Fifteen school teachers selected for regional STEM Fellows program

Fifteen Southwest Central Indiana K-6 school teachers have been selected to advance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities in regional elementary schools.

The selected Fellows will focus on increasing STEM curricular relevance, supporting peer educators through mentorships, serving as instructional leaders in schools, and bringing teachers and employers together.

STEM Fellows will participate in professional development activities focused on experiential learning, engineering design process, project-based learning, coding and other relevant topics. Fellows will provide support to colleagues to grow the regional network of skilled STEM educators throughout Southwest Central Indiana.

The 2017-2018 STEM Fellow cohort includes:

Teacher School County
Angie Bault McCormick’s Creek Elementary Owen
Mandy Buskirk Eastern Greene Elementary Greene
Brenda Ely Helmsburg Elementary Brown
Jackie Emberton Burris Elementary Lawrence
Lisa Emmick North Elementary Daviess
Jacob Graham White River Valley Middle Greene
Amanda Henry Edgewood Primary Monroe
Emily Johnson Bradie Shrum Upper Elementary Washington
Apryl Kidd Hatfield Elementary Lawrence
Tracie McAtee Loogootee Middle Martin
Jaime Miller Edgewood Intermediate Monroe
Lisa Norman Spencer Elementary Owen
Eddie Pierce Grandview Elementary Monroe
Jill Toy Loogootee Elementary Martin
Tara Weisheit Veale Elementary Daviess

“ROI’s Fellows were nominated by school principals because they are leaders within their schools and have a passion for creating relevant STEM learning opportunities for students,” said ROI’s Director of Education and Workforce Todd Hurst.

“The common theme across Southwest Central Indiana’s key industries (advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and national security and defense) is that they are all STEM industries,” added Hurst. “A STEM literate workforce is essential to the economic success of our region moving forward, and the early grade levels are a critical time for young learners to see science, technology, engineering, and math content as accessible and attainable. We think this program is an important first step towards growing a network of STEM educators throughout Southwest Central Indiana.”

Earlier this year ROI released its Occupational Needs Assessment to highlight the education and workforce needs in Southwest Central Indiana’s three key industry sectors. The needs assessment emphasized the importance of having STEM-literate students to meet the current and future workforce needs within our region and to provide continued economic growth and prosperity. STEM fellows will also interact with a variety of regional industry representatives and learn firsthand about the types of STEM skills needed for career success.

“We’re proud to welcome these fifteen educators to this pilot STEM education program,” said Doug Kellams, president of the ROI Board of Directors and owner of Tri-County Builders. “This is one of many programs that ROI is launching this year to connect schools to industry and prepare students for the workforce needs of the future. We look forward to working with these teachers as we work toward greater alignment among our schools, our sector employers, and our communities.”

Fellows are expected to commit to being at the same school for at least two years and to serve as a STEMbassador to peers in future cohorts of STEM educators. Participants in the program receive a $2,500 stipend the first year and relevant supporting STEM resources and materials. Substitute teacher costs are also covered to allow Fellows to attend professional development throughout the year.

About Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc.:

The mission of Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc. (ROI) is to support economic and community prosperity in the 11 counties of Southwest Central Indiana (Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties). ROI is implementing education and workforce initiatives and regional engagement initiatives for quality of place development. More information can be found at

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