Piedmont High School Teacher Named First-Ever Winner of the Achieve3000 PRO Educator Innovation Award

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 10:41 am

Piedmont, AL, (Nov. 12, 2019) – Achieve3000®, the leader in differentiated instruction, today named Piedmont High School’s Michele Downey the inaugural winner of the PRO Educator Innovation Award. The recognition highlights an educator whose innovative use of technology has impacted student learning outcomes and who meets the three criteria of Achieve3000 PRO Educators: Professional, Resourceful and Outstanding.

Based on her commitment to nurturing literacy growth across her 150 students with Achieve3000, Downey was nominated by leadership at Piedmont High. Downey’s nomination was evaluated and ultimately selected as the grand prize winner by the PRO Educator Advisory Committee.

“Ms. Downey is a teacher who, as we say in Alabama, ‘sets the woods on fire.’ Through her pedagogical skills and personal energy, she ignites a passion for learning to which our students respond,” said Dr. Adam B. Clemons, Principal of Piedmont High School. “She uses Achieve3000 to fidelity, and she is of the mindset that all students can be something special.”

Downey’s achievements will be honored at today’s National Literacy Summit in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, produced by Achieve3000 and Successful Practices Network (SPN), an educator-run design lab improving education for all learners. There, she will have the chance to meet other PRO Educators from across the country, explore the latest innovations and evidence-based practices in literacy instruction and learn how to continue accelerating student literacy growth.

“I want my classroom to be a more student-centered classroom. I want students to take ownership of their own learning. I want them to see the relevance of seeking knowledge and to plan that process for their future successes,” said Downey. “I believe that students need to see how reading will be important to their careers and to their future academics.”

Having used Achieve3000 for almost a year, Downey demonstrates exceptional use of the program to guide students at every reading level on differentiated reading pathways to best fit their own learning needs. In addition, she encourages students to independently chart their own courses for progress and facilitates instruction to deepen reading interest for long-term reading level gains.

“The goal of the PRO Educator Innovation Award is to highlight the literacy successes made possible by teachers. At the end of the day, Achieve3000 is the tool and educators are the engineers applying it where it matters most,” said Stuart Udell, Chief Executive Officer at Achieve3000. “Congratulations, Michele, for your hard work motivating students to read and develop a lifelong love of learning. You should be proud of each new book worm you’ve helped create along the way.”

Downey was selected among two finalists and 20 nominees. The full list of educators considered for the 2019 PRO Educator Innovation Award is available here: https://achieve3000.slapfive.com/b/ck0fltpmf0gqe0128yf6vjqem/PRO_Educator_Annual_Innovation_Award.

About Achieve3000

At Achieve3000, we believe literacy is the key to unlocking student success. Since 2001, we have partnered with schools and districts to accelerate literacy growth for all students with our flagship PRO platform for differentiated literacy instruction. We also offer Smarty Ants for personalized foundational literacy and Actively Learn for secondary curriculum depth. Together, our solutions help all preschool through adult learners reach their full potential and succeed in a rapidly changing global economy with increasing information demands.