Frank LaBanca

Frank LaBanca

Frank LaBanca is a teacher, educational researcher, and change agent. He is the Founding Principal of Danbury Connecticut’s Westside Middle School Academy Magnet, which opened in September 2014. Previously, he was the Director of the Center for 21st Century Skills at EDUCATION CONNECTION, where he directed and managed the implementation of innovative science, technology, engineering, and math programs in 50 high and middle schools across Connecticut through funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, Connecticut Department of Education, and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

Frank has been recognized as a National Education Association Innovation Teacher, a GTE GIFT (Growth Initiatives For Teachers) Fellow, a RadioShack National Teacher for Excellence in Science, Math, and Technology, a fellow of the Connecticut Academy for Education, and the Teachers’ Insurance Plan Teacher of the Year, and he was recently named the 2015-16 middle-level recipient of the William Cieslukowski First-Year Principal of the Year Award by the Connecticut Association of Schools.


About the Students at the Center Distinguished Fellowship

The inaugural cohort of the Students at the Center Distinguished Fellows was a diverse group of nine leaders in policy, practice, and research from around New England, each selected for their vision, contributions, and impact in the student-centered learning movement in the region. The Fellows’ overarching goals were:

  1. to investigate, use, and promote effective renditions of student-centered learning (i.e., personalized, competency-based, student-owned, and anytime-anywhere) in the New England region and beyond; and
  2. to communicate research findings in ways that make them actionable and accessible for policymakers and practitioners to maximize students’ academic achievement, particularly for those students who have been historically underserved.

Along with four research teams announced in November 2016 and a group of prominent national advisors, the Students at the Center Distinguished Fellows comprised core members of the newly formed Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative. With thought leadership and anchor funding from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative is a bold new effort to investigate and evaluate what we know about student-centered learning within and beyond school walls, and then leverage that knowledge to affect meaningful change at scale.

Learn more about the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative.
The first cohort of Students at the Center Distinguished Fellows is generously funded by The Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

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