Headed To The Stars!

Dear LFIC Readers,

I hope you have been enjoying the new content as much as I have! This isn’t just a relaunch–we are headed to the stars! I am proud to announce that even MORE fabulous teacher leaders have joined our team. Here is a brief introduction to get you excited about what is yet to come! Welcome to these new authors!

Alexis LaDuca teaches English in Glendale, Arizona. She started teaching in 1996 and achieved National Board Certification in 2017. Alexis is passionate about sharing with fellow educators ways to bring learning alive for students through active engagement, being in the forefront of educational technology, and putting student learning data into the hands of students so they can be active participants in their learning process.

Ben Sullens is a National Board Certified Special Education Teacher and a Phoenix native. After a quick, cold, stay in Denver, he came back to lead in the classrooms of Arizona. Entering his 7th year in the classroom, and 9th in education, Ben is making the leap to coaching and development, and hoping to bring some of the learning he received as a National Board candidate support provider to mentor and develop teachers.

Karla Palafox has 21 years of teaching experience spanning grades 3rd to 6th. She currently teaches 6th grade in Chandler, Arizona. Karla is a 2017 Hope Street Group Teacher Fellow and a candidate for National Board Certification in the area of English Language Arts (Early Adolescence). Karla was the recipient of the Chicanos Por La Causa Esperanza Award in 2004. As a teacher fellow, Karla has focused on growing her teacher leadership skills and advocating for issues that improve schools for teachers and students.

Lauren Cluff has been teaching in the Mesa Unified School District for 13 years and is currently a reading specialist at Hughes Elementary. Lauren achieved National Board Certification in 2012 and was a NEA Teacher Leadership Fellow this past year. She is the founder and president of the Mesa NBCT Network. Lauren is passionate about teaching reading and helping teachers improve their practice.

Kalen Smith recently achieved her National Board Certification in science. She has taught on the Navajo reservation for 24 years and enjoys working to create a new generation of science students. Kalen currently teaches 8th grade science, has 10 years experience teaching high school, and 13 years experience teaching middle school.  She has taught biology, chemistry, and physics.

Dr. Jeannie Grochocki earned her doctorate in Philosophy of Educational Leadership and Reform in 2018. She is proud to be a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Early Childhood Generalist. Jeannie is an Instructional Coach at a K-8 school. She is using her Reading Specialist degree to further her work centered on Early Childhood Development Strategy Birth to 5 years old.

Thank you for your ongoing support! Please leave comments to advance the dialogue and share your own perspectives! Consider subscribing to get email updates for new content, and please share the blogs that resonate with you through social media.


Jess Ledbetter & Your LFIC Team

Image credit: https://www.maxpixel.net/Decorative-Planets-Space-Ship-Kids-Rocket-Decor-1254707

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