Lindsay Brooke Lee, the English department chair at Will Rogers Junior High in Claremore, Oklahoma, creates an environment in her eighth-grade classroom where all students feel safe, valued and connected to a community of fellow learners. Lee, who goes by her middle name, employs the tenets of Universal Design for Learning by providing lessons and experiences that engage her students through their individual interests. She insists on meeting the needs of all students, and her class often includes pupils receiving special education and 504 services.
Lee has had student poetry published in the local newspaper and sparks discussions about social equity through historical fiction. She uses research-based pedagogy with multiple learning strategies and relies on ongoing formative, summative and benchmark assessments to see what students have absorbed and adjust her lesson plans. Students take pride in and ownership of their classroom and learning, to great effect. Lee’s students consistently outperform state ELA proficiency scores. Last year 44% showed an average increase of 2.1 years or more of academic growth on district benchmark assessments.
As the leader of the Will Rogers professional learning community, Lee organizes and facilitates weekly meetings. She is a member of the Scholar Squad, a group of educators who explore pedagogical research and best practices, and is a leader of the Guided Coalition, a committee of educators and administrators collaborating on unpacking standards and creating formative assessments. After the district passed a $50 million bond, Lee was asked to participate on the team planning a state-of-the-art STEM facility. She leads professional development, mentors both incoming and career teachers, and hosts pre-service educators. Claremore Public Schools has committed to becoming a Great Expectations model district, and Lee was chosen to become a Great Expectations instructor for her colleagues.
Lee knows how important it is for parents to be involved in their children’s education and makes every effort to keep them in the loop. Claremore families struggle with high poverty, addiction and other trauma, and Lee is known to go to great lengths to help children in difficult situations. She arranged with Rogers County Youth Services to bring programs into the school for students facing social and economic challenges. A former basketball player, Lee brings leadership skills and a team mentality to her role: When she sees a problem, she seeks out the resources needed and brings people together to fix it.
Lee earned a bachelor’s in 2014 from Northeastern State University and is pursuing a master’s degree in administration.
Press release: Expecting More from Students Earns a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Brooke Lee
"I define success as growth. Everyone can grow and be successful. It can be personal growth, academic growth, or professional growth...." (read more)