Home > Awards > 2015 CCAE State Award Winners

Excellence in Teaching

Michelle Winnett

Ms. Winnett has worked as an adult education teacher for eleven years in Vallejo, and four years in Fairfield.  During her years in Vallejo, she was one of the teachers trained in the pilot STAR reading program.  She successfully and enthusiastically implemented STAR assessment and strategies, and welcomed having teachers from other schools visit and observe at the request of the CDE STAR project manager.  Ms. Winnett frequently invites community and business representatives to do presentations to her students, building links between the business community and schools while preparing students for what is expected of employees in a variety of occupations.

Ms. Winnett developed and instructed a college readiness class in Vallejo.  Eleven students in her first college readiness class successfully made the transition to the community college.  One of those students continued to graduate from UC Berkeley in December, 2014.  Ms. Winnett engaged in a project funded by an OTAN ALOE grant and developed a blended-learning “flipped” adult basic education class featuring videos she helped develop and produce.  This “blended learning” concept is now being expanded to other classes in a variety of disciplines in the adult school. Ms. Winnett is a key member of the school leadership team, and played an active role in preparation for a highly successful WASC accreditation.  Ms. Winnett assists our accountability efforts by encouraging students to take the CASAS post test.  This effort resulted in student gains of an additional 450 payment points.  She has participated in training on the College and Career Readiness Standards and is using her experience and expertise to help other teachers develop CCR based instructional strategies.  During the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, Ms. Winnett built a close working relationship with the Solano Community College outreach worker who visits the adult school monthly, and arranged for students to tour the college as a way of encouraging them to consider post-secondary education as a life goal.  Ms. Winnett has been a leading participant and a teacher modeling effective strategies in the critical Solano AB86 Consortium work.   In all of her activities, Ms. Winnett uses and enthusiastic and engaging approach that fosters collegiality and cooperation.

Ms. Winnett is a teacher who intensely focuses on meeting the needs of her students.  She carefully prepares and teaches lessons, stays after class and through lunch to assist students, and encourages students to graduate with a plan for their future. Frequently, she provides practical and gentle counsel to students dealing with personal issues they face.    She continually searches for community resources to which she can refer students for additional assistance with issues that are interfering with their learning.  Students respond very positively to Ms. Winnett's carefully arranged, engaging lessons.  One of her former Vallejo students takes the bus from Vallejo to Fairfield to continue in Ms. Winnett's class.  When her students are repeatedly absent, she calls them to show she cares about their success, and to encourage persistence.  She wants her classroom to be a safe, positive, and encouraging environment for our students, and her approach fosters that attitude in her students.   To further enrich her classes, and to expose her students to the type of business leaders who may one day be their employers, Ms. Winnett frequently invites community and business representatives to do presentations to her students.  As a result, students are better prepared to set the personal goals that lead to success.