22 Aug 2014
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Bethel Schools Names New Director of Teaching and Learning

Michelle Rutledge will be overseeing curriculum and teacher development district wide.

Bethel Schools Names New Director of Teaching and Learning
Along with the announcement of Berry Elementary Principal Dr. Kristen Brooks being named the new Assistant Superintendent, Rockwell Elementary Supervisor of Reading and Language Arts Michelle Rutledge has been promoted to district wide Director of Teaching and Learning, effective July 1.

The school district is also preparing two more appointments in the coming months, including a new Superintendent and Special Education Director.

Superintendent Smith’s letter announcing Rutledge’s new position follows:

I am very pleased to announce Mrs. Michelle Rutledge was unanimously appointed by the Board of Education as the Director of Teaching and Learning. This position expands her current responsibilities for curriculum development and implementation, adds greater responsibility for staff professional development, greater responsibility for Bethel’s assessment program, and greater responsibility for implementing research-based academic intervention practices across the entire K -12 continuum.   

Mrs. Rutledge is a Bethel high school alumna; She has family ties to the community, and a long employment history in Bethel.

Mrs. Rutledge earned a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University. She earned a Masters of Science in Elementary Education from Southern Connecticut and a 6th Year Degree in Educational Supervision and Administration from Sacred Heart University.

She began her teaching career in Bethel in 1997 as a Grade 3 teacher at Rockwell school. She was promoted to Learning Initiatives Teacher in 2003 and promoted again to Supervisor of Reading and Language Arts in 2011. In her years as Teacher, LIT, and now Supervisor, Mrs. Rutledge has earned the respect and admiration of staff and administrators. She has been responsible for overseeing the administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the lead in designing, implementing and managing all aspects of Bethel's Student Learning Data management system. She has been the chief architect behind the creation of our district benchmark assessment system and the lead coach in conducting analyses of our student assessment data.

In the area of teaching and learning Mrs. Rutledge is a bona fide expert. She has been a key leader in developing and implementing our Common Core aligned Language Arts curriculum.

She has spearheaded the effort in utilizing Learning Focused Conversations to improve understanding of Core standards and best instructional practices. Mrs. Rutledge planned the strategic rollout of our professional development plan designed to increase teachers' understanding of the Instructional Shifts embedded in the Core Mathematics and Language Arts standards. As a result of her work, she was selected by Student Achievement Partners (the authors of the Common Core) to collaborate with the most progressive literacy and mathematics leaders from across the U.S. in order to accelerate the learning necessary to successfully implement the Core standards. To frame it differently, Mrs. Rutledge has been identified as one of the most progressive educational leaders in the U.S. involved in Core Standards implementation. Most recently, as part of the Helmsley Project, Mrs. Rutledge convened the Helmsley Support Group to coach and support teachers' development of the video-taped lessons that will be utilized by teacher evaluation guru Charlotte Danielson and Student Achievement Partners to showcase high quality, core-aligned instruction for all teachers across the country.

Michelle Rutledge is a tour de force. Her background, experience, passion, dedication, intellect and ability to collaborate make her the most obvious choice for this expanded role. She will be a critical player in Bethel for ensuring that all of the work being done to improve student achievement not only continues but accelerates. Her expanded role coupled with the appointment of Dr. Brooks helps to ensure that Bethel Public Schools doesn't miss a step as it seeks to identify a new Superintendent of Schools and a new Director of Special Education and Pupil Services.

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