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Desiree Dancer

Alhambra Elementary School District
VILS Coach
Phoenix, AZ
Desiree is currently the VILS Coach at Choice Learning Academy, a Project-based, academies-focused (Arts, Innovation & Entrepreneurship) junior high school. There she works with teachers to integrate their 1:1 iPads in to their instruction and leads groups of students known as the Tech Team and Lab Leaders.  Prior to her work as a Cohort 6 VILS Coach, Desiree was teaching 1st through 8th grade art at Madrid Neighborhood School in Phoenix, Arizona, Desiree worked as the Art Coordinator at a Boys & Girls Club in Scottsdale, Arizona and as the Art Director for a Visual and Performing Arts Program in her hometown of Marlboro, New Jersey. In 2008 she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Science in Art and Design Education from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past 18 years, she has had the opportunity to coach and develop young artists through the art and design process, as well as train and mentor art educators across the country. In 2017 Desiree achieved National Board Certification, the most respected advanced teaching credential available in K-12 education. Desiree has been teaching art and technology in Arizona public schools for the past 10 years. She specializes in innovative learning strategies within a progressive, student-centered, maker-based pedagogy. Her students thrive through a blended learning model: a mix of face-to-face and technology mediated activities. This year's induction of the VILS Innovation Technology Lab will create opportunities for the students at Choice to authentically engage in creative problem-solving while creating meaningful physical and digital products. The ability to explore and utilize state-of-the-art technology daily will make the campus' curriculum more relevant, increase accessibility to 21st century learning tools, increase student interest and skills in STEAM, promote social and emotional learning, and personalize learning through choice and voice. This year we are taking Desiree’s maker pedagogy to the next level by leveraging powerful technology for design and production while helping students develop skills in design thinking process and social innovation.
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