WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Galesburg School District Acquires New Teaching Methods

Jun 18, 2014

The founder a private school in Atlanta, Ga. paid the Galesburg School district a visit last October, leaving the staff inspired by his teaching methods.

The Ron Clark Academy focuses on their three pillars that include teaching instructors to support, engage, and academically push the students. They emphasize these pillars with constant energy.

Ron Clark Academy founder Ron Clark with students during an event showing off the school to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in 2007.
Credit Scott Cunningham/Ron Clark Academy

Galesburg School District's director of human resources Diane VanHootegem made it her personal goal to find funding for staff to visit the Academy in Atlanta. The District and the Galesburg Public Schools Foundation paid the registration fees for 20 staff members, leaving them to pay only for travel expenses.

The staff went to Atlanta this month for two days, in which they learned several new teaching methods to promote creativity and enthusiasm in the classroom.

VanHootegem says the teachers are excited to implement what they learned this fall.

"We are currently planning the opening day activities and it will most likely look very different than what we've down in the past, and so the focus will be on Ron Clark Academy and the things that they do," says VanHootegem.

She also says that she feels the Galesburg School District has a great foundation, with many teachers who already demonstrate great teaching methods. Her and the staff would just like to see things being taken up a notch, keeping the energy constant.