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Grant Spotlights - Preparing Middle-School Leaders

Meet two educators participating in CFT-funded Community Impact programs

“My name is Evan Cleveland, and I am a fiction writer living in Dallas, Texas."

Since August, I have been part of the Teaching Artist Fellows Program at Big Thought, which is committed to building a corp of teacher-trainers with world-class expertise within the growing field of teaching artistry.

Our mission is to support the thousands of community instructors who teach children after school and during summers.

As a fellow, I study instructional best practices, mentoring and leadership, curriculum and lesson-plan writing, child development, and evaluation and assessment. I put these learnings to practical use leading creative writing classes in after-school programs in Dallas ISD.

The Fellows Program has strengthened my capacity to discover gaps within a youth population’s access to the creative arts, to design and implement programs that fill that need and to mentor the artists who will lead those programs.” 


“My name is Temesghen Asmerom, and I am originally from Eritrea, East Africa.


The Aspiring Principals program, through Teaching Trust and the SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development, has helped me see both my strengths and identify areas of growth.

I am looking forward to tackling the challenges and opportunities of public education in Dallas.

Education, especially in an urban setting, is the most effective tool to change a child’s life trajectory if we implement it right and with absolute dedication.

Knowing this, as an educator my goal is to give every child an opportunity to define his or her role in life by exposing them to a quality education and a serving educator.”