References

For more information about the impact that Bill’s presentations have had on schools and districts, explore the following recommendations.  Full copies of all references can be provided upon request.

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Recommendation from Rick and Becky DuFour
Educational Authors, Consultants and Architects of the PLC at Work Process.

Over the past nine years, Bill has worked closely with Rick and Becky DuFour — experts on the role that professional learning communities can play in driving change in our schools.  Rick and Becky have had the opportunity to watch Bill present to audiences at dozens of Professional Learning Community Institutes, which bring together thousands of educators interested in reinforcing their own professional learning communities.

Here’s an excerpt from a letter of recommendation that Rick and Becky wrote for Bill based on this work:

As educational consultants who have worked with educators in all fifty states, every province of Canada, and countries around the world, we have had the pleasure of observing some outstanding educators. We hold none of those educators in higher regard than Bill Ferriter, a wonderful teacher and an articulate and persuasive champion of the Professional Learning Community at Work TM (PLC) process.

Bill has boundless energy and contagious enthusiasm for helping educators rethink some of their fundamental assumptions and embrace new practices. He connects with teachers and administrators alike because, as a current practitioner, he is fully aware of the pressure educators are currently facing. He doesn’t preach to educators, he honors and respects them and the important work that they do. He is not a critic: he is an advocate and coach.

 

Recommendation from Mike Mattos
Educational author, consultant, and architect of the PLC at Work Process. 

One of Bill’s professional development mentors is Mike Mattos, former middle school teacher and principal who now drives change as an architect of the PLC at Work Process.  Having had the chance to work alongside Mike at dozens of Solution Tree PLC Institutes, Bill has polished his knowledge and understanding of both PLCs and RTI.  More importantly, Bill has polished his ability as a professional developer by watching Mike work with audiences.

Here’s an excerpt from a letter of recommendation that Rick and Becky wrote for Bill based on this work:

While a depth and breadth of content knowledge is at the foundation of effective teaching, this alone is not enough to provide highly effective, impactful staff development.  The content must be taught very well. We know that students learn best when they are highly engaged and collaborative, and when the work is meaningful and relevant.  Yet, I find that most of the professional development provided to adults is the opposite—monologue lectures with little engagement or modeling of strategies.  This is not Bill.  He is truly a teacher’s teacher and a staff-development super-star. 

With all his skills and talents, Bill could undoubtedly be an exceptional site principal, an award-winning superintendent, or a full-time educational consultant.  But his passion and calling remains first and foremost in the classroom, directly working with students.  This conviction provides a credibility to his words and a practicality to his professional development work.  The goal of staff development should be to help educators improve their practice, which in turn will help students learn more.  

When staff development is provided by a fellow educator—one that chooses to stay on the front lines of education—the results provide a level of relevance, candor, and empathy that is second to none. As a previous awarding-winning principal, I can say with absolute confidence—I would bring Mr. Ferriter to my school or district in a New York minute!

 

Recommendation from Stephanie Phillips
Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Burlington School District, VT

For the past five years, Bill has worked with the Burlington School District in Burlington, Vermont — a district working to tighten the core practices of their professional learning communities.  Bill has delivered two-day workshops to Burlington teachers, worked with individual schools and learning teams, and provided guidance and support to district coaches and interventionists.

Here’s an excerpt from a letter of recommendation that Stephanie Phillips — the Director of Curriculum and Instruction — wrote for Bill based on this work:

Bill not only understands and believes in the power of PLCs, he lives these ideals and brings the classroom perspective that engages teachers in the work of collaboration.  Bill truly walks the walk. My district has contracted with Bill to work with our teachers three times a year for the past four years.  Bill’s work with our district initially centered on the foundation of collaboration and the key elements of working together as a team.

Under Bill’s leadership our PLCs have grown to expand their toolbox of professional practices to include the use of unit overview sheets and developing student learning targets.  This professional development has been critical to our district as we transitioned to Common Core State Standards in math and literacy. The professional development Bill provides as a classroom teacher is more than just support for an initiative, this work is now at the core of our school district culture.

 

Recommendation from Elisa Carlson
Director of Instruction, Surrey School District, Surrey, BC.

In January of 2013, Bill spent three days helping teachers in the Surrey School District outside of Vancouver, British Columbia to imagine what highly engaged classrooms would look like in the 21st Century.  Here’s an excerpt from a letter of recommendation that Elisa Carlson — Surrey’s Director of Instruction — wrote for Bill based on that work:

Bill’s knowledge of the changing nature of teaching and learning in the twenty-first century is outstanding. This knowledge is grounded in the lived experience of his own teaching practice. He practices what he preaches. He knows what it means to create authentic learning opportunities for students that provide them with real world problems to solve and that require creative thinking and communication skills.

He understands the necessity of engaging the digital learner so they can have choice and voice in their learning. These are powerful concepts that change the nature of the learning experience for students. When students are engaged in deep learning it has a powerful effect on student achievement. 

 

Recommendation from Robin J. Hall, Ed.D
Executive Director, Regional System of District & School Support, Region 4

For the past five years, Bill has worked with Region 4 of the the Regional System of District and School Support in the Bay Area of California.  Specifically, he has led conversations as a part of their Digital Leadership series and delivered two-day workshops on teaching with technology, integrating the Common Core into social studies and science classrooms, and creating highly functioning PLCs.

Here’s an excerpt from a letter of recommendation that Robin Hall — the Executive Director for the R4SDSS — wrote for Bill based on this work:

I have observed Mr. Ferriter’s unwavering commitment to improving educational opportunities for all students. He is a passionate practitioner who is willing to take risks and lead staff to examine new and evolving practices aimed at increasing student engagement and learning. As a classroom teacher himself, Mr. Ferriter brings exceptional credibility to bear as he offers teachers user-friendly digital tools to enhance their lesson delivery and formative assessment activities. 

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