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We are a human-centered community of learners.

Patti Swank

Educational Consultant

As a member of the CoLab since 2008 and as a CoLab Leadership Team member, I find that our community of collaboration and theoretically based practices feed my growth as an educator. Our support of learning communities within schools provides a space of exploration and experiential learning deeply rooted in theory. I am part of a team committed to the growth of students, teachers, and administrators within learning communities.


Being the oldest girl of 8 siblings has prepared me for being a part of community - as a learner and as an educator. Returning to college at the age 27 gave me an opportunity to continue my journey as a lifelong learner. I graduated from McKendree University in 1986 with a degree in Fine Arts and education and in 1991 I graduated from SIUE with a Master’s degree in Speech Communication. I delved into the National Board Certified Teacher process and achieved NBCT certification in 2005. In 2008 I became a National Writing Project Fellow joining the Piasa Bluffs Writing Project where my love of teaching was reignited and where I discovered ways to learn alongside my students and my colleagues, innovating in ways that informed and enlivened my teaching practices. I am currently in my 27th year of teaching English at Highland High School where my passion as a teacher-leader-learner continues to evolve.

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