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Aurora Institute

Press Release

A California Educator and A Leading Advocate for Personalized, Competency-Based Education Earn Top Honors at the Aurora Institute Symposium

PALM SPRINGS, CALIF. (Oct. 30, 2019) — The Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL) recognized two outstanding leaders as recipients of the 2019 Innovator Awards today at its annual Symposium running through Oct. 31, 2019, in Palm Springs, California.

The Teacher of the Year Award went to Carissa Duran (@seejodee), an educator at Del Lago Academy Campus of Applied Science, Escondido Union High School District (CA). The annual award honors a K-12 educator whose efforts as a personalized learning teacher exemplify a commitment to student success, knowledge, and skill as a professional educator and dedication to his or her students.

“I am beyond grateful for this honor,” said Duran. “This is not an honor earned in isolation. Personalization for me is not a mere strategy or approach. It is the very belief that every learner is unique…It’s a belief that to thrive requires a system of supports. I accept on behalf of the systems and people with whom I’ve been able to live out my belief in personalized learning… and on behalf of Del Lago Academy, where my colleagues daily challenge me to make visible our belief that all learners are capable of achieving at high levels when we know them and meet them where they are.”

David Ruff (@gspdavid), executive director of Great Schools Partnership, received the Outstanding Individual Contribution to Personalized Learning Award, which recognizes an individual whose insight and innovation has significantly increased the credibility and advancement of K-12 personalized, competency-based education.

“An award given by those you respect deeply carries great weight,” said Ruff. “For those of us at the Great Schools Partnership who believe that personalized, competency-based learning can change the inequitable learning outcomes based on race, ethnicity, poverty, and gender that have plagued our collective efforts, moving toward demonstrations of learnings and finding ways of holding ourselves accountable is the path forward.  I’m honored to be working with all of you to positively impact the lives of our students and our communities.”

Learn more about the Innovator Awards and the annual Symposium.

The Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL) drives the transformation of education systems and accelerates the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all.  Visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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