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Dana Kirton, Clara Barton

Dana Kirton_Page 2Fourth grade teacher, Dana Kirton, credits Turnaround with teaching her cooperative learning strategies that helped transform her classroom from a place where children would not answer questions for fear they would be ridiculed, to one where they were willing to take risks. “I have children who have a lot of academic struggles,” Kirton stated, “And frankly who’ve shut down because they can’t do the work. And to be able to see them coach each other, and not shut down, and see the ideas come to light because we’re working together is amazing.”

And when there were questions or crises, the Turnaround team was there to help. “Their presence in the building reassures people that somebody is actually listening. Teachers need that as much as students,” Kirton admitted. A change in culture was accompanied by a change in expectations. “Now there’s a foundation of excellence,” Kirton explained. “My expectation is that we can build on what we have and I can challenge the students even more academically.”