Motivate, Modernize, Personalize

Sean Dusek, ASA President, Superintendent, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

As we work our way through the school year, it is important to have a vision to keep us on the path to success. This year, we are focusing on motivation, modernization, and personalization. It is best to start with a student-learning perspective on what these words mean.

Personalizing education is a core concept that we have worked on for many years. Tomlinson’s work with differentiated instruction really comes into play here with the focus on getting to know your student in a variety of ways, including their interests, strengths, and learning styles. This also supports the concepts of positive relationship building and relevant instruction as building blocks for successful student learning.

Modernizing the educational system also fits with personalizing education. Access to online opportunities is becoming a fundamental right for our students. Utilizing video conferencing and distance delivery methods provides a 24/7 learning environment and allows our best teachers to engage with students anywhere. This shift will expand collaborative efforts across districts and provide opportunities for our students to experience a wide variety of cultures, rigorous curriculum, and access to experts worldwide.

When modernizing and personalizing education are rooted in the fundamental concepts of differentiation, relevance, and relationship building, motivation to learn follows intrinsically. Students are allowed to explore, and they are given the opportunity to relate fundamental standards to their world and to their hopes and dreams. Ultimately, we are trying to develop a love of learning within our students. We know the keys to doing this. Now it is time to fully utilize the tools we have to more effectively and efficiently support growth in our students and set them on a path of lifelong learning.

ACSA MISSION STATEMENT:  “Our mission is to create a common voice, advocating for public education by shaping policy and growing leadership capacity across the State.”

ACSA VISON:  “We envision ASCA as the premier organization that brings great educational leaders together to raise our collective voice and stand in unity for the success of all Alaska’s students.”