Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2008 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Bio/Overview: Eric Kinne is the Manager of the Instructional Design Team at MedStar Simulation Training & Education Lab (SiTEL), where he leads a team of educators and instructional designers responsible for designing and developing learning experiences for the 36,000-employee MedStar Health system. Prior to joining MedStar Health, Kinne spent 8 years teaching 9th grade English and serving as the Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) Program Coordinator at Fairfax High School (FHS) in Fairfax, Virginia. In his role as the AVID Coordinator, Kinne led 119 seniors over 7 graduating classes to a 98% college acceptance rate. During his year as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow in 2008, Kinne worked with policymakers in the Smaller Learning Communities grant program to examine freshmen transition programs. The fellowship also allowed him to work closely with the Department of Education to highlight the AVID program; Kinne delivered presentations to Department leaders and organized a visit to FHS by former Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings and the AVID Executive Director, Jim Nelson. Kinne began his teaching career through Teach For America (TFA). He taught high school English in Roma, Texas, a small, rural town located on the border of Mexico in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). Although Kinne is no longer in the classroom directly teaching students, he is still passionate about expanding teacher leadership opportunities, improving professional development, and increasing college and career readiness for low-income and minority students.
Educational Values/Philosophy: Kinne believes that the public school system has a responsibility to prepare all children in this nation for college, whether they choose that path or not. His life experiences—including growing up in rural Maine, later moving to and attending high school in a large suburban school district in Northern Virginia, and teaching in a low-income, rural community in South Texas—have all shaped his belief that there exist huge disparities in the educational experience of American children. He believes that all students have the potential to excel in advanced classes if given the right in-school support. He also believes that all students have the potential to get into and eventually graduate from a four-year college or university. His daily work as a teacher was driven by his former students, those incredible individuals who achieved so much in life through hard work and a gentle push from a teacher who cared.
Achievements: Kinne was selected as the 2008-2009 FHS Teacher of the Year and nominated for the same honor in 2011 and 2013.
Leadership Experience: As the coordinator of the AVID program, Kinne led multiple interdisciplinary groups of teachers all dedicated to improving the life prospects of their students. He also served as the English 9 Honors Collaborative Learning Team Leader and was the Head Coach of the Varsity Boys Tennis Team. He was a member of the Fairfax County Public Schools AVID leadership team, and he has spent four summers in various roles training new Teach For America corps members in both Houston and Los Angeles.
Affiliations: Teach For America, AVID, Smaller Learning Communities grant program
Education: Kinne completed his undergraduate education at James Madison University and went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Language and Literacy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Low income and minority student support
- College readiness
- College access for low-income and undocumented students
- Teacher leadership
- Teacher professional development