The point in a person’s life when everything changes can arrive like a typhoon or a gentle breeze. Sometimes only in hindsight can a person isolate the exact moment when his or her path headed off in an entirely new direction. For Dr. Chadd McGlone, the moment arrived during an altogether mundane conversation with his 17-year-old daughter Charlotte about her imminent college search. As they discussed her dreams of travel abroad, Chadd remembered an invitation extended to him by his math education colleague, Dr. Jim Barta.
Off to Guatemala
As a result, Chadd and Charlotte spent the last two weeks of June 2013 working at an elementary school in a remote mountain village in Guatemala. The teachers and students at the school had been so welcoming and gracious, so excited about learning, that Chadd began to dream about how he could continue this work in other deserving schools. Through a series of remarkable coincidences, he met educators, non-profit personnel, and financial advisors who guided him to form Teachers2Teachers–International later that summer.
Right Time, Right People
Since 2013, T2T-I has grown beyond Chadd’s initial dreams. The organization’s passion for supporting teachers in developing countries, combined with its emphasis on cultural sensitivity and global awareness, have inspired many others to join in. For example, Chris Sherman made a leap of faith to leave his job to serve as T2T-I’s Chief Financial Officer. Brenda Pomeroy, a retired technology executive, literally walked through the office door and into donating countless hours of her time. T2T-I’s team was rounded out by volunteers who recruited trip participants, coordinated events, and provided other valuable services.
Chadd led a successful trip back to Guatemala in June 2014 with a team of fifteen educators, all of whom described their experience as overwhelmingly positive, even transformative. By this time, T2T-I had hired its first full-time employee who managed operations. By the end of that year, even though Chadd continued to connect with teachers in other countries, the need became clear for opening a local office in Guatemala City. Once again, talented people came forward, two of whom, Hans del Cid and Lucía Dávila, were interpreters on T2T-I teacher trips.
Away We Go!
Chadd left his job teaching middle school to become T2T-I’s full-time Executive Director in September 2014. While he missed spending time each day in the classroom, he appreciated the scheduling flexibility that allowed him to focus on building T2T-I into a more responsive, effective organization. In 2015, five teams of teachers traveled to schools in four countries to provide culturally relevant professional development. In 2016, new trips were added to Guatemala and Galápagos. The mission of T2T-I continues to fill needs across the developing world.