2017 Learning Team Award winner

Congratulations to Lincoln Heights Middle School!

LHMS Crop  The Learning Leaders Team from
  Lincoln Heights Middle School in
  Morristown, Tennessee has won the
  2017 Shirley Hord Teacher Learning
  Team Award. The annual award,
  named for Learning Forward Scholar
  Laureate Shirley Hord and sponsored
  by Corwin, honors a school-based
  team that successfully implements a
  teacher-led cycle of continuous

Watch Lincoln Heights' Learning Leaders Team video here. Pictured (l-r) are team members Beth Weatherall, Melanie Coffey, Krishanna Langhans, Jaime Greene, Joe Ely, and Derek Voiles.

In 2015-16, Lincoln Heights’ Learning Leaders team began a two-year focus on the development of research-based professional learning community practices. Team members collaborated to develop and model practices that ensured that PLCs were meeting regularly, acting purposefully, and focusing on student work.  This year, the team increased the emphasis on the adult learning aspect of its work. Using the book Becoming a Learning Team as its primary guide, the team has transformed the teaching and learning experience by transforming the teacher learning experience.

“This team models every day what we know about effective professional learning,” said Learning Forward Executive Director Stephanie Hirsh. “The team uses student data to identify its teacher and student learning goals, they extend educators’ knowledge through their professional learning, they apply their learning in their classrooms, and refine their practice. And they assume collective responsibility for the success of all teachers and students in their school.”


Teams from across the United States submitted applications for the award. Applications included documentation of each team’s work and its impact on teaching and learning, as well as a video showcasing the team engaging in the cycle of continuous improvement. 

Lincoln Heights’ Learning Leaders Team consists of science teacher Melanie Coffey; social studies teacher Krishanna Langhans; ELA teacher Derek Voiles; math teacher Beth Weatherall; principal Joe Ely; and assistant principal Jaime Greene. Located in Hamblin County in northeast Tennessee, Lincoln Heights serves 520 students in grades 6-8.

The Lincoln Heights team will be recognized at Learning Forward's 2017 Annual Conference in Orlando, December 3-7. The award, sponsored by Corwin, includes funds to support conference attendance for team members, $2,500 to support collaborative professional learning, and a gift of Corwin books for the school’s library.


Questions? Contact:
Tom Manning

About Shirley Hord

  Since the
  Shirley Hord
  has focused
  her research
  on the impact of professional learning communities. Her research teams have identified the attributes of effective learning teams and benefits to staff and students of collaborative learning. More recently she has focused on assisting schools and districts in building structures and acquiring strategies for this form of professional learning. Shirley is Learning Forward's scholar laureate.