Lisa Richard, who teaches third grade at Pioneer School in Lebanon, Oregon, creates exceptional learning experiences for her students that transcend the walls of her classroom. When she realized that most of her students had never been camping, an activity she loves, Richard marshaled a group of parents and held a camping trip on school grounds, complete with tents, hot dogs, marshmallows and activities—and connected the entire event to the class's reading curriculum. She also brings students together with residents of a local veterans' home; students serve the veterans dinner and present projects about the wars in which the veterans have served, and the residents share their war stories with the students. The veterans' dinners have become a beloved annual event at Pioneer, a K-6 Title I school.
Richard strives to help all her students reach their full potential. After learning about John Hattie's Visible Learning research, Richard trained her students to create data folders and encouraged them to own their learning. She also seeks out and incorporates new instructional tools like AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), Teach Like a Champion and Engage NY Math. Richard incorporates writing into her lessons to help them build critical thinking and communication skills. She nurtures a culture of continuous improvement and teaches her students to learn from their mistakes along the way.
Richard's own experience as a high school dropout who slipped through the cracks before earning her GED at age 27 drives her to provide individual attention to her students to maximize their potential. Her students' test scores exceed district and state averages as a result.
A respected leader in the district, Richard helps with new teacher induction and mentoring, led a schoolwide digital portfolio project to help teachers document their teaching practices and student advancement, and heads the grade-level team for the district. Her classroom serves as a model for math instruction and overall management, which is reflected in her students' positive math results. Richard has shared her expertise in Visible Learning and digital portfolios at national conferences around the U.S.
Richard forges strong bonds with students and parents. She throws summer pizza parties for families, includes them in classroom projects, and spends her own time and money building memories for her students. Realizing that some students lack the home support to create costumes for her second-grade People of History project, Richard steps in and makes sure everyone is outfitted and prepared. Richard garnered 100% parent participation to receive alerts from Class Dojo, a web-based tool she uses to share information about students' progress.
Richard holds both a Bachelor and Master of Science in education from Western Oregon University.
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