Originally published May 3, 2015
Five weeks ago, I made the difficult decision to resign from my much-loved post as Mount Vernon Presbyterian School teacher-learner and as the MVPS Institute for Innovation Director of the Center for Design Thinking, effective May 27, 2015.
For eight years I have been privileged to call Mount Vernon Presbyterian School my work home. I treasure and will miss my amazing colleagues and the kind students of Mount Vernon immensely. So much so, it made this decision one of the hardest I have had to make in my professional career.
In my letter of resignation, I thanked Dr. Jacobsen for his enduring support and expressed my appreciation for all we have been able to build and grow together — in particular, I thanked him for a recent conversation in which he affirmed: “You are the lynchpin…”
As the Director of the Center for Design Thinking, I have led a K12 organization in the creation, implementation, infusion, and ever-evolving design of DEEP design thinking methodology. I have served as a champion and partner for educators and administrators to infuse design thinking into instructional practices as well as pedagogical design. I have had numerous opportunities to facilitate and coach professional learning workshops, conferences, and learning sessions in-house and nationally. I have been a connector for the organization, provoked significant change inside classrooms and institutionally, inspired new ways of thinking, and evangelized and amplified the strengths of others. As a futurist of the organization, my fingerprints are evident throughout Mount Vernon and MV’s Institute for Innovation. I am leaving grateful and proud of my contributions to a remarkable, fearlessly future-facing school.
While I leave Mount Vernon with my heart heavy, I remain a creator, designer, connector, and builder. I know I leave behind lasting roots of an infusion of DEEP design thinking, an indelible impact on the ethos of the Mount Vernon community, relationships that go beyond the schoolyard, and lasting connections of learning and growing within my students. During these last eight years, I have built something here from the ground up. What I have built is flourishing. And it is time for me to build somewhere else.
My hope is to find a space where I can align with a community to create, grow, collaborate, and build through User-Centered and change-driven design. As much as the current buzz word of STEAM is on everyone’s radar, I consider myself a d.TEAMSs educator and learner (Design, Technology, Engineer, Arts, Math, Science, & Social). I want to work in collaboration with teams of teachers to infuse DEEP Design Thinking into curriculum and pedagogy. Equally important to me is to serve as an elbow partner with teachers to facilitate DT experiences with students.
In short, I am seeking a new playground. I want nothing more than to build right now. While the present is uncertain, it is also full of promise and possibility. I carry with me 18+ years of diverse educational experience, an innovative spirit, and a skill set that positions me to climb mountains and bring to life ideas and dreams. Until what’s next, you can always find me at DEEP design thinking, The i.Design Lab, and @scitechyEDU