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ODU Doctoral Student Kate Maxlow Earns State Award for Leadership in Teaching, Learning

By Megan Shearin

Kate Maxlow, a Ph.D. student in Old Dominion University's Darden College of Education and Professional Studies, recently was named the winner of the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (VASCD) Leadership Award. The award is presented annually to one Virginia educator for outstanding leadership in teaching and learning.

Maxlow will receive her award during the annual VASCD Conference in Richmond on Feb. 18.

Maxlow, who is earning her doctoral degree in educational leadership, serves as Hampton City Schools' director of innovation and professional learning. Maxlow works to guarantee that all instructors have access to engaging and useful professional development.

One of her primary interests is in instructional methodologies that engage students, both in learning and in helping students feel like a part of their community. She works with colleagues from the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Department to develop a program that is aligned with standards and student needs by incorporating a playbook of instructional methodologies, strategies and assessments.

"This award is truly a representation of the work that students, staff and the Hampton community put into Hampton City Schools every day," Maxlow said. "I have been lucky enough to work in a division where innovation is encouraged and everyone works together for the benefit of the young people we serve. It has been an honor to work in Hampton City Schools and help be a part of 100% of our schools becoming accredited without conditions. I cannot wait to see the ways that our division continues to grow."

In her role, Maxlow has organized the professional development program to help build staff capacity across the division. She led efforts to create top-notch banks of essential questions and understandings as part of an initiative to grow the use of student performance-based assessments. This emphasis on deeper learning is helping to bring about a change in educating and learning throughout the school division. The initiative has also led to an increase in teacher retention rates for Hampton City Schools.

The VASCD is an organization of more than 1,500 members statewide, including teachers, school administrators and higher education faculty.

Isaiah Wright, M.S. 2021, contributed to this article.

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