iLEAD Schools Summer Learning

Summers Are for Fun, Relaxation and a Whole Lot of Learning – Part 2

While learners often associate summer with anything but learning (at least formally), facilitators often use summer to rest as well as to learn. Their professional development can take many forms. Recently, in part one of our focus on summer professional learning, we shared various conferences and professional development events that Maker Learning Network facilitators and leaders are participating in this summer. In part two, we’re sharing more professional development taking place this summer in the form of professional reading, book studies, continuing higher education and more.

Continuing Higher Education

Jose Gonzalez headshotJose Gonzalez, an iLEAD Lancaster Student Support Care Team member, is a graduate student at USC and completing courses for school counseling, including group counseling, collaborative consultation in the school setting, school climate and classroom management, and multicultural counseling. In the fall, he will be ready for his role as a graduate school counseling intern at iLEAD Lancaster.

Maker Learning Network’s Program Development Manager Manuel Ortega is taking two online courses this summer: financial accounting and macroeconomics.

Rebecca Warren Jones headshotRebecca Warren Jones, Student Support Assessment Coordinator at iLEAD Student Support, is wrapping up courses toward her master’s degree at Liberty University in administration and leadership. Her summer courses are curriculum and instruction, school finance and school-community relations.

Justin Rodriguez headshotLittle iLEADers iCREATE facilitator Justin Rodriguez is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in child development at Brandman University and continuing classes all summer long.

Book Studies, Professional Reading

Amber Soto headshotiLEAD Director of Mathematics Amber Soto is doing a book study of Project-Based Learning in the Math Classroom. Joining Amber are 10 facilitator colleagues: Susan Miller of Empower Generations, Christopher Bojorquez of iLEAD Agua Dulce, John Hamman of iLEAD Antelope Valley, Samuel Frank and Elizabeth Gill of iLEAD Lancaster and Carolyn Kreiger, Lynn Nirattisai, Jessica Harrison and Michelle Guire of iLEAD Santa Clarita (SCVi).

Michele Bowes headshotMichele Bowes, iLEAD’s English Learner Coordinator, is focusing on professional reading this summer. For her work with English learners, she is reading the following books: Breaking Down the Wall: Essential Shifts for English Learners’ Success and Reading and Writing with English Learners. For her equity-focused work, she is reading Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and Don Lemon’s This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends about Racism.

Rhonna Horney headshotiLEAD Agua Dulce facilitator Rhonna Horney is reading Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer to inform her work in reading engagement this fall.

iLEAD Antelope Valley facilitator Dr. Shayna Markwongark is doing lots of reading and research this summer, both professionally and personally. She has chosen 10 books to read. Her first book will be Cal Newport’s Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.

Lucy Howlett headshotColorado SKIES Academy facilitator Lucy Howlett is reading The Classroom Management Book by Harry K. and Rosemary T. Wong. She also recently took the online course The Practitioner: Master Project Design Skills from PBL Global and Thom Markham. Howlett is using the information gained to plan projects for the upcoming year.


Erika Cedeno headshotErika Cedeño, Spanish facilitator at SCVi, is doing a variety of work related to the CAASPP and other assessments, as well as a course on teaching Spanish as a second language for deaf learners.

Natalie Teichmann headshotiLEAD Online’s Natalie Teichmann is listening to French and Spanish podcasts from Duolingo. These podcasts, according to Teichmann, are from real people all over the world with unique stories to tell. “I love hearing about their lives, hopes and dreams,” Teichmann said. “I love getting a glimpse of all these cultures around the world.”

Mary Alice Hamilton headshotFacilitator Mary Alice Hamilton of WorldOver is working on historical sewing projects this summer. These projects are from the 1930s and WWII. She is also looking for opportunities to use her 18th-century costumes. “I’ve found that aside from being fun, these projects extend my understanding of math and history,” Hamilton said.

Jeanette Chadwick headshotJeanette Chadwick of Empower Generations is supporting the program’s summer workshop: Booming Business. This four-week project supports their Write a Business Plan competency. The learners are using English, math and arts to design a small self-care business and pitch it to the school to secure their funding. Their Presentation of Learning will be a farmers’ market booth where they sell their products (cold-process soap, beeswax candles, raw sugar scrub and bath bombs). Learners pay back their costs but keep all profits so that the workshop is self-sustaining and can be replicated in the future. Skills to be developed include identifying the main idea and details, justifying opinions with evidence, calculating unit cost and markup and advertising using the different modes of persuasion. In addition to the summer workshop, she is planning to further her professional growth by reading about learner-centered assessments and projects, progressing on her 200-hour yoga teacher certification and attending a webinar on play-based learning.

Laura Kazan headshotWorking on getting learners to college, and being successful once there, doesn’t stop for iLEAD Exploration College Advisor Laura Kazan. She is working year-round on college advising and already working with rising seniors. She is also coordinating with special education staff members to make sure college accommodation information is available to all learners who need it.

Kristan Van Houten headshotKristan Van Houten, Outreach and Communications Coordinator at the Maker Learning Network, is spending the summer constructing scaffolding for a Parent Engagement Plan for the network’s schools. This will help to connect families from the moment of interest to the point of enrollment and beyond. Using current contracts for connections like ParentSquare and social media, she is hoping to create calendars and ways to disseminate information in a sustainable and replicable way so that the network is sharing the best of who they are and what they do for the community. According to Van Houten, this includes boothing and outreach kits and training, calendared content, book suggestions, TED recommendations, professional learning for prospective and current families, tour training guides, community connection opportunities and much more.

Jeff Courtney headshotJeff Courtney of Maker Learning Network Creative Services is proud to share that he just completed building the MLN Creative Services Archives. This archive folder on Google Drive has been curated, organized and now has 10 years of uploaded projects for every school and program within the entire organization. “I know summer has just begun, but we wanted this project completed this summer,” Courtney said. “Mission accomplished.”

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