Vertical Dual Language Team from Tombaugh Elementary School Receives Learning Forward’s Shirley Hord Learning Team Award

DALLAS—November 10, 2014—Learning Forward and Corwin announce the K-1st vertical dual language learning team at Tombaugh Elementary School in Las Cruces, New Mexico, as the winner of the 2014 Shirley Hord Learning Team Award. This award is given annually to a team of teachers that demonstrates the highest quality of collaborative professional learning, as described in Learning Forward’s definition of professional learning in action.

Teams from schools across the United States submitted videos of their team engaged in professional learning, along with documentation of the team’s work and its impact on student learning.

“The learning team from Tombaugh Elementary School exemplifies collective commitment to student learning,” said Learning Forward Executive Director Stephanie Hirsh. “We know that collaborative learning, when it is grounded in the Standards for Professional Learning, increases educator effectiveness and student achievement. We are proud to recognize this team as one that reflects our definition of professional learning, and exemplifies the work that Shirley Hord has conducted on successful professional learning communities.”

Members of Tombaugh’s K-1st vertical dual language learning team include first-grade dual language teachers Kathryn Million, Gloria Olivas, and Maria Sanders; kindergarten dual language teachers Soledad Muniz and Bobbi-Lynn Pacheco; and special education dual language inclusion teacher Laurie Maese.

“I am so very proud of this team of teachers,” said Tombaugh Elementary School Principal Annette Otero-Nunez. “They have worked hard for the last three years analyzing math data to improve their own practice in teaching mathematics to our English Language Learner student population. The collaboration and proactive approach in designing their own professional learning and identifying high-yield strategies will benefit many students this year and in years to come.”

“It is very easy to recognize the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to students that the Tombaugh learning team demonstrates,” said Learning Forward Scholar Laureate Shirley Hord. “They are a self-organizing, self-managing collaborative group of educators that studies student data, research, and best practices in order to make decisions about their own professional learning based on the needs of their students.”

Learning Forward and Corwin will present the Tombaugh team with the Shirley Hord Learning Team Award at Learning Forward’s 2014 Annual Conference Tuesday, December 9, in Nashville.

“Corwin is proud to recognize the team from Tombaugh Elementary School and to sponsor the Shirley Hord Learning Team Award with Learning Forward as part of our mission to ‘help educators do their work better,’” said Mike Soules, president of Corwin.

Corwin generously sponsored the award, which includes funds to support representatives of the winning team to participate in the 2014 Annual Conference, $2,500 to support collaborative professional learning, and a gift of Corwin books for the school’s professional library. To view the video submission of the winning team and learn more about the award, visit

About Learning Forward

Learning Forward is a nonprofit, international membership association of learning educators committed to one vision in K–12 education: Excellent teaching and learning every day. To realize that vision Learning Forward pursues its mission to build the capacity of leaders to establish and sustain highly effective professional learning. Information about membership, services, and products is available from

About Corwin

Corwin, a SAGE company, was established in 1990 to provide solutions for PreK–12 educators. Corwin produces books and multimedia resources that range from very practical, experience- based resources to more reflective or research-based titles, and are written for a diverse set of professionals — principals, administrators, specialists, teachers, counselors, consultants, teacher educators, and collegiate-level

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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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