Six staff in the Reich College of Education (RCOE) will be participating in the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP): Dr. Caroline Beam, Emma Hatfield-Sidden, Dr. Jui-Teng Li, Jessica Stockham, Meg Turner, and Karen Walker. The EPFP program, hosted by the Public School Forum, is designed to help participants learn more about education policy in North Carolina.
Both Beam and Walker are North Carolina New Teacher Support Coaches and see this fellowship as an opportunity to provide more robust support to the new teachers.
“As we partner with new teachers in our region, it is critical that we understand context at all levels,” noted Beam. “By engaging with EPFP my own understanding of our statewide context will be deepened allowing me to better understand the beginning teachers' challenges.”
“I will be better equipped to answer questions about educational policy, the steps taken and how a policy is put into place,” added Walker. “I will have a network of professionals that I can reach out to for questions regarding policy in our public school system.”
As the principal for the App State Academy at Elkin, Hatfield-Sidden hopes “to build a stronger foundation of educational policy that will assist in my deeper understanding of the issues we are currently facing while also providing action steps to become change makers.”
Li, Stockham, and Turner all work with GEAR UP, a federally funded college access program designed to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education immediately after high school.
“This opportunity will help bring awareness to the needs of the communities I work in to policy makers and influencers allowing my work to grow in sustainability,” said Stockham, who is the academic innovation specialist.
“Developing better leadership and communication practices in education policy will allow me to communicate better with administration and stakeholders in local government within my school districts,” she continued.
As the assistant director of program evaluation, Li sees this as an opportunity to help him understand how he can better use data to generate findings for reforming education policy.
“There is not a more important thing in the state of North Carolina than to advocate for improved education policy,” added Turner. “I hope I will be inspired to engage in meaningful ways with those across our state who make very important decisions.”