At the March 27, 32nd Annual Exemplary Program Presentations and Awards Luncheon, 19 programs from the 11-county area of south-central Pennsylvania, including the Big Spring High School program titled “Innovation and Personalization in a Traditional High School,” were recognized.
This program offered examples of innovative instructional practices, personalized and project based courses, and suggestions on how schools can take steps within their existing structure to find areas and possibilities for creating options for students that focus on 21st century learning skills. Teaches honored for their work in this area were Lauren Hetrick and Sean Stevenson from the Social Studies Department, Kelsey Hernjak from the English Department, Mike Ginter from the Math Department, Heath Myers from the Science Department and Adam Nobile from the Music Department.
The programs were selected by a committee of school administrators and University faculty and were based on the following criteria: They fill a generally recognized critical educational need; they utilized an innovative or creative approach; they were cost effective; they were easily replicable in another school setting; and they showed significant student improvement over a significant time period.
Dr. Rhonda Brunner, associate professor of the College of Education and Human Services at Shippensburg University, congratulated the more than 90 members of the successful school teams for their “creative and innovative collaboration by teams of teachers, administrators and staff in developing highly effective programs, which meet a wide range of student needs.”
Dr. Brian Small, the retiring executive director of the SU Study Council, emphasized that these programs and the teachers and staff who developed them “focused on helping students meet the highly rigorous academic, attitudinal and social requirements of in an increasingly complex and competitive global community.
The annual event is sponsored by the Shippensburg University School Study Council, a professional development partnership between public school districts and the university, which support school system leaders in improving the instructional experience.