The Director of Teaching and Learning at Indian Creek School is a vital position, which influences the academic program and classroom culture school-wide to ensure that the educational program achieves the school mission, vision, and goals. Indian Creek students and teachers have greatly benefitted from the work of Director of Teaching and Learning Mary Mannix, who will retire at the end of the 2018-19 school year after 30 years at ICS. During her tenure, Mary has built a collaborative learning community that facilitates the learning process by creating a nurturing, learner-centric environment with high academic standards. Through her work, Mary has inspired the faculty to provide challenging, authentic, and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities for Indian Creek students. We are confident that Sarah Allen will continue this important work, propelling Indian Creek into the future as a leader in education.
Ms. Allen has over ten years of teaching experience, the last seven spent teaching first grade at Indian Creek. An alumna of the ICS Class of 2001, Sarah graduated from the University of Rochester in New York with a B.A. in Psychology with a focus on Child Developmental Psychology, and holds her Master of Education in Learning and Technology from Western Governors University. Her graduate studies focused on instructional design and on research-based ways to effectively integrate technology in instruction. In addition to providing a transformational first grade experience for her students at Indian Creek, Ms. Allen has been active in the Teaching and Learning Cohort program and has designed and taught six blended learning courses. As Mary Mannix shared, "Sarah's enthusiasm for learning - and her willingness to learn with others - has built a network across the school of close collaborators."
Ms. Allen continually seeks to better her practice and share her knowledge with her peers. She regularly presents at national education conferences on innovative teaching strategies, coding, robotics, and blended learning. In addition, she has presented webinars on blended learning, design thinking, project-based learning, coding, and robotics. Last spring, she authored an article on technology integration in the elementary classroom that was published by the International Society for Technology in Education. Ms. Allen has won many prestigious education awards including a Baltimore City Outstanding Teacher award, the 2016 Pearson CITE Excellence in K-12 Online Teaching, and the 2017 ISTE Kay L. Bitter Vision Award. She and ICS Pre-Kindergarten teacher Kelly Bryant were named 2018 Fund for Teachers Fellows and were awarded a fellowship to study in Australia. Sarah also volunteers on the International Society for Technology in Education's Early Learning Network Leadership Team where she collaborates with teachers from around the world on how to best use technology with young children.
While Indian Creek is excited that Ms. Allen will have the opportunity to share her knowledge and talents as an educator school-wide, Sarah is looking forward to her new role as well. "I am thrilled to be working alongside our outstanding educators as we continue to provide an innovative and student-centered learning environment for our students. It is my passion to help teachers find new and innovative ways to engage learners using project-based learning approaches as well as helping all learners see the transformational power of technology-infused learning experiences. I deeply believe in our school's mission and philosophy and its role in the shaping of the young people who are entrusted to our care. By always striving to better live our mission and philosophy, we make each other stronger and create a stronger future for our students and school."
Booth Kyle, Indian Creek School's incoming Head of School, interviewed the final four internal candidates for this position, together with Mary Mannix and Deputy Head of School Linda Dennison. After the interviews, Booth shared that he was highly impressed with the quality of all seven applicants and confident that Ms. Allen will thrive in her new role. "In Sarah I see a teacher who can take us to the cutting edge and support our faculty members in their quest to be the very best."