Principle David Lougee of Silver City New Mexico transforms alternative high school using innovative teaching methods.
When David Lougee of Silver City New Mexico stepped into his role as principal of Bear Lodge High School, he quickly saw the need for a new approach to teaching. Each student at the alternative high school had their own unique learning style, which means the traditional methods were simply not working for the students or the teachers. In order to address this issue and improve the learning experience at Bear Lodge High School, David Lougee began expanding on his own professional development.
Research in project-based learning led him to discover 21st Century Learning by Lee Crocket. David Lougee of Silver City New Mexico began studying alternative methods, and under the direction of his superintendent, was able to visit High Tech High in San Diego, California. His stay in California proved to be very effective, as David Lougee was able to fully immerse himself in project-based learning from the administration, teachers, and students at High Tech.
Returning to Bear Lodge High with a wealth of information helped the teachers change the way they thought about instructing. More importantly, it helped them understand how their students preferred to learn. Individual plans were created for each student based on their own personal interests and career goals. Those interests were then incorporated into school subjects like math, social studies, science, English, and physical education. After implementing this new strategy recommended by Principal David Lougee, there was an increase in student attendance, grades, and school pride.
Another important aspect of teaching is listening to student feedback. After hearing the education building felt institutionalized and like a “jailhouse”, a student was able to design a more comfortable area for learning through the use of math and English. The project consisted of measuring, planning, and designing an open concept room with couches and group seating areas. A second room was designed as a quiet area, where students could get away to collect their thoughts before returning to the class. A third room was made for messy projects like painting, woodwork, and crafts.
The project brought the entire school together thanks to approval from the superintendent and assistance from maintenance, who helped with moving walls and painting. Under David Lougee’s leadership, the school was transformed into a safe and inviting atmosphere for all.
About David Lougee:
With more than 25 years of experience in education, David Lougee of Silver City New Mexico has worked as an administrator, teacher, and coach across the United States. He firmly believes all students can learn when provided with instruction that meets their individual needs. He has a passion for the outdoors and enjoys fly fishing, camping, and traveling with his wife.