Ms. Shannon Dickinson, recipient of the 2020 Dr. Judy Flythe Teacher Leader Award, and a mathematics teacher at Lee-Davis High School in Hanover County. [View Image]Ms. Shannon Dickinson, a mathematics teacher at Lee-Davis High School in Hanover County Public Schools, is the the 2020 Dr. Judy Flythe Teacher Leader Award recipient. Shannon embodies what it means to be a teacher leader. For the past six years, Shannon has developed herself as a leader within Lee-Davis and beyond; her work as a teacher leader has reached beyond her own classroom and has benefited both teachers and students across the school division.
As the common content lead for Algebra 1 for the past six years, Shannon has sought to improve student outcomes through collaborative efforts to share knowledge and resources. When introducing common planning to her colleagues at Lee-Davis High School, she encouraged an environment of collaboration and openness, understanding that change can sometimes be difficult. Shannon’s hard work and determination have led to joint planning efforts that utilize data-based decision making and collaborative strategies for engaging all students.
A true proponent of equity in the classroom, Shannon’s work extends outside the walls of her own classroom and across the entire school division. As a member of the division-wide Equity Work Group in Hanover, she has created a professional development on equity for all educational staff in the county. Through her own willingness to dig into the research on equity, Shannon developed a division-wide professional development that addresses not only the disproportionate use of exclusionary discipline practices within the school system, but also encourages the use of equitable teaching practices for all students. Rightly named the “Equity Champion” for Lee-Davis High School, she continues this work as a leader within her own school.
Shannon’s interest in educational research has led her to make improvements in her own practice that have gone on to empower others in her school as well. When she noticed the link between literacy and mathematics not only in research but in her own classroom, she used research-based practices to successfully improve student learning. She created a grading rubric to allow for data-based assessment of students’ literacy skills and worked with the school’s math coach to ensure it would be accessible to other teachers in her school.
In true leadership form, Shannon has collaborated with others to create and lead a professional development on classroom management for all new teachers in the county. After achieving National Board Certification, Shannon now works to support other candidates. Understanding the importance of data in assessing students’ needs, she has created tools for collecting and analyzing data, sharing these tools with National Board candidates so that they can improve their own practice.
In her role as a teacher leader, Shannon not only encourages teachers, but students as well. During her time as a co-sponsor for the Lee-Davis BETA Club honor society, she has developed and stressed the importance of serving the community among her students. By finding ways for students to engage in the community through volunteering their time, she is starting them on a lifelong path of learning and leadership.
A true life-long learner and advocate, Shannon plans to use the Judy Flythe award to attend conferences in order expand her knowledge and understanding of equity within schools. She would like to take this knowledge back to the school division to continue her mission as an “Equity Champion” both in her own school and beyond.
Congratulations to the 2020 Dr. Judy Flythe Teacher Leader Award recipient – Ms. Shannon Dickinson!
Photo, top right: Dr. Terry Dozier (right) congratulates Ms. Shannon Dickinson, the recipient of the 2020 Dr. Judy Flythe Teacher Leader Award.