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The 2017-18 Teaching Policy Fellows for Teach Plus Indianapolis.

The 2017-18 Teaching Policy Fellows for Teach Plus Indianapolis.

These 20 new Teach Plus fellows will use their classroom experience to help shape education policy

For the first several years of his career as a teacher, Nick Brewer was focused on his classroom. When education policy changes came along, he thought about what it would mean for his class.

“I would think … how do I live with whatever change this is — good or evil,” he said.

But a couple of years ago, the middle school teacher from Washington Township started studying to be an administrator, and he began to think about the broader impact of policy choices.

Now, Brewer is looking to have a hand in education policy as one of 20 new fellows for Teach Plus Indianapolis. Teach Plus is part of a national organization that trains teachers to advocate for policy, and it has been working with educators in Indianapolis since 2009. In the past, fellows have pushed for new teacher evaluation models in Indianapolis Public Schools and for a common enrollment system for public and charter schools.

“A lot of times education policy kind of gets dictated to us,” said Brewer. “Teach Plus was a very attractive opportunity to become a participant in the policy, as opposed to just passive.”

Brewer comes from a family of educators, but when he started college he did not intend to become a teacher. He had seen how hard and time-consuming the job was, he said.

“What I hadn’t seen was the relationships you form with kids, how enjoyable it is to teach something and have someone really learn it,” he said. “I didn’t feel the positives of teaching until I really got into the classroom.”

“I really want people to know,” Brewer continued, “teaching is an awesome profession to have.”

Here is the full list of 2017-18 Teach Plus Indianapolis Teaching Policy Fellows:

Idalmi Acosta, Harshman Magnet Middle School

Nicholas Brewer, Westlane Middle School

Mariah Cawthorne, Westland Middle School

Emily Chestnut, William McKinley School 39

Olivia Corya, KIPP Indy College Prep

Melody Coryell, Shortridge High School

Phoebe Duvall, Paramount School of Excellence

Nathan Evans, Avondale Meadows Academy

Shivani Goyal, Clarence Farrington Elementary School 61

Pennie Gregory, George Washington Community School

Shon Harris, Avondale Meadows Academy

Kayla Marshall, Paramount School of Excellence

Stephanie Mizen, Cold Spring Magnet School

RonNella Moore, The Excel Center-Meadows

Nichole Moore, North Madison Elementary School

Matthew Perkins, H.L. Harshman Magnet Middle School

Susan Scroggins, Herron High School

Katherine Speer, KIPP Indy College Prep Middle

Sarah TeKolste, Emmerich Manual High School

Haley Wing, James Whitcomb Riley School 43