NGLN in KY – Stan Torzewski

Hey, all!

Up until October of this year, I worked in a high school setting.  Small, large, parochial, public, rural, urban, all shapes and sizes, but always a school.  I was a classroom teacher, a coach, an administrator.  One of the opportunities I had as a Teacher Leader was the Hope Street Group Fellowship Program, which focuses on developing competencies of Teacher Leaders through professional learning and skill development. I published articles, I met with state legislators, I expanded my network and was supported in creating LIFT (Learn, Invest, Friend and Teach), a student agency program dedicated to developing leadership skills around passion projects.  LIFTers became engaged in all sorts of leadership opportunities, from joining the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, to leading the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, to joining the district Board Policy Committee, to painting a YMCA daycare on a Saturday morning.

Yes, October is a strange time to leave the classroom.  I was approached by Hope Street Group about the KY State Fellowship Program Director vacancy in September.  At first, switching roles mid-year, forcing my beloved students to switch teachers, abandoning my student agency work and LIFT (which had bloomed into a model in the district for student leadership engagement) was not ideal.  However, as I talked further with the leadership of the organization, I weighed in the bigger influence I’d have in the Fellowship Director role.  I made the tough decision, and took a leap faith.

In serving in my new role as Director of the Kentucky State Teacher Fellowship Program, I now lead 27 Teacher Leaders across the Commonwealth in the pursuit of amplifying teacher voice and influencing educational policy, developing leadership competencies along the way.

That being said, I still have a heart for the relational interaction that comes from working with students one on one, and this has been the most difficult part for me as I move into a role of supporting students more indirectly. I am so thankful for this network and Tim and Bill’s What’s the Story? program specifically.  As I get my legs underneath me, I can tell this is going to serve as a lifeline to the classroom.  Kip Hottman is doing a tremendous job leading WtS Kentucky.  I am blessed to have his friendship and collegiality.


Stan Torzewski


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