To support new teachers of color, build communities, not committees

By Jay Garvey Shah, Sarada Hanumadass Weber, Antonio Hoye, Marisa Flowers and Heather Lott
August 2022
The Dane County New Teacher Project, a consortium of 17 school districts in Wisconsin, believes that new teacher induction is everyone’s responsibility. To that end, the group pools resources from member districts to ensure support for new educators as they improve their effectiveness with students, find joy and purpose in their careers, and continue in the profession. In keeping with our decades-long partnership with the New Teacher Center, our work aims to strengthen multiple roles that support new teachers — mentors, coaches, and principals — as well as supporting the new educators themselves. Within this work, a new dimension of support has emerged over the last two years that is showing promise as a practice for supporting and retaining new teachers of color through a

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What these lead partners say

Antonio Hoye: “I have a deep appreciation for the opportunities out of my own district that have opened doors for me to experience this with others. … It has helped me continue to find my value in supporting our students.”

Jay Garvey Shah: “… [T]he level of discrimination and systemic racism and the universality of some of those things are surprising. I don’t know if I didn’t predict it or if I wasn’t thinking about it, but some of the things were unfortunate and came as a surprise.”

Sarada Hanumadass Weber: “What does it mean to be the ‘only’ in my department? The design of this program took the burden of judgment away and freed us to have these conversations.”


Gershenson, S., Hart, C.M., Hyman, J., Lindsay, C., & Papageorge, N. (2018). The long-run impacts of same-race teachers. National Bureau of Economic Research.

Modan, N. (2022, March 25). Report suggests ‘invisible tax’ levied against Black male educators.

Jay Garvey Shah (shahbaba@ is a 6th-grade teacher at Sherman Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin, and a lead partner at Partners for Racial Inclusion. 

Sarada Hanumadass Weber (shanumadass@ is an English teacher at Memorial High School in Madison, Wisconsin, and a lead partner at Partners for Racial Inclusion. 

Antonio Hoye ( is a student and family engagement specialist in Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District in Middleton, Wisconsin, and a lead partner at Partners for Racial Inclusion.

Marisa Flowers ( is a culture and climate coach at Huegel Elementary School in Madison, Wisconsin, and a lead partner at Partners for Racial Inclusion.

The Learning Professional

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