Weston Teachers

Commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth . . . .

Mrs. Katie Phillabaum is using some of her newly acquired ‘Science of Reading’ skills to assist 3rd grade students in her classroom at Weston Elementary.

Weston Elementary has had a number of teachers this school year take the initiative to receive training and certification in several different areas that directly enhance their instruction.  These areas are STEM certification, ENL license and Science of Reading Modules.

Dr. Olin, Superintendent of GCCSC said, “I am pleased to see the commitment to lifelong learning that these staff members are modeling. The needs of our students are always changing a bit, so it is imperative that we continue to learn ways to better meet them where they are.”

“Our students are the real benefactors when our adults make a commitment to professional learning. This truly fulfills our motto in G-C, All for learning, learning for all” said Dr. Olin.

Jennifer Bohannon and Emily Hodge are 1st grade teachers at Weston that received STEM certification from the Indiana Department of Education.  Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education said in a July 10, 2023 press release, “In today’s technology-driven world, it has never been more important for every Indiana student to have access to high-quality STEM instruction, and this starts with ensuring we have the very best and brightest educators in the classroom.”  Dr. Jenners went on to say, “This will allow us to expand our focus and strengthen our teacher pipeline in additional high-need areas, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Mrs. Hodge has been able to create several engineering design projects. She said, “Their favorite project centered around paper airplanes. Students were able to read and learn about airplanes, use that knowledge to create an airplane, collect data on how far that airplane went, and then they revised their plan based on data and further airplane research.”

Mrs. Bohannon said, “I have implemented several of the techniques presented through the STEM certification program. Some of my favorites are presenting students with a productive struggle to work through, hands-on experiments, collaborating with other students to find solutions, and cross-curricular concepts, such as when we studied owls!”

1st grade students are dissecting owl pellets to wrap up a unit on nocturnal animals.

Emily Hodge has also received the English As a New Language (ENL) Professional Educator License.  She completed this program last November from Taylor University and said, “My program was amazing! I learned from professors who teach all around the world. I also got to learn from published professors. The knowledge given to me has already made me a much better teacher!”

Mrs. Hodge said that going through ENL training has also strengthened her best practices and allowed her a more thorough understanding of the English language and how students acquire English as a second language.

Weston Elementary also had twelve certified teachers complete the IDOE’s ‘Science of Reading’ modules, developed in partnership with Marian University.    

Principal Meg Welch said, “I am very proud of the dedication and effort Weston teachers are demonstrating by engaging with the ‘Science of Reading’ modules through the Indiana Department of Education. The modules help educators identify and implement effective instructional practices that support progress in literacy.”

Mrs. Welch went on to say about all of the teachers mentioned above, “Just like their students, these educators are constantly seeking knowledge, adapting to change, and growing.”

By: Matt Davis