2018 National Alternative Education Association Conference
Five members of the IHS Administration and Faculty have been invited to present at this year's
NAEA conference in Dallas, Texas to be held March 5-7, 2018.
Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Harris will present the topic,
"Oh Yes They Can! Alternative Education Students Can Achieve & Grow at High Levels!"
Mrs. Atkinson, Mrs. Ellis and Mrs. Shorr will address
"Personalized Learning in an Alternative School; Offering Choice Through Digital Tools."
National Middle Level Science Teachers Association's Share-A-Thon
Ms. Carrillo will be presenting "Empowering Learners with Choice Boards" at the event on Friday March 16th .
Congratulations to Our 2018-2019 Employees of the Year
IHS Teacher of the Year
Ms. Anna Holub-Standish
Ms. Anna Holub-Standish was selected by the IHS faculty and staff as our 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year. Ms. Standish teaches
Geometry A and B and Advanced Math Decision making A and B to students ranging from 10th to 12th grade. She commented that, "Many of my school children are complex characters and remind me of novels by Louis Sachar, the author of Holes and Small Steps. Before I meet them, their life baggage is often quite significant. Building relationships with my students and establishing the trust necessary for them to learn complex math concepts is one of the things I enjoy doing most."
Ms. Standish believes in the growth mindset that supports the theory that any person can learn math, but each person will learn it differently and make progress unique to their own abilities. Anna often tells her students that their talent for math is important but that every single one of them, regardless of their talent, can grow and deepen their understanding of math.
Ms. Holub-Standish attempts to make her students understand that it is their persistence and effort which ultimately will be more important than their math talent. She feels it is enormously rewarding to hear someone in her class say, "I almost gave up on math and cannot believe I can do this now!" Restoring students' confidence in learning math concepts is one of her teaching objectives and she hopes that conquering their math goals will help them successfully manage other life challenges.
Many teenagers question the everyday usefulness of the math that they learn in school, often asking, "Why do we have to learn this? When will we ever use it?" Ms. Standish views these questions as signs of the students' critical thinking, something which all teachers want their students to learn. The answer she gives to those questions is simple; their math education helps to wire their minds for the future. When their minds are exposed to knowledge, it will be much easier to learn and build on that knowledge in the future.
In our rapidly changing world, Ms. Standish believes that her students need to be lifelong learners in order to be successful and that their generation will need to adapt to changes, including changes in their careers. Motivating her students to persevere and to grow their minds is something that she hopes to accomplish. Turning around a person who thinks they cannot learn math to someone who believes that they can learn it is one of the achievements she most enjoys. Anna knows that it takes a lot of patience and love of the subject matter, as well as innovative teaching strategies, but in the end, it is all worth it.
IHS Professional of the Year
Ms. Sara Allegood
Ms. Sara Allegood was selected by the IHS faculty and staff as our 2018-2019 Professional Employee of the Year. Ms. Allegood has great enthusiasm for her job and is constantly seeking new, better practices, procedures and resources for our school. She has a great passion for learning, research and technology, as well as a desire for passing it on to her colleagues and students, and she works tirelessly to incorporate these elements into her daily media center responsibilities. Sara helps students acquire the information literacy skills that will empower their intellectual, academic, and personal growth while creating an open, inviting and dynamic instructional environment where students and staff feel comfortable seeking out materials and resources related to their academic or personal interests.
A few years ago, Sara left teaching to pursue a career in the corporate world. After taking time to challenge herself to find her true career path, she returned to education. I believe her experiences outside of education gave her more direction and focus regarding her duties in the school setting. The time off continues to be a benefit to her students and peers by enabling her to introduce them to “real world” insights and applications. She finds way to transform classroom lessons into life lessons that not only challenge students to learn and grow, but also dare our teachers to step outside the comfort of their classrooms and take a different approach to teaching. Mrs. Allegood recognizes that what we teach in our classrooms here at Independence has to apply to the outside world or the lessons hold no value. She is consistently collaborating with teachers to investigate alternative methods of instruction to captivate our students and advance their learning opportunities.
As both a Vanguard and a Media Specialist, she attends a variety of trainings and is always bursting with ideas and resources. She willingly makes herself available to help teachers improve their classroom instruction with her creativity and technology expertise. She works diligently to keep up with the latest instructional tools and practices by attending professional development programs within Fulton County as well as outside the school system. Her knowledge and proficiency in various software programs, databases and educational technology tools make her beyond valuable as Fulton County treks down the personalized learning path with a One2One device initiative. As well, she oversees the annual Digital Citizen Certification process by instructing teachers regarding online safety, netiquette, cyberbullying, plagiarism, copyright laws and fair use policies. In addition, Mrs. Allegood is a Microsoft Innovative Trainer and regularly holds staff-wide opportunities or one-to-one lessons to share exciting, imaginative ways to implement Office365.
Mrs. Allegood has also re-imagined our media center space: She rearranged the print collection into themed categories, as would be found in a bookstore, to enable users to peruse favorite topics with ease. As well, she has fashioned a project corner for students to access all materials necessary for creating traditional poster projects, while also arranging technology pockets for students to work collaboratively using various educational technology tools. She has recently procured funding for both an electronic die-cut machine and a 3D printer which will be available for both staff and student use. Her vision is to continue to support personalized learning by reaching each student’s personalized learning style. Whether that student is more comfortable with pen and paper or is a tech whiz, Mrs. Allegood is sure to have all the tools he or she will need to produce amazing results.
Sara has two mottos she professes to herself every day: First, she believes she is here to “Stop & Serve.” Regardless of what she is in the middle of doing, her job is to serve staff and students first. Secondly, Sara explains that her job is to “empower, not enable.” She wants to teach everyone who comes to her with a need how to tackle it him or herself so that the individual is empowered to handle the situation by himself next time. If she repeatedly does it for someone, that person will never learn how to problem solve independently, which is a big piece of personalized learning. Both of these philosophies, as well as the multitude of traits, skills and abilities she shares with us every day, make her the ideal IHS 2018 Professional of the Year.
Congratulations to Ms. Andrea Bailey and Ms. Rosibel Arias,
NWLC Custodians of the Month!
Pictured below with Principal Taylor, Ms. Bailey has been the Independence Head Custodian for the past eight years and Ms. Arias has been a member of the IHS custodial team for the past twelve.