Attendees listen to presentations of innovative ideas for education during the Teacherpreneur Incubator event at the Granfaloon on Main Street on Sunday in Chattanooga. Five of the 21 projects pitched during the event received cash awards.

The Public Education Foundation and the Hamilton County Department of Education have announced that 20 local projects involving 25 educators have been selected for this year's Teacherpreneur Incubator.

"Teacherpreneur has been, for three years now, a showcase for the innovative and entrepreneurial thinking our educators bring to Hamilton County – and we're excited, with the support of Benwood Foundation, to announce the fourth cohort of Teacherpreneurs," said Dr. Dan Challener, PEF president.

The Teacherpreneur Incubator was designed to provide support, time and resources for educators to incubate big ideas and execute them in the best interest of their students, their profession and the community. Selected Teacherpreneurs will spend the summer honing their ideas and collaborating with partners from our entrepreneurial and education communities, before taking part in the 48Hour Launch (July 28-30) and pitching their ideas to the community on Sunday, July 30th.

This year's Teacherpreneur Incubator boasts a wide scope of proposed projects, including:

  • A digital badging and microcredentialing platform for teacher professional development.
  • A program to build connections between elementary students and elders in long-term care through computer science, art and music.
  • A pilot focused on integrating restorative disciplinary practices, reducing suspensions and building relationships.
  • An app that makes keeping track of vital student information easier during field trips.
  • A student-designed and -built drone racing obstacle course for Hamilton County.

"This year, we've implemented a track system for the first time," said PEF Director of Innovative Learning Michael Stone. "We wanted teachers to continue sharing their ideas for anything and everything that could make a difference for education in Hamilton County, and around the country, but we also asked, 'How would you reimagine learning for the 21st century?' These exciting selections draw from both that open call, as well as this new targeted track."

The educators participating are:

  • Beth Wilson, Red Bank Elementary
  • Chris Cooper, Ooltewah Middle
  • Colby Williams, East Hamilton Middle/High
  • Dan Basler, Lookout Valley Middle High
  • Danielle Morgan Hooper, Central High
  • Emily Halbert, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy
  • Erica Walker, Calvin Donaldson Elementary
  • John Cunningham, Brainerd High
  • Lisa Blakely, Big Ridge Elementary, and Genise Fletcher, Tyner Academy
  • Magan Lampard, Wolftever Creek Elementary, and Sue Williamson, STEM School Chattanooga
  • Mary Manning, Drew Akins and James Stone, Red Bank High
  • Matthew Craig, Red Bank Middle and Red Bank High
  • Mendi Catlett, Harrison Elementary
  • Olivia Bagby, Red Bank High
  • Sara Durst, East Lake Elementary
  • Sara Southard, Harrison Elementary
  • Shannon Seigle, STEM School Chattanooga
  • Shela Brazeale, Central High
  • Tara Tharp, Signal Mountain Middle High
  • Ty Campbell, Ooltewah Middle, and Kelly Davis, CSAS