National Council on Teacher Quality Announces Inaugural Class of Senior Visiting Fellows

Four Education Leaders from Across the Sector Selected for New Prestigious Program


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Washington, D.C. -- Today, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) announced the inaugural class of its new Senior Visiting Fellows Program. This select group of accomplished and diverse individuals represents a cross-section of professionals from across the education sector. While passionate about improving various aspects of the education system, they share the organization's mission to ensure every child has access to an effective teacher and every teacher has the opportunity to be effective.

Over the course of the year-long fellowship, participants will be immersed in a number of NCTQ's key efforts—offering guidance and critiques—including scaling the adoption of reading science in teacher preparation; leveraging content-specific elementary teacher licensing exams as a mechanism for strengthening and diversifying the workforce; encouraging states to raise the bar for teacher prep through the program approval process; providing states and districts with explicit research-based policy recommendations; and strengthening relationships with education stakeholders who are best positioned to bring about meaningful change.

The 2020-2021 Fellows are:

  • Dr. Sarah Beal, Executive Director of the US PREP National Center - Prior to joining US PREP, Sarah served as an Executive Director for the largest Teacher Quality Partnership grant and Elementary Education Program Coordinator at Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Sarah also served as a classroom teacher and instructional coach for ten years in an urban school district in Phoenix, Arizona. Sarah holds a Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and Innovation and Master of Educational Mathematics degree from Arizona State University, and Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from St. Mary's College in Moraga, California.
  • Simone Hardeman-Jones, National Director of Policy and Partnerships at Educators for Excellence (E4E) and founding Executive Director of GreenLight Twin Cities - Simone has spent over two years at E4E and is transitioning to a new role as founding Executive Director of the GreenLight Twin Cities in mid-August. Simone served in the Obama Administration for nearly four years in a variety of roles, including Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education. Simone also spent six years working on Capitol Hill as a policy advisor to two United States Senators, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and the late Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC). Simone holds both a bachelor's and a master's degree from The American University in Washington, D.C.
  • Kareem Weaver, Member of Oakland NAACP Education Committee and leader of the Full and Complete Reading is a Universal Mandate (FULCRUM) - Before this, Kareem was a Managing Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, served as New Leaders' Executive Director of the Western Region, and was an award-winning teacher and administrator in Oakland, California, and Columbia, South Carolina. Kareem has an undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and a master's in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina.
  • Adrienne Williams, Director of ELA Content Design at Teaching Lab - Prior to this role, Adrienne served as a manager of lab development at Teaching Lab and spent eight years at Center City Public Charter Schools where she taught first and third grade, designed and led district professional learning, and was a coach for curriculum and instruction.
"Through this new initiative, NCTQ aims to bring together leading thinkers in education to help expand our work and challenge our thinking on key teacher quality issues," says NCTQ President Kate Walsh. "Our inaugural class of Fellows are distinguished additions, and we are enthused to bring their voices and perspectives to our work."

The NCTQ Senior Visiting Fellows Program, now in its first year, aims to bolster NCTQ's work by building connections with related initiatives in the field and deepening the organization's thinking, while also elevating the voices of these talented education professionals.


To schedule an interview with NCTQ, please contact Samantha Jacobs at (202) 393-0020 ext. 714.

About the National Council on Teacher Quality: The National Council on Teacher Quality is a nonpartisan research and policy group, committed to modernizing the teaching profession and based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers. We recognize that it is not teachers who bear responsibility for their profession's many challenges, but the institutions with the greatest authority and influence over teachers. More information about NCTQ can be found on our website,

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