Spotlight

Cultivating Teacher Leaders

Project to recruit and mentor educators from diverse populations receives NEA grants

The Fullerton Secondary Teachers Organization was recently awarded a two-year $500,000 grant from NEA’s Great Public Schools (GPS) fund. FSTO will use the funds to continue the Cultivating Teacher Leaders project, which helps grow and diversify the profession in California.

Al Rabanera, Myra Deister, Armandina Turner, Joan Ke and Aimee Nelson

The project began in 2016 with participants from CTA’s Instructional Leadership Corps, including FSTO member and grant writer Al Rabanera, Myra Deister, and Armandina Turner. The team also includes FSTO member Joan Ke and Aimee Nelson, Institute for Higher Education partner from CSU Fullerton. That year FSTO received a $250,000 GPS grant to launch and support the project. 

Specifically, the program recruits aspiring educators from historically diverse populations; strengthens partnerships among K-12 districts, higher education institutions, and CTA members and affiliates; mentors educators from high school through university to accreditation and beyond; and provides early-career educators with professional development.

In addition to diversifying the existing workforce, it takes “significant steps toward retaining teachers of color in our education system, a proven means of effectively narrowing student achievement gaps,” says FSTO President John Marvin.

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