“Oh, my goodness. Are you for real?”
Those were just three of the reactions of Sarasota County Schools educators who were notified in late October that they had been selected as 2024 TIME Fellows by Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. The TIME Fellowship provides teachers and school-based administrators with funding and support to pursue a unique, self-designed personal project intended to reignite their passion for education. In all, Barancik Foundation awarded 25 TIME Fellowships for 2024.
“All of these wonderful educators are committed to lifelong learning, professional development, and, most importantly, student enrichment,” said Teri A Hansen, president and CEO of Barancik Foundation. “We want to give them the time and space to renew that love of teaching, because it will only mean better things for their students.”
Through its TIME Fellowship program, Barancik Foundation invites teachers, principals, and assistant principals in the Sarasota County School District to submit proposals for a project or experience that will revitalize their commitment to the teaching profession. Winning proposals are meant to be intellectually stimulating and personally rejuvenating while expanding the educator’s experience. Among the projects selected for 2024 fellowships are a science teacher’s ecological adventure to the Galapagos Islands with the goal of inspiring future scientists and conservationists, and an elementary school teacher’s journey in the paths of past pioneers to bring back new insights on U.S. history and geography for her students.
The impact of good teachers
The TIME Fellowship is part of Barancik Foundation’s initiative to recruit, retain, and recognize good teachers in Sarasota County. “Outside of family, teachers have the greatest influence on a child’s academic performance and future success,” said Hansen. “That’s why we want to help our school district retain and refresh the dedicated professionals serving in this vital role.” All TIME Fellowship applicants are asked to commit to teaching in the Sarasota County School District for at least three more years after they complete their fellowship.
TIME Fellows receive up to $12,000 to complete their project. Other proposals selected for 2024 fellowships include a theater teacher’s dream to experience world-class stage performances in the live-theater capitals of New York and London, a once-in-a-lifetime journey to South Africa to learn about the country’s pre- and post-Apartheid history, and an Alaskan adventure to bring back firsthand experiences for an annual, multi-subject teaching unit built around the famed Iditarod dogsled race. The fellows, who were selected through an open application process, teach a diverse range of subjects across elementary, middle, and high schools from Sarasota to North Port.
Launched in 2022, the TIME Fellowship honors Barancik Foundation cofounder Margie Barancik’s chosen profession of teacher. TIME stands for “Time to Inspire Margie’s Educators.” The Foundation previously awarded 25 TIME Fellowships each for 2022 and 2023.
A full list of 2024 TIME Fellows and summaries of their fellowship projects can be found at BarancikFoundation.org.