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Lexington Institute Announces the 3rd Cohort of LELA Personalized Learning Fellows
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Lexington Institute Announces the 3rd Cohort of LELA Personalized Learning Fellows

District Partners in the News  |  Press Release

The Lexington Institute has awarded the Lexington Education Leadership Award (LELA) fellowship to 10 outstanding district leaders from across the country. Each is a pioneer in the space, ready to do even more to support students and teachers in personalized learning.

The Lexington Institute, a not-for-profit public policy think tank focused on education reform, today announced the names of the 10 members who will join the third cohort of personalized learning fellows. Based on the success of the leaders in the first and second cohorts. Lexington opened applications for a third cohort of 10 in February. These 10 leaders were selected from a highly competitive field of applicants.

The LELA fellowship is an exciting and highly selective 6-month program designed to expose district leaders to personalized learning and facilitate the first steps to implementation. The first and second cohorts of 10 fellows each represented leaders from districts across the country including UT, IA, NE, NJ, CA among others. (For a reflection from a current LELA fellow, see here). The members of the third cohort will both join this distinguished group of district leaders and benefit from the experience of those in the first two cohorts. The 10 fellowship winners are: Donald R Bavis (Marion Central School District, NY), Scott Todd Feder (Millstone Township School District, NJ), Jill Gildea (Fremont School District 79, IL), Alicia Henderson (Bellevue Union School District, CA), Dr. Brian Lane (Mehlville School District, MO), Dan Lawson (Tullahoma City Schools, TN), Irene Parisi (Greenwich Public Schools, CT), Tara Paul (Estherville Lincoln Central CSD, IA), Quiauna Scott, Ed.D (New Haven Unified School District, CT) and Chris Summers (West Oso ISD, TX).

“The LELA fellows in the first two cohorts have gone on to make substantial strides in personalized learning. We are so excited to welcome these 10 distinguished leaders into the third cohort.” said Don Soifer, Executive Director of the Lexington Institute. “Every application we received was impressive and this group of fellows even more so. It is wonderful to see the commitment to supporting student learning expressed by every leader. We’re excited to see how these leaders develop with the intensive support provided by the fellowship.”

“The LELA fellowship gave me and my district a unique opportunity to develop a strong personalized learning vision for District 197. Exchanging ideas and learning with other superintendents and fellowship mentors made the experience especially valuable. These are all people with whom I will continue to share ideas and from whom I will continue to learn.” said Nancy Allen-Mastro, Superintendent of ISD 197 in Minnesota and a member of the first cohort of LELA fellows.

Irene Parisi, a member of the third cohort and Assistant Superintendent of the Greenwich school district in Connecticut noted, "I decided to pursue the LELA fellowship as I felt it was a great networking opportunity for Greenwich; not only to share the incredible work we have accomplished, but also to learn from other district leaders across the country. It is refreshing to know that district leaders experienced with personalized learning serve as mentors to the fellows furthering the adult learning opportunities. The practical application in schools help any district to move forward and re-imagine their district. I am very excited and honored to be accepted into the LELA Fellowship. I expect the learning and relationships to be long-lasting."

The 10 fellows of the third cohort will join the Lexington Institute at the Personalized Learning Summit in San Francisco this month and will participate in a specialized track and special networking opportunities. They will also spend six months learning from each other and receiving support from Education Elements, the personalized learning consulting organization selected by the Lexington Institute to provide technical assistance and work closely with each of the fellows on articulating their vision for personalized learning and developing a strategic framework for a district implementation. “Education Elements has provided excellent support to the first and second cohorts by acting as mentors, guides and facilitators, and helping each of them to move forward with personalized learning. We are fortunate to be able to work with them again,” said Soifer.

“Working with the first two cohorts of the LELA fellowship has been terrific. It is wonderful to see all the progress each leader made during their fellowship and to look at how far the first cohort has come since graduating in October,,” said Amy Jenkins, who supported the LELA fellowship at Education Elements. “We have learned a tremendous amount from each district leader and we are honored to be selected to work with the next cohort.”

The ten district leaders included in the each of the first two cohorts end the fellowship having made significant leaps from where they started. Not only does each district has a clearer vision for personalized learning, but many districts have laid the groundwork for school and district-wide implementations, considered how to support teachers and leaders, and begun the process of thinking about classroom designs and digital content selection. Equally important, the fellows in each cohort have developed a strong network of like-minded colleagues and keep in touch and continue to share with, and learn from, one another.

Applications for the next class of LELA fellows will open in Fall 2016. Please email lela(at)lexingtoninstitute(dot)org to be notified when applications are open.

About Lexington Institute: The Lexington Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy think headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Founded in 1998, its major areas of focus include education, national security, energy and logistics. Please visit lexingtoninstitute.org/category/education/ to learn more.

About Education Elements: Education Elements is a nationally recognized company that helps districts develop and implement personalized learning strategies through its consulting services and personalized learning platform, Highlight. Education Elements' services help districts to create strategies, design instructional models and support teachers in integrating technology and instruction. Our platform, Highlight, provides students, teachers, and administrators each with a single entry point to access digital content and the actionable data they need to guide instruction and learning. This innovative cloud service offers simple and accessible data visualizations with insights for users of all types. Education Elements has worked with over 300 schools across 50+ districts in the US; more than any other company. Please visit http://www.edelements.com to learn more.


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