By Sammy Bredar
Teach Plus Indiana, an organization that educates teachers about policy and practice issues in their field, recently selected a dozen educators across the nation to receive a policy fellowship. Jaquia Stacy, a teacher at Lawrence Advance Academy, has received one of the fellowships.
LAA is a program in Indianapolis that allows 12th-grade students the opportunity to earn required credits for a high school degree. The option is for students who have formerly struggled academically.
The policy fellowship requires a minimum of two in-person training sessions, monthly virtual meetings and small focus groups. Fellows learn about policy advocacy without having to take time away from their classrooms. Fellows also receive a $1,600 stipend for their participation in the fellowship.
Stacy said she values her time as an instructor in the classroom and wants to dive deeper into education. The policy fellowship allows her to do just that by giving her a new awareness and understanding of educational policy issues.
“When I found out about this program, it felt like the perfect fit,” Stacy said. “I will get firsthand experience advocating for key education issues impacting my students while building my knowledge of how legislation works and directly affects classrooms, including my own. I’m hoping to deepen my understanding of the overall landscape to enrich my own instruction going forward.”
Stacy plans to continue to grow her education after the policy fellowship concludes.
“While this will be the program I participate in this year, throughout my career in education, I want to pursue any opportunity where I can garner additional experience and expertise to help advocate for my students and for the teaching profession in general,” Stacy said. “I always want to show my students what it means to be a lifelong learner.”
Stacy, a longtime resident of Lawrence Township, embraces her work at LAA.
“I work hard to foster a safe and welcoming environment where my students can feel comfortable and capable of taking on hard things,” Stacy said. “It is always affirming when I see my students succeed, sometimes in spite of their circumstances. I am happy knowing I contributed in some way to helping them continue to move forward.:
For more about Teach Plus Indiana and the policy fellowship, visit teachplus.org/in/.