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Innovation Specialist

As the Innovation Specialist at Lone Tree Elementary, I am in the midst of what might be called either the “World Class Learning Project” or “What might a school built by Yong Zhao look like?” No matter the name, I have been working to increase my personal knowledge and create systems and strategies in order to implement an innovative model for learning based on World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students (Zhao 2012).  Beginning in 2014, I worked with Yong Zhao and a global team of writers to publish three follow-up books to be used as guides to implement his thinking. It is the information and activities included in these books (published in 2016) that have come together to create a vision for our school as an innovative model for learning.

WHAT is defined in the book: The Take-Action Guide to World Class Learners Book 1: How to Make Personalization and Student Autonomy Happen

HOW is defined in the book: The Take-Action Guide to World Class Learners Book 2: How to “Make” Product-Oriented Learning Happen

WHERE is defined in the book: The Take-Action Guide to World Class Learners Book 3: How to Create a Campus Without Borders

My responsibilities at Lone Tree Elementary include:

Professional Development and Leadership

  • Create the framework and systems for an innovative instructional model based on the thinking of Yong Zhao – personalized student-driven learning using real-world inquiry to develop the entrepreneurial spirit of innovation, creativity, and risk-taking, taking place on a global stage.

  • Create professional development opportunities, including strategies and resources, that align with the model

  • Encourage and create global connections for staff/students including:

    • partnerships - creating, publishing, problem-solving

    • resources - field experts, authors, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, technology

    • customers - viable needs and wants around the world

  • Create connections and collaborative opportunities


New Media Literacies and Information Communication Technologies

  • Oversee Learning Commons and implement new ideas aligned with creating flexible learning environments.

  • Design and oversee website and optimize digital communication for entire community of students, staff, and families.

  • Develop and implement a school-wide Ed Tech plan incorporating the purchase and use of digital tools with effective instructional strategies.

A little about me…

Initially, a degree in Fine Arts led me to create several businesses as a jewelry designer and a fiber artist. From there I combined working in various roles in a family business with raising three sons. It was volunteering in their classrooms that inspired me to pursue a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, leading to ten years as a classroom teacher followed by my current role since 2005. Given any extra time, I spend it outdoors on trails either hiking, running or biking, or with my family enjoying sports, food, music and great memories.

Follow me at: @etiltucker