California Educator

December / January 2017

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T H E R E A R E A L S O growing numbers of educators who go beyond "routine" innovation, exceeding what is considered possible, and extending the limits of the learning landscape. We salute a few such innovators in this, our third annual Innovation Issue. Chris Collins, for example, knowing the intense connections kids make through team sports, created an athletic league for his continuation high school students when he found out there was no reason not to. Courtney Coffin jumped on Chrome- books accidentally delivered to her classroom to teach her special ed students how to blog, send and receive emails, and communicate in multiple other ways. Emalyn Leppard over- sees the school garden — and now uses its bounty for monthly dinners prepared in a revamped home ec classroom by stu- dents and their families, whose live cooking demos showcase native foods and culture. "People can share a piece of themselves that wouldn't hap- pen in an ordinary classroom," says Leppard. Innovators such as Leppard and the others we highlight on the following pages share themselves — their knowledge, pas- sions and personalities — in novel and nurturing settings to stir students' imagination and spark new ideas. By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin Photos by Scott Buschman Educators have always been resourceful and responsive to the varying needs of students — adapting lessons, searching for the right texts and tools, conjuring creative scenarios where students can explore and learn. In this sense, innovation is simply what you do every day. 21 D E C E M B E R 2 017 / J A N U A R Y 2 018 In Dave Menshew's forensics class, Isaac Duarte and Elizabeth Figueroa inspect fingerprints on glasses as they try to solve a "crime." LEADING EDGE ON THE

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