Kane Regional Office of Education Hosts Institute Day for Teachers – Shaw Local

GENEVA – Some 1,300 Kane County teachers attended an Institute Day last week, intended for educators to join one another on a variety of topics, such as student experiences, curriculum discussions, sharing methods of teaching and listening to lectures, according to a press release.

The six-hour event, organized by the Regional Office of Education, was held on March 4 at the Q Center in St. Charles.

“It is wonderful to see so many people take advantage of all the programs, events and speakers Kane ROE offers for Institute Day,” Regional School Superintendent Patricia Dal Santo said in the statement. “The staff dedicates their time and talents to making this day a memorable one for everyone involved.”

Two main speakers were Tom Murray and Greg Wolcott.

Murray is Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education in Washington, DC

Murray has testified before and has worked with the US Congress, the US Senate, the White House, the US Department of Education, and state departments of education, corporations and school districts across the country to implement student-centered learning while helping to lead Future Ready Schools.

Wolcott is the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning at Woodridge School District 68 in Woodridge. He develops opportunities for students to succeed as well as finds ways for all teachers and staff members to use their strengths to maximize student learning.

Other speakers were:

• Molly Hudgens, a counselor at Sycamore High School in Pleasant View, Tennessee, wrote a study on school shootings and the teens who commit them. “Recognizing Red Flags” has been used nationally to train professionals in the fields of education, law enforcement, juvenile probation, and juvenile court.

Hudgens dissuaded an armed student from committing a mass shooting on September 28, 2016, and was awarded the Citizens’ Congressional Medal of Honor for a Single Act of Heroism in March 2017.

• Paula Kluth is an independent consultant, author, advocate, and scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities and create more responsive and engaging school experiences for all students. She directed the documentary “We Thought You’d Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism.”

• Aaron Polansky is a school superintendent in Massachusetts. Polansky received the Virco/Massachusetts National Association of Secondary School Principals Award for 2013 Assistant Principal of the Year. He received the Frederick Douglass Award in 2015 for his contributions to at-risk youth.

• Frank Kros is a career children’s advocate, having served as a child care worker, child abuse investigator, children’s home administrator, consultant, teacher, attorney, writer, and speaker. Before starting Kros Learning Group in 2019, Kros was an officer and executive for 18 years at the Children’s Guild Alliance, a multi-service children’s organization in Maryland.

• Kristen Mattson’s doctoral research in curriculum and instructional leadership focused on digital citizenship curriculum in secondary schools. Digital citizenship is the responsible use of technology by anyone who uses computers, the Internet, and digital devices. She wrote “Ethics in a Digital World: Guiding Students Through Society’s Biggest Questions.”

Katie Algrim, Director of Innovative Professional Learning at the Kane County ROE, stated in the release that, “It takes a lot of organization to plan a countywide institute day, but it is a great day of professional learning.”

Districts represented at Institute Day included Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, and Kaneland.