The Arkansas Teacher Corps recruits, trains, and supports exceptional, social justice-oriented individuals to serve as teachers for Arkansas students who need them the most.
All Arkansas students will have the agency to pursue extraordinary lives through excellent, equitable education that empowers them intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically.
Executive Director. Shelley oversees the day-to-day operations of ATC and is responsible for staffing, fundraising, and communicating with school leaders, legislators, and the public. Shelley is a former English teacher who spent four years teaching in a high-needs, agricultural community in coastal California before moving to Arkansas where she continued to teach. Among other teacher leadership roles, she has served as her school-site department chair, a mentor teacher in the Stanford University’s teacher education program, and a content creator and editor for Newsela, an educational website currently used in 70 percent of U.S. schools. Shelley is a licensed teacher in both California and Arkansas and also holds an endorsement in English Language Development. She earned her B.A. in English/Cultural Studies from McGill University (Montreal) and her M.A. in Education from Stanford University.
Director of Teacher Development. Brandon designs the Fellow development continuum, plans and coordinates professional development, and collects and analyzes various data to evaluate ATC’s program effectiveness and Fellows’ classroom impact; he also coaches science and math Fellows throughout the state. Brandon additionally serves as the Co-Director of Summer Institute alongside Sarah Baver where his responsibilities include coordinating logistics, hiring and managing summer interns, and designing and facilitating Instruction and Change training. A Teach For America alumnus, Brandon taught tenth grade biology in the Helena – West Helena School District and ninth grade Algebra 1 in the Osceola School District before joining ATC full-time in 2016. While in HWH, he also served one year as a campus instructional coach for science grades 7-12. He also served as a Learning Team Leader for science with Teach For America and has held a variety of part-time ATC roles, including Summer Mentor in 2014, PLC Leader for science in 2014-15, and Teacher Support Specialist in 2015-16. Brandon holds a Master of Education in educational leadership from Arkansas Tech and a Bachelor of Arts in environmental economics from Washington University in St. Louis.
Director of Coaching. Sarah manages and develops all ATC coaches as well as coaches secondary English and Spanish teachers throughout the state. She also designs and facilitates on-going year-long professional development and other program planning. Sarah additionally serves as the Co-Director of Summer Institute alongside Brandon Lucius where her responsibilities include hiring, training, and managing all summer mentors as well as designing and facilitating Relationships and Consciousness training. A Teach For America alumna, Sarah taught high school English for three years in the Clarendon School District prior to joining ATC full-time in 2015. She also has worked in various content and teacher support roles within TFA and ATC, serving as both a Learning Team Leader and PLC Leader for English/Language Arts from 2013-2015 as well as an ATC Summer Mentor in 2013. Originally from New Hampshire, Sarah graduated from St. Lawrence University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy.
Director of Recruitment. John plans and coordinates ATC’s recruitment, selection, placement, and licensure efforts, as well as managing the part-time University student workers who assist with outreach and communication. John received a Bachelor of Science in political science and a minor in business administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he is currently pursuing a M.A. in Philosophy. He has previously served as a high school teacher in a critical needs district in Arkansas and has completed over 350 hours of professional development in secondary education.
Teacher Development Manager. Jean coaches and supports teachers through classroom observations and debriefs, in addition to helping with designing and facilitating professional development. Jean is a native of Elkins, AR and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science at Duke University in Durham, NC. She completed her alternative educator certification through the Dallas Public Schools and is a certified TxBess mentor teacher. Jean brings over 20 years of teaching experience in both the public and private sector to her coaching work. Her past positions include teaching at the University of Arkansas Jean Tyson Child Development Center where she mentored undergraduates in education. Jean recently designed and implemented the new faculty mentor program at the U of A during her internship at the Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Center. Jean recently received an M.Ed. in higher education with a focus on student affairs from the University of Arkansas.
|Gary W. Ritter, Ph.D.
Faculty Director & ATC Co-Founder. Gary is a Professor of Education Policy and holder of the 21st Century Endowed Chair in Education Policy in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas. Gary also serves as the Director of the Office for Education Policy (OEP), which serves as a source of evidence and data on K-12 education in Arkansas to all interested constituents. His work with Arkansas school leaders and policymakers highlighted the great need for effective teachers in economically disadvantaged areas. As a result, along with Dean Thomas Smith and Benton Brown (ATC’s first Executive Director), Gary began work to develop the Arkansas Teacher Corps in 2012 and has served in an advisory role as Faculty Director since that time. Currently, his primary area of interest is teacher compensation, teacher training, and teacher quality in public schools. Gary has been a faculty member at the University of Arkansas since earning a Ph.D. in Education Policy in 2000 from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.