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Sarah Martin

Senior Advisor for Recovery, Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), 2015 EP Fellow

What led you to apply to EP?
I applied to EP’s Summer Fellowship while in business school. I had previously worked in social sector consulting and nonprofit management and knew that I wanted to shift my focus more fully to public education. The EP Fellowship was an excellent way to begin making that transition. 

What projects or initiatives did you undertake as a Fellow?
I worked with the Charter School Growth Fund on a project to evaluate the special education funding formula used at the time in Tennessee’s Achievement School District and made recommendations for how to make the formula more equitable and better serve students.

How did EP shape your leadership growth and/or professional trajectory?
I so appreciated the structured programming and the community that the EP Fellowship offered, alongside the work-based learning experience. The Summer Fellowship reinforced my desire to focus my career on helping build a more equitable and excellent public education system. It helped me confirm that I was in the right place. 

What were some key learnings or takeaways from your Fellowship experience?
This work is a marathon, not a sprint. Incentives matter. Students with disabilities can achieve far more than the lowered expectations so often put before them, and we must change that.

Where have you seen the power of the EP network at play in the broader movement towards educational justice?
Since my own Fellowship days, I’ve had the opportunity to bring on board many EP Fellows and Alumni to OSSE, Washington D.C.’s state education agency, where I work today. They have collectively made an impressive impact on our organization and the students we serve— spearheading our high-impact tutoring initiative to help close the opportunity gap, helping manage our federal stimulus funds, and providing health and safety guidance to schools during the pandemic, to name a few projects. I am forever grateful for this wonderful community!

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