Skip to main content

Richwood Master Teacher chosen for inaugural Fellows Program

Posted Date: 06/24/2024

Richwood Master Teacher chosen for inaugural Fellows Program

Richwood Master Teacher Erica Faust has been chosen as one of 12 outstanding educators to be a part of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) Fellows Program cohort.

Faust was chosen out of 250 applicants across the nation and is one of five educators chosen from Louisiana. These educators will learn alongside NIET in a one-year program to deepen their knowledge of instructional best practices to more effectively support the work taking place within and beyond their school and district.

As part of the fellowship, each will receive a $10,000 stipend, participate in professional development activities designed to enhance their leadership capabilities, and develop content for NIET’s national conferences throughout the year. Each fellow will also shadow NIET’s team locally to advance their coaching skills to more effectively support educators in their own schools and districts.

“I am super excited and extremely blessed for the opportunity to represent Richwood Middle School and Ouachita Parish Schools as I serve as a NIET Fellow for the 2024-2025 School Year,” Faust said. “Working with NIET for the past 6 years has contributed to my growth and development as an educational leader. I look forward to deepening my knowledge of NIET’s systems of improvement and to effectively support others outside and within my district.”

The NIET Fellows Program consists of dynamic teacher leaders from schools nationwide who demonstrate educator excellence and a proven ability to advance student success. 

To be eligible for the NIET Fellows Program, applicants must be a teacher leader and have at least five years of classroom experience and/or experience supporting other educators. The program will run from July 2024 through June 2025. 

“I’m excited to recognize these exceptional educators as our inaugural NIET Fellows Program cohort,” said NIET CEO Dr. Joshua Barnett. “Through this fellowship, these exemplary teacher leaders will elevate their skills to drive instructional improvement and student learning growth.”

This year’s selected fellows are listed below:

  1. Laura Hershberger, Avondale Elementary School District, Arizona
  2. Paloma Peralta Carrillo, Gadsden Elementary School District #32, Arizona
  3. Stephen Prince, Cross County School District, Arkansas
  4. Sarah Phillips, Perry Township Schools, Indiana
  5. Latonzia Beavers, Natchitoches Parish Schools, Louisiana
  6. Jessica Carmean, Jefferson Parish Schools, Louisiana
  7. Erica Faust, Ouachita Parish Schools, Louisiana
  8. Emily McLellan, Iberville Parish Schools, Louisiana
  9. Jessica Ockman, Ascension Public Schools, Louisiana
  10. Kelsey Brown, Laurens County School District 55, South Carolina
  11. Haley Wood, Warren County Schools, Tennessee
  12. William Mock, Somerset Independent School District, Texas

For more information about the NIET Fellows Program please visit

# # #

About NIET

NIET has over 20 years of experience in developing teacher leaders, supporting successful instructional strategies, and building educator capacity to address student needs. NIET partners with schools, districts, states, and universities to ensure all students have effective educators. Through these partnerships, NIET has served more than 9,000 schools and has impacted more than 300,000 educators and 3 million students