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Excellent Teaching and Learning Every Day

Giving thanks: Learning Forward Foundation awardees share their stories

November 14, 2017

By Heather Lageman


In this season of gratitude, the Learning Forward Foundation would like to celebrate by sharing our thanks with you. We thank these Foundation awardees for making the lives of students and educators brighter with their gifts of passion, creativity, and empathy. This is just a few of the stories from our fearless lead learners. We hope you join us in giving thanks for their collective brilliance. Thank you, Learning Forward family!

Shannon Terry, Patsy Hochman Academy Scholarship, 2016:


The Learning Forward Foundation grant offered me the opportunity to serve as an extension of a passionate group of individuals who share my same level of high conviction and advocacy around the power of learning as an agent for transformation (individual, institutional and societal transformation). As one of millions of benefactors of the the foundation's work, beginning from my time as a classroom teacher and continuing in my current role as director of professional learning, I have looked to the Learning Forward Foundation’s vision, mission, beliefs, and goals to identify and actualize levers for improving educational systems leading to small and large scale improvements.

And, as I reflect on my reasons for applying for the foundation grant, I remember believing that by being affiliated with the foundation, even in some small measure such as the grant, I would be able to accelerate my ability, my team’s ability and our collective abilities to advance equity leveraging learning as the primary vehicle for bringing about social justice. At the time of application and certainly now, I can think of nothing more important than energizing people around learning, especially when you consider our current national landscape.


Anna Jackson, Learning Forward Foundation Academy Scholarship, 2016
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As a recipient of the Learning Foundation Academy Scholarship, I have been so blessed to participate in the Learning Forward Academy. It has been an exciting experience to learn with educators from across the country as we identify authentic problems of practice and utilize inquiry-based learning to bring about significant change through professional learning. One of my greatest challenges as a leader of professional learning is having the ability to assess the impact of our work. The Academy has provided me with new tools and frameworks to use in measuring success. As we pause to give thanks at this time of year, I add the scholarship & Academy to my gratitude list.

Susan O’Neil, Worcester, MA Learning Forward Foundation Team Grant, 2015:


The experiences and financial support the 2014 Learning Forward Foundation Team Grant supporting “excellent teaching and learning every day” afforded Worcester Arts Magnet School, Worcester Public Schools was greatly appreciated and continues to have a positive impact! The Learning Forward Foundation Team Grant planted the seed and supported the initial growth. The number of teachers involved continues to increase. They work together and continue to develop, refine and share their practices based in the original proposal. Long term, sustained improvement was given seed money and support through the team grant. The regular check-ins with the foundation structured and supported reflection and ongoing planning. Teachers and principals have been empowered. They have been able to build from the initial structure and keep the initiative going.


Hear more from Susan O'Neil and her team here.


Read more shared stories from Foundation awardees here.



heather-lageman1b9cae99a7de696387e8ff00006d78929cfab199a7de696387e8ff00006d7892Heather Lageman serves as the Executive Director of Leadership Development for Baltimore County Schools in the Office of Organizational Development.  She is President of the Learning Forward Maryland Affiliate and President-Elect of the Learning Forward Foundation.
Learning Forward Foundation

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