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Learning With Students at the Center 

click to enlarge Stan Williams - COURTESY OF STAN WILLIAMS
  • Courtesy of Stan WIlliams
  • Stan Williams

Students are an underutilized resource when it comes to creating positive change in schools. That's a driving force behind Champlain Valley Union High School teacher Stan Williams' focus on student-centered learning, an approach to teaching that gives kids decision-making power and choice in the classroom. The humanities teacher and instructional coach is the sole Vermont recipient of a 2017 Lawrence W. O'Toole Teacher Leadership Award, given to innovative public high school teachers in New England by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Along with the recognition comes a sweet sum of $15,000, which Williams has already begun putting to good use. He's started a Think Tank class at CVU, along with teaching partner Emily Rinkema, where students will delve into educational research and learn about how the brain works, then identify and carry out personalized projects to improve the school and district. He's also bringing Think Tank Clubs to the four middle schools in Champlain Valley School District. And Williams plans to organize an end-of-year education symposium — where middle and high school kids will be the teachers, and adults will be the students. —An

Learn more about CVU's Think Tank class at cvuthinktank.weebly.com.

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