Announcing Our New EdSurge Voices of Change Writing Fellows

EdSurge Updates | Teaching and Learning

Announcing Our New EdSurge Voices of Change Writing Fellows

By EdSurge Staff     Jul 20, 2022

Announcing Our New EdSurge Voices of Change Writing Fellows

EdSurge is excited to introduce the 2022-2023 EdSurge Voices of Change writing fellows, all educators who were selected through a competitive application process and, over the next year, will write first-person essays about how their needs have changed, how their students’ needs have changed and how their school community has supported student and teacher well-being as challenges in education persist.

This cohort of individuals—our second annual—represents a wide range of experiences, backgrounds, identities and perspectives. EdSurge will publish and elevate their stories starting in the fall and continuing throughout the upcoming school year.

This second cohort includes eight talented educators teaching at public, charter, independent and parochial schools, from Hawaii to Michigan:

  • Whitney Aragaki (she/they), high school biology and environmental science teacher at Waiākea High School in Hilo, Hawai‘i.
  • Katerra Billy (she/her), diverse learner educator at KIPP East Academy in New Orleans.
  • Isabel Bozada-Jones (she/her), deeper learning coordinator with Reynoldsburg City Schools in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
  • Alice Domínguez (she/her), teacher of English language arts, yoga and mindfulness at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista, California.
  • Patrick Harris II (he/him), author from Detroit, middle school English teacher and dean of students at The Roeper School.
  • Matt Homrich-Knieling (he/him), youth organizer with MIStudentsDream, a Detroit-based coalition focused on immigration and education justice, and former middle school English language arts teacher.
  • Avery Thrush (she/her), sixth grade science teacher at STEM Prep Academy in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Corey Winchester (he/him), history and social science teacher and staff coordinator of Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR) at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois.
Top left to right: Whitney Aragaki, Katerra Billy, Isabel Bozada-Jones, Alice Domínguez
Bottom left to right: Patrick Harris II, Matt Homrich-Knieling, Avery Thrush, Corey Winchester

In the coming months, these fellows will explore issues related to the following questions:

  • How have the pandemic, economic hardship and racial unrest exacerbated inequities in education, and how are educators and school communities addressing them?
  • How has the pandemic and its aftershocks raised awareness around mental health and well-being, and how are educators and school communities responding?
  • How are the needs and experiences of educators and students changing during what appears to be an inflection point in the history of American education—and how are school communities responding?
  • How are schools supporting students and educators in identity exploration and development and/or relationship-building?
  • How are school models, instructional practices and other aspects of teaching and learning changing to meet educators and students where they are?
  • How are educators and school communities supporting the whole child by looking at what all children have in common and need to succeed, and addressing what children of different backgrounds, experiences and resources uniquely need to succeed?
  • What new challenges have emerged in the teaching profession, what existing ones have become more complex, and how are educators and school leaders navigating them?

The EdSurge Voices of Change Writing Fellowship first launched in the summer of 2021, with an inaugural cohort of seven esteemed fellows who, over the course of the year, penned deeply personal essays highlighting the myriad issues educators, school leaders and learners faced in the midst of the pandemic.

They covered issues of teacher burnout, mental health, systemic racism, controversial legislation and more—all of which continue to impact the American education system.

EdSurge is exploring these questions and themes beyond its annual fellowship. Have a story idea to share? Please fill out our brief pitch form, and an editor may be in touch to help shape it into an essay (we now pay $150 for all such published submissions).

Learn more about EdSurge operations, ethics and policies here. Learn more about EdSurge supporters here.

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