by Susan Adamson
It was June 2012, when Libby Duggan started working for the Partnership. I had just accepted a faculty position at Butler University, and we were in urgent need of a Program Manager. Libby and I were kindred spirits, pretty much right from the start.
Since then we have spent thousands of hours together: developing Partnership programming, writing proposals and managing budgets, thinking and learning from national consultants, facilitating leadership groups and presenting workshops, collaborating with and coaching teachers in classrooms, traveling to conferences, producing anthologies and hosting public readings. We talked too, about what it might be like for her to go back into the classroom again; “to be the teacher she wanted to be” (Glover & Keene, 2015). And then—just like that—a door opened and she walked right through.
Libby is now a first grade teacher at IPS Center for Inquiry #2, and you should see the smile on her face. I’m pretty sure her students are smiling, too. Thank you, Libby, for dedicating so many years to me and the Partnership. We are so much better because of you.
Partnership workshops and institutes often feel like homecomings to me, where like-minded teachers return time and time again to after-school, Saturday, or summer professional development days. These teachers are the kind of teacher you want your own children to have. They are teachers who thrive in the pursuit of knowing more about how to teach every child well.
As it happened, I met Courtney Flessner at a Partnership workshop in 2009 because—she is that kind of teacher. Her formal education includes an undergraduate degree from Butler University COE, and two Master degrees from Teachers College at Columbia University, NYC. Courtney is currently a PhD candidate at Indiana University with specializations in Educational Policy Studies and Math Education.
In eleven years of teaching, Courtney taught every grade (1-8). She’s been a classroom teacher, Assistant Principal, Instructional Coach (in reading, writing, and mathematics), and Adjunct Professor. Courtney is one of the most sought after math consultants in Indiana as she brings to this work significant insight into current educational policies, of course, while also supporting teachers in developing meaningful teaching for every student.
In Courtney, the Partnership has an Assistant Director with the energy, intellect, imagination and experience crucial to envisioning our future in these tumultuous times. Welcome, Courtney. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be working with you.
Susan Adamson has served as director of the Partnership for Inquiry Learning since 2002. She is also Associate Professor in the Butler University College of Education, specializing in early childhood and literacy education.