Marquette School of Excellence Nominees & Administration
Ms. Kennedy is a devoted teacher who recognizes that second grade is a critical year in a student's elementary career. While at Marquette, she has quickly grasped the EngageAUSL/CKLA curriculum and worked to unite the NWEA Learning Continuum and her Engage curriculum for her second grade students. Ms. Kennedy creates linked whole and small group lessons that allow her students to develop concepts and fill learning gaps. Ms. Kennedy closely examines her CCSS aligned exit tickets to determine appropriate next steps and often consults with her team to uncover patterns and trends across the grade level. Ms. Kennedy is one of the founding participants of Marquette’s first ever Walk to Read program and maintains detailed records and notes on student growth and areas of improvement to inform her CKLA curriculum.
Ms. Kennedy creates a spirit of collaboration on her team. Her team not only lesson plans together, but they also study the concepts developed in their units to understand where student learning should be targeted and how to get them there. They discuss possible student misconceptions and ways to combat this in class. Ms. Kennedy is a proactive teacher who makes sure her students receive the most from each lesson she provides, and she has transferred this energy to her team.
Ms. Preston is a committed and dedicated teacher who uses creative ways to maximize instruction. Each morning, students enter her classroom learning, as they are ushered into their morning word study centers after eating breakfast. Students are excited about the material Ms. Preston presents, and this is evident in their growth. By the middle of the school year, over half of Ms. Preston's students were already reading at a beginning first grade level.
Ms. Preston is the grade level lead for Kindergarten. She works with her kindergarten peers to understand the concepts developed in CKLA. She collaborates with her team to diagnose student misconceptions during biweekly data analysis meetings and plans reteaching lessons that are differentiated as needed. She and her peers also create integrated projects that help their students display what they have learned through their units of study.
Ms. Preston's desire to understand her students and realize their success is contagious. She works with a number of co-teachers and teacher assistants throughout the day. No matter who works with Ms. Preston, they are always inspired to be prepared for her students, and she meticulously walks them through her routines and procedures so that there is no misunderstanding when another adult has to pull a small group or assist a student in her kindergarten classroom. Ms. Preston ensures that all adults are familiar with the components of CKLA and embeds the curriculum’s learning targets in her centers daily. The true testament of Ms. Preston's work is her students. They know the ins and outs of their classroom, and they take ownership of it. Students understand why learning is important and anyone who has experienced Ms. Preston's classroom can testify to the level of scholarship she brings to her teaching. She is now passing on that level of scholarship to her students, who on any given day can be seen leading their own small group with peers!
Ms. Mollenkamp, a recent resident graduate of the AUSL residency program has emerged as the 5th grade lead for the 2015-2016 school year. She is forward thinking and a problem solver. An example of this leadership lies in her ability to collaborate with her peers and respond to their needs almost immediately. An example of her responsiveness includes her efforts to support her peers in navigating the EngageAUSL curriculum by volunteering to facilitate a 7:30 a.m. morning workshop on “Text Based Discussions,” which was well attended. This allowed her to not only serve as a resource for her grade level but for literacy teachers schoolwide. Ms. Mollenkamp has committed herself to teaching excellence by ensuring that all students have access to high quality education. She is a reflective educator and consistently uses data to inform her instruction. She uses the EngageAUSL curriculum to provide on grade-level, rigorous instruction during her whole group lessons. She differentiates her small groups, for both her GenEd and EL classes to scaffold rigorous tasks to meet the needs of her students at their instructional level while monitoring their progress toward grade level mastery. Ms. Mollenkamp is an active participant during our weekly grade-level meetings. She is invested in our teaching and learning cycle. She analyzes data, discusses future implications for her instruction, and relies heavily on research, peer collaboration, and taking deep dives into the EngageAUSL curriculum to support her planning of engaging and successful whole and small group lessons. Her ability to analyze student work enables her to gain insight on specific supports her student need in order for them to be able to access grade level text and tasks. She is also open to constant growth and development in order to improve her practice. She seeks out professional resources on her own, and is not afraid to take instructional risks. During content cluster, Ms. Mollenkamp is always eager to share her instructional practice, as well as learn from other colleagues across grade levels around the best instructional delivery for the EngageAUSL materials.
Mr. Patterson has been a part of the AUSL mission for the past five years. He began as a resident where he learned and still believes in data driven instruction and working to meet the needs of all students. Since joining the Marquette team, he has actively participated in growing both the culture and climate of the school as well as his own practice. He actively seeks feedback from both administrators and his peers. He believes in hands-on learning and tasks that are designed to push student thinking and improve their critical thinking. He has spent the past school year participating in a peer-led professional development where the main goal was improving math instruction to increase student success and growth. Through this vertical planning math cohort, students were able to show 38% growth on grade level skills over the course of the school year.
In addition, Mr. Patterson is an active member of his school’s Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), built upon the idea of improving instructional practice for all students and all grade levels across the school. Meeting biweekly with a team of teachers and administrators, he helps to develop the mission for the school around instruction and ways to help grow teacher practice across the school. Through the ILT, he has been able to lead team grade level meetings helping to increase teacher buy-in on improving instruction in an effort to increase the number of students who are on grade level or college/career ready. Other leadership roles include being a mentor to AUSL Residents for the past two years. As a mentor teacher, Mr. Patterson shares his practice on a daily basis to both his residents and various guests who visit his classroom. He believes through sharing ideals and his “teacher toolkit” he can help future teachers become advocates of change for other students in Chicago, through quality instruction and a teaching environment centered on student learning and personal growth.
Outside of the classroom, Mr. Patterson has been the Assistant Coach for the Urban Initiatives Soccer team for the past 4 years. This program is centered on teaching kids soccer skills, while improving their social skills and healthy eating habits. He is committed to this program because he believes that it also helps to build their socio-emotional health and accountability to their schoolwork. He also participates in Marquette’s College and Career Ready Institute, which is an after school program helping students grow in mathematics through differentiated instruction around their Number Sense skills.
Latarsha Green, Principal
Mauricia Estes, Assistant Principal
LaTarsha and Mauricia go above and beyond to ensure that their teachers have a deep level of understanding around the work they do. This entails strategic adult learning and coaching as it relates to implementation of the Engage NY curriculum via whole group instruction coupled with an intentional focus around small group instruction to plug gaps or fill wholes the students may have in specific skills. They are in the trenches with teachers deepening their understanding of the CCSS and they leverage this learning via coaching conversations with teachers.