Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2009 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Lake Butler, FL
Bio/Overview: Ulmer is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Florida. She previously taught at the edge of the southern pine forest in the smallest public school district in Florida. For her first five years as an educator, Ulmer commenced each year with a new teaching assignment; in six years, she taught nine grade levels and six content areas. Within the one elementary school and one middle school in the district she had the privilege of teaching seventh grade language arts, second grade, elementary art, and gifted, as well as serving as a science coach and Title I elementary math specialist. Within these varied roles Ulmer bridged the divide among policy, theory, and practice on a daily basis. To this triangulation she brought the perspective of a classroom teacher, state assessment contributor, action research leader, mentor, curriculum designer, grant writer, and professional development coordinator.
Educational Values/Philosophy: As an educator, Ulmer has been particularly cognizant of how her own opportunities were enhanced by geographical circumstance. When she reflects upon her own academic endeavors, she thinks of her students, the challenges they face, and similar obstacles faced by students nationwide. She believes every child deserves an excellent education. She is committed to being at the center of national efforts aimed at providing every student with an effective teacher. She envisions multifaceted career pathways as a means of enhancing the profession.
Achievements: Ulmer earned National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist. She was appointed to her state education commissioner’s Teacher Advisory Task Force; in this capacity she contributed to the revisions of the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices. She recently received a four-year fellowship for graduate research.
Leadership Experience: As a Teaching Ambassador Fellow, Ulmer explored policies regarding teacher quality and educational equity. She sought input from teachers, provided feedback to policymakers, and presented regularly at conferences and other public events. She also participated in the 2011 and 2012 Labor-Management Collaboration Conferences. In her third year of teaching, Ulmer became an elementary science coach and led educators from neighboring districts through intensive professional development and science reform as part of Let's Talk Science. Leading this Math-Science Partnership grant provided insight on how innovation grants can catalyze positive change. Within the realm of gifted education Ulmer revitalized and redesigned her school's gifted program, tripling the student population and securing multiple sources of outside funding within the span of just over a year. Ulmer gained additional perspective on federal programs as a member of her city's Citizens' Advisory Committee for Community Development and as a state reviewer of competitive gifted program grants. She continues to serve on numerous committees for the Florida Department of Education. She has volunteered with College Summit and AmeriCorps and worked in several capacities for Teach For America and TNTP. Presently, she is involved with the Teacher Leader Model Standards Community.
Affiliations: Florida Department of Education, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Teach For America, TNTP
Education: A lifelong Gator, Ulmer earned her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from the University of Florida with a double major in English and Classical Studies and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She also completed her M.Ed. in Reading Education from UF. She currently is researching teacher effectiveness policies and anticipates earning her Ph.D. in 2015.Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Teacher effectiveness (evaluation, compensation, and preparation)
- Career ladders
- Labor-management relations
- Principal preparation
- Change leadership