Dr. Devin Vodicka is an award-winning superintendent, educator, speaker, and nine-time White House invitee. Currently, Dr. Vodicka is the Chief Executive Officer at Learner-Centered Collaborative. He is the author of “Learner-Centered Leadership” where he shares the power of reimagining schools as centers for the intellectual and social development of lifelong learners prepared for a rapidly changing world.
Growing up, I always felt like I didn’t quite fit in at his rural California school.
Culturally, I was an outsider. The son of immigrants, I was the only kid who wore traditional Czech clothes that his grandparents sent as gifts, ate kolache pastries at lunch, and celebrated his “name-day.”
I also felt like an outlier academically. Throughout my education, I continued to pay keen attention to differences—my own differences and my classmates’ differences. I came to understand that being different was not the exception; it was the rule. And yet, I realized that each child was given the same treatment at school. These early experiences inspired a desire to change how children learn and, in turn, a lifelong career in education.
Your Journey to becoming an Educator
I was inspired to be an educator by his mom who was the high school computer teacher during his childhood. She was an innovator who saw potential in emerging technology resources and she was optimistic that the future of education would be improved through the combination of excellent teaching and tools that were more flexibly designed for every learner.
Determined to help schools nurture children as individuals and shed the “one-size-fits-all” approach, I became a teacher in 1996. In the decades since I started in education, my impact grew, and I held a wide variety of positions from educator to principal to superintendent.
I was hired as Superintendent of Schools for Vista Unified School District in July 2012. Vista Unified received numerous awards and recognition while I was Superintendent, including a $10 million award as an XQ Superschool and acceptance into the prestigious League of Innovative Schools.
Embracing a Different Way (Tedx Talk) 2016 TEDx ElCajonSalon
Embracing a different way to bring strength to education. I did a Ted Talk describing the need for looking at students’ individual strengths, traditions, and personal academic goals.
At Learner-Centered Collaborative, we envision a world where learners have agency, skills to collaborate with others, and opportunities to engage in solving problems that matter to them and their world. We help schools, districts, and states bring thriving, learner-centered ecosystems to life.
Learner-Centered Collaborative is a non-profit that emerged from decades of experience in education—from classroom educator to district superintendent—spanning every corner of the country. Our team’s diverse set of experiences in education allowed us to see firsthand what works, identify the biggest challenges, and set ambitious goals for what is possible. We are guided by the persistent truth that a learner-centered approach is a foundation for a successful, thriving learning community. And we know that a shift to learner-centered is a collaborative endeavor. We now partner with 150+ school systems, including state departments and school districts, to support the shift to learner-centered education.
ACSA EdCal book: Learner-Centered Leadership
Share the argument for the wisdom in giving students the resources to draw their own learning paths and the power of reimagining schools as centers for the intellectual and social development of lifelong learners prepared for a rapidly changing world.
Devin Vodicka’s Contact information
Twitter handle @dvodicka
|Make sure you check out more of the Rethinking Learning podcasts and each post that the guests created. Click on this link or the logo below to list by episode, alphabetical, or reflections.
|I am a co-host of a new podcast “Real Talk with Barbara and Nicole.” Check out several of the episodes about Authenticity in a Polarized Society around different topics. Click on RealTalkBN or the logo below.
|I’m getting wonderful feedback on how much the information and stories in “Define Your Why” has helped them. For more information about this book, go to this page or click on the book for resources, questions, and links.
My new book, “Grow Your Why…One Story at a Time” includes 23 stories from inspirational educators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Go to this page or click on the book to go to Why Press Publishing for when it launches.
Barbara is available for coaching, webinars, speaking, writing, and developing courses.
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