ED’s School Ambassador Fellowship Program supports national education initiatives with the expertise of school-based practitioners.
The program fosters collaboration between education practitioners and the federal government, involves educators in education policy, and amplifies practitioners’ voices in the national dialogue.
JoLisa Hoover served previously as a Fellow at ED. She was a member of the first class of Fellows in 2008, at which time she had 23 years of experience in the classroom. She describes the Fellows as translators who speak the language of policy and the language of the classroom. They use that skill to make connections between policy and practice.
“The Fellows were going out into the field and listening to educators,” says JoLisa. They used that information and expertise to inform policy.
“That felt very important, getting practitioner voices into the work,” she says.
This ability to create dialogue and share expertise makes the School Ambassador Fellowship Program a valuable resource for the Department’s Initiatives.
“We’re better when we’re together,” says JoLisa. “When we listen to educators and hear about how policy impacts them and listen to how they solve the challenges they face, we come up with a product that is even better.”
A cohort of Fellows is selected annually from an applicant pool of outstanding Pre-K through twelfth-grade teachers, administrators, and student support providers. During their time at ED, Fellows complete a capstone project in support of an ED initiative.
“It is an opportunity to learn about education policy and share your experience,” JoLisa says to those who might consider applying to be a School Ambassador Fellow. “It’s an opportunity to shape things.”
“Policy matters,” she continues, “it may feel far away, but it impacts you. It is important that we stay engaged and advocate on behalf of the kids we serve.”
The School Ambassador Fellowship seeks current teachers, administrators, student support providers, or other certified school staff members who have at least five years of experience and who anticipate being employed in their current role during the next school year. Ideal candidates have a history of demonstrable and meaningful impact on student outcomes and school success, and a record of leadership in their school and community settings. Learn more about the School Ambassador Fellowship Program here.