The Lexington Institute Graduates Its Second Cohort of Personalized Learning Fellows

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The second cohort of Lexington Education Leadership Award (LELA) fellowship winners celebrates the completion of their personalized learning fellowship. Each of the leaders is poised to bring their newly gained expertise to their district to improve the learning environment for students.

LELA Fellows from the second cohort sharing insights and dinner

LELA Fellows from the second cohort sharing insights and dinner

“The LELA Fellowship provided me an opportunity to work alongside my peers. I was able to explore the new world of personalized learning.The support provided was incredible and the opportunities for future networking were priceless!"

Ten school district leaders from across the country celebrated their completion of the Lexington Education Leadership Award (LELA) fellowship program in personalized learning today. This exclusive program brings these leaders together to learn from each other and leaders in personalized learning and allows them to develop expertise that they can bring to their district to improve the learning environments and opportunities for every student.

The LELA fellowship program is designed to support districts in their efforts to personalize learning. Each of the ten leaders made significant strides toward developing and codifying their vision and laying out their strategy for moving forward in their district. The LELA Final Showcase and Celebration, taking place in Washington DC today, includes a tour of DC Public School’s Randle Highlands Elementary School and meetings at the US Department of Education.

As part of the six-month program, LELA fellows each developed their own vision for personalized learning. During today’s Celebration, each fellow will share this vision with their peers and receive feedback from the group and their mentors as part of the ongoing effort to focus on innovation, iteration, collaboration and best practice sharing.

Selected from over 50 applicants, the district leaders represented a cross-section of the country. Each leader was selected based on the strength of their vision, their passion for improving student outcomes through personalized learning and their capacity to lead sustainable change at their districts. Leaders included:

Kim Hendon, Assistant Superintendent, Roanoke City Schools (Alabama)
Richard Hughes, Superintendent, Central Valley CSD (New York)
Valya Lee, Superintendent, Liberty County School System (Georgia)
Wanda Creel, Superintendent, Gainesville City School System (Georgia)
Kevin West, Superintendent, Roselle Public Schools (New Jersey)
Eric Hibbs, Superintendent, Marlboro Township Public Schools (New Jersey)
David Pyle, Superintendent, Nuview School District (California)
Angelique Nedved, Assistant Superintendent, Lawrence Public Schools (Kansas)
Juan Cabrera, Superintendent, El Paso ISD (Texas)
Dennis Krueger, Assistant Superintendent, Howard-Suamico School District (Wisconsin)

“It has been an honor to work with this group of dedicated and passionate leaders,” said Don Soifer, Executive Director of the Lexington Institute. “The remarkable work that this second cohort has been accomplishing over the past six months places their school districts squarely on the path to supporting high-quality models for personalizing teaching and learning for their students.”

“The LELA Fellowship is the most powerful professional experience in my educational career,” commented Kim Hendon, LELA Fellow and Assistant Superintendent of Roanoke City Schools in Virginia. “The LELA Fellowship has positively impacted my learning by changing what I fundamentally believe about not only what teaching and learning is but also how and why learning MUST be delivered as personalized to be effective and relevant for 21st century learners. I am excited about working with teachers in my district to put into daily practice with our students the lessons I have learned from the LELA Fellowship.”

"The LELA fellowship has really brought together the pieces for personalized learning and provided our district with a framework for future progression to achieve a truly personalized education experience for all," said Dennis Krueger, LELA Fellow and Assistant Superintendent, Howard-Suamico School District in Wisconsin. "Coupled with regional work in this area, the fellowship has also aided in igniting our leadership team with a much clearer vision. The professional networks, relationships, connections, and learning gained through this experience are second to none."

“The LELA Fellowship provided me an opportunity to work alongside my peers from across the nation,” said David Pyle, LELA Fellow and Superintendent of Nuview School District in California. “I was able to explore the new world of personalized learning. The support provided was incredible and the opportunities for future networking were priceless!”

Over the course of the six-month program the LELA fellows attended iNACOL and received support and guidance from the Education Elements team through onsite meetings with their district teams, support and coaching calls, and cross-district workshops.

As with the first cohort, The Lexington Institute again selected Education Elements because of its extensive experience in supporting the work of districts across the country and its track record of helping districts improve student outcomes.

“The vision of this group is remarkable,” said Anthony Kim, Founder and CEO of Education Elements. “Education Elements is privileged to work with these extraordinary leaders. It is an honor to once again work with the Lexington Institute to support the LELA fellowship program, and we are looking forward to seeing the valuable work these leaders will do in their districts.”

Fellows received mentorship and support from personalized learning pioneers across the country including Dena Cushenberry (Superintendent of MSD Warren), Ryan Russell (Assistant Superintendent of MSD Warren), Ken Eastwood (Superintendent of Enlarged City School District of Middletown), Amy Creeden (Principal, Enlarged City School District of Middletown), Matt Akin (Superintendent of Piedmont City School District), Jaraun Dennis (CTO of Uinta County School District #1), James Bailey (Superintendent of Uinta County School District #1) and Darwin Stiffler (Superintendent of Yuma School District One).

This second cohort of LELA fellows will join the first cohort as part of an alumni network and have access to additional professional development opportunities. The third cohort of LELA fellows was selected in May and began their journey at the Education Elements Personalized Learning Summit.

About Lexington Institute: The Lexington Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy think headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Founded in 1998, its major areas of focus include education, national security, energy and logistics. Please visit to learn more.

About Education Elements: Education Elements is a nationally recognized company that helps districts develop and implement personalized learning strategies through its consulting services and personalized learning platform, Highlight. Education Elements' services help districts to create strategies, design instructional models and support teachers in integrating technology and instruction. Our platform, Highlight, provides students, teachers, and administrators each with a single entry point to access digital content and the actionable data they need to guide instruction and learning. This innovative cloud service offers simple and accessible data visualizations with insights for users of all types. Education Elements has worked with over 300 schools across nearly 100 districts in the US; more than any other company. Please visit to learn more.

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