engage2learn - Female Executive of the Year
Company: engage2learn, Portland, TX
Company Description: e2L offers services that unite communities to design a local vision for learning, outline a clear implementation plan and establish sustainable systems that shift a public school district’s culture from a “sit and get” environment to one where students own their learning.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year – Business Services –11 to 2,500 Employees
Nomination Title: The Business of Changing Lives
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
Over the last year, Shannon Buerk has led the engage2learn (e2L) team on a mission to make public schools the number-one choice for all families. Public schools have the potential to be powerhouses of positive change by partnering with experienced outside companies. However, many companies working with public schools offer ready-made, cookie cutter services that don’t work. The reason is simple: there is no return on investment with cookie cutter services because these services aren’t built for a school’s individual needs.
Shannon wanted to see real change for local public schools. With this goal in mind, she created a customizable suite of services, eSuite, to help school districts get the results they need.
eSuite is comprised of three services: Learning Innovation Framework (LIFe), Learning Environment Design (LEDe), and Responsible Innovation Design (RIDe).
Through LIFe, Shannon guides districts in a process that helps them design a learning framework. Students, parents, business partners, teachers, principals, and district leaders provide input on the ideal learning experience for students in their community. LIFe is more than a learning model: it’s a structured process for much-needed cultural change in school districts. Shannon’s LIFe process helps schools create culture that props up teachers, leaders, and students, leading to more equity and opportunity in the classroom.
Shannon designed LEDe to help schools integrate technology and facilities into their plan for learning. Too often districts throw funds into tech or new furniture without a plan for integrating these tools with the actual learning process. LEDe flips the traditional process on its head by helping schools build an environment and technology plan aligned to their learners’ needs.
RIDe identifies how measures will be responsibly rolled out over time, ensuring sustainability. RIDe offers a structured process to teach leaders to responsibly roll out their plans through coaching, by building internal capacity.
RIDe helps districts consolidate their many initiatives into one, aligned plan. Instead of bombarding leaders and teachers with numerous measures, Shannon strategically combines all district initiatives into one sequence for rollout. This ensures the district’s plan for learning actually comes to fruition.
eSuite is revolutionary because it’s hyper-customized and designed by the districts themselves. Shannon’s eSuite services are truly unique because they’re locally-designed by districts--and they get results.
Through LIFe, Corpus Christi ISD both saw increased attendance, decreased discipline referrals, and increased STAAR standardized test scores by 3% – 20% for all subjects.
Alamo Heights ISD had a very high retention rate. However, through LEDe, Alamo Heights ISD experienced a further 5% increase in teacher retention. The district saw blended learning become a reality in its classrooms, integrating technology seamlessly for innovative learning.
Through RIDe, Shannon helped Mesquite ISD streamline their literacy initiative. e2L-coached classrooms had 87.19% of the learners reading on grade level, compared to just 78.13% in non-coached classrooms.
Shannon’s eSuite has brought innovative, engaging learning experiences to over 2.3 million students, and that’s only the beginning. These services connect school districts with research-based processes that encourage leaders, teachers, and students to engage in the classroom. Shannon is quite literally in the business of changing lives.
Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):
Shannon K. Buerk is known throughout the nation as a leader in providing proven processes that empower high performing cultures for K-12 public schools. After serving as a teacher and district administrator for 20 years, Shannon founded engage2learn. The foundation for e2L evolved from Shannon’s love for her sister. Shannon’s sister, an artist, is a high school dropout who struggled to conform to a state accountability system that squashed creativity. Shannon, a high school valedictorian, saw first-hand the frustration her sister experienced and vowed to make a difference. As a result, e2L is a mission-minded company making learning meaningful for every student.