at the Yale National Initiative (YNI), of which CTI is an affiliate. Torrieann Dooley, David Cox Road Elementary School second-grade teacher and CTI Local Steering Committee member, will return to the YNI National Steering Committee as a teacher representative.  Ms. Dooley will work with other teachers from across the country, including 16 school districts in nine states to plan the summer intensive sessions at Yale University in July.

Gartlan also announced leaders for CTI’s 2014 Local Steering Committee, drawn from CMS’ teaching force. “Classroom teachers are the driving force,” he said. “Teachers shape the direction of our programs and set goals based on their needs in the classroom.”

New members of the steering committee are: Gloria Brinkman, visual art, North Mecklenburg High School; Alexandra Edwards, social studies, Bailey Middle School; and Miesha Gadsden, 3rd grade, Lansdowne Elementary School.

Returning Local Steering Committee members in addition to Ms. Dooley are: Matthew Kelly, Spanish, Independence High; Beth Lasure, visual arts, Mallard Creek High; Deb Semmler, physics, East Mecklenburg High; Barbara Wesselman, apparel/costume design, Northwest School of the Arts; and Cindy Woolery, science, Elizabeth Traditional Elementary..

CTI’s upcoming round of eight seminars for 2014 will be led by university faculty seminar leaders and CMS teacher seminar coordinators:

  • “Artificial Intelligence” – Raghuram Ramanujan, Davidson College assistant professor of mathematics and computer science; Phil Carver, James Martin Middle School eighth grade science teacher
  • “The Global Energy Challenge” – Durwin R. Striplin, Davidson College professor of chemistry; DeNise Gerst, Barringer Academic Center K-5 science teacher
  • “Metamorphosis:  Transformative Experiences” – Amy Ringwood, UNC Charlotte associate professor of biology; Mary Fabian, Cato Middle College science teacher
  • “Intersections of Science, Technology, and Culture” – Alan Rauch, UNC Charlotte professor of English; Jennifer Thompson, James Martin Middle School seventh grade science teacher
  • “Human Agency” – Meghan Griffith, Davidson College associate professor of philosophy; Susan Jones, Steele Creek Elementary School first grade teacher
  • “The Art of Fiction: Close Analysis, Style, and the Novel” – Maria Fackler, Davidson College associate professor of English; Jennifer Ladanyi, Bailey Middle School seventh grade language arts teacher.
  • “Visual Storytelling in Children’s and Young Adult Literature at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture” – Paula T. Connolly, UNC Charlotte associate professor of English; Teresa Strohl, Barringer Academic Center K-5 visual arts teacher
  • “Heroes, Rebels and Rock Stars: Cultural Icons in Modern Europe” – Heather Perry, UNC Charlotte associate professor of history; Roshan Varghese, Butler High School history teacher

CTI also introduced a full cadre of school contacts. These school contacts are essential to the success of the initiative, acting as advocates and liaisons within each of the schools, Gartlan said. The contacts can be found on the website:  http://charlotteteachers.org/2013/02/cti-recognizes-cms-classroom-teachers-as-leaders/ .

  • Jennifer Aldridge, North Mecklenburg High School
  • Gifty Allen, West Charlotte High School
  • Lisa Ashworth, Barringer Academic Center
  • Tamara Babulski, Independence High School
  • Lucy Beaube, Barringer Academic Center
  • Bonnie Bosworth, Mallard Creek High School
  • Gloria Brinkman, North Mecklenburg High School
  • Sheena Burrus, Clear Creek Elementary School
  • Stefanie Carter-Dodson, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School
  • Phil Carver, James Martin Middle School
  • Calen Clifton, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School
  • Madalina Corneanu, Harding University High School
  • Jennifer Dalesandro, Bain Elementary School
  • Lew Davidson, Mallard Creek High School
  • Barbara Devine, Whitewater Academy
  • Torrieann Dooley, David Cox Road Elementary School
  • Alexandra Edwards, Bailey Middle School
  • Torrie Edwards, W.A. Hough High School
  • Lindsey Elkins, Providence High School
  • Mary Fabian, Cato Middle College High School
  • Nicole Fraser, Davidson Elementary School
  • Dawn Franchina, West Charlotte High School
  • Miesha Gadsden, Lansdowne Elementary School
  • DeNise Gerst, Barringer Academic Center
  • Jedidiah Gist-Anderson, West Charlotte High School
  • Cynthia Hicks, Steele Creek Elementary School
  • Ana Hummel, North Mecklenburg High School
  • Marva Hutchinson, Providence High School
  • Susan Jones, Steele Creek Elementary School
  • Deb Jung, Winding Springs
  • Matthew Kelly, Independence High School
  • Melanie Kirschner, Albemarle Road Elementary
  • Jennifer Ladanyi, Bailey Middle School
  • Beth Lasure, Mallard Creek High School
  • Tara Lee, Bailey Middle School
  • Angelina McCurry, Alexander Graham Middle School
  • Stephanie Misko, W. A. Hough High School
  • Jennifer Osburn, Myers Park High School
  • Jashonai Payne, Clear Creek Elementary School
  • Katelyn Quinn, Irwin Academic Center
  • Janet Raybon, Myers Park High School
  • Julie Ruziska Tiddy, Carmel Middle School
  • Deb Semmler, East Mecklenburg High School
  • Katherine Semmler, North Mecklenburg High School
  • Teresa Strohl, Barringer Academic Center
  • Jennifer Thompson, James Martin Middle School
  • Edwin Tranquilino, Harding University High School
  • Kory Trosclair, Bailey Middle School
  • Roshan Varghese, David W. Butler High School
  • Barbara Wesselman, Northwest School of the Arts
  • Lynne Wiesicke, Albemarle Road Elementary School
  • Megan Woazeah, Bradley Middle School
  • Tamara Wood, Albemarle Road Middle School
  • Cindy Woolery, Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School

CTI will host an open house on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 5:30 p.m. at UNC Charlotte Center City at 320 E. 9th Street to introduce its 2014 educator leaders and its seminars. Details and registration information are available on the CTI website at www.charlotteteachers.org. Teacher applications to participate in the seminars are online and are due March 12.

About the Charlotte Teachers Institute

The Charlotte Teachers Institute is an educational partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte that works to improve teaching in Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools. CTI and its partners were recognized by the Council of Great City Schools with its 2013 national Urban Education Impact award (see link at http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/News/Pages/CMSandUNCCwinnationalawardforCharlotteTeachersInstitute.aspx).

An affiliate of the Yale National Initiative at Yale University, 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. CTI’s “Exploding Canons” and “Teachers as Scholars” events engage and educate CMS teachers and the community-at-large, as CTI and a variety of partnering organizations produce forums for examining popular topics through multi-disciplinary lenses.

CTI programs are made possible by a joint commitment of resources from all three Institute partners and through the generosity of private funding institutions such as the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Belk Foundation, Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation and the Wells Fargo. The institute is housed at UNC Charlotte within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Each year about 100 CMS teachers in grades K-12 are enrolled in CTI’s eight, multidisciplinary seminars that began in the spring and continue until December. The seminars’ weekly meetings recess during the summer, while teachers immerse themselves in reading and research related to curriculum units they are developing for their students. These curriculum units generate learning beyond each teacher’s classroom, as the final units are shared with teachers’ school colleagues and are also published on the CTI and Yale National Initiative websites, making them accessible to teachers worldwide. For more information visit the CTI website at www.charlotteteachers.org.


For more information, contact CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan, 704-687-0078, info@charlotteteachers.org

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools media contact: Tahira Stalberte, 980-343-0954 tahira.stalberte@cms.k12.nc.us

Davidson College Public Relations media contact: Bill Giduz, 704-894-2244, bigiduz@davidson.edu

UNC Charlotte University Communications media contact:  Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu