Kyle Finke’s work at LRCE includes running one of the largest alternative certification pathways in Louisiana. With over 1700 teachers trained and serving in Louisiana classrooms, LRCE builds better educators through intense practice and constant reflection. Prior to this role, Finke was the Managing Director of Teacher Leadership Development for Teach For America in Baton Rouge, responsible for setting the vision and direction of a staff serving 110 teachers working in 42 schools across 7 parishes in Louisiana. Finke came to that from being the Training & Instruction Manager and Content Seminar Instructor for TNTP, focusing on new teacher training and assessment, alternative certification, and classroom instructional coaching while managing multiple staff and major clients. During seven years as a teacher, his classroom results doubled the number of students passing Louisiana’s high-stakes exams and was selected as a Louisiana Math & Science Teaching Initiative fellow at Louisiana State University’s Cain Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Literacy. Outside of work, Finke serves as a founding board member of Rooted Schools. Rooted is a New Orleans based charter high school devoted to helping students graduate with skills certification in high-growth, high-wage industries.

Why did you decide to join Deans for Impact?

Our work at Louisiana Resource Center for Educators (LRCE) is driven by a deep commitment to producing teachers who have the skills and mindset necessary to bring K-12 classrooms into a new age of learning and success. Deans for Impact is a natural fit as I lead LRCE’s team as I can learn alongside peer teacher-preparation programs that are tackling similar challenges and benefit from national expertise on creating new models within educator preparation.

What is one pivotal moment in your career in educator preparation that left a positive impact on you or others?

About six years into being a middle-school science teacher, I started hosting bi-weekly seminars at night for first-year science teachers. I realized that a high-performing professional learning community of teachers ran strikingly similar to a high-performing classroom—by developing relationships with and agency in learners through clear objectives, roles, accountability, practice and feedback. I have tried to keep that focus as our work has expanded across Louisiana, and I’m thrilled to be a part of a national organization that feels much the same way.

What most excites you about the opportunity to transform the field of educator preparation in the years ahead?

Really, we are crafting an entirely new paradigm about the value of a K-12 educational experience. What would happen if every classroom was a space where every student grew every day of every school year? We have the opportunity within educator prep to build that reality within one generation.

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