"[Dr. Hughes'] students struggle with myriad challenges, including issues such as depression, hyperactivity disorders, and anger. Troubled students frequently come to Linda Tutt from other districts in the state as a last resort. In short, Ann’s program is the last hope to get these kids on the right track.
[Dr. Hughes] has limited resources, both from a funding and personnel perspective. However, she meets those challenges holistically and creatively. She stops students each day to engage in meaningful conversations about their lives. She taps into programs like Ripple Effects for Teens, which has modules that address a wide range of issues including mental health, personal trauma, and academic challenges. Ann has designated individual rooms throughout campus dedicated to giving students space to regroup. There’s a Movement Room to work off excess energy and a Chill Out Room for relaxation. Music, yoga, and dance are other key elements she incorporates to reach her students.
To fill the gaps in funding and personnel resources, [Dr. Hughes] has spearheaded community partnerships with local churches and charities, which provide counseling support not available at school. These collaborations have resulted in students honing their agriculture skills at community gardens and learning how to run a business via a nonprofit grocery store."
Nominations for this award were judged by a panel of education experts, including Laura Ascione, eSchool News editorial director, Kevin Hogan, eSchool News editor-at-large, and Eileen Belastock, CETL, Belastock Consulting.
In the coming weeks, Hero Awards nominations will be highlighted on eSchoolNews.com. Winners and finalists will be featured on the site throughout Fall 2022, and on the eSchool News podcast Innovations in Education, hosted by Hogan.
The winners and all program finalists will also be published in a custom K-12 Hero Awards ebook at the program’s conclusion, which will be available for download.