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Danbury Principal Named 'Distinguished Fellow'

Frank LaBanca
Frank LaBanca Photo Credit: Danbury Public Schools

DANBURY, Conn. -- Frank LaBanca, principal at Westside Middle School Academy, was named one of nine Jobs for the Future's Students at the Center Distinguished Fellows.

"These fellows are uniquely qualified to leverage research findings toward the creation of student-centered learning at scale,” said Eve Goldberg, Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s director of research. “They were chosen not only based on their impressive qualifications but their drive for moving this field forward across New England and beyond.” Nellie Mae provided the research collaborative's anchor funding.

The Students at the Center Distinguished Fellows two-year program consists of researchers, policymakers and practitioners selected for their vision, contributions and impact on the student-centered learning movement. They were also selected for their passion and desire to share knowledge, learn and grow.

Jobs for the Future is a nonprofit dedicated to educational and economic opportunity for the country's under-served populations.

LaBanca was chosen as a practitioner fellow for his expertise in achieving equitable and positive academic outcomes using various student-centered learning approaches. He began serving as principal since the school's opening in 2014.

The nine fellows will meet in Boston in November to work as part of the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative.

LaBanca is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and received a master's degree from the University of Bridgeport and an educational doctorate in instructional leadership from Western Connecticut State University.

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