Recent York College graduate Zanoria Echols ’16 was one of 63 educators selected as a 2017 Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellow. The highly competitive program recruits those with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math—the STEM fields—and prepares them to teach in high-need secondary schools.

Each Fellow receives $30,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master’s degree program based on a yearlong classroom experience. In return, Fellows commit to teach for three years in the urban and rural Georgia schools that most need strong STEM teachers. Throughout the three-year commitment, Fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring.

Zanoria EcholsZanoria Echols at York College graduation in May 2016
Originally from Mississippi, Echols was a member of the York College basketball and track teams and served as vice president of the local chapter of Alpha Chi national honor society. In 2015, Echols completed an internship with Lifeline Chaplaincy in Texas. She also counseled at a camp for children with cancer. She graduated magna cum laude with a double major in mathematics and math education in December 2016. 

Echols and the other 2017 Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows were honored at a recent event at the Georgia State Capitol building hosted by Governor Nathan Deal and President of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Arthur Levine. 

“As Georgia re-emphasizes its commitment to turning around the state’s low-performing schools, it is essential that every Georgia child has access to excellent educators, particularly in subjects like science and math,” Levine said. “With the WW Georgia Teaching Fellowship program, Georgia colleges are ensuring Georgia classrooms have a pipeline of needed teachers both committed to teaching in high-need schools and with the skills and abilities to boost student learning. Teachers like our Georgia Teaching Fellows are key to future success.”

Through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation will contribute to the University System of Georgia’s initiative to produce 20,000 new teachers by 2020. The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship is also offered in Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio. To complete her master’s degree in the fellowship program, Echols is attending Piedmont College, in Athens, Georgia. Upon completion of the program, she will apply to teach in Title I schools anywhere in Georgia.

About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation ( identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.