Inspired to Foster Personal & Authentic Learning

Livingston School Employees Inspired to Foster Personal & Authentic Learning on Their Campuses This Semester
Posted on 01/20/2020
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Nationally Acclaimed Author Leads Professional Learning Day

WALKER, La.The Walker High School gym was near capacity earlier this month as teachers, administrators, and staff with Livingston Parish Public Schools crowded into the facility to hear from a leading national author share on ways they can make a difference in the lives of the children they come into contact each day on their school campuses.

“We wanted to pause just a moment during this ‘half-way’ point in our schoolyear, before returning to the classroom for the spring semester, to remind our employees why we do what we do,” Superintendent Joe Murphy said. “It’s about the kids, and we can’t ever lose that focus. We wanted to remind our employees in a powerful and meaningful way that it’s our job to foster personal and authentic learning experiences for all our students – every day.”

Thomas Murray, director of innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education in Washington, D.C., presented information from his new book, “Personal & Authentic: Designing Learning Experiences that Impact a Lifetime.”

He shared life experiences and video presentations from mentors, other teachers and students who have been positively impacted by caring educators and school employees.

“The intent of my presentations is to encourage every school employee to recognize the talents, passions and strengths inside each child,” Murray said. “It’s important that we see them as more than their test scores.”

“In the last two decades, so much work has been done on developing accountability measures. So much focus has been put on test scores, that data has become paramount; but we can’t lose sight of what we’re doing, that our goal is educate and develop the whole child,” Murray said. “Recognizing that every child has unique qualities and circumstances, and making learning relevant for every child, has to be our mindset each day.”

In addition to Murray’s presentations, several schools and central office programs sponsored kiosks in the Walker High Gym foyer in a “gallery walk” display to share information and creative ideas on their learning programs. Teachers also gathered in smaller workshop groups, called EdCamps, on various campuses to collaborate on projects for their individual schools and grade levels.
Mr. Murray
Thomas Murray presented two sessions to Livingston Parish educators and staff on how to design learning experiences that are personal and authentic.

purvis Livingston Parish School Administrators Kelly Jones (left) and Jody Purvis (right) load a t-shirt into an air cannon to launch it out to teachers and staff who participated in the professional learning sessions on Jan. 7.

AdminGray’s Creek Elementary Para-professional Julianne Sadler and Assistant Principal Michelle Denton showcase robotic projects they do with their students as part of their STEM curriculum. The school’s kiosk was one of many in the “gallery walk” at the district’s professional learning day.

Notice of Discrimination

The Livingston Parish School Board does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, national origin, disability or gender in its educational programs and activities (including employment and application for employment), and it is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of gender by Title IX (20 USC 168) and on the basis of disability by Section 504 (42 USC 794). The Title IX Coordinator is Stephen Parrill

Livingston Parish Public Schools is committed to ensuring that all websites and web applications, both public-facing and for internal use, conform to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (W.C.A.G.) 2.0 Level AA. Any issues should be reported (, Assistant Superintendent, P.O. Box 1130, Livingston, LA 70754; Phone (225) 686-7044. The Special Education Director is Dr. Eric Penalber (; the LPPS 504 Coordinator is Marcia McKnight (, P.O. Box 1130 Livingston, LA 70754; Phone (225)686-4248.

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