Inspiring Educators







November 2015
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It's Friday and time to celebrate individual success in education.  Joining us to share his #FlyHighFri moment of the week is the Principal of Harbor View Elementary in Corona Del Mar, Dr. Todd Schmidt.  Dr. Schmidt is a born educator and always knew his passion was to teach and credits great role models in his teachers for paving the way to teaching.  Determined to share his vision, Dr. Schmidt, became an administrator to better guide and work alongside his teachers.  A true teachers' Principal, Todd joins Inspiring Educators to share his celebration in education for this week.

Direct download: IE69_Todd_Schmidt.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 2:38am EDT

When you have lived abroad, you can never return home as the same person.  All your preconceived notion of your home and the world is broadened and enhanced with real life experience.  The ability to bring such valued lessons in life into the classroom is unique among the very passionate teachers who lead by example.  

Our inspiring educator, Allison Kerley, has lived in Belgium and seven states before settling, for the time being, as an elementary teacher in Atlanta.  Miss Kerley represents the vanguard of a new generation of educators who are tech savvy, progressive, and worldly.  Miss Kerley's class is a model setting for integrated flip and blended learning into the curriculum.  Her flipped class has led to better facilitating individualized lessons for her students, improved assessment, and increased engagement.  

Miss Kerley is a member of the Fulton County Vanguard team, training and coaching staff at schools in technology integration and work with the district on personalizing learning.  Miss Kerley is also the 2016 Teacher of the Year for Shakerag Elementary School.  

Allison graduated from Clemson University and has been a member of the school marching band playing the flute and the piccolo.  She remains loyal and is a huge Clemson Football fan.  

Direct download: IE68_Allison_Kerley.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 1:31am EDT

It’s Friday and time to celebrate our success in education with #FlyHighFri!  Joining us to share his moment of victory for this week is Paul Erickson from Hutchinson, KS.  Paul has been selected as the 2014 Kansas Elementary School Principal of the Year and after six years as principal of Inman Elementary School, Paul has already left a legacy of leadership that is benefiting not just his students and school but the entire community. Using the DuFour Professional Learning Community model as a school improvement framework, Mr. Erickson was able to greatly increase collaboration among staff and create a tiered system of intervention and enrichment that has resulted in unprecedented levels of student achievement on benchmark tests. Paul also worked collaboratively with teachers and district administrators to implement a technology initiative that has transformed the prekindergarten through sixth grade school into a model technology school. With iPads, SMART boards, Apple televisions, document cameras, and one-to-one environments in third through sixth grades, Inman earned the title of Apple Distinguished School in 2012. It now conducts an iPad Summer Summit which 400 educators statewide attend to learn best practices from the Inman staff. As a result, student engagement has “exploded,” the staff has had opportunities to shine among peers, and new and talented staff have been attracted to the school. Mr. Erickson also worked cooperatively with a town committee to pass a bond financing the addition of two new kindergarten classrooms, a four-year-old preschool, and a three-year-old preschool. Paul calls the new construction, “a 10,000-square-foot demonstration of the strong commitment our teachers, parents, and patrons have toward our students’ education.” Paul’s credentials include a B.S. from Fort Hays State University, an M.A. from Emporia State University, and a District Level Leadership from Wichita State University.

Direct download: IE67_Paul_Erickson.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 4:04pm EDT

Tracy Lafreniere teaches reading and writing as a Reading Specialist at North Smithfield Elementary School. At the time she was recognized as Rhode Island Teacher of the Year, she had been teaching for 17 years. Although she has always loved to read and to teach reading, she credits her training as a Reading Recovery teacher as her most significant inspiration because it changed her view about what was possible for struggling readers. She believes that children need to develop a love for reading early and that teaching children to read is the greatest gift we can give them. In addition to teaching and being highly active in her school community, Tracy has collaborated on many state and local projects including the Common Core Ambassador Team and the Rhode Island Writing Project. She is also an adjunct professor for the Providence College Graduate Literacy Program. She holds a degree in Elementary Education from Rhode Island College and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University.  

Direct download: IE66_Tracy_Lafreniere.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:01am EDT

It’s Friday and time to celebrate our success in education with #FlyHighFri!  Joining us to share his moment of victory this week is Dr. Chris Longo from New Milford, Connecticut.  Dr. Longo started his educational career as a biology teacher at a middle school, and his passion to lead dedicated teachers and students has led to his current role as an assistant principal at Schaghticoke Middle School. Dr. Longo participates frequently on twitter with other inspiring educators and you can find and follow Chris on twitter by his handle @DrChrisLongo.

Direct download: IE65_Chris_Longo.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 12:15pm EDT

Transforming a failing school should be ranked up there as one of the most difficult tasks a person can undertake. Reenergizing, motivating, and instilling confidence in the teaching and support staff for the marathon school year is no easy task, and we haven't even begun to mention about disruptive students and non-participation from parents.  The depth of the problem becomes so deeply engrained in the school culture and problems so varied, hope is often blurred and buried in the daily struggle to maintain any sense and normalcy.  

There are no easy solutions to such deeply rooted problems.  The daunting task requires cooperation with all stakeholders: the staff, students, parents, and the surrounding community.  To orchestrate the minute details of school improvements while having a clear big picture, the job takes a special leader to provide the level of trust during the lengthy process.  Turing around failed schools and changing the school climate is our guest's specialty.  

Mr. Todd Irving has spent almost 17 years working in demanding urban schools.  While successfully guiding his current school in Orange County back to shape, Todd has never forgotten the core value of people centered leadership.  In this episode of Inspiring Educators, Mr. Irving shares his philosophy in education, the value of every child in his school and their parents, and his unbreakable support for dedicated staff and teachers.  

Direct download: IE64_Todd_Irving.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 6:12pm EDT