We are pleased to announce the second class of Lexington Education Leadership Award (LELA) fellows. This remarkable cohort includes leaders from public school districts ranging in size from 2 schools to 94, in states from Georgia to California.
The ten fellows include: Angelique Nedved (Lawrence Public Schools, KS), Eric Hibbs (Marlboro Township Public Schools, NJ), Juan Cabrera (El Paso ISD), Valya Lee (Liberty County, GA), Wanda Creel (Gainesville City School System, GA), Dennis Krueger (Howard-Suamico School District, WI), Kim Hendon (Roanoke City Schools, AL), Richard Hughes (Central Valley CSD, NY), David Pyle (Nuview School District, CA), and Kevin West (Roselle Public Schools, NJ).
The new fellows begin working together in January as part of a prestigious personalized learning fellowship sponsored by the Lexington Institute, a non-profit public policy think tank focused on education reform. Over the course of two rounds for the fellowship over 100 leaders applied for a coveted spot. The first and second cohorts each supported the learning of ten district leaders and their teams.
“I am thrilled with the calibre of these superintendents we have selected to be part of this program,” said Don Soifer, Executive Vice President of the Lexington Institute. “The commitment to being leaders for personalizing learning for all students that each of these fellows – and our 30 finalists – has shown makes me confident for the future of American education.”
This Fall the Lexington Institute invited leaders from across the country to apply for a place in the fellowship and from the initial pool of applicants selected 27 fellowship finalists to attend the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium in Orlando as the first step in creating a community around personalized learning. District leaders participated in a special learning track, went to events for personalized learning leaders, and had the chance to get to know one another. This was both a step in the application process, as well as a way to support the learning of leaders even if not selected into the fellowship. The finalists will all continue to have opportunities to learn and grow together outside of the fellowship.
“Being selected as a LELA fellow is one of my greatest accomplishments. I am excited to be one of the front runners in the area of digital learning, and I am pleased that Liberty County School System learners will be able to tailor their own learning to meet their own varied learning needs using the technology already at their disposal.” said Valya Lee, Superintendent of Liberty County Schools in Georgia. “I am very excited about the endless possibilities for my students as a result of this opportunity. I know that learning and achievement will greatly improve.”
Cohort Two leaders were selected because of their leadership qualities, their vision, and their ability to impact fundamental change in their district. Each leader has already demonstrated a commitment to personalize learning in their district, but each district is at a different stage in its personalized learning journey.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to work with another set of dynamic leaders,” said Anthony Kim, CEO and Founder of Education Elements, the company selected by the Lexington Institute to facilitate the fellowship. “As we saw with the first cohort, when district leaders collectively work together through a proven process, they are able to energize their teams and community with a clear vision for personalized learning.”
The second cohort of LELA fellows will begin work with strategy sessions in their districts in January, followed by intensive supports, a gathering in March, and a final showcase in DC in June. In addition to learning from each other and Education Elements, each district will be paired with an experienced mentor, who has launched personalized learning in their own district. Mentors for this round include: James Bailey and Jaraun Denis of Uinta School District One, Wyoming; Ken Eastwood and Amy Creeden of the Enlarged City School District of Middletown, New York; Matt Akin of Piedmont City Schools, Alabama; Dena Cushenberry and Ryan Russell of Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, Indiana, and Darwin Stiffler of Yuma School District One, Arizona.
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