University City

Institute for teachers names new leader

A former educator has been chosen to lead operations at an organization that works to keep teachers motivated and committed to the city's public schools.

Scott Gartlan has been named executive director at Charlotte Teachers Institute, a partnership between UNC Charlotte, Davidson College and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Gartlan said his job will be to support the 12 teachers who make up the institute's steering committee and to help them improve teaching and learning by bringing teachers back to college.

"We provide them with an opportunity to increase their knowledge and connect and network with their colleagues and remind themselves why they started teaching - because they love learning," Gartlan said.

Gartlan, 32, had been the institute's program evaluation project director. He also taught in Charlotte-area schools for five years.

At Cannon School in Concord, he taught advanced-placement psychology and honors ethics. He also was the school's character education coordinator.

He taught advanced placement and international baccalaureate psychology classes at Charlotte Country Day School. He also has worked in program development outside the Charlotte area.

About 100 CMS teachers from 65 CMS schools enroll each year in the institute's seven-month seminar programs. The institute offers eight seminars a year. Teachers (known in the program as "fellows") attend on Thursday nights. Professors from UNCC teach half, and Davidson professors teach the rest.

Upon completion of the curriculum and a seminar, offered mid-April through mid-December, each fellow receives a $1,500 stipend and three continuing education credits toward renewal of their teaching certificate.

The institute is modeled after a Yale University program that inspired similar ones in other cities. Teachers there study a topic outside their area of expertise and create lessons to use in their own classrooms.

Gartlan said the approach to professional development in Charlotte creates an "intellectual pipeline" from university professors to classroom school teachers.

"The professors come with the content; the teachers know how to teach," Gartlan said. "There is this bringing-together of these two different types of experts."