The School Zone: News

Thirteen Spring Branch ISD educators were welcomed recently as Cohort IV members in the district’s innovative Vanguard Fellows teacher corps. They join dozens of district educators who have been chosen during the past four years for this honor and lifelong learning commitment.

The larger Vanguard Fellows group now has 81 current or former members serving 34 campuses, from prekindergarten through high school. Teachers apply for a fellowship, and are interviewed before cohort selections are announced. The program supports a maximum of four fellows per campus.

Vanguard Fellows highlights SBISD’s long-term effort to encourage and support great and innovative instruction that focuses on meaningful and transformative technology integration and personalized student learning.

Those selected are provided personalized, professional learning opportunities during a three-year period, including the opportunity to attend the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference, small group meetings, individual 1-to-1 coaching sessions, social media support and more. The new cohort’s first meeting was held last month.

“We are eager to see the impact that these new fellows will have on their campuses as they learn and share their practices on their campuses and via social media,” SBISD’s Educational Technology Director Stephanie Sandifer said.

“With previous cohorts of Vanguard Fellows, we have witnessed the many meaningful student and teacher learning experiences that have resulted from bringing together small groups of otherwise disconnected educators who share common purposes – to boldly co-create, openly share ideas, freely challenge each other’s thinking, garner feedback, and cheer each other on in their bold pursuits to transform student learning experiences,” Sandifer also said. “It’s truly remarkable.”

Members of the first Vanguard Fellows cohort have taken on leadership duties and responsibilities at both the campus and district level, as they also develop and implement networking and “connectedness” opportunities across the district. 

Cohort IV Vanguard Fellows (2019)

Robert Dantzler, District Alternative Education Program DAEP, 6-8th Grade English Language Arts (ELA)
An Nguyen, Shadow Oaks Elementary, 1st Grade Self-Contained
Vivian Salazar, Spring Shadows Elementary, 3rd Grade Self-Contained, Expanded Impact Teacher (EIT)
Jaclyn Bagos, Edgewood Elementary, 2nd Grade Self-Contained
Lisa Calloway, Westwood Elementary, 4th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies
Jared Braun, Terrace Elementary, 5th Grade Self-Contained
Amy Root, Frostwood Elementary, 4th Grade Math/Science
Amy Pierce, Meadow Wood Elementary, Kindergarten
Candi Song, Wilchester Elementary, 3rd Grade Math
Whitney Neu, Landrum Middle, 6th Grade Science
Sarah Herzog, Spring Oaks Middle, 8th Grade English Language Arts (ELA)
Jacob Barton, Cornerstone Academy, 7th Grade Math
Laurie Guerra, Spring Woods Middle, Librarian