Later this afternoon we say good-bye to our friend and co-worker, Alexa Rodheim-Cutler. At 29, Alexa lost her battle with stage IV, triple negative breast cancer. You can read more about her journey here, and you can read more about the amazing influences she had on her students and peers and beyond here.
The CollabLab would like to take a moment to thank Alexa for the influences she had on our school and district. Immediately as she became a staff member, Alexa's collaborative qualities were apparent. Even before stepping foot into the classroom at EG, she was meeting with her new team members outside of school to learn the curriculum and share ideas. She was always at school late making and revising materials, all of which she shared with her teams as a team leader and team member.
She became an early active member of our Peer Observation Groups, opening her classroom doors for people to observe and coming in to observe others. She was constantly trying new ideas that she had learned whether they were through technology or traditional teaching methods. This dedication and innovation were apparent as she was one of the first members on the Professional Development Committee, which helped to plan our initial staff-led institute day sessions. She also wrote a post called "Lesson Reflection: determining relevant vs best evidence" for this blog (in addition to the others that she influenced).
Alexa never shied away from difficult conversations with her students in and out of the the classroom--whether that be sharing information about her own treatments, listening to their concerns and helping guide them with their problems, or tackling challenging social issues such as racism and homophobia. Students and staff knew of Alexa's kind, yet firm, nature and felt comfortable talking to her and listening to her advice.
Thank you, Alexa, for all the lessons you taught us. We are grateful to have known you and had you in our lives. And we will miss your collaboration, reflection, and passion for teaching.
During the day we invited staff to come to the Collab Lab to write messages or memories on the whiteboard wall.