2013 Hord Award winner

According to their principal, Rachel Blundell, "All of our learning teams have been using job-embedded professional learning tools to identify specific student challenges and have set goals that will raise our students’ achievement levels. The eighth-grade math team is one great example of that ongoing work." Through an analysis of data from student achievement tests, walk-throughs, and teacher observations, the team identified their problem of practice and outlined specific goals. Through their collaboration, the team has developed instructional strategies and uses meeting time to discuss successes and challenges. The learning team includes teachers, Blundell, and an instructional coach and curriculum specialist.


Learning Forward and Corwin announced the eighth-grade math team at Santa Fe Junior High School in Santa Fe, Texas, as the winner of the Shirley Hord Learning Team Award. This award, which honors Shirley Hord's research on learning communities, is given to a team of teachers that demonstrates Learning Forward's definition of professional learning in action. The winning team focused their collaborative work on increasing student engagement as a critical element in improving student achievement in mathematics.

About Shirley Hord

Shirley Hord focused her ground-breaking researchon the impact of professional learning communities. Her research teams identified the attributes of effective learning teams and benefits to staff and students of collaborative learning. Later in her career she focused on assisting schools and districts in building structures and acquiring strategies for this form of professional learning. Shirley, who passed away on October 15, 2019, served as Learning Forward's scholar laureate.