The Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL) last week recognized Carissa Dunn, a teacher from Del Lago Academy Campus of Applied Science of the Escondido Union High School District as one of two recipients of the 2019 Innovator Awards at its annual Symposium in Palm Springs.
The Teacher of the Year Award went to Carissa Duran. The annual award honors a K-12 educator whose efforts as a personalized learning teacher exemplify a commitment to student success, knowledge, and skill as a professional educator and dedication to his or her students.
Dunn was honored for her efforts to redesign learning models and get to know her students. The Aurora Institute is a national nonprofit, that until this past Monday, was known as iNACOL (they rebranded). The institute’s work centers around challenging schools and policymakers to transform K-12 education’s approach to teaching and learning. Each year they honor two professionals who are champions of these ideals.
“I am beyond grateful for this honor,” said Duran. “This is not an honor earned in isolation. Personalization for me is not a mere strategy or approach. It is the very belief that every learner is unique…It’s a belief that to thrive requires a system of supports. I accept on behalf of the systems and people with whom I’ve been able to live out my belief in personalized learning… and on behalf of Del Lago Academy, where my colleagues daily challenge me to make visible our belief that all learners are capable of achieving at high levels when we know them and meet them where they are.”