Midway Innovation and Learning Recognized for Outstanding Professional Development

The Midway ISD Innovation and Learning Department was recently named a winner of the 2022 Outstanding Professional Learning Award presented by Learning Forward Texas.

This annual award recognizes exemplary districts, teams, or campuses that utilize high-quality, results-driven professional learning designed to impact student achievement. Midway ISD is one of just two school districts in Texas to be recognized by Learning Forward Texas for their efforts to support teachers through dynamic professional learning programs.

Midway ISD is one of only two Texas school districts to win the 2022 Outstanding Professional Learning Award for professional development.

“Our current situation has caused districts to continue reinventing their professional learning plans.” Executive Director of Learning Forward Texas Lisa Ham said. “The teams from both [districts] have solved this year’s challenges with uniquely innovative solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of their teachers and students.”

Dr. Becky Odajima, Director of Innovation and Learning at Midway, said the work of her department is focused on providing teachers with knowledge, opportunities and support so they have the tools and technology they need to improve student learning. 

“Learning forward is a national organization that’s dedicated to the professional development and growth of educators,” Odajima said, “and they look at professional development as an opportunity to grow teachers that eventually leads to better student outcomes.”

The Outstanding Professional Learning Award is selected annually by the Learning Forward Texas Board of Directors. Applicants must complete an online application with a ten-slide presentation that consists of a project description, implementation plan, impact evidence, and next steps.

“This year, the Learning Forward Texas Board wanted to focus this award on districts that have solved the current challenges in professional learning in a unique and innovative way,” Ham said during the award presentation at Midway’s January school board meeting. “The board was very impressed with Midway’s Innovation and Learning Network. Becky Odajima and her team are definitely innovating to connect, inspire and empower teachers and staff, and we want to recognize them for making a difference in Midway ISD.”

The following Midway ISD Innovation and Learning team members were also recognized during the board meeting for using innovation, flexibility and creativity to continue to lead professional learning during a time of evolving needs: Sarah Collins, Jessica Fasani, Amy Platt, Tori Schoenfeld, Chris Woods, Jacki Friedholm, Rachel Lieber, Carolyn Yose, Lauren Phipps, Toni Donaghy, Adam Miller and Cheryl Roberts.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by a state organization for the work that we do,” Odajima said. “It really shows the quality of people that we have in this work at Midway.”

Watch the video below to hear from Dr. Becky Odajima why Midway is being recognized as one of the best districts in Texas for professional development!