Janine Russo is the Weston Education Foundation’s (WEF) most recent recipient of the renowned David Trigaux Innovation Award. WEF gives this award to teachers who demonstrate a unique level of originality and dedication toward creative teaching. The $2,500 award may be used in any way that fosters educational innovation, including travel, studies, or work outside the classroom. “WEF’s objective is to enable recipients to pursue their work with increased vigor,” said Grant Chair, Sandy Hart.
Ms. Russo’s “flip classroom” initiative (wherein videos that she creates are watched by students at home and the work is done in the classroom) reduces the amount of time spent on homework. In addition, any questions students have are answered during class as they are working, making much more efficient use of class time. Students have found that the videos are an excellent study resource as well. Ms. Russo has also supported the use of Google Hangouts and the Canvas Platform for online review sessions. This allows students and teachers to schedule study groups at convenient times increasing work productivity and learning opportunities.
Another innovative tool Ms. Russo uses is “Breakout Boxes”, which lead to enhanced student collaboration and communication as they work to uncover a series of clues that come from correct problem solving.
“Ms. Russo makes learning fun and allows her students to learn and collaborate at a higher level. Her methods help students develop improved study habits that they apply in other classes. In her additional position as the Curriculum Instructional Leader in Mathematics, she also provides guidance and support to other teachers. We are grateful that teachers like Janine Russo continue to enrich our schools with their dedication and creativity,” said WEF President, Marcia Hamelin.
The Award is named for David Trigaux — teacher, principal, program administrator, and former superintendent of the Weston Schools — who was widely recognized for encouraging creativity in education and for his support of teachers who brought it to their classrooms. He also played a critical role in the creation and early evolution of Weston Education Foundation.