What is Developing Future Leaders?

The focus of Developing Future Leaders is to change the face of public education in Madison to build a workforce that more accurately reflects our student body and to strengthen teacher training, recruitment, selection, and retention.

Interested in supporting one of the Developing Future Leaders programs?


Why Do We Need This?

Across the country, students of color have become a majority in many public schools. Yet nationally, more than 80 percent of teachers are white. Here in Madison, at the UW’s School of Education, more than 73 percent of students enrolled are white. We see this reflected in Madison’s public schools, where teachers of color represent just over 11 percent of our teaching staff, compared to 52 percent of our students.

How Will We Achieve This?

Two MMSD programs share the vision of building a more diverse workforce here. One program, Tomorrow’s Educators for Equity in Madison (T.E.E.M. Scholars), focuses on current MMSD students while another program, Grow Our Own, targets current MMSD staff members.

Through T.E.E.M. Scholars, the district is recruiting and working to retain a diverse pool of high-achieving Madison high school students as future teachers in our schools. The T.E.E.M. Scholars program is a key piece of the Forward Madison partnership between the district and the UW-Madison School of Education aimed at ensuring that our district has the very best educators who are supported to the fullest to improve students for all.

MMSD’s Grow Our Own staff to teachers program empowers district non-certified staff to enroll in an accelerated teacher certification program with tuition paid by MMSD. The program is part of a greater strategy to transform our culture into one of excellence and equity by building a talented workforce that better represents the diversity of our student population. Anyone who works for MMSD in a position other than teacher, substitute teacher, administrator or other certified position is welcome to apply.


The first cohort of 10 T.E.E.M. Scholars are completing their senior year of high school in 2018. Another 16 T.E.E.M. Scholars are in their sophomore or junior years. The first five participants in the Grow Our Own program were selected in 2012 and are currently completing certifications in bilingual elementary education, bilingual technical education, and guidance. In 2014, the second group of eight participants began working toward their accelerated elementary education licenses for grades 1-8 at the UW-Madison.

Seven people completed the Grow Our Own program in 2016 and now hold teaching certifications. Another ten are currently participating in the program, working toward their education certifications and licensing at the UW-Madison.

Interested in supporting one of the Developing Future Leaders programs?