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Four Gateway High School Teachers Selected for the Stanford Hollyhock Fellowship Program

Gateway's Holyhock fellows

The Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) at Stanford has named an amazing group of 85 early-career high school teachers as the 2018 Stanford Hollyhock Fellows, and among them are four teachers from Gateway High School.

Shira Helft, Mary Plant-Thomas, Diana Sanchez, and Anastasia Zamkinos were selected for the highly competitive and prestigious fellowship that provides professional development and support to teachers from schools across the country that serve low-income students.

Nearly half of all teachers leave the classroom within five years. In schools that serve low-income students, the turnover is even higher—leaving the most vulnerable students with the least experienced teachers. The Hollyhock Fellowship Program addresses these complicated educational realities by encouraging and supporting highly motivated, early-career high school teachers to persist and thrive in the classroom by providing them with rich learning opportunities with colleagues nationwide.

"A hollyhock flower grows and thrives in adverse conditions while adding beauty to the world. These teachers are working in the schools where they can make the greatest difference in the lives of their students. We're thrilled to have the opportunity to support them in addressing the historical and structural inequities that exist in classrooms," said Janet Carlson, CSET Director.

Established in 2014, the Stanford Hollyhock Fellowship supports early-career high school teachers through a two-year professional development program that begins with an intensive institute on Stanford’s campus for two consecutive summers and continues the work during the school year via video-based coaching. During their time on campus, the fellows engage in various programmatic strands of professional development:

  • developing pedagogical expertise in teaching a core content area
  • deepening content knowledge
  • examining issues of equity as a teacher leader in the classroom
  • building community within and across participating schools

The fellowship program draws candidates from across the country who have 2-7 years of high school teaching experience in science, mathematics, history, or English, believe in equitable outcomes for all students and are committed to professional growth.

The four educators from Gateway High School represent a wide range of disciplines and life experiences. They share a passion for teaching and improving their practice in the interest of closing the opportunity gap. They each bring diverse personal interests to the group, like embroidery, puzzles, feminist literature, music, theater, and dance, but are all committed to their school community which serves a heterogenous student body in a small college-prep, urban charter school context.

In collaboration with the rest of the Gateway faculty, they have been exploring how race, bias, privilege, and proficiency-based grading practices impact learning to pursue equitable educational outcomes for their students.

They look forward to bringing their collaborative energy and passion for equity through diversity to Hollyhock and are excited to bring wisdom from Hollyhock back to their teams as they continue to strive to meet students where they are and close the opportunity gap.

Photo caption:
Top left to right: Anastasia Zamkinos, Diana Sanchez
Bottom left to right: Shira Helft, Mary Plant-Thomas