Tammy Renyard, Heather Brown & Susan Close
Susan Close: Finding and inventing strategies that make a difference to learning has been a driving force throughout Susan’s extensive career. She intentionally sought teaching experiences across the grades, and has led classroom-based inquiries and action research projects as a teacher, administrator, district coordinator, director of instruction, assistant Superintendent and as a consultant. The work included leading classroom-based learning rounds to showcase new practices ‘live’ with students. In 2008, for her multi-district work with evidence-based learning, Susan was awarded the Todd Rogers Award for building networks of educators focused on using evidence to inform teaching and learning. In 2007 Susan formally founded the SmartLearning approach, a system of learning that incorporates the best we now know about the brain and learning. Today Susan heads the SmartLearning training group, a team of K-12 educators dedicated to supporting the implementation of SmartLearning -- an approach that fosters deeper learning through the development of concepts, skills and competencies across the curriculum.
Tammy Renyard is a principal in SD 61, Greater Victoria. Prior to becoming an administrator in Victoria, she was a District Literacy Support Teacher in the Cowichan Valley. She is passionate about side-by-side work with teachers. Together they implement lessons designed to deeply engage learners in the learning process -- lessons that guide learners to know what to do on purpose to develop powerful thinking and deep understanding. Tammy has been working with the SmartLearning team for more than thirteen years. Tammy has worked with students at Vancouver Island University, Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria. She has led workshops and classroom-based learning rounds for educators in B.C., Alberta, the Yukon, and in the Northern Territories. Tammy is committed to collaborative learning models for educators that encourage and support increasing collective expertise.
Heather Brown spent ten years teaching junior and senior science in SD 6 (Rocky Mountain) before joining SD 61 (Greater Victoria), as a teaching vice-principal in a large secondary school. She has a focus on using SmartLearning practices to build conceptual understanding and competencies using content as a vehicle. Heather firmly believes literacy skills are the collective responsibility of all educators. Heather has experienced the power of SmartLearning for more than ten years as a classroom teacher, facilitator and presenter. She remains committed to the work because it builds efficacy in students and makes the learning process explicit to guide learners to know what to do on purpose to develop powerful thinking and understanding.