Over the past four years, I have found Elizabeth to be a bright and resourceful professional who is well equipped to handle the complexities endemic to a broad range of educational contexts. Elizabeth was brought on board to train staff on the “backward design” methodology, and to assist them in crafting essential questions that will drive their subsequent revamping of our five-year life skills, vocational development, and college prep curriculum. Elizabeth’s contributions were highly effective and well received. Her work was very ordered and well planned, and she went to great lengths to make herself available before, during, and after meetings for consultations with staff. A committed educator in her own right, Elizabeth is conversant in a broad range of educational models, approaches her work in a highly collaborative fashion, and adapts readily to a broad range of educational contexts. She is directive without being overbearing, exhibiting an even-keeled style that helps staff to trust in their own problem-solving capabilities. In grappling with the complex intersections of theory and praxis, she is both highly collegial and exceptionally well informed.John Lindamood, Deputy Director, The Bridge Program, Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
...From the very first day of the course, she established a tone of genuine excitement about learning and fostered authentic collaboration among the teachers. She employed a variety a highly effective teaching strategies to engage the group in robust, rich conversation, and provided myriad opportunities for participants to reflect upon their practice, learn new strategies, and share insights with one another. With her genuine interest in the thoughts and ideas of the participants, and her warm sense of humor, Ms. Imende-Cooney had the group totally engaged and actively learning within minutes, establishing a foundation for structuring each week’s activities with a pace and rhythm that was highly effective for the group. The course content was rich and varied, and particularly relevant and pertinent to the educators in the cohort. Indeed, I had attended the first session of the course only to introduce Ms. Imende-Cooney to the group, and decided to enroll in the class myself, based upon my experience in the class on that first evening. Without a doubt, it was one of the most enriching, energizing, and intellectually stimulating courses I have taken in my twenty-seven years in education.. [Read More]
Leonard E. Swanton, K-12 Professional Development Coordinator, Lexington Public School District, Lexington, Massachusetts
Elizabeth gained the trust of our teachers from the beginning – a credit to her blend of unquestioned expertise and genuine openness. Elizabeth used the rapport she built with our teachers to encourage them to take on the risks of honestly reflecting on their teaching and sharing their practice with their colleagues. Teachers genuinely enjoyed their time with Elizabeth (this, in spite of the fact that two of the workshop days were Saturdays!) because they felt respected as professionals and believed that under Elizabeth’s guidance they were being stretched in very practical, but powerful, ways as educators. As an administrator, I greatly valued Elizabeth’s time with our school because she did what all administers hope for – she helped us develop into a community of professionals committed to building our collective expertise through honest assessment of our practice. We are a different, better school after working with Elizabeth.
Michael Heidkamp, Principal, Greene N Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois
Our district recognized the need for a system-wide common understanding of best practices in teaching and the underlying pedagogy . We decided that offering as many educators as possible a course that would give them a framework for analyzing teaching would be the focal point in our quest to support meaningful, observable district-wide best practice. Elizabeth Imende was assigned to our district - and we consider ourselves most fortunate to have had the privilege of her expertise. Elizabeth Imende is hands-down the best educator with whom we have had the pleasure of working because she models every facet of the concepts she teaches as she plans, presents and summarizes her workshops.
Susan M. Ambrozavitch, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Danvers Public Schools District, Danvers, Massachusetts
We first met Elizabeth at the annual AISA (Association of International Schools in Africa) educator's conference where she was presenting a seminar on Curriculum Planning specifically using backwards design. We really liked the clarity of her explanations and her skill at adapting her presentation in response to the questions and learning needs of the audience while still moving towards her objectives. We invited Elizabeth to come to our school to conduct a similar training with our entire faculty. She came and worked with our staff over two years helping them to develop their understanding of backwards design and guiding them in the design of standards-based units. Again Elizabeth was willing and able to adjust her workshops and materials in response to the unique learning needs of the various grade-levels and departments that met with her. The combination of her expertise in the subject matter and her open and friendly manner were key in developing the skill and confidence of our staff.
Liz Hargreaves, Director of Teaching and Learning, American International School of Johannesburg