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We are justifiably proud of our many inspiring alumni and students who are making a difference in schools and organizations around the world. We are also proud of our alumni who capture the attention of a wider audience. Below is a sampling.
Massachusetts Teacher of the Year 2016 (and one of four national Teacher of the Year finalists, 2017): Sydney Chaffee. Chaffee works at the Codman Academy Charter Public School, whose principal has called Chaffee "an unstoppable teaching force for good." M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Out of School Time, 2007. Read more »
Educator Award, Massachusetts Educational Recruiting Consortium, 2016: Ryan Hanlon. This award acknowledges Ryan's professional aspirations as he makes a career transition from architect to math teacher. M.Ed. in Middle School Math, 2016.
Montana History Teacher of the Year 2016: Sean O'Donnell. An award administered by the Montana Council of History and Civics Education. Read more »
Appointments: Susan Sylvia. Sylvia, who is in the Lesley PhD in Educational Leadership program, has been chosen to be a member of the Department of Education preparation review team and has been appointed a leadership mentor by the National Council of Teachers of English for the 2016-17 school year. Read more »
PBS Newshour, June, 2016: Jami Howe. Educational Technology student Jamie talks about science teaching in "In elementary education, "doing" science rather than just memorizing it. See the video »
Rhode Island Teacher of the Year 2016: Tracy Lafreniere. LaFreniere is a teacher at North Smithfield Elementary School. The Rhode Island Commissioner of Education describes her as a "champion of innovative teaching methods." M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, 2003. Read more »
National Science Foundation Award Winner: Melissa Luna. Luna is the recipient of an $800,000 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award, which funds research. Melissa is an assistant professor at West Virginia University's College of Education and Human Services. MS in Ecological Teaching Program, 2001. Read more »
Op-Ed in the Hechinger Report: Brandon M. Johnson. "What a blended learning classroom really looks like: An urban teacher's reboot." Johnson is a fifth grade math and science teacher at Browne Education Campus in Washington, D.C., who writes to one of his Lesley teachers, "It all started in classrooms like yours. Being in your class taught me the the importance of valuing children as learners and being relentless in trying to provide them with a high quality experience." M.Ed. in Elementary Education and Moderate Disabilities, 2013, Urban Teacher Center. Read more »
Principal: Carroll (McCaffrey) Willa. Willa was named principal of the Steward School, Boxford, Massachusetts. CAGS in Educational Leadership, 2005. Read more »
Speaker at United Nations: John Irungu Maina. Maina is an administrator and teacher at the Boston Higachi School. A passionate advocate for autism education, he spoke at the United Nations in April 2016. M.Ed. in Severe Disabilities, 2011. Read more »
Milken Family Foundation Educator Award: Lindsey (Springs) Bibler. Bibler has received a 2016 Milken Family Foundation Educator award of $25,000. She is currently a math teacher and department chair at South Florence High School in Florence, SC. M.Ed. in Technology in Education, 2012. Read more »
MacArthur Fellow/Genius Grant Winner: Alex Truesdell. Truesdell is a 2015 MacArthur Fellow and winner of a $600,000 Genius Grant. She is founder and director of Adaptive Design Association, which creates individualized tools and furniture for children with disabilities for use in their homes, schools, and communities. M.Ed. in Conflict Resolution and Peaceable Schools, 1998. Read more » See an interview with Alex on the PBS Newshour »
Principal: Michelle (Foster) Costa. Costa has been named principal of the Bancroft Elementary School in Andover, MA. M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Brookwood School Collaborative), 2000. Read more »
Maine Teacher of the Year 2015: Jennifer Dorman. Dorfman has been
named Maine Teacher of the Year for 2015 by the Maine Department of
Education. Curriculum and Instruction
with a Specialization in Special Education, 2009. Read more »
Principal: Megan Farrell. Farrell was named principal of the Oak Bluffs School in Oak Bluffs, MA, after serving as interim. Previously, she had been administrator for curriculum and support. M.Ed. in Middle School, 1997. Read more »
Director of Special Education: Judith Mulrooney. Mulrooney has been appointed director of special education for the Taunton, MA, public schools. She previously served as a special education teacher and director of the district's Alternative Program. M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, 1996. Read more »
Coach of the Year 2015: Greg Oder. Oder, who received his Master of Education in Technology in Education in 1997, was named 2015 High School Coach of the Year by the Kansas City Chiefs. Now a physical education instructor, Oder previously taught high school math. Read more »
Principal of the Year 2015-16: Scott Spencer. Spencer is a 1994 graduate of the M.Ed. in Middle School. He was named Union County, North Carolina, Principal of the Year for 2015-2016. Read more »
Teacher of the Year 2015: Nyree Simmons. A 2011 graduate of the M.Ed. in Technology in Education Program, Simmons was named the 2015 Teacher of the Year by the Jasper County, South Carolina, school district. Simmons, a fifth grade teacher, says "My favorite part about coming to work every day is seeing the light bulbs. Seeing my students struggling with the concept and then go, 'Oh! I got it." She became a teacher after being in the Navy for four years and completing degrees at the University of South Carolina, Wheelock College, and Lesley. Read more »
Maine Environmental Educator of the Year 2015: Don Sprangers. Sprangers completed the MS in Ecological Teaching and Learning in 2004. He was awarded the 2015 Maine Environmental Education Association's Maine Environmental Educator of the Year for his outstanding contributions to ecological learning and experiential, place-based learning. Read more »
School Founder: Megan Patterson. Patterson recently founded a new school, WorldMind Nature Immersion Kindergarten, in Denver, Colorado. MS in Ecological Teaching and Learning, 2015. Read more »
Middle Level Art Educator of the Year 2015: Billy Claire. Claire was named 2015 Middle Level Art Educator of the Year by the Massachusetts Art Education Association. A musician as well as an artist and middle school art teacher, he says that "I learned more about music by going to art school than I would have if I'd gone to music school." M.Ed. in Creative Arts in Learning. Read more »
Winner of Ellen Show feature: Julie White Patel. Patel, a 2013 graduate of the Early Childhood and Creative Arts in Learning Program and current Quincy, MA, first grade teacher, was recently on the Ellen DeGeneres show after being chosen for her answers to a survey about technology needs at schools. She and her school, Parker Elementary, were selected to be featured on the show. The Ellen show filmed at the school, and Julie went on the program and accepted a $25,000 check from Wells Fargo to use at her school. Each child at the school also received a backpack full of supplies. Read more »
Criminal Justice Consultant: Cherrie Greco. Greco has written a number of thoughtful pieces related to her field, including "How PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) will affect corrections in 2015."M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, 1996. Read her article »
Senior VP, Boston Children's Museum: Alexander Goldowsky. Goldowsky [right], who received his M.Ed. in Computers in Education from Lesley, was recently appointed Senior Vice President, Exhibits and Programs, at the Boston Children's Museum. M.Ed. in Computers in Education, 1987. He also received a BA from Lesley in the Audubon Expedition Institute.
Innovative Program Award: Faith Hardison. M.Ed. in Educational Technology alumna (2008) Hardison has received the Innovative Program Award for the South Carolina Association for Educational Technology. The award singled out the newsletter she developed for her sixth graders that allowed them to write the way they would in a newsroom. Read more »
County Superintendent (Interim): Traci Davis, M.Ed. in Educational Technology (2000), has been named interim superintendent of the 63,000 student Washoe County, Nevada, school district. Read more »
Head of School: Meg Steele. Steele is the new head of school at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois. M.Ed. in Elementary Education Collaborative Program at Shady Hill School, 1996. Read more »
Tech Crunch Network Top Ten: Jibril Solomon. Solomon has been named by Tech Crunch Network as one of "10 Men Making Waves for Women in Tech," for dedicating his career to "combating inequities in urban education systems and helping at-risk minorities and young women arrive at college with the math, literacy, and cultural competencies to compete." PhD in Educational Studies, 2013. Read more »
Melva Fager Okun Lifetime Achievement Award: Renee Strnad. Strnad [left] has been awarded the Melva Fager Okun Lifetime Achievement Award from the Environmental Educators of North Carolina. MS in Ecological Teaching and Learning, 2015. Read more »
Maine Art Educator of the Year 2014: Sandy Brennan. Brennan, a Wells, Maine, elementary art school teacher, was named the 2014 Maine Art Educator of the Year by the Maine Art Education Association. M.Ed. in C&I Integrated Teaching Through the Arts, 2013. Read more »
Outstanding Teacher Librarian 2014: Teresa Wittmann. Wittman was named 2014 Outstanding Teacher Librarian by the Washington Library Media Association for her "leadership in professional activities, service and collaboration with the librarian and school community." M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, 2002. Read more »
Robert E. Yager Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award 2014: Chris Willems. Willems won the 2014 Robert E. Yager Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award for Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The award "recognizes excellence and innovation in the field of science education." Chris is a science teacher in New Haven, CT. M.Ed. in Science in Education, 2004. Read more » [photo of Laura Yager, Chris Willems, and NSTA president Juliana Texley by Kenn Heydrick/Courtesy of NSTA]
American Civic Education Teacher Award 2014: John Dickson. Dickson is one of three teachers nationwide to receive the 2014 American Civic Education Teacher Award, sponsored by the Center on Congress at Indiana University, the Center for Civic Education, and the National Education Association. The award recognizes "exemplary work preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens." M.Ed. Individually Designed Moderate/Severe Special Needs, 2007. Read more »
Principal: Melissa Chrisman. Roosevelt and Alliance Charter Elementary Schools of Neenah, Wis., have named Melissa Chrisman their new principal. M.Ed. in Technology in Education, 2005.
Project Facilitator for Vegas PBS: Mayte Heredia. Heredia has been appointed Ready to Learn Project facilitator for Vegas PBS. The project provides literacy, health, and math-based workshops to schools and families in the Clark County area. M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, 2007.
American Educational Research Association/SIG-FTED Robert J. Menges New Researcher Award: Anne Benoit. This award was given to Benoit for her dissertation study, "Learning from the Inside Out: A Narrative Study of College Teacher Development," which she wrote for her specialization in Adult Learning and Development. Anne is currently Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of Undergraduate Peer Tutoring and TA Programs at Curry College in Milton, Mass. PhD in Educational Studies, 2014.
Magnet Schools of America Region IV Teacher of the Year: Maria Eby. M.Ed. in C&I Integrated Teaching Through the Arts, 2015.
Olympic Bronze Medalist: Jamie Grubel. Grubel won a bronze for the United States in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as part of the U.S. Women's Bobsled Team. M.Ed. in Elementary Education, 2010. Read more »
National Education Association Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence 2014: Kimberley Gilles. A current educator in California, Gilles was recently awarded the top NEA prize in an awards gala in Washington, D.C. The prize included $25,000 and a trip to China. She has also been awarded the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence and the California Teachers Association Members Human Rights Award. M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Integrated Teaching Through the Arts, 2012. Read more »Entrepreneurship: Barbara Mattaliano. Seventeen years ago, Mattaliano was a nanny for a private equity investor who owned a wild rice farm in California. She convinced him (over time) of its commercial potential, and she is now part owner and enthusiastic promoter of the successful rice company, Goose Valley Natural Foods. M.Ed. in Elementary Education, 2003. Read more »
Longevity: Rosalind O'Sullivan and her twin sister Florence Aldrich-Bennett have been teaching for 50 years — one in Sudbury and one in Cambridge. They both received their Master's degrees from Lesley University. Read more »
Elementary Teacher of the Year 2013: Sara Hennessy was named Elementary Teacher of the Year by the New Mexico Music Educator's Association (2013). M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Integrated Teaching Through the Arts, 2008.Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching 2014: Holly Doe. New Hampshire teacher Holly Doe (Pelham) is the recipient of a Presidential Award for
Excellence. M.Ed. in
Technology in Education, 1999. Read more »
Thesis Work Featured: Rebecca S. Kirk. Kirk's thesis work is featured in Arts-Based Research Primer, James Haywood Rolling, Jr., author. M.Ed. in Community Arts, 2010.
Urban Birds Project: Jennifer Williams. Williams has created an Urban Birds Project, working with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, that has been implemented at her new employer, the Brownsville, Texas, Children's Museum. M.Ed. in Science in Education, 2012. Read about the project »
Book Published: Miranda Aisling Hynes. Don't Make Art, Just Make Something: The Process, Struggle, and Vital Importance of Getting Started. M.Ed. in Arts, Community, and Education, 2013.
Successful Grant: Chad Osborne wrote a grant for a technology course last year, and helped his school district win a $110,000 grant for 3-D
scanning and modeling technology. M.Ed. in Educational Technology, 2013.
Teacher of the Year: Diane King-Burgess has been awarded Teacher of the Year at Millwood Elementary School in Sumter, South Carolina. M.Ed. in Technology in Education, 2011.
Solve for Tomorrow Grand Prize Winner: Jim Reed. Reed, who teaches multimedia at a middle school in Baxter, Minnesota, colleague Cory Olson, and their students were named as one of five grand prize winners in the Solve for Tomorrow contest. Their project, which involved a high altitude balloon, won $110,000 in technology for their school. Jim, Cory, and the students travel to Washington, D.C., to receive the award. M.Ed. in Educational Technology, 1997. Read more » and See the project's website
Sisters of Charity Community Leadership Award: Jana Karp received a Sisters of Charity Community Leadership Award for her work at the Boston Youth Sanctuary, of which she is founder and executive director. M.Ed. in Elementary Education and Creative Arts, 2006.
Teacher at Sea Program: Maria Madrigal was selected for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Teacher at Sea program. A program manager of the Redondo Beach SEA Lab, she spent two
weeks in the Samoan Islands. M.Ed. in Ecological Teaching and Learning, 2005. Read her blog »
CNN Feature: Terris King II and Brandon Gillespie, graduates of the , were recently featured in a CNN piece about the urgent need for more African American male teachers. They received their Master's degrees from Lesley and their undergraduate degrees from Morehouse College in Atlanta. Lesley University/Shady Hill School Collaborative Internship Program, 2010 (King) and 2011 (Gillespie). View the video clip »
Vern A. Fridley Environmental Educator of the Year 2011 - Utah: Susan Snyder, graduate of the Ecological Teaching and Learning Program, was the 2011 Vern A. Fridley Environmental Educator of the Year in the state of Utah. MS in Ecological Teaching and Learning 2011.
Albert Einstein Fellow, National Science Foundation 2011-12: Sarah Reeves Young was named an Albert Einstein Fellow by the National Science Foundation. An educator for NASA, an adjunct professor, and a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison, among other things, Sarah is is also the author of a book of science experiments, entitled "Gourmet Lab: The Scientific Principles Behind Your Favorite Foods." She is the current Science Supervisor for the state of Utah. M.Ed. in Middle School Science, 2005. Read more »
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