This year, we had the opportunity to meet some exceptional educators who shared their schools’ and districts’ stories right here on the EDU blog. From rethinking professional development, to hosting STEM events for students, and even creating a culture of literacy across a school district and community—these educators certainly had a busy year.
You can follow these EDU contributors on Twitter and be sure to read their blog posts to see how they are transforming student learning and supporting fellow educators. Happy reading everyone and thank you to Tamiko, Adam, Myra, Jill, Matthew, Barbara, Kenneth, Art, Evan, and Alisha for sharing your triumphs, challenges, and lessons learned.
Stay tuned for more great posts from educators across the country in 2019!
Tamiko Brown is a school librarian at Ed White E-STEM Magnet School in El Lago, TX, and she was named 2017 School Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal and Scholastic. In February, she wrote about her advice for creating a mobile classroom makerspace library program. “The more time and experience students have with a resource the more likely they will use it to create and innovate.” Read the full post.
Adam is the District Director of Secondary Teaching, Learning and Support at Quabbin Regional School District in Massachusetts. Earlier this year, he shared an experience from his former role at Southbridge Public Schools highlighting the importance of student voice. “Reading about others’ experiences or sharing our own helps us to demystify the world around us and binds us through community.” Read the full post.
Myra S. Cox, Ed.D, serves as Superintendent of Elkin City Schools in Elkin, North Carolina. Captain Barrington Irving—the youngest person and first black pilot to fly solo around the world and Scholastic STEM Ambassador—flew to North Carolina to host a special STEM event for students and faculty. In her blog post recapping the event, Dr. Cox states, “We were able to provide Elkin City students with a multi-layered experience that would ultimately make a profound connection between what they were learning and their own futures.” Read the full post.
Jill Culmo currently works as the Coordinator of Instructional Strategy, Early Learning Department at Dallas Independent School District in Texas. Her district recently began to think differently about how they approach PD for teachers and used Jan Richardson’s The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading as the center of this work. “Teachers were engaged in work that directly connected to their classrooms,” she explains. Read the full post.
Dr. DeBaene is Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning of the Moline-Coal Valley School District, located in Illinois. In October, he shared what happened when his district made literacy a top priority for the school year. “Through this journey, we learned the power of partnership within our community when we engage in a purposeful and powerful endeavor.” Read the full post.
Barbara A. Haeffner is the Director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology in Meriden Public Schools in Connecticut. With her colleague Mark Benigni, Ed.D., she shared how Meriden students avoided the dreaded “summer slide.” In their blog post, Barbara and Mark note, “Seeing the students' excitement when they received their own backpack full of books was proof that our summer program had clearly met its goal of supporting and encouraging reading.” Read the full post.
Dr. Kunz works for the Middlesex Public Schools as a K–12 Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction and serves as President of the NJ Literacy Association. His district focused on students’ literacy development during the summer by implementing LitCamp for ESL students. He notes, “our team found that the average student enjoyed anywhere from 14–20 books over the course of four weeks and students’ attitudes towards reading showed positive growth.” Read the full post.
Art McCoy, Ph.D., is Superintendent of Jennings School District in Missouri, a nationally recognized education consultant, and an author. In a blog post this year, he shared his lessons learned on literacy and leadership, explaining, “We must focus on more than data—a unit of measurement such as student performance and programs. Our unit of measurement must demonstrate more than the capacity of some substance, like a liter.” Read the full post.
In addition to being an author and speaker, Evan is Principal of Johnson Williams Middle School in Clarke County, VA. This year, he shared about blog post diving into the benefits of faculty book studies and another post exploring how school principals can foster an environment of independent reading. He wrote, “My challenge and the challenge facing all principals is to make sure students experience independent reading of self-selected books at school and home!”
Alisha Wilson runs the Innovation Center at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Florida, and she was named Maker Hero by School Library Journal and Scholastic in 2017. She shared how she changed the culture of her school library and provides tips for other librarians, adding, “The changes we made increased our student visits from 9,000 to almost 24,000 in the first year.” Read the full post.