2017 Capstone Projects

Our graduate students choose a capstone based on their passions, needs in their context, and projected leadership development based on the Teacher Leader Model Standards. The four options are research, teacher created project, teacher leader internship, or candidacy for National Board cerfification.

Read below to see what the class of 2017 is doing to change the education world.


Curriculum development: a project/internship combination

Leslie LaRocca, a high school social studies teacher in Boston, is currently facilitating curriculum development for an independent schools course offered in summer of 2017, as well as working to further refine and develop our pilot Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership-Independent Schools program. She is working side-by-side with leadership at both Mount Holyoke College and The Williston Northampton School. Leslie's project will be implemented in July 2017 as her work guides the learning of two independent school cohorts during one of their summer graduate classes.


National Blogging Collaborative

Growing as a thought leader in equity: building a blog and developing the skills to coach other teacher bloggers

Catherine Thompson, a veteran NY educator, is working on a project/internship combination with the National Blogging Collaborative, a free service developed for teachers, by teachers, in order to create more teacher voice in the national education narrative. She will be developing her own blog on equity, publishing, and learning to coach other teacher bloggers as well. Her first blog post will be highlighted by The Teaching Channel in April. We can't wait to see its impact!


Kids learning

Developing SEL professional learning opportunities for teachers

Janelle Dickerson is creating Social Emotional Learning (SEL) professional development for her colleagues at her school in New York. This will be something that can be scaled and shared with other teachers across the US. Janelle is also working as a SEL Fellow with the National Network for State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY), where she is learning about SEL curriculum development with teachers from across the nation. She is working with the lead facilitator of this fellowship as she focuses on adult learning through developing dynamic online learning experiences. 

Photo courtesy of AFS-USA.




Writing a book to capture the impact of teachers

The power of story. Stephanie Ferland is embracing this tool to positively impact society's perception of educators. She is working with an editor from Stenhouse Publishers to begin the book drafting process, capturing the stories of teachers in her life and beyond. Advocacy, thought leadership, and qualitative research combined, written in narrative through a teacher's voice. 

Photo courtesy of HartwigHKD.


Leading teacher teams in curriculum, professional learning, and data

One graduate student is working in an internship as a Curriculum Team Leader (CTL) at her school. This position requires her to meet monthly with the school's second grade team, then separately with the other elementary CTL’s and building principals, and again with central office staff including the Assistant Superintendent, Superintendent, and department heads. In addition to the various collaboration, projects include creating budgets, collecting data and feedback regarding various curriculum initiatives, leading professional development sessions, and mapping curriculum.

Photo courtesy of Jason Talleious.

US Department of Ed

Developing curriculum to build student advocacy skills

Emily King is teaching second grade has been working on developing curriculum for her school that helps students gain self-awareness and advocacy skills. This project is a culmination of coursework from many of her courses, and will shared with her colleagues and implemented at her school in the fall of 2017. This is sure to help address the needs of a growing population of students at this school.

Photo courtesy of Department of Education.



Building meaningful family partnerships in HeadStart


Laura Dailey, c/o 2017, is completing her teacher leader internship at The Washington County Head Start facilities in Granville, Ny and Whitehall, Ny. Her work focuses on implementing family outreach into the learning environment and demonstrating the benefits that shows for student development. She is developing a family partnership project called "How do we raise readers," focusing on teachers and families building meaningful early literacy skills in the youngest readers.