Corey Winchester: Disrupting Education

Corey Winchester: Disrupting Education

corey winchesterCorey Winchester

Corey Winchester (BS10) never went to school simply to get good grades, Clare Proctor wrote in the Daily Northwestern. “For him, it was about learning, a mindset he credits to his family and first-grade teacher.”

Winchester’s longtime passion for education isn’t limited to empowering students, however. As one of 20 Illinois teachers selected for the 2018-2019 Teach Plus Illinois Teaching Policy Fellowship, Winchester will be focusing on ways to improve school discipline, teacher preparation, retention of teachers of color and other issues.

A history and sociology teacher at Evanston Township High School (ETHS), Winchester said his drive for teaching is fueled by his relationships with students and the chance to help them discover their personal identities.

“We live in a nation where we’ve created different levers to work for certain folks,” Winchester told The Daily Northwestern. “If you are white, if you have money, if you are able-bodied, if you are Christian, if you are straight, if you are cis-gender, these all have meaning in our society in different intersections. How do we begin to equip our young people with tools to understand that?”

Teach Plus is a rigorous, highly selective, program that helps teachers understand and influence public policy decisions that affect their classrooms.  During the program, the Fellows receive extensive training in policy, advocacy, storytelling, and op-ed writing and other skills. The Fellows work directly with key education stakeholders and policymakers, shaping policies that meet the needs of their students.

An award-winning decade

Since arriving at ETHS in 2010, Winchester, a Philadelphia native, has been repeatedly honored by local and national organizations as an outstanding educator.

Most recently, Winchester, along with Brian Hurley (MS10), and Sara Blair Winter-Rosenberg (MS12), was named one of 32 finalists for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Just three years after completing his student teaching, in 2013, he was recognized by District 202 and by the Illinois State Board of Education as an Excellent Early Career Educator.  In 2015, Winchester was selected for a Fulbright-Hays award along with alumna Sabrina Ehmke (BS05) and, in 2016, he received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Education at Loyola University Chicago.

Winchester served four years on the board of the nonprofit Evanston Scholars, a college access program supporting first-generation, low-income and students of color. He has also been recognized for his work with the Students Organized Against Racism ETHS student group since 2012.

After getting his undergraduate at SESP, he earned his MSEd from Loyola University Chicago in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies and is pursuing an EdD in Educational Leadership at DePaul University.

Still, as important as it is to empower educators, Winchester says it’s just as critical to working with young people within the community. “I'd love to see critical student leadership development at the forefront of educator advocacy, as it is our collective responsibility to push for systemic and institutional change,” he says. 

Winchester currently teaches U.S. History, Sociology of Class, Gender and Race and an independent study program called Critical Leadership Development.

"All of the work that I do as an educator is to disrupt the white, heteronormative, cisnormative, classist, colonial, patriarchy that exists in our society," Winchester said in an online biography. "While I know that these systems and institutions will not go away overnight, it is my hope that those who come after me can negotiate our world in a safer and oppression-free society."

By Julie Deardorff, photo by Lynn Trautmann, LTPhoto
Last Modified: 5/23/23