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Ridge Park Teacher Recognized in IXL’s Elite 100

Personalized learning makes an effort to tailor education to meet the different needs of students, and two National Heritage Academies (NHA) teachers are being recognized for being champions among the educators using IXL Learning.

IXL Learning announced its sixth annual Elite 100 list, which recognizes teachers who have demonstrated the highest commitment to personalized learning with IXL during the 2018-2019 academic year. Two NHA teachers were part of the 100 selected from 400,000 teachers worldwide whose students spent the most time on IXL in their classrooms.

Hilary O’Neill, fourth-grade teacher at Warrendale Charter Academy, and Jennifer VanGeest, first-grade teacher at Ridge Park Charter Academy, were recognized by IXL, which covers math, English language arts, science, social studies, and Spanish, and is aligned to the Common Core and all state standards.

“This year’s Elite 100 teachers are incredible examples of how passionate educators from all over the world are utilizing IXL to enhance learning outcomes for students,” said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning.

As an educator, O’Neill is most passionate about educating young children so they can lead the world, and what fuels VanGeest’s passion for the field of education is being the motivator to grow her students to be their best and meet their highest academic potential. 

In VanGeest’s classroom, she has IXL as a center for literacy and for math which ensures that it is consistently used at different time blocks throughout the week for both core subjects. Meanwhile, O’Neill doesn’t stop with academics but also uses IXL to strengthen their work skills.

“I intentionally target each child’s learning by offering differentiation and meeting all learning styles in their focus groups,” shared VanGeest. “The rigor keeps my students engaged and motivated to learn efficiently as well as accomplish tasks that go above and beyond their grade level.”

Both O’Neill and VanGeest believe this recognition is for their students, “They are the ones putting in all the time, effort, and hard work and deserve to be recognized. This award is for them more than it is for me,” said O’Neill.