Washington State Educators Named Success at the Core Fellows
Recipients to Foster Effective Use of Professional Development Community
SEATTLE, May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Success at the Core, a community of educators focused on improving student achievement through professional development for teachers and leadership teams, has selected ten Washington state educators as its Success at the Core Fellows. These Fellows will guide other educators in deepening adoption of best practices in school leadership and student instruction through use of the Success at the Core resources.
The Fellows are:
- Beth Ashley, Education Consultant, Mt. Vernon
- Ailene Baxter, Junior High Principal, Puyallup School District
- Andrea Brixey, High School Teacher, Cascade School District
- Heather Byington, Elementary Teacher, Shelton School District
- Obadiah Dunham, Junior High Principal, Northshore School District
- Corrie Freiwaldt, Instructional Coach, Renton School District
- Merrilou Harrison, Education Consultant, Yakima
- Deb Gribskov, Instructional Coach, Kelso School District
- Tyler Rice, High School Teacher, Mt. Adams School District
- Jean Sheckler, Instructional Coach, Tacoma Public Schools
Applications for the Fellows Program were open to educators in Washington state, who were evaluated on several criteria, including: commitment to learning and classroom improvement; experience with using Success at the Core to deepen instructional focus and develop school leadership; and understanding of social media tools to communicate and build communities. The Success at the Core Fellows Program runs through December 2013.
Success at the Core launched a set of free, field-tested professional development modules in 2010 designed to help leadership teams and teachers elevate classroom instruction and improve student outcomes. Success at the Core began when Paul G. Allen, philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, asked his production company, Vulcan Productions, how media could be used to make a difference in education. To answer Allen's question, Vulcan Productions collaborated with the Education Development Center, a non-profit with a track record in fostering school improvement through innovative materials and professional development, to develop Success at the Core. Currently, the Success at the Core community includes more than 8,700 educators, over 3,200 of which are from Washington state.
Entirely web-based, the toolkit includes downloadable materials and multi-media presentations, as well as 47 documentary-quality videos filmed in Washington state middle schools. The toolkit captures how highly effective leadership teams operate and what outstanding instruction looks like. Already, four independent studies have pointed to the valuable contributions made to instructional quality by Success at the Core's well-researched and award-winning content.
Success at the Core Fellows represent educators who have used and adapted these resources. Fellows will build awareness and use of Success at the Core more broadly across Washington state and in and beyond the Pacific Northwest. Each Fellow – who will be compensated as part of the program – will engage online communities, work with Pacific Northwest and national education partners, and aid in research efforts aimed at measuring the program's impact on instruction and leadership.
"We were impressed by the diversity of ways that applicants utilized Success at the Core resources to advance their school improvement agendas," said Bonnie Benjamin-Phariss, director of Vulcan Productions. "The Fellows we selected demonstrate unique qualifications and skills that allow them to address the role of professional development in shaping student achievement."
The ten Fellows will be honored at an event in late June.
For additional information on Success at the Core, visit http://www.successatthecore.com, and join the Success at the Core community on Facebook and Twitter.
About Success at the Core
Success at the Core is an independently evaluated, web-based professional development toolkit for school leadership teams and teachers that captures how highly effective leadership teams operate and what outstanding instruction looks like. Success at the Core features seven modules for leadership teams and 24 practical strategies for classroom teachers, materials that help teachers and leadership teams work together to drive school-wide instructional improvement. Success at the Core is a collaboration between Education Development Center, a global nonprofit organization that addresses some of the world's most urgent challenges in education, health and economic development, and Vulcan Productions, Paul G. Allen's award-winning film company. Visit www.successatthecore.com to learn more.
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