Curriculum Catalyst Fellowship

The National Network of State Teachers of the Year and the Collaborative for Student Success are proud to partner in offering the Curriculum Catalyst Fellowship for State Teachers of the Year and Finalists. 


The one-year fellowship aims to directly engage fellows in policy and communications training, expert convenings, and a leadership project focused on advancing high-quality instructional materials (HQIM) and curriculum-based professional learning (CBPL) in two high-need subjects: mathematics and science

2024 Cohort


Aaron Grossman is a 5th grade teacher in Washoe County School District, Nevada. He was his district’s Teacher of the Year in 2017 and a Nevada Teacher of the Year finalist in 2018. Aaron was an EdWeek Leader to Learn From award winner in 2014 for work to bring College, Career and Civic ready outcomes into classrooms.

Cicely Woodard is a veteran middle school mathematics teacher who is passionate about students learning math content through relevant, real-world contexts. She is a 2017 state-level finalist for the Presidential Award in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the 2018 Tennessee Teacher of the Year, and the 2019 NEA Member Benefits Teacher of Excellence Awardee. Her
teacher leadership work involves speaking at the local, state, and national levels, developing district-wide scope and sequence documents, reviewing statewide assessments, mentoring student teachers, and facilitating mathematics education professional learning opportunities.

Jennifer Smith is a middle school science and math teacher in Mahomet, IL. A 2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year Finalist, Jennifer is passionate about making curriculum and instruction more equitable.

Laura Chang is an instructional coach and former 2nd-grade teacher. She was named the 2018-19 Michigan Teacher of the Year. Chang has taught in Vicksburg Community Schools for her entire 18-year teaching career since receiving her Bachelor’s Degree from Western Michigan University (WMU). Chang also earned her Master of Arts in Education and Professional Development from WMU.

Michael Dunlea teaches third grade in Tabernacle, New Jersey, and has been teaching for the last 17 years. Michael attained National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist in 2015. He is currently pursuing his second master’s degree in teacher leadership at Mount Holyoke College. In 2018, he received the Presidential Award of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and is a 2020 NEA Global Learning Fellow. In 2012, he was recognized as New Jersey State Teacher of the Year Finalist. Michael lives with his wife and three children in southern New Jersey.

Maggie Moore is a science and biology teacher at Hononegah Community High School in Rockton, Illinois. Moore was a finalist for Illinois Teacher of the Year in 2019 and was recognized in August 2023 by the HCHS board of education for her dedication and expanding her profession beyond the walls of the school. She has now expanded her impact as the president-elect of the Illinois Science Teaching Association.

Morgan Rankin is a second-grade teacher and literacy specialist in Johnson City Schools, Tennessee. Selected as the 2022 Tennessee Teacher of the Year, Morgan is also a founding member of the Blue Ridge Literacy Project, an initiative dedicated to delivering professional development in research-based literacy practices to Tennessee teachers. Dedicated to building student relationships and instilling a love of learning in her students, Rankin is also the founder of South Side School’s Genius Hour, an inquiry-based learning club for students modeled after Google’s 20% Project.

Michael Houston, a mathematics teacher at Harding High School in Saint Paul Public Schools, is the 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Houston’s 19-year career at Harding includes 18 years as a football coach – 10 of which he was head coach. At Harding, Houston is the mathematics department chair, a learning team facilitator and union steward.