Dallas - (August 25, 2017) – The University of North Texas at Dallas’ innovative school of education, known as the Emerging Teacher Institute (ETI), has hired Elizabeth Fritze Cheek as its new Executive Director. Fritze Cheek, formerly Vice President for Teach for America, begins her new position on October 1, 2017 and will assume responsibility for several core functions of ETI, including: Strategy, Clinical Formation, External Relations/Partnerships, Recruiting, and Student Engagement. She will also assist with fundraising, as ETI continues its growth and development into one of the best teacher preparation programs in the region, state and nation.
“Elizabeth Fritze Cheek is an innovator with a proven track record of developing meaningful and successful teacher development programs while helping build Teach for America into our country’s most visible educator training program,” said Dr. John Gasko, Dean of Education for UNT Dallas. “Elizabeth shares our belief that teaching is a noble profession and her ability to identify and execute effective strategies to grow and further develop our approach to formation will help elevate ETI and UNT Dallas to new levels. North Texas communities need more qualified teachers and we couldn’t be more excited to have Elizabeth on our leadership team as we work to create a pipeline of well-trained educators for schools in DFW and beyond.”
Fritze Cheek spent her childhood in Dallas before moving to Arizona where she eventually graduated from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University with a degree in English Literature and a minor in Justice Studies.  She began her career in education as an elementary reading para-professional in Tempe, Arizona and then worked as a middle school teacher in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.  In 2009, she returned to Dallas as a founding member of the Teach for America regional team.  During eight years at Teach For America, Fritze Cheek coached teachers, managed teams of coaches, forged partnerships with university and community partners, opened the inaugural regional pre-service training Institute and led Teach for America’s DFW teacher leadership development division.  
Fritze Cheek said she felt a calling to join the leadership team at ETI because of its dedication to preparing and equipping teachers and school leaders with uncommon learning experiences in order to become change-makers in their communities – transforming the lives of young people and their families.
“It is clear to me that the Emerging Teacher Institute at UNT Dallas is an uncommon place because of its mission, its bold programmatic commitments, its role in the university and, most importantly, because of its people,” Fritze Cheek said. “I am humbled and honored to join the students, faculty, and staff at Emerging Teacher Institute in the work of creating a place that serves and prepares students – students at the university and students attending schools in Southern Dallas County and beyond.”   
ETI equips its students with the teaching and leadership competencies they need to be effective educators and provides substantial real-world practice opportunities to ensure its graduates are ready to create uncommon achievement for their own students. In addition, ETI focuses on developing the social and emotional learning skills of its students so they have the capacity to remain resilient in the face of any adversity they encounter as a teacher, while also instilling the importance of social and emotional skills in their own students.
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