Dr. Catherine Favo was selected to be an inaugural transformED Teaching Fellow. The Allegheny County Intermediate Unit launched the fellowship as its latest vehicle for providing transformational professional development opportunities. Favo, who teaches 2nd grade in the Riverview School District, is one of 17 teachers representing 15 school districts across the region to be awarded a 2021-2022 transformED Teaching Fellowship.
“This fellowship was developed in response to districts looking to innovate and a demand for opportunities for teachers to learn from and alongside one another,” says Tyler Samstag, director of Instructional Innovation at the AIU. “The pandemic has forced schools to think innovatively and creatively about teaching and learning. Overnight, our conception of school changed. Teachers took charge and adapted.”
The transformED Teacher Fellowship aims to convene teacher leaders interested in instructional innovation to incubate new approaches to teaching and learning. As part of this small community of practice, fellows will learn collectively with their peers in sessions held throughout the remainder of the school year. In addition, each fellow receives a $1,500 classroom mini-grant and the fellow’s school district receives a $1,000 stipend. This fellowship was made possible through grant funding provided by the Grable and Henry L. Hillman foundations.
“I am honored and excited to collaborate with professionals from other districts and the staff at the AIU to nurture innovative approaches to teaching,” Favo said. “I will be anxious to share what I learn with my colleagues at Riverview.”
“The fellowship is a research lab, of sorts,” says Samstag. “Participants will identify something they want to test within their classrooms. They will pilot and share with the cohort what they learned mid-way, and again at the pilot’s conclusion. We are hopeful to then amplify the learnings of the cohort more broadly.”
transformED is an initiative of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit that connects educators with the professional learning, technology access, peer networks and grant funding they need to start, scale and sustain transformational change. By staying ahead of the curve, transformED helps districts prepare for changes coming their way and make a plan to integrate new instructional practices and technologies. By creating a safe and supportive environment for teachers to learn with peers, transformED helps educators find fellowship with kindred spirits committed to honing their craft. By meeting educators where they are, transformED offers many points of entry to the broader movement for innovation in education.
About Riverview School District
The Riverview School District serves approximately 980 students in grades K-12 from the communities of Oakmont, PA and Verona, PA. The district operates 3 schools: Tenth Street Elementary School serving students K-6, Verona Elementary School serving grades K-6, and Riverview Junior-Senior High School serving grades K-12. For more information, visit rsd.k12.pa.us
About the AIU
An educational service agency, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) is part of Pennsylvania’s public education system and serves schools, children, youth and families in suburban Allegheny County. Among the largest of the state’s 29 intermediate units, the AIU employs about 1,200 individuals and has an annual budget exceeding $164 million.