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Glenn Whitman presents to Bolles middle and upper school faculty
Glenn Whitman presents to Bolles middle and upper school faculty
Bolles faculty participating in workshop in Gym
Mehtacognition leadership presents to Bolles faculty in conference room
Bolles faculty participating in workshop in conference room
Bolles faculty participating in workshop in conference room
Ponte Vedra Beach Campus Associate Head Anne Fallon presents in classroom
Bolles lower school faculty group shot
Professional Development Days Provide Opportunities for Growth, Collaboration

The Bolles School hosted two Professional Development Days this fall to provide faculty members with opportunities for growth, connection and collaboration.

On November 3, all Bolles middle school and upper school faculty members – except for those in the Social Studies department – participated in a Professional Development Day focused on learning about the most promising research strategies in Mind, Brain and Education (MBE) Science via a partnership with The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL).

Since its inception in 2011, CTTL has worked to advance the science of MBE within St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and through the establishment of partnerships with influential organizations like Teach for AmericaJohns Hopkins University and Research Schools International. In the last 10+ years, CTTL has expanded its impact by presenting to, working with and training over 30,000 educators from around the U.S. and the world. 

CTTL Director Glenn Whitman led morning and afternoon sessions in Davis Gym, unpacking the definition of MBE Science, developing the Bolles’ MBE professional word wall and examining their thoughts about teaching, coaching, leadership and learning post-workshops. In addition to co-authoring the book “NeuroTeach,” Whitman is a history teacher, student advisor and coach at St. Andrew’s – and all CTTL staff are teachers at the school.  

The Bolles Social Studies department spent the day concluding its partnership with Mehtacognition, which has been leading a coaching process for the department’s educators, as part of the School’s strategic plan, since the 2022-23 school year.

These sessions were facilitated by Allen Broyles, a managing director at Mehtacognition, who has extensive experience as an independent school teacher and administrator as well as affiliations with NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute and SAIS Institute for New Teachers. 

Broyles introduced the Social Studies department to the Bolles Inclusive History Design Guide. This document was developed with the department over the last few months to provide a framework to support faculty as they design inclusive curriculum and classroom environments, manage difficult conversations and teach civil discourse. Much of the day was spent in design teams using the new guide to reflect and refine curriculum currently taught by members of the department. 

Bolles lower school faculty came together for a separate Professional Development Day on October 20, with the Whitehurst Campus teachers traveling to the Ponte Vedra Beach Campus for a joint day of learning. The group welcomed Dr. Cat Baker, founder of the Florida Children’s Institute, as their keynote speaker to discuss her experience and the organization’s mission of making a difference for children and families coping with a wide range of behavior issues and learning disabilities.

Despite having ADHD, Baker earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Florida, an M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis & Developmental Disabilities from Auburn University, a B.S. in Psychology from the University of North Florida and a B.S. in Health & Exercise Science from Wake Forest University. She is passionate about helping children and families who “don’t fit in the box” or who have “brains that work differently” to reach their potential because of her own experience.

After the keynote, the lower school teachers broke out into sessions that included a discussion about the math curriculum led by Whitehurst Campus Head Dr. Christy Lusk, a responsive classroom session hosted by Ponte Vedra Beach Campus Assistant Head Anne Fallon, a Nearpod workshop presented by Whitehurst Campus fourth grade teachers Dr. Jaime Swartz and Michelle McCall, and a Collaborative Classroom lesson.  

Thank you to everyone who made these Professional Development Days possible – and to all the faculty for their enthusiastic participation!