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John Alberts2013 Rising Alumni

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John Alberts, a former Austin Teacher of the Year, collaboratively works with organizations such as the Hormel Foundation and the Minnesota Department of Education to, respectively, bring customized master’s programs and fellowship opportunities in gifted and talented education to local teachers. He is partnering with the University of Minnesota on training and development of the STEAM program at Austin's new fifth and sixth grade intermediate school.


Director of Educational Services
Austin Public Schools

What gets you excited about work?

I enjoy the variety I face each and every day. I enjoy being in schools. I enjoy having the opportunity to work at a system level to try to improve programs and experiences of students and their families.

What professors were most influential during your time in CEHD?

Jennifer York-Barr, Peter Demerath, Julie Kalnin, and Richard Nunneley.

What skills are important to succeed as a young professional today?

Flexibility in thinking, the ability to work with others, thinking critically, and the ability to develop partnerships.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was very young, I wanted to be an astronaut, with cardboard boxes as spacecrafts, and a chef, with play dough as ingredients.

What is a good book you would recommend to others?

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, or Unequal Childhoods by Annette Lareau.

What was the impact and benefit of your experience in CEHD?

First is the knowledge I gained through the coursework and instructors. The experience helped broaden my view and pushed me to deepen my thinking and understanding about education. Second are the relationships I developed through the experience. They have helped me grow in my profession and allowed me to build additional partnerships.