A Gaithersburg High School English Resource teacher is taking a year's hiatus to serve the country.
Jennifer Bado-Aleman was selected as one of 12 teachers nationwide—one of two Latino educators—to be among the Teaching Ambassador Fellows working at the U.S. Department of Education Headquarters, NBC Latino reported.
The year-long program will have Bado-Aleman working in Washington, DC, and heading middle-school reform in the Office of the Secretary, according to the report.
"As a Gaithersburg High School and MCPS teacher, this fellowship is recognition of some of the great work that is being done in our communities by all of our teachers and staff," Bado-Aleman, who is in the midst of her orientation, told Patch in an email.
"In beginning this year with the Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellowship, I'm excited to have the opportunity to hear the voices of teachers both locally and nationally and to be able to contribute to the dialogue that shapes our profession and our educational policies."
A pool of 625 applicants nationwide, including " traditional public, charter, alternative and private schools across a variety of academic disciplines and settings," were considered for the fellowship, according to the report.
The application process was competitive, focusing on work with students, personal and professional background, leadership experience, and communications experience, Bado-Aleman said.
"The interview process was fascinating and allowed me to connect with high-caliber educators from around the nation," she told Patch. "Truly, just being able to speak with those teachers and ED staff about education was informative to my practice.
"In learning more about how education policy is created and how it relates to our daily work in classrooms and lessons, I hope to bring back that knowledge to share with my colleagues in the school and the larger county community so as to continue to develop ways to support our students' academic success."
Bado-Aleman is on leave until July 13, 2013, after which she can return to Gaithersburg High School.