Education Pioneers Fellows Peter Leonard, Allison Parker Serve Schools

Education Pioneers Fellows Peter Leonard, Allison Parker Serve Schools

Peter Leonard

Graduate students Peter Leonard and Allison Parker won Education Pioneers Fellowships to pursue projects serving education this summer. Education Pioneers, a nonprofit organization focused on transforming K-12 urban education, selects top graduate students across the nation to support nonprofit partners and build a national leadership network.

Leonard is a master’s student in the Learning Sciences program, and Parker is an elementary teaching student in the Master of Science in Education program. Both will be working on strategies to prepare new teachers to be the best that they can be. 

Peter Leonard
For his fellowship, Leonard will work with the Chicago New Teacher Center to develop professional development modules for new teachers in Chicago Public Schools. Leonard says, “I applied for an Education Pioneers fellowship because it provided me an opportunity to do high-impact work in the education sector.”

The mentoring modules that he will help to develop will be used in new teacher induction for Chicago Public Schools. “The resources will assist mentors in their work with new teachers, providing tools and strategies aligned with the CPS Framework for Teaching and the Common Core State Standards,” he explains. “I am excited to help develop the talent and capabilities of Chicago's educators.” 

Allison Parker

Allison Parker

Parker will work for Teach for America on a project to increase the pass rates of corps members on teaching certification exams. “Members come in motivated to improve education, but we need to be sure that they are prepared to be the best teachers they can be and that they feel confident when they begin the school year,” says Parker. She will be analyzing who is not passing, why they are not passing, and trying to figure out a way to help corps members prepare for the exams and be ready to enter the classroom.

“I connected with the mission of Education Pioneers immediately. They hope to make education the best-run sector in the US so that all students receive a high-quality education,” Parker says. “When I heard about the opportunity to be a graduate fellow and help accomplish that mission by using my business experience to help solve a problem in education, it seemed like a perfect fit.” Parker has six years of experience in marketing management, mainly with the publishing company Time Inc. in New York.

Education Pioneers
The Education Pioneers Fellowship Program provides high-achieving graduate students in business, education, law, public policy and other programs with an opportunity to make an impact with an education organization. Together with other fellows, Parker will participate in professional development geared toward better understanding of key education issues and learning from leaders who are already making a difference in the field. 

For several years, SESP graduate students have won Education Pioneers fellowships. In 2012 Sugandhi Chugani, a Master of Science in Education student, and Nate Randall, a Higher Education Administration and Policy student, won fellowships. Chugani worked with CPS on a project to support graduates in community colleges, and Randall worked with an education nonprofit in Texas. In 2011 Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC) students April Bowman and William Wong won fellowships to work with a charter schools management organization in Dallas and the Chicago Public Schools, respectively.

In 2009 Learning Sciences alumnus Rob Kimball (MA09) and MSLOC alumna Erica Labowitz (MS09) won fellowships, Kimball to work with the KIPP Ascend Charter School in Chicago and Labovitz to work with Partners for Developing Futures, a social venture firm that invests in charter schools. In 2008 MSLOC graduate Christine Leung (MS08) worked with City Year service corps in Boston, and in 2007 MSLOC alumna Meghan Tallent-Bennis (MS07) was a fellow with the Chicago Public Schools.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 7/18/13