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Thursday, June 8, 2023
Indiana State Superintendents Study Cognitive Skills and Well-Being

Helping students and teachers understand each student’s cognitive skills by building students’ learning capacity.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, UNITED STATES, November 25, 2022 / — Betsy Hill, president of BrainWare Learning Company, will join Chris Winchell, superintendent of John Glenn School Corporation, and Gregg Goewert, principal of Urey Middle School, in a presentation at the annual conference of the Indiana Association of Public Schools Superintendents.

Much of the discussion on how to help students recover following the pandemic has focused on teaching rather than on students’ learning and what we can do to support them in closing the gap. The achievement gap predates the pandemic, and it has widened for many students following the pandemic. The gap is closing at Urey Middle School.

According to Hill, “Helping students feel like they are part of a community and identifying their strengths within that community has been a challenge following a period when students have been isolated and have lost learning time. As all stakeholders engage in this effort, the outcomes deliver both greater confidence and dramatically improved academic performance.”

The presentation will share how Urey Middle School, in the 2021-22 school year, addressed student learning and well-being by helping students and teachers understand each student’s cognitive skills and by building students’ learning capacity. The presenters will explain how a completely new approach helped students who were behind academically to improve their ability to learn, their focus and engagement in the classroom, their ability to think more deeply and flexibly, and their ability to remember what they learned in the classroom. This approach also deepened their confidence in themselves as learners, athletes and community-members. The discussion will share the unprecedented growth in ILEARN performance that accompanied the gains students experienced in their cognitive skills, attitudes, and feelings of competence and self-confidence.

About the presenters

Betsy Hill is the President and COO of BrainWare Learning Company and studied the neuroscience of learning with Dr. Patricia Wolfe and other pioneers in the field, coining the term neuroeducator. She is former chair of the board of trustees at Chicago State University and teaches strategic thinking at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, where she received a Contribution to Learning Excellence Award. She also received a Nepris Trailblazer Award for sharing her knowledge, skills and passion for the neuroscience of learning in classrooms across the U.S. Betsy holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and an MBA from Northwestern University.

Gregg Goewert, Ed.S. is a 30-year professional educator and currently the Principal at Urey Middle School in Walkertown, IN. He was named principal of the year twice in previous school districts. Gregg is the father of two boys ages 13 and 14 and has been married to his wife, Danielle for nineteen years. According to Goewert, “My decision-making begins and ends with what is best for students. High expectations go hand in hand; students rise to meet expectations via strong relationships. It’s more important to teach kids “how to learn” as opposed to what to learn. Students can self-regulate their learning, set goals, develop strategies to accomplish goals, and reflect on their performance.” Goewert received his Ed.S. from Indiana State University.

Christopher Winchell began his career in education as a middle-school and later a high-school math teacher in the John Glenn School Corporation in Walkerton, IN, where he also coached football, wrestling and track. After completing a master’s degree and the principal licensure program at Indiana Wesleyan University, he became assistant principal at John Glenn High School where he spent nine years working on school improvement and leading JGHS to become one of the top high schools in the state. He earned his Ed.S. degree from Indiana University Bloomington and took on his first superintendency at Union County/College Corner Joint School District, Liberty, IN. In 2019, Winchell returned to lead John Glenn School Corporation in the superintendent role where his work emphasizes individual relationships and the very best for kids. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Indiana University South Bend. He is the proud husband of Emily and the proud father of Melachi, Gracie, Rory and Quinn. Winchell says, “What makes me tick every morning is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that fuels my passion for servant leadership for kids and the community.”

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