Sustainable Funding for Teacher Leaders

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Summit : Washington D.C.

District : School District of Lee County

State : Florida

Level : K-12

Team Lead : Helen Davis Martin

Topics: Career Pathways, Professional Development, Teacher Leadership Positions/Roles

District Coordinator Helen Davis Martin knew her district in Fort Myers, FL needed to address sustainable career pathways for teacher leaders. Helen and her team came together at the Washington, D.C. Teach to Lead Summit to create sustainable funding sources for teacher leader roles created within her district through the Department of Education’s Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant program.

Problem and Solution

Helen and her team were focused on finding ways to maintain the teacher leader roles beyond the scope of their original TIF grant, hoping to institutionalize the progress made.

The Lee County School district created a process that allowed schools to fund additional teacher leaders out of their school-based budgets moving forward.  With a clear vision for success and a commitment to working toward their goal with Teach to Lead support, Helen and her team created strong partnerships and communication streams that will provide support for teacher leaders in their district for years to come.


Since the Florida team attended the Washington, D.C. summit in 2015, their school district has created ten new and sustainable teacher-leader positions! They have found ways to creatively utilize funds from Title I, a K-12 reading grant, and district funding to create additional district-level hybrid roles to coach these new teacher leaders.

Teacher Leadership Tips

Helen’s team learned the value of communication in working to bring their project to fruition. “Teacher leadership means including teacher voices in decision-making and empowering teachers to make changes,” Helen said.

Interested in learning more about this project? Contact Helen Davis Martin at