/ May 23, 2018

Innovation Bright Spots in New Hampshire

Rochester Middle School http://www.rochesterschools.com/rms/  is our first pick as a “Bright Spot” of Innovation in education in New Hampshire.  This week we had the pleasure of participating in Learning Walks at the Rochester Middle School in Rochester, NH.  The Learning Walks gave us a glimpse into a model of personalized and competency-based learning that blends technology with varied instructional strategies to support students. The model supported by Ed Elements, takes classroom instruction to a manageable and student-centered level, with a multi-level approach that is engaging and challenging, and most importantly attentive to student needs. It was evident in every classroom that student learning was at the core of the model. Superintendent, Michael Hopkins believes that the model has helped teachers target instruction, something that was a challenge before implementation.  Principal Adam Houghton noted that the model has improved student engagement and the teachers are invested in continuing to work with and fine-tune the system to help students.


Last week, we had the opportunity to visit the Manchester School of Technology (MST) (http://mst.mansd.org/home). MST is our second pick as a “Bright Spot” of Innovation in education in New Hampshire. Thank you to principal Karen Machado who help our visiting team with a tour of the facility and several educational programs.  It was evident, that MST is focused on meeting the challenge of competency education and in developing a personalized learning environment for students. Students we spoke to, were invested in their learning and clearly articulated their learning and goals. Congratulations MST for inspiring us. 

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Ellen Hume-Howard

Executive Director

Ellen Hume-Howard has served as NHLI’s executive director since 2017.  In this role, she leads NHLI to assist New Hampshire schools and districts to deepen their innovative practices in education and improve learning for all students.  In addition to managing a staff of five, she also works directly with teacher leaders and administrators to support competency-based and personalized learning, assessment design, and competency-based instructional practice.

Since 2014, Ellen has worked with state and national experts to design a competency assessment program using performance assessment for state accountability.  Initially called PACE, the program was a first-of-its-kind accountability and assessment.  In 2022, NHLI launched NH PLACE (Performance Learning and Assessment Consortium for Educators) to support performance learning and assessment.

Before joining NHLI, Ellen worked as the director of curriculum for the Sanborn Regional School District, and guided the district’s research, design, and implementation of a nationally recognized K-12 competency-based learning system.

Ellen received her undergraduate degree in English from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s degree in Education and a CAGS in Educational Leadership.

Ellen and her husband Kip live on the New Hampshire Seacoast.

Categories: NHLInsights, Research and Resources

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