67. Two Epic Teacher-Leaders, Melissa Montoya and Wrayna Fairchild

What must schools do to build caring and connected communities? What is student-driven learning? What learning challenges are authentic and real-world? What must schools do to help students become fully human? What does it mean that “school is in but class is outside”? How can schools help students and staff navigate the complexities of this age of acceleration? Why put Yertle the Turtle on trial?  Today my guests are Wrayna Fairchild and Melissa Montoya, two charter school educators selected for the Hawaiʻi State Teacher Fellows program. To introduce them I am going to read the section of the Public Charter School Commission’s newsletter announcing their appointments to the cohort. “The Hawaiʻi State Teacher Fellows Program brings together outstanding public school educators from across the state and provides teachers with peer and community engagement skills, tools to facilitate focus groups, along with communication and advocacy strategies.  The program is run out of the Hawaiʻi Department of Education’s Leadership Institute. The competitive applications process includes submission of narratives, recommendations and an interview. When asked why she applied for the Fellowship Program, Melissa Montaya (Kamaile Academy) said, ‘… I wanted to be a part of an organization that wants to elevate teachers, outside of my own organization. I believe in collective and collaborative teams, so I am beyond ecstatic to engage in opportunities that support public education on a larger scale. Hawaiʻi deserves a system that promotes excellence at all levels of education.’  Wrayna Fairchild (Voyager Public Charter School) said she applied for the program, ‘because I want to further develop as a teacher-leader. I have been fortunate to take on a teacher-leader role at my school and have had the opportunity to participate in national teacher-leader cohorts. Applying to be part of this special group that supports education at the state level seemed like a great fit for me.’ She added, ‘Hawaiʻi has some amazing, talented educators. By helping to connect these teachers, and working to support their classroom efforts, the practice of all is elevated.'” As always, our original theme music and post production is provided by Daniel Gilad of DG Sound Creations in Honolulu. Please stay safe, friends! Continue to wear your masks where required and please, please get vaccinated. Until next time, a hui hou