George Lucas Educational Foundation
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share

As March is now upon us, it's important to note that we have a unique opportunity this month to celebrate . . . Women! March is Women's History Month, a time to honor the contributions women have made over the centuries.

We know and recognize that there are many women in years past who have given their hearts, minds and souls to things we now take very much for granted. Most important of these, no doubt, is the women's suffrage movement. There have also been other amazing feats of success by women in art, music, sports, literature, education, math and science, to name just a few.

Today, though, I want to celebrate and share with you ten women in my personal learning network (PLN). These are ten women who inspire, who pour their hearts out and give of their time to this great profession we call teaching. These are women who rock their work, teach many and support new teachers! I want you to get to know them better as you do YOUR work this month to share activities with your students that will help them learn about inspiring women and events in women's history.

1) Aviva Dunsiger

Aviva is a first and second grade teacher in Ancaster, Ontario. She loves finding new ways to integrate technology into the classroom to help her students learn and also have more control over their learning. In the past few years, Aviva has been a great support to me in my work with new teachers. She has shared her talents with me in New Teacher Chat, the New Teacher 1st Year YouTube channel and other projects. You can always count on Aviva to be enthusiastic in her pursuit of knowledge and sharing that freely with others. You can find her blogging here and also on Twitter as @grade1.

2) Jo Hart

I met Jo online over two years ago through my friend Shelly Terrell. Jo lives in rural western Australia. Currently she is a lecturer in literacy and numeracy (with some IT) in the public Vocational Education and Training sector (TAFE). In this work, she is teaching entirely online, via an e-blend virtual classroom, to regional students who cannot attend on-campus classes. Every Thursday, you can count on Jo to present an online webinar, open to all via Edublogs BlackBoard at 3:00pm PT. Her next session is this Thursday, March 8th! I have learned so much from Jo through her support in a number of projects, as well as working with me at The Reform Symposium. She is shy, unassuming and brilliant. I highly recommend that you get to know Jo and attend one of her webinars. You won't be disappointed. You can read Jo's blog and follow her on Twitter @JoHart.

3) Mary Beth Hertz

Mary Beth, or MB as she is known to her friends, began teaching in Philadelphia in 2004. She has been a science teacher for grades K-6 and a technology teacher with her own computer lab, where she is still busy at work. One of the amazing current projects that Mary Beth launched is the AFPCS Gems Club, which is an all-girls robotics club at her school! MB is an enthusiastic supporter of new teachers. She has joined me as guest on New Teacher Chat, and shared a video with me on the New Teacher 1st Year YouTube channel. I'm honored to have her join me in June, presenting on my New Teacher Panel at ISTE12 in San Diego. MB co-moderates #edchat, blogs here at and is always willing to lend support to new teachers. You can find her on Twitter @mbteach and blogging at PhillyTeacher.

4) Angela Maiers

Angela is the founder and President of Maiers Education Services, a consulting firm headquartered in Clive, Iowa. I met Angela in March 2011 at ASCD. She is outgoing, energetic and radiates an amazing positivity. She has graciously invited me to join her in projects, introduced me to wonderful new social platforms, and participated with me in New Teacher Chat. I'm grateful to her for her willingness to share her gifts and talents with me and with new/pre-service teachers. I recommend that you consistently keep in mind, especially this month, what your passion is as a teacher. Read The Passion Driven Classroom by Angela Maiers and Amy Sandvold. It's all about the role passion plays in our work, our lives and our classrooms. She practically lives on Twitter @angelamaiers and blogs at

5) Shannon Miller

Shannon is a teacher, librarian and tech integrationist in Van Meter, Iowa. She loves connecting, creating, change, advocacy & NOISE. I first met Shannon on-line via #edchat. She has a tremendous, engaging energy. Whether sharing about the latest project with her learners at Van Meter or supporting a teacher online, Shannon can truly be counted on to go out of her way to support others. She has participated with me in New Teacher Chat, and graciously agreed to be on my New Teacher Panel in June at ISTE12 in San Diego. She blogs here and is an active presence on Twitter @Shannon Miller.

6) Megan Palevich

Megan has been an educator for 17 years and is inspired every day by the students she teaches. She recently accepted a position as curriculum specialist at an independent school in Philadelphia. I'm grateful to her for joining me in my passion to support and mentor new and pre-service teachers, not only in New Teacher Chat, but in some soon-to-be, upcoming projects. If you will be at ASCD this March 2012, look for Megan, as she will be representing New Teacher Chat at the ASCD Tweet-up! You can find her on Twitter and blogging at

7) Zoe B Pipe

Zoe is a teacher at Hamilton Wentworth District School Board and instructor for pre-service education at Brock University in Ontario, Canada. She is always looking for innovative/engaging teaching methods. She is driven by a desire to seek ways to use technology tools to support her pre-service teachers. She has been a consistent supporter of New Teacher Chat and has worked with me to bring teachers at Brock to the chat on a consistent basis. You can find her on Twitter @zbpipe and blogging at PipeDreams.

8) Greta Sandler

Greta is in Buenos Aires and works as an elementary ESL teacher. I met her on Twitter and found her to be vivacious and enthusiastic. I'm grateful to her for the ongoing discussions we can have about many subjects, even though we might not chat for weeks at a time. Greta is a co-moderator for Elementary Chat (#elemchat) and is always willing to lend support to a new teacher. She is on Twitter @gret and blogging at About a Teacher.

9) Shelly Terrell

Shelly (@shellterrell on Twitter) calls herself an "Education Thought Provoker.: Well, she is that . . . and so much more! Shelly lives in Texas but is a true global jet-setting educator and works as a teacher trainer, author and international speaker. She is the co-founder of #edchat and blogs at Teacher Re-boot Camp. It was in the fall of 2009 when I didn't yet have a presence on Twitter that I saw her tweet about a recent blog post. I responded to the blog post and left a lengthy comment. We struck up a friendship, and she soon mentored me in all things Twitter! We've since collaborated on several wonderful projects, one of which is The 30 Goals Challenge. I'm grateful to Shelly for her support of my New Teacher Chat, and so much more!

10) Joan Young

A talented woman with tremendous educational gifts, Joan is an elementary teacher/academic coach in Northern California. She has a passion for building efficacy in kids and is the author of 25 Super Sight Word Songs & Mini-Books published by Scholastic. I'm grateful to Joan for joining me in past projects and in my passion to support and mentor new and pre-service teachers as a co-moderator for New Teacher Chat. Most recently we worked on a venture this summer for Joan is the author of one of 20 apps to be released for iTooch Elementary, apps which will support students with their work on the Common Core State Standards. You can find Joan on Twitter @flourishingkids, supporting Elementary Chat #elemchat and blogging at All Kids Can Flourish.

I'm truly inspired as I interact daily with these women and their work supporting students and teachers in their own back yards and around the world.

Now that I've shared and celebrated these ten amazing women from my PLN, I'd love to hear from you! As we celebrate Women's History Month, share with us a woman who has made a difference in your life as an educator.

Was this useful?

Comments (6) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Mikael Engström's picture

For many students the privilege of a great teacher in school can make a big difference in their life.
Here is a teacher extraordinaire from Hawaii you may want to add to your list:

Mrs. Amy Burvall (and her creative partner Mr. Herb Mahelona) have created more than fifty fantastic music videos based on well known songs (mostly from the 80's), but with new and brilliant lyrics related to historical events.
All this has been done on their free time on a "zero budget", originally to inspire and motivate their own students to study history, but now they are inspiring and motivating people all over the world.
Apart form creating "music for education" they are also involved in many other educational projects.

In November 2011 they held a very inspirational TEDx talk in Honolulu:

Here are their music videos on YouTube:

Here are some other links:

Bloggucation's picture
21st Century Fluencies Consultant

One educator that just has to be added to this list is one that inspires me everyday and that is my wife, Jennifer Faulkner (@learninghood on Twitter). Jen has transformed her teaching style over the past few years from teacher-centred to 100% student-centred. She provides differentiated and blended environments and provides all students with opportunities to explore materials in new, unique, and innovative ways that meet their indivudal learning styles and academic needs. She is a passionate educator that holds students first over all else and strives to provide the best possible experiences for them that she can. Her learning community, "The Learninghood" ( provides students with a social learning network within which they can grow and reflect upon their learning as individuals and as a group - thus supporting the learning of all. This learning, so supportive of all three-parts of the assessment continuum (as, of, and for learning) is open and accessible to parents - thus making learning transparent and visible to all. Currently, Jen is spreading her passion to other educators as the Blended Learning / eLearning Contact (eLC) for the Grand Erie District School Board (GEDSB). Her belief is that all students can be engaged by letting them drive their own learning experience.

Lisa Dabbs's picture
Lisa Dabbs
Educational Consultant. Author. Speaker. Blogger.

So great to see two men sharing the impact that women have brought to their lives. Thanks so much, guys!

Pete's picture
Adult Student and Sometimes "Educator"

I have to agree with Mikael Engstrom's comments above. I can only add one thing, they also tweet as:
amyb herbm @historyteacherz

From here they occasionally post links to some very useful resources.

John Norton's picture
John Norton
Education writer, Founder & co-editor of

Hey Lisa -- my PLN is about 50/50 women and men, and I'm being overly generous to the guys. :) Here are five out of dozens of brilliant women educators that help me understand teaching and learning much more deeply.

RENEE MOORE - A Milken winner and former Mississippi teacher of the year, Carnegie Scholar, NBCT and NBPTS board member, important blogger, national treasure.

SHERYL NUSSBAUM-BEACH - Book author, CEO, national thought leader on connected professional learning, champion of women's voices in edtech circles.

NANCY FLANAGAN - Music teacher, former Michigan TOY, NBCT and NBPTS Fellow, major teacher voice on national ed policy via Teacher in a Strange Land. And a powerful writer, to boot:

DONALYN MILLER - The Book Whisperer, YA and Kid Lit guru, book author, Twitter goddess, Ed Week blogger:

HEATHER WOLPERT-GAWRON - Your fellow Edutopia blogger, 8th grade teacher on the front lines, the TweenTeacher, author of a fine book for Middle School teachers (esp. newbies!) and a woman whimsical enough to name her new son "Samwise."

Thanks for smartening me up, ladies.

Lisa Dabbs's picture
Lisa Dabbs
Educational Consultant. Author. Speaker. Blogger.

What a great comment! I love your passion for sharing how these women have touched your life and supported you to be a better educator.
Bravo my friend!

Sign in to comment. Not a member? Register.