A+ Schools Announces A New Class Of Apprentice Fellows

This past March, A+ Schools of North Carolina—a program of the North Carolina Arts Council—selected 10 new A+ Schools Apprentice Fellows. Following a revised recruitment process, which focused on identifying and inviting a more diverse group of applicants, the program welcomes its most diverse Apprentice Fellows cohort ever: 60 percent are artists and/or educators of color. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility are ongoing commitments of A+ Schools, and this new class of Apprentice Fellows reflects those priorities.

Every other year, A+ Schools provides a series of information sessions across the state for those who want to learn more about becoming an A+ Apprentice Fellow and about the program’s unique process of training schools in arts integration. Following these sessions are two full days of training for potential Fellows. After an evaluation process, A+ Schools staff members select the people whose credentials best match the program’s needs at that time. Once selected, the A+ Apprentice Fellows observe and shadow veteran A+ Fellows during A+ Schools summer conferences and school-year professional development.  

The apprenticeship is typically a 12-month process, but this year it has been extended to 18 months because of the shift from in-person to online conferences during the pandemic. A+ Schools hopes to return to in-person conferences in the summer of 2022, which will provide additional opportunities for Apprentice Fellows to observe and learn about the full A+ Schools training experience.

The new group of Apprentice Fellows spans the state from Clinton to Banner Elk, and they bring expertise in dance, theater, and music, as well as K-12 education. Their skills are expected to make those of the current group of A+ Fellows even stronger and more diverse. Meet the 2021 A+ Apprentice Fellows:

  • Erin Badger-Coffey: Teaching artist; Charlotte
  • Sarah Council: Teaching artist; Charlotte
  • Medina Demeter: High-school theater educator; Raeford
  • Gina Grandi: Theater professor; Boone
  • Princess Johnson: Teaching artist; Greensboro
  • Kirtina Jones: Elementary educator and technology specialist; Durham
  • Rue Lee-Holmes: Middle-school music teacher; Clinton
  • Victoria Lightfoot: Elementary education; Raleigh
  • Shenette Swann: Teaching artist and musician; Raleigh
  • Natalie Wallace: Elementary-school music teacher; Raleigh

For more information about A+ Schools of North Carolina, explore the program’s website. For details on becoming an A+ Fellow, click here.

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