Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
Columbia, South Carolina
2016 Washington Teacher Ambassador Fellow
Political Science Teacher, Blythewood High School
Bio/Overview: Patrick Kelly is from Richland School District Two in Columbia, South Carolina, where he serves as an AP U.S. Government and Politics teacher at Blythewood High School (BHS). Patrick Kelly served as a 2015 Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellow primarily engaging in educator outreach in the Southeast and increasing digital outreach efforts through blogging and the development of the monthly #TeachersAtED Twitter chat. As a 2016 Washington Fellow, Kelly will expand on educator outreach and engagement efforts and is tasked with Fellow team coordination and alumni engagement. Kelly became interested in education while volunteering at local schools during his undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina. In 2004, he was selected as the James Madison Fellow for the state of South Carolina, which allowed him to complete advanced study in the development of the American Constitution while working on his Masters degree. Kelly began his teaching career in 2005 when he was hired to teach government and economics and coach boys cross country at Blythewood High. In 2007, he was selected as the Lead Teacher for one of the four smaller learning communities at BHS, and has served as a Reader for the College Board's Advanced Placement U.S. Government Exam since 2009.
Values/Philosophy: Kelly believes that all students deserve access to a world-class education, no matter where they live or what school they attend. He also believes that all students benefit from exposure to more rigorous and challenging course work, regardless of their academic "track." He has promoted the growth of Advanced Placement enrollment at his school, and has used technology integration and mastery learning principles to make a rigorous curriculum more accessible for students with limited or no prior experience with advanced course work. As a government teacher, Kelly is passionate about civic education and seeks to create opportunities for his students to interact with the policy making process and government officials in order to promote life-long active citizenship. Kelly is also interested in recruiting and retaining top-level talent to the teaching profession and has worked with local and state officials to find ways to realize this goal.
Achievements: As an undergraduate, Kelly graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors from the South Carolina Honors College. In 2009, he earned National Board certification. He was selected as both Blythewood High and Richland School District Two Teacher of the Year for 2013-2014, and he was selected as one of five finalists for South Carolina Teacher of the Year in 2014. He has served as a panelist or presenter at numerous conferences, including the Richland Two Induction Program, the South Carolina Teacher Forum Conference, the ASCD National Conference, and the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement Sophomore Fellows Conference. He has also spoken about federal policy with numerous pre-service teachers and teacher groups during his time as a 2015 Classroom Fellow. In 2014, he was invited to testify about teacher recruitment and retention before the South Carolina Senate Select Committee on Public School Teachers.
Leadership Experience: As a Lead Teacher at Blythewood High School, Kelly conducts bi-weekly professional development and promotes professional growth for a group of 30 teachers from multiple curriculum areas. He also serves as academic advisor and support system for a group of over 400 students from all grade levels. Kelly monitors student academic progress, develops academic interventions as needed, and advises students on course selection and post-secondary plans. He served as the Chair of the Richland Two Teacher Forum in 2014-2015, and in this role he helped revitalize the Forum's work to promote the teaching profession in the area and state. During Kelly's time as Chair, the Forum improved efforts to build relationships between teachers and policy makers, increased teacher understanding of the impact on the classroom caused by changes in education policy, and promoted the future of the teaching profession by establishing a scholarship for students pursuing a career in education. He has also served on District-level teams working on tasks such as standards implementation and teacher evaluation systems.
Affiliations: Richland School District Two, College Board, Palmetto State Teachers Association, ASCD, National Board, Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement, University of South Carolina
Education: Kelly received his Bachelor's Degree in History and Political Science from the University of South Carolina. He went on to receive a Masters in Teaching, also from the University of South Carolina. He also has certification endorsement in Advanced Placement Government and Politics.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Teacher Leadership and Effectiveness
- Student Access to Rigorous Curriculum
- Educational Equity
- Recruitment and Retention of Teachers
- Educational Technology