Graded Superintendent Receives International Innovation Award

The Graded Gazette

We are proud to announce that Graded Superintendent Richard Boerner is the 2023 recipient of the Association for the Advancement of International Education's (AAIE) prestigious Dr. Keith Miller International Innovation Leadership Award. Established in 2016, the award honors an impactful international school administrator who has adopted innovative practices to advance the strategic mission of their organization.

Mr. Boerner was presented with the award on February 7, at the 2023 AAIE Global Conference in Washington, DC, in recognition of the work that Graded has undertaken to institutionalize deeper learning and emphasize metacognition. 

“We received a number of nominations this year," asserts AAIE Executive Director Laura Light. "The AAIE Board believes the work that Graded is doing, and has been doing for the last four years under Richard Boerner’s leadership, is paving the way in international education and deserves to be recognized.”

To undergo the work, Mr. Boerner established the Graded Learning Lab and restructured the school's Teaching and Learning Department. Graded's deeper learning coaches and curriculum coordinators, under the direction of Chief Learning Officer Shannon Beckley, wrote and developed two faculty education courses: Deeper Learning Foundations, a nine-week introductory class, which focuses on the intersection of mastery, identity, and creativity; and Deeper Learning Fundamentals, a deep dive into cognitive science principles. Each of the school's K-12 educators completes this training over a period of two years.

Graded High School Social Studies Teacher Adam Pierce says that his teaching practice has been profoundly impacted by the coursework. "Before I took Graded's Deeper Learning course," reflects Mr. Pierce, "my students learned something, moved on, learned something, moved on. Now, drawing on the techniques of deeper learning, they are able to weave together their knowledge to create a more complex, deep, and nuanced understanding of the content and concepts that we're studying."

The school has begun measuring the impact of this new institutional focus on students. Graded Director of Analytics, Innovation, and Research Shauna Hobbs has engaged WestEd, an educational research firm, to conduct quantitative and qualitative studies. Early results are promising, and the school will be publishing its initial findings in the near future.