This evening, Taylor Parson will be recognized as one of seven outstanding teachers at the Standing Ovation for DC Public Schools (DCPS) annual awards event hosted by the DC Public Education Fund. Ms. Parson, a fourth-grade teacher at Anne Beers Elementary School in Southeast, Washington, DC is receiving the New Teacher of the Year award as one of the Rubenstein Winners for Excellence in Teaching. The award winners are recognized for their many outstanding qualities, including their ability to inspire their students’ learning and to act as an ambassador for District of Columbia teachers.
Ms. Parson is a fellow with Urban Teachers, a teacher preparation program that Education Forward DC has supported since 2017. Urban Teachers is a nationally recognized leader in novice teacher preparation, and currently serves youth in Baltimore City, Washington, DC and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The program recruits diverse, results-oriented individuals who commit to teaching for at least four years.
Urban Teachers participants spend their first year as a resident teacher, working under the guidance of an experienced teacher and Urban Teachers’ faculty. This residency year is followed by a three-year teacher placement at a high-need school. In parallel, participants complete rigorous coursework to earn a master’s degree in education with training in general and special education. This year, 289 Urban Teachers fellows and alumni are serving 12,500 students in eighty-one DCPS and public charter schools in Washington, DC. Education Forward DC has made a commitment to support Urban Teachers as they grow their cohort sizes from sixty to 250 high-performing participants per year over the next five years.
“Taylor exemplifies exactly the type of teacher every student in DC deserves,” said Jacqueline Greer, Executive Director of Urban Teachers’ Washington, DC site. “She brings a sense of urgency, combined with warmth and joy, into her classroom every day. It is evident that she takes her craft very seriously. At Urban Teachers, we aim to ensure that every student has an excellent teacher, and we are proud that Taylor is being recognized for her impact inside her classroom.” Recruiting and developing great teachers and leaders such as Ms. Parson is an urgent priority for school leaders across the city as high-quality talent is essential to improving student academic outcomes, especially for students who have historically been underserved. Education Forward DC invests in Urban Teachers and other organizations that recruit and develop teachers and leaders with the skills to effectively serve the city’s underserved students, who make up fifty-five percent of the public school population in DC.
Since launching in July 2016, Education Forward DC has invested more than $11,000,000 in organizations and visionary leaders across our human capital, schools, public engagement and advocacy strategy areas in service of our five-year goal to double the number of underserved students in DC who are college- and career-ready.