Blog post by Christine Ross
Christine Ross, the president and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, has 22 years of leadership experience in the business community. She is a visionary coalition builder guiding the Maryland Chamber’s efforts to improve competitiveness, attract and retain talent, grow jobs, engage the community, and provide legislative advocacy.
It’s Been Another Productive July for The Maryland Chamber Foundation’s Teacher Externship Program, Which Pairs Maryland Public High School Teachers with Area Business Partners
Building success upon success, The Maryland Chamber Foundation’s second Teacher Externship Program has concluded with positive reviews all around — from the four outstanding Maryland high school teachers as well as their committed business partners from BGE, KCI Technologies, Stanley Black & Decker, and Leidos, who participated in the month-long program.
“This year’s partnerships were wonderfully successful,” said Christine Ross, president, and CEO of the Maryland Chamber Foundation and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. “Our gifted teachers and their world-class business partners worked closely and well together. Now the teachers can take what they have learned back to their classrooms, offering their students an extra level of knowledge to help them prepare for whatever future career paths they choose.”
It was just two years ago that The Maryland Chamber Foundation had a great idea. How about pairing some of the dedicated area high school teachers of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math with representatives of major companies to expand and enrich teachers’ knowledge of the subjects they teach so they can convey a real-world picture of the modern workplace to their students. The Maryland Chamber Foundation looked at the results of ongoing extern programs in Iowa, Hawaii, and Tennessee, and said ‘Let’s do it,’ and so the Foundation’s Teacher Externship Pilot Program was formed.
The original pilot program proved so successful with area business representatives and high school teachers that the Foundation mounted a second Teachers Externship Program this July. Four companies signed on to host a teacher this year, BGE, KCI Technologies, Stanley Black & Decker, and Leidos, each partnered with a local teacher from their region. Mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic, the four companies were careful to take the necessary steps and precautions to protect the externs and employees and took the extra steps to customize their externship programs to have more virtual components.
This year’s externs were: Mr. Kibwe Shelton, a plumbing teacher at Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School (Mervo) in Baltimore City, who carried out his summer externship at BGE; Ms. Shiron Lindsay, a computer science and engineering teacher at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in Baltimore City, who performed her externship at KCI Technologies; Mr. Jeffrey Mueller, a teacher of the foundations of engineering and advanced design applications at Catonsville High School in Baltimore County, who did his virtual externship at Stanley Black & Decker; and Ms. Carolyn Lane, a mathematics teacher at Rockville High School in Montgomery County, who had a virtual experience with Leidos. The externs have a lot to say about their experiences in the program, and we’ll hear from each of them over the next four weeks in this six-part series.
Maryland public STEAM and CTE teachers who are interested in applying to the 2021 Teacher Externship Program can expect to see a call for applications in late October. In addition to a fascinating opportunity to learn first-hand about the business side of your field, the program also offers externs a stipend from the Foundation. Furthermore, the Maryland State Department of Education gives participating teachers the opportunity to earn up to four continuing professional development credits, a tribute to the importance of this unique program in bringing increased knowledge of specific work environments to teachers and students. To learn more about the Teacher Externship Program, please visit https://mdchamber.org/teacher-externships. For more information on sponsoring and hosting a teacher externship, contact Whitney Harmel at the Maryland Chamber Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-269-0642, ext. 1117.
Established in 1987 and revived in 2017, the Maryland Chamber Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization focused on ensuring that Maryland is a place where people are proud to live and work, and on researching issues important to Maryland: the economy and business climate, the talent pipeline, and the educational and workforce development needs to fill that pipeline. As the research and development arm of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce (MDCC), the Foundation uses data-driven research to help drive MDCC’s grassroots advocacy efforts and implement premier education and workforce development initiatives, like the Teacher Externship Program.
To learn more about the Maryland Chamber Foundation, please visit https://mdchamber.org/foundation/.