Nashville, Tenn., June 4, 2021 – The Phoenix Club of Nashville (PCON) is very excited to announce, in collaboration with AllianceBernstein, John Ingram, and Jerry and Susan Geraghty, a $100,000 grant award to Teach for America (TFA) Nashville-Chattanooga’s Nashville Aspiring School Leader Fellowship (NASLF) program.
The NASLF is a program addressing Nashville’s need for a strong pipeline of highly effective, high-performing school leaders. Principal and mid-level school leader turnover is a perennial issue, and it disproportionately impacts student learning at high-need schools. The Fellowship recruits TFA alumni, corps members, and other education professionals, then partners with a local university to train and place exceptional leaders in schools where they are needed most. TFA provides the Fellows with foundational administrator leadership development experience at TFA’s Pre-Service, where Fellows lead the development of a cohort of new TFA teachers.
“Research shows that a strong school leader raises all boats in a school – teachers and students alike – and can have an outsized impact on student outcomes,” said Benjamin Schumacher, executive director of TFA-Nashville-Chattanooga. “Along with our partners, we designed NASLF to match great potential leaders with great need in our community, and we are thrilled to see the leadership of our Fellows shine in support of their students.”
The program began in 2017 with a cohort of five Fellows and was followed in 2018 (3 additional Fellows), 2019 (3 Fellows) and 2020 (5 Fellows). The total of 16 Fellows are a diverse group (56% women and 56% people of color) with an average of 8 years’ experience who have been selected from a large group of potential candidates. Out of a typical pool of top candidates, only 5% will go on to be approved as a Fellow and invited to participate in the NASLF program. All NASLF Alumni have been promoted into school leadership positions and have occupied or are now serving as assistant principals, deans, or instructional coaches at high-need schools in the Nashville area.
“We are thrilled to be able to contribute to this amazing, impactful program through TFA that will serve a critical need in Nashville’s school system and build future educational leaders in our community,” said Phoenix Club President Patrick Baird. “PCON’s mission to benefit underserved youth in Middle Tennessee aligns perfectly with the Fellowship’s goals. I also would like to thank our partners AllianceBernstein, Jerry and Susan Geraghty, and John Ingram through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for helping us maximize the impact of this grant.”
“AB remains dedicated to investing in Middle Tennessee’s future workforce,” said Seth Bernstein, CEO and President, AllianceBernstein. “We believe education is the foundation for building a local talent pipeline, and we recognize the significant impact teachers and education professionals have on students. We are honored to support the development of our region’s future leaders through Teach for America.”
The average Fellow impacts approximately 80 students per year as a teacher before NASLF involvement. Once Fellows are elevated to a mid-level leader, that impact grows five-fold to approximately 400 students per year. A fully funded NASLF program will impact roughly 2,200 more students over a five year period. Including all current and future Fellowship graduates, the fully funded NASLF program will impact nearly 8,000 additional students.
Over the next five years, TFA will continue to administer the Fellowship and strengthen the experience of the Fellows. School leaders are a key pillar of advancing Nashville’s student educational outcomes and opportunity, and through NASLF, TFA trains highly skilled education professionals to become effective school leaders.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with 350 urban and rural communities across the country to expand educational opportunities for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today, Teach For America is a force of over 64,000 alumni and corps members working in over 9,000 schools nationwide in pursuit of profound systemic change. teachforamerica.org/where-we-work/nashville-chattanooga
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AllianceBernstein is a leading global investment management firm that offers high-quality research and diversified investment services to institutional investors, individuals and private wealth clients in major world markets. The firm has $697 billion in client assets under management, as of March 31, 2021. Additional information about AB may be found on our website, alliancebernstein.com.
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About the Phoenix Club of Nashville:
The Phoenix Club of Nashville is a 100% volunteer-led 501(c)(3) organization of young men with a dual mission of benefitting under-served youth in Middle Tennessee and developing members into leaders in their community and business. Phoenixclubofnashville.org
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