Fourth-grade teacher Lisa Szkodyn makes learning come alive for students at Pioneer Elementary School in Vancouver. She is assessment-driven and tailors instruction to meet individual student needs. Ms. Szkodyn uses Balanced Literacy in her classroom and a combination of demonstration, shared, guided and independent practice. She also uses the Teaching and Learning Cycle, which includes assessment, evaluation, planning and teaching. Her methods work well, as Ms. Szkodyn's students have scored the highest of all third-grade classrooms on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) in all areas, and above district and state averages. A National Board Certified teacher in literacy, Ms. Szkodyn serves as a Learning Network coach, teacher leader, literacy facilitator, and building assessment coordinator.