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The Great American Teach-Off 2013: We Have a K-6 Winner!

This post is brought to you by GOOD with support from University of Phoenix

Last month, over the course of five weeks, the GOOD community voted for their favorite innovative teachers in the 2013 Great American Teach-Off. From West Virginia to Minnesota to California, innovative teachers in grades K through 6 competed to win a $10,000 classroom grant.

Now, GOOD and University of Phoenix are happy to announce that after tallying and counting thousands of votes, GOOD community members have chosen Prospect Sierra kindergarten teacher Madeleine Rogin in El Cerrito, California to be the K through 6 winner of the 2013 Great American Teach-Off. An educator for 13 years, Rogin has a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Education and Writing from The New School and a Master of Arts in Dance with a focus on African Dance from the University of New Mexico. And now, Rogin has a $10,000 classroom grant to further the K through 8 Peaceful Changemakers Curriculum she created with fellow teachers to inspire students to change their community and the world.

Drawing from her experience as a Change Leader for Ashoka’s “Start Empathy” Initiative, Rogin instructs her students about social change, utilizing the concepts of courage and empathy as the means for promoting human rights and global citizenship. Locally, she will focus on helping students restore the Pacific Chorus Frog habitat at a portion of Baxter Creek that runs next to the hillside of the school at Canyon Trail Park. In addition to teaching in her kindergarten classroom, Rogin also teaches dance and serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Representative on the elementary school campus, which opens the school up to a wider community.

With her passion for promoting diversity awareness and community impact globally, Rogin will connect her classroom through Skype interactions with a school she has worked closely with in Takoradi, Ghana, West Africa. In doing so, she plans to not only grow the Peaceful Changemakers Curriculum internationally, but also provide both classrooms with a one-of-a-kind shared experience in learning about global literacy and intercultural communication.

Rogin told the Contra Costa Times, "The focus of this project is on cross-cultural communication and on building our students' cultural competency skills—the ability to communicate across difference. Cultural competency is a skill set that is essential to educating our children in the 21st century, when they will be expected to be able to communicate with people from all around the globe."

Check back soon for a video of the official winner announcement at Prospect Sierra School, when GOOD and University of Phoenix surprised Rogin with the news that she won.

In the meantime, learn more about Rogin and other inspiring educators in The Great American Teach-Off here.

Pictured left to right: Winner Madeleine Rogin, GOOD Education Editor Liz Dwyer, and University of Phoenix College of Education Assistant Dean Gay Lynn Pendleton Smith, Ed.D. Photo courtesy of Prospect Sierra.

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