EPISODE 19: Teachers of the Year (Part One)

On Thursday, September 3 at 4:00 pm US-EDT, we present the nineteenth LIVE episode of the new LearningRevolution.com weekly interview series, REINVENTING SCHOOL. If you miss the LIVE show, we'll post the recorded version early next week. 

This week's episode begins a two-parter. REINVENTING SCHOOL looks at the world of the teacher. We've been working with the Council of Chief School Officers (CCSSO), and we'll be joined by three winners of their "Teacher of the Year" awards on Episode 19 and three more on Episode 20. This week: Lynette Stant, 2020 Arizona Teacher of the Year; Mandy Manning, 2018 National Teacher of the Year; and Takeru Nagayoshi, 2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year.

Please join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

More about this week's guests:

7814511875?profile=RESIZE_400xLynette Stant is a member of the Navajo Nation and a 15-year veteran elementary teacher who teaches 3rd grade on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation in Scottsdale, Arizona. She holds a master's degree in education from Grand Canyon University and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Arizona State University. Stant is a Gates Millennium Scholar (GMS) and part of the GMS alumni community. In addition to leading her grade level team, she serves on various school and district leadership teams and school improvement committees. She serves as a New Teacher Mentor for Salt River Schools and as a Cooperating Teacher for Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, and the University of Phoenix to mentor future educators. Stant has presented workshops at state and national education conferences on STEM education and successfully helped write a $500,000 STEM grant for her school, providing teachers with professional development opportunities in STEM implementation and sustainability, as well as providing students authentic STEM learning opportunities. Stant was selected for the 2018 100Kin10 Teacher Forum to address the STEM teacher shortage in American schools. Her mission is to inspire her students to become leaders and remind them that in order to understand where they are going, they must embrace where they come from.


7814532500?profile=RESIZE_400xMandy Manning teaches English to newly arrived refugee and immigrant students in the Newcomer Center at Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington. In her classroom, Mandy uses experiential projects like map-making to help her students process trauma, celebrate their home countries and culture, and learn about their new community. As 2018 National Teacher of the Year, Mandy will encourage educators to teach their students to overcome their fears and seek out new experiences. “Let’s teach our students to be fearless,” she says. “Let’s teach them to be brave when confronted with uncertainty. Brave when they fail. Brave in meeting new people. Brave in seeking opportunities to experience things outside of their understanding.” Mandy strives to create connections between her students and the community inside and outside of the school. Her students work in the student store and she encourages other students to visit and volunteer in the Newcomer Center. She also invites district leaders, campus resource officers, community members of color, and professional writers to visit her classroom. The visits help her students learn cultural expectations and how to express themselves effectively. In return, her students teach these leaders where they come from, who they are, and the beauty they add to the school district. “All of us together make this world interesting and good. We must teach our students to overcome their fears and seek out new experiences. The only way to teach fearlessness is to show it. We must show kindness by getting to know our students, learning about them, and showing them how to connect,” she says.  Mandy has taught for the past 19 years, seven of which have been in her current role. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Washington University, a Masters of Arts from West Texas A & M University, and a Masters of Fine Arts from Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. Mandy is a National Board Certified Teacher.


7814505098?profile=RESIZE_400xTakeru Nagayoshi is the 2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. He teaches Advanced Placement English at New Bedford High School, an urban low-income public school in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Nagayoshi has also piloted the research-based AP Capstone program, fewer than 10 of which existed in his state. With over 92 percent of his students passing their AP exams, he helped his district lead the state in the number of AP Certificates awarded. As a son of Japanese immigrants and as a gay person of color, Nagayoshi leverages his identities to fight for educational equity. Outside the classroom, he has written op-eds on education issues, coaches developing teachers in high-needs districts, and lends his voice to multiple panels, committees, and an educator diversity task force. He has also participated in several fellowships, including those offered by Teach Plus, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This year, he helped launch an educational leadership program, Southern New England Alumni Leadership Initiative (SNEALI), which develops local capacity for teachers in the Southern New England area. Nagayoshi has received recognitions such as the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teacher Leadership Award (2019), the Boston University Young Alumni Award (2019), and the Sontag Prize in Urban Education (2018). Nagayoshi lived in Japan for five years and currently lives in Providence, RI. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with an honors bachelor of arts in international relations and a master of education in curriculum and teaching from Boston University.


4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.
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Before the virus, more than a billion children and teenagers relied upon school for learning. After the virus (or, after the current wave of our current virus), basic assumptions about school and education are no longer reliable. School buildings may become unsafe for large numbers of students. The tax base may no longer support our current approach to school. Without the interaction provided by a formal school structure, students may follow their own curiosity. Many students now possess the technology to learn on their own. And many do not.

Reinventing.school is a new weekly web television series that considers what happens next week, next month, next school year, and the next five years. Hosted by University of Pennsylvania Senior Scholar Howard Blumenthal, Reinventing.school features interviews with teachers, principals, school district leadership, state and Federal government officials, ed-tech innovators, students, leading education professors, authors, realists and futurists from the United States and all over the world.

Each episode features 2-4 distinguished guests in conversation about high priority topics including, for example, the teaching of public health, long-term home schooling, technology access and its alternatives, the role of parents, friendship and social interaction, learning outside the curriculum, the future of testing and evaluation, interruption as part of the academic calendar, job security for teachers and support staff, setting (and rethinking) curriculum priorities, special needs, student perspectives on the job of school, the importance of play, the psychology of group dynamics and social interaction, preparing for future rounds of a virus (or cyberattack or impact of climate change, etc.), college readiness, higher education transformed, the higher education promise in an economically challenged world, and more. Clearly, there is much to discuss; nearly all of it ranks high on the list of priorities for raising the world’s children.