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Obama awards AVID teacher with a national accolade

Barack Obama recently awarded the American National Teacher of the Year Award 2014 to an AVID teacher, Sean McComb from Maryland.

The Victoria Institute is leading the implementation of the Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) program in Australia with assistance from Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme (HEPPP) funding.

AVID is a renowned university-readiness program developed in the USA 30 years ago. The program assists educators to prepare low SES and under-achieving students with the academic, social and emotional skills to aspire to, enter and complete a university education.

During the award ceremony, President Obama highlighted Sean's awareness of the social, emotional and educational challenges students face. The parents of a student in Sean's class thanked him in a letter for his positive approach in motivating and teaching their child.

Claire Brown, Chief Investigator of the AVID program in Australia, says the award acknowledges Sean McComb as an exceptional educator and the AVID program's ability to equip teachers with the necessary skills to empower their students.

'AVID's holistic approach involving school leaders, teachers, students, parents and the community is what separates it from other programs,' says Claire. 

'The AVID program offers extensive teacher and leadership professional learning programs (in Australia and America), modelling and immersing educators in engaging and explicit teaching skills.'

AVID Australia hosts its annual professional learning program for teachers, called the Summer Institute, at VU in December, every year. In 2013, over 300 educators attended from across Australia, New Zealand and USA.

In July, the AVID team from The Victoria Institute will be presenting and attending the AVID professional learning conference in America.

'Our research has shown that Australian schools implementing AVID are producing significant improvements in school student outcomes. We are researching the sustainability and transferability of AVID to contexts around the world,' says Claire.

Watch Sean McComb receive his award from Barack Obama, President of the United States.

Read more about AVID Australia or make an enquiry about this year's Summer Institute by emailing [email protected].

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