Professionalizing Career Pathways for North Carolina Teachers: A Deeper Dive Into Three Advanced Teaching Roles Pilot Programs


Images of the moderator and panelists: Callie Womble Edwards, Ph.D., Research Associate, Friday Institute (Moderator); Amy Sullivan, Director of Talent Acquisition, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools; Seth N. Brown, Ph.D., Director of Educator Support and Leadership Development, Pitt County Schools; Erin Swanson, Director of Innovation, Edgecombe County Public Schools

A webinar co-hosted by the Friday Institute and The Belk Foundation with special remarks from North Carolina’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt, Friday Institute Executive Director Dr. Hiller A. Spires and The Belk Foundation Executive Director Johanna Edens Anderson.

Now more than ever, it is critical for school and district leaders to consider how they are providing equitable access to high-quality education for all their students as well as how they are growing and retaining their talent. To that end, in 2016, the North Carolina General Assembly provided support for school districts across North Carolina to propose and implement pilot advanced teaching roles programs that would allow highly effective classroom teachers to take on leadership roles in their schools and reach more students. The Friday Institute was responsible for evaluating six advanced teaching roles pilot initiatives across the state over a three-year period, answering several “whether” questions (for example, whether the pilot programs helped improve student outcomes). Through generous funding provided by The Belk Foundation, the Friday Institute was able to dive deeper into three pilot districts: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Edgecombe County Public Schools and Pitt County Schools. These deep dives helped to answer “how” and “why” questions about why some aspects of the pilot programs led to improvements in recruitment and retention, stabilization of school culture and gains in student outcomes, while some aspects did not. This webinar is an opportunity to hear from district leaders from each of these districts regarding the current value of the advanced teaching roles pilot programs in their districts and how they anticipate leveraging these roles in the future.

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About the Panelists

Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan is the director of talent acquisition for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. She specializes in recruitment strategy and oversees the Teacher Leader Pathways program. Amy holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. She has worked in recruiting, career services and human resources, serving students in education for 18 years. In her free time, Amy likes to spend time cooking for family and friends or getting outdoors for a hike or bike ride on the greenway.

Seth N. Brown, Ph.D.

Dr. Seth N. Brown currently serves as the director of educator support and leadership development with Pitt County Schools in Greenville, NC. He has spent over 20 years with Pitt County Schools as a middle and high school teacher, assistant principal, principal and in-district support. Currently, Seth is the co-director of the R3 Framework (Recruit, Retain, Reward), which is a $20M comprehensive Human Capital Management System designed to engage and empower teacher leaders and principals.

Erin Swanson

Erin Swanson is the director of innovation for Edgecombe County Public Schools in Tarboro, NC. She supports school and district leaders in their efforts to reimagine school, so that all scholars are prepared to design their own futures, navigate change and make a difference in the world. Prior to assuming this role, she served as the founding principal of Martin Millennium Academy, Edgecombe County’s first K-8 global school with a leadership focus. She received a Master of School Administration degree as part of North Carolina State University’s Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA). Before joining NELA, Swanson was a member of the Teach For America – Eastern North Carolina staff for six years, serving as executive director, senior program director and program director. Swanson initially joined the Teach For America corps in 2002 and taught English in rural Warrenton, NC, after graduating from Wake Forest University in 2001. She is married to Daniel Riley, a leadership coach, and they have two young daughters.

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Speakers and Panelists