2012 class of Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows announced

May 14, 2012
This news release is being distributed by Purdue University on behalf of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.


PRINCETON, N.J. – Gov. Mitch Daniels on Monday (May 14) announced the 2012 class of Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows. These 54 fellows - top recent graduates and accomplished career changers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology (the STEM fields) - will teach math and science in Indiana's urban and rural schools.

Each fellow will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a special intensive master's program at one of four Indiana partner universities and to defray expenses while transitioning to the teaching profession. The four partner campuses are Ball State University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Purdue University and the University of Indianapolis.

All the universities have redesigned teacher preparation to prepare teachers in local classrooms, the way physicians learn in hospitals and attorneys in law offices. Programs also include intensive emphasis on specific teaching approaches for the STEM fields.

Teachers from the first two classes of WW Indiana Teaching Fellows, named in 2009 and 2010, are already working in classrooms around the state, with teachers from the 2011 cohort now ready for their own classrooms. To date, of the fellows who have begun teaching in Indiana, 99 percent remain in the classroom. By contrast, one-third to one-half of new teachers nationally leave teaching within the first three years.

"The Woodrow Wilson Fellows are already becoming a material percentage of all the math and science teachers we need in the state of Indiana," Daniels said. "This is not a 30- or 40-year march that we are on. This is something that can have a detectable difference in just a few years. For all these reasons and more, we remain incredibly proud to be home to this effort."

The announcement also featured the presentation of the first-ever Gov. Mitch Daniels Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship. The award, created by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, honors a fellow who is already demonstrating the program's principles of excellence. This year's recipient is David Johnson III, a 2009 fellow now teaching math at Lynhurst 7th and 8th Grade Center in Wayne Township, Indianapolis. Johnson, a former mortgage broker and math tutor, is demonstrating consistently strong academic performance and also coaches eighth-grade football and advises leadership groups for young men of color.

"Whenever an organization creates an award, it is critical that it be named for a person who embodies and personifies its values," said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation of Princeton, N.J. "That is why we decided to name our award the Mitch Daniels Award for Excellence in Teaching."

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation administers the fellowship, which has been funded with $15 million in grants from Lilly Endowment Inc. and a supplemental $3 million in state support. Daniels has championed the program since its inception in 2007.

"Lilly Endowment was pleased to add nearly $5 million late last year to its initial support of $10 million for the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship," said Sara B. Cobb, endowment vice president for education. "The endowment is encouraged by the impressive accomplishments and credentials of the fellows and the significant degree of interest the fellowships have garnered from individuals around the country. It is gratifying to know that the Indiana fellowship program has been replicated now in several other states."

The announcement of the 2012 fellows comes at the conclusion of a rigorous yearlong application and selection process. After a year of classroom-based preparation, fellows commit to teach for at least three years in a high-need Indiana school, with ongoing support and mentoring. The new fellows, who begin their master's work this summer, will be ready to enter their own classrooms in fall 2013.

The 2012 group of fellows is the fourth named in Indiana. In 2009 Michigan and Ohio created similar Woodrow Wilson programs, with other states also seeking to adopt the Woodrow Wilson model.

"With some 225 Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows to date, we estimate that these teachers will reach more than 23,000 students every year," Levine said. "The fellows represent a 25 percent annual increase in Indiana's supply of STEM teachers. Beyond that, the four university partners have changed the way they prepare STEM teachers, and we think that too has a ripple effect for the others teachers they graduate, and for classrooms around the state."

The 2012 fellows who will study at Purdue are Aaron Edwards, Albion, Ind.; Emily Fero, Kennett Square, Pa.; Laura Heverly, Floyds Knob, Ind.; Rebecca McCarthy, Eads, Tenn.; Brooke Mix, Westfield, Ind.; Joyce Newman Rode, West Lafayette; Jennifer Schall, Fort Wayne; Samantha Schwartz, Urbana, Ill.; and Monique Simpson, Stafford, Va.

Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation prepares the nation's best minds to meet its most important challenges, working through education. The foundation supports its fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.

More information on the foundation and the 2012 fellows can be found at http://www.woodrow.org

Contact: Beverly Sanford, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation vice president for communications, 609-452-7007, ext. 181, Sanford@woodrow.org