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Chicago Education Trailblazers Honored for Transforming Schools, Achieving Positive Impact with Their Adoption of Student-Centered Learning

Chicago Education Trailblazers Honored for Transforming Schools, Achieving Positive Impact with Their Adoption of Student-Centered Learning

LEAP Innovations has announced the recipients of the Innovator in Education Awards, an impressive array of trailblazing teachers, inspirational school teams, and innovative leaders who are leading meaningful change in Chicago’s education. Recipients will be honored on August 27 at the LEAP InnovatED Summit, the annual innovation conference that brings together Chicago educators to energize them for the new school year, with a focus on student-centered learning. 

The award recipients have transformed their schools and classrooms through a student-centered approach to education, also known as personalized learning. Personalizing education creates rigorous learning experiences that are tailored to each student’s individual needs, strengths and interests. This approach helps every student develop leadership skills, critical thinking, and personal agency to guide his/her learning and mastery of concepts. Chicago is the largest urban demonstration site of personalized learning in the United States, with more than 140 Chicago schools having worked with LEAP to implement the practice. 

“As part of LEAP’s mission to work with educators to transform education into a uniquely personal experience that prepares and inspires all learners to reach their unlimited potential, it’s an honor to recognize these exemplary educators who are inspiring positive change and impact for their students,” said Phyllis Lockett, LEAP Innovations Founder and CEO. “We applaud these trailblazing and passionate educators who have personalized the education experience to foster student agency, leadership and strong desire to learn that is critical for them to thrive in the future economy.”

Each of the award recipients excelled against specific criteria. They demonstrated high levels of team commitment, collaboration dynamics and implementation fidelity. Importantly, they also showed strong performance against NWEA attainment and growth, as well SQRP and 5Es.

2019 LEAP Leader Award Recipient: A catalyst for change, with the vision and leadership to inspire teams and transform their school environment to PL. The award is presented in partnership with The Chicago Public Education Fund.

Miyoshi Knox, Principal, Stagg School of Excellence (Englewood)
Ms. Knox, principal of Stagg for the last eight years, is a visionary who takes risks in order to optimize the learning environment for her students and staff. She has championed her team’s transformation to a student-centered approach to education. In concert with her school team, she has redesigned the experience for students to encourage more critical thinking, agency, and academic leadership, with a focus on developing social-emotional learning and human skills, such as collaboration and persuasion. 

The work of Ms Knox and her team has yielded strong results with gains both in growth and attainment. Since implementing personalized learning, Stagg has progressed from a level 2+ school to a level 1 school. 

2019 LEAP Educator Award Recipient: An early adopter of PL, who thinks not only about how we might do education differently but puts it to work.

Jennifer Fedrick, George Washington Elementary School (East Side)
Ms. Fedrick a 5th-grade teacher at Washington Elementary for 10 years, has been an instrumental member of the school’s effort to pilot the transformation to a personalized learning approach. She has created personalized pathways for her students that have given them the autonomy to design their learning experiences based on data. Her students lead their learning through self-reflection, collaboration and conferencing -- and they track their progress daily. Her drive and passion to create a student-centered classroom have resulted in great success for her students. 

2019 LEAP School Team Award Recipient: Exhibits creativity, commitment and persistence in building and implementing a vision for PL in their school environment.

Ashburn Community Elementary School  (Southwest Side)
Ashburn Community Elementary School is in its second year of whole school transformation to personalized learning through the LEAP/CPS partner program, Elevate. This program is an integral part of Chicago Public Schools’ growing initiative to personalize learning. This year, the school team has made social-emotional learning a critical priority for its students, zeroing in on the development of self-navigation and agency in its students, particularly in fifth and sixth grades. Its work has resulted in impressive academic growth for its fifth and sixth graders. The entire school team rallied with purpose and collaborated tightly to ensure this transformation, with a deep commitment to insight-fueled progression as they worked through innovation cycles.

The LEAP InnovatED Summit, held at Chicago’s UIC Student Center East at 750 S. Halsted St., draws esteemed education experts from throughout the country to share the latest education innovations and energize educators for the school year ahead. The Summit experience is designed to immerse audiences into insights and strategies about key social forces that must undergird the future of education - such as digital transformation, opportunities and challenges in the future of work, issues of equity and understanding the impact of trauma.

LEAP is grateful for the support of our 2019 InnovatED sponsors: Google for Education , Be Internet Awesome, 3 Oaks Resource Group International, The Chicago Public Education Fund, Success Bound, zSpace and ITW

About LEAP
LEAP Innovations is a national 501c3 organization headquartered in Chicago that connects innovation and education to transform how students learn. LEAP works directly with educators and innovators to discover, pilot and scale innovative personalized learning practices and technologies. In less than five years, LEAP has worked directly with more than 140 schools across Chicago to implement personalized learning. LEAP’s work is anchored by the LEAP Learning Framework, a suite of resources that educators across the country are using to define, design, and implement personalized learning models. Visit for more information.  

Keywords: Education, Education in Englewood

Posted in Education

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