2020 A.O.Y. Finalist: Lisa Bergman

Lisa Bergman

Executive Director, Renaissance Public School Academy

Once an educator who was counting down the days to retirement, Lisa discovered her reinvigorated passion for education over a cup of coffee with a few individuals who were seeking a leader for Renaissance. After an honest discussion about what she felt the community needed (since Mt. Pleasant has a robust traditional school district), she hit the ground running nearly eight years ago, and embarked on a journey to reimagine education at her school. Renaissance champions the innovative model of Project Based Learning (PBL), which at its core is about translating the learning concepts expected at each grade level into tangible challenges that students are excited to solve, in a way that helps them see that the skills they build today are applicable and valuable in the real world. Lisa now strives to continue pushing the boundaries of inquiry and instruction, and hopes that more and more educators can find new, unique ways to think outside the box, to ultimately impact kids.

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Why are you proud to be a charter school educator?

I am proud to be a charter educator because of the opportunity that I believe I have through my role at Renaissance - a chance to make a difference. Education has become this field that is bound by so many rules, and sometimes those rules just don’t make sense and don’t trust us as educators to be innovative while also successfully educating kids. I have a phenomenal team and support system at my school, who share my vision.

How has your team adapted to distance learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?

Every day that we’ve been doing this, I have been so grateful for the relationships that we already had in place with our students. If those had not been there, if we had not known our kids and families, and they hadn’t known us, I don’t know where we’d be right now. For some kids, home life is safe and great - and distance learning is just a new experience for them. But for some kids, our school was the safest place they knew - but because of our relationships, because of those bonds, we are able to support ALL our kids - and that matters now more than ever.

More about Lisa:

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Check out this collection of photos, submitted by Lisa, and get a peek into her life as an Admin! 

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Hear from Renaissance PSA parent, Regina Weare (who nominated Lisa), why she is deserving of the 2020 AOY Award!

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