Apply Now
Apply Now: January 9th Early App Deadline

The most important job in the world - and the best.

Why residency?

At Project Inspire, you can transform challenges into opportunities.

We believe that every student deserves a mind-blowing math or science teacher, regardless of their zip code. We also believe that all students are innately curious and have incredible capacity to learn, grow, and overcome challenges but they need adults who believe in them.

Project Inspire works towards educational equity by providing new math and science teachers for Hamilton County's high-need schools. In addition, this innovative approach elevates the profession by pairing a highly selective admission process with a demanding apprenticeship.

In the school.Tools in hand.Learning from experts.Collaborating.

What if on your first day of your teaching career, you stepped into the classroom with one year of hands-on experience?

At Project Inspire, we help you connect theory and practice by providing an intensive year-long apprenticeship with a rock-star veteran teacher in an urban classroom. Based on the model developed to train physicians, the key to this model’s success is in its collaboration among apprentice teachers as they watch the experts. This work is social: residents learn in community at specific school sites and come together weekly to share their learning. Residency generates a spirit of inquiry as we work through tough questions, all with the goal of producing effective, culturally competent teachers who are ready to enter to enter their own classrooms and inspire the next generation of STEM thinkers and citizens.

Why you?

Become the teacher that kids want and need.

You bring the belief that all students can rise... they just need someone to inspire them. You are persistent, ready to build relationships with students, and passionate about math or science.


  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0

  • Bachelor’s degree in a STEM-related
    major from an accredited university

  • Commitment to teach 4 years in a
    Hamilton County high-need school

  • US Citizenship or permanent residency

How it works


Download the expanded details

The Benefits

  • Earn a Master's in Curriculum & Instruction plus a teaching license in 15 months.

  • A highly competitive living stipend during the residency year; for four years, earn $10,000 teaching stipend on top of salary while fulfilling program commitment.

  • Receive four years of coaching support and professional development.

Why Chattanooga?

Join a movement in the heart of the new south.

Choose to invest in a city where the "can-do" attitude of its citizens helped remake Chattanooga from an industrial hub to the best mid-sized city in America. Rivers and mountains make it the perfect outdoor playground while gigabit internet speeds brought the tech infrastructure and innovation to support both big business and startups alike. Urban education is Chattanooga's next challenge and full of opportunity; will you join us?

Who inspires us?

Community Ambassadors

  • Lindsey Frost

    Mozilla gigabit Community Fund


    “Our city is starting to value educators as entrepreneurs, technologists, and innovators - if you want your voice to be heard and your great ideas to get a chance to flourish, there's no better place to teach. I've seen our education community begin to work together in incredible ways. We don't work in isolated silos - we collaborate wholeheartedly to support leaders, empower teachers, and encourage students.”

  • Matthew Craig

    Normal Park Museum Magnet School


    “ Chattanooga is re-awakening to its potential for being a power for positive social change. Everywhere, people are working together in ways to extend a culture of innovation. We have leveraged the concept of "the Gig" as a means to get people thinking about, if given a seemingly unlimited resource, how would they change the way they work and play with others? Together, we believe that, by connecting Chattanooga's natural beauty, public utilities and institutions, and concerned citizens all working together, we can provide opportunities for everyone in a more secure, better trained, highly cultured, world-class community.”

  • Keri Randolph

    Director of Innovation, Hamilton County Department of Education


    "Connecting Chattanooga’s thriving entrepreneurial community to education is expanding opportunities for our teachers and students. Entrepreneurs turn challenges into opportunities, and we are creating the support and space for educators to do the same for our kids.


Susie Everly


“Summer 2014 I worked at Gwynn Valley Camp, near Brevard, North Carolina, as a backpacking instructor and camp counselor. One a hike, I talked with one of the campers about the school he attended in Seattle, WA. It was not until that moment that I started to look into pursuing teaching. Before that, I had thought it was too late to get into teaching because I had almost obtained my degree in a different field. Urban education sparked my interested because I believe every child is entitled to a great education. I have always been very passionate about science. I want to be able to share that passion with children and to teach them to have an appreciation for the environment.” Susie joins Project Inspire as a 2014 graduate from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in environmental science and a minor in climate change.


Chris Morris


“I originally got the idea for the Math Morrissey Awards while putting together a lesson plan in my living room. I saw an advertisement for the ESPY’s and had an epiphany. Everyone no matter how old likes award ceremony events. I knew I wanted to keep the awards focused primarily on character and character development. This helps even the playing field since not every student is able to meet desired academic standards but every student can make a decision to work on his or her character. The kids immediately stood with applause when I unveiled the concept to them and the rest is history. The classroom environment pulled a 180 turn toward the better and students truly developed positive character traits which changed the way they treated each other. The biggest thing that changed was me because it made me excited to go to my job. The TeacherPreneur Incubator came along at the perfect time as I was beginning to realize that I was on to something with these awards and teaching model. They encouraged me and connected me with the right people to take the concept way further than I ever could have by myself.” Chris Morris graduated from Lee University with a B.S. in sociology and is starting his fifth year teaching at East Ridge High School. This past year, the Morrissey Awards went school-wide as several students were awarded a “Ridgey Award” and had their pictures displayed on a local billboard.

Who we are

  • Mark Neal

    Project Inspire Director

    Mark was a science major who believed in his ability to make a difference in kids’ lives. Like many of our residents, he entered teaching from an “alternative” path and taught math and science before joining the program as an instructional coach and now, director. He believes in teacher residency because it puts the best interests of students at the center of teacher preparation. Mark lives on Signal Mountain with his wife and two daughters.

  • Edna Varner

    Project Inspire Coach

    Edna Varner has been a Hamilton County teacher and principal, a leadership developer of principals and teachers on the national level, and a public education advocate internationally. Her current work with Project Inspire is in service of ensuring that every child has effective teachers. Edna is also a passionate and dedicated community volunteer.

  • Jill Reese

    HCDE Teacher Residency Site Coordinator

    Jill has been a math educator for many years and has been blessed to have tremendous mentors who offered her opportunities to grow as a teacher both in content and instructional practices. Project Inspire allows her to pay this forward by helping others become the best math teachers they can be. Jill, a graduate of Hixson High School, married her high school sweetheart, a graduate of Red Bank. They have lived the last 37 years as active Red Bank community members.

  • Erin Harrell

    Assistant Director

    Erin has a background in the sciences and higher education, and is passionate about developing strong communities. This work ties together her love for education, social justice, and the city of Chattanooga. She and her husband Graham enjoy Chattanooga for the local food and the Tennessee river, which is her favorite spot for runs.

Our Partners

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1439895.