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Monday, March 4, 2019

Committees Honored for Portrait of a Graduate Foundational Work


Portrait of a Graduate committee chairs received Global Leader awards. (l to r: Patrick Richardson, Kara Yates, Jason Gay, Keith Faust, Angie Gintonio, Samantha Reynolds)
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By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor

This year the Fort Thomas Independent Schools board introduced a new program to recognize those in the school and broader community who have demonstrated one or more of the core competencies identified in the Portrait of a Graduate initiative. So far educators, parents, business leaders and others have received Global Leader awards.

In February, the board chose to honor all the people who have been working behind-the-scenes on committees for each of the core competencies to develop learning plans to make the Portrait of a Graduate a reality for students.

"Our focus today is about our Portrait of a Graduate committees," said Superintendent Karen Cheser. "We’ve had several people working for more than a year to create instructional blueprints for all of the competencies so we can move forward in actualizing Portrait of a Graduate."

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She shared a list of more than 60 people on the committees that include teachers, administrators, parents and community members.

The board recognized the chair persons for the committees with Global Leader awards and provided certificates of appreciation to all the committee members. The committees and chairs are:

Courageous Leader – Patrick Richardson and Kara Yates
Creative Problem Solver – Jason Gay
Curious Critical Thinker – Keith Faust
Empathetic Collaborator – Angie Gintonio
Global Communicator – Samantha Reynolds

Instructional blueprint drafts shared


Later in the board meeting, members of the committees presented on the work they’ve been doing to provide teachers with tools to help them identify the skills and goals for each core competency for students across all grade levels.

"We knew that the next step for Portrait of a Graduate was to take it beyond just a nice graphic that’s on the wall or the shelf – to actualize it. First we’ve described what each of these competencies are and now we are creating some framework, some instructional blueprints to make it more clear for teachers to be able to work with and design instruction," said Cheser.

Assistant Superintendent Bill Bradford introduced the committee groups and explained that each would discuss how they researched and came up with the skills and goals they identified to build their blueprint.

"This is work that is considered a work in progress.” The teachers were given time to explore, work with and internalize the competencies, he said, “But concurrently we started working on a tool to provide teachers by which they could conceptualize and understand the meaning behind what these competencies are. And that meaning we wanted to be derived from our people themselves."

He explained, "The mastery of understanding students and what we want them to be able to do comes from within our five buildings’ walls. We wanted to utilize that strength and that passion and that expertise to put together ...instructional blueprints, guidance for teachers. We want teachers to feel confident, to be on board."

The instructional blueprints are designed to help teachers navigate the meaning and significance of the competencies districtwide, particularly through certain skills.

Outlining skills for each competency


Basic skills or traits for each of the competencies are outlined in the draft blueprints shared by the committees at the school board meeting. Each skill includes goals that would illustrate levels of understanding as students progressed from skill introduction to integration, elevation and finally to innovation. At the innovation stages, students would be able initiate and master the skills. The proposed skills for each competency are:

Courageous Leader skills


Courageous Leader Committee presenters Susan Vetter, Kara Yates, John Gesenhues, Patrick Richardson, Sommer Rosa, Dawn Laber

  • Social and emotional well being skills
  • Future focused skills: for younger students, identifying skills and interests; for older students, developing post-secondary plans
  • Leadership skills and opportunities skills

Creative Problem Solver skills


Creative Problem Solver Committee presenters Jason Gay, Stephanie Perkins, Matt Bertasso, Heidi Neltner

  • Discovery skills
  • Dream and Design skillsDiving in skills
  • Delivery skills
  • Debriefing skills

Curious Critical Thinker skills


Curious Critical Thinker Committee presenters Pat Agard, Karen Kampschmidt, Ashley Dikeous, Peter Winkler, Keith Faust

  • Wonder skills
  • Discovery skills
  • Reasoning skills
  • Perspective skills
  • Reflection skills

Empathetic Collaborator skills


Empathetic Collaborator Committee presenters Katie Stewart, Angie Gintonio, Michael Howton

  • Receiving skills
  • Sharing skills
  • Designing skills

Global Communicator skills


Global Communicator Committee presenters Julie Dashley, Diane McGhee, Samantha Reynolds, Pam Brenner

  • Listening skills
  • Writing skills
  • Conversational skills
  • Presentation skills

The draft blueprints and videos for each of the competencies are posted on the Fort Thomas Independent Schools website under the Portrait of a Graduate link. Bradford encourages input, discussion and suggestions.


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