Debra Lane
Ambassador

Debra Lane

Fairfax, United States

Dr. Debra Lane has been an educator for more than 25 years, as a teacher and administrator in the U.S. and abroad. She has led several schools as principal, including most recently at one of the world's leading international schools, Shanghai American School. She taught grades from pre-K through middle school, as well as ESOL, Literacy, and Gifted and Talented classes in Fairfax County Public Schools and in the Dominican Republic. She holds a BS from Baylor University, master's degrees from Virginia Tech and George Mason University, and an Ed.D. from the University of Virginia. Her dissertation work on bullying prevention has led to her advising government agencies, associations, and school boards on effective bullying prevention strategies both locally and internationally. She has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at George Mason University and the University of Virginia. As part of her work with the National Staff Development Council she applied current research in adult learning to her work on staff development, focusing on professional learning communities. She presented at numerous international conferences, including Near East South Asia Association, Tri-State Educators, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and through her work with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, at the National Science Foundation. Currently she is working on federal government grants focusing on transformative leadership and increasing teachers leadership and instructional roles across the U.S., Central and South America. Dr. Lane has also participated in accreditation teams in China and Hong Kong with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. She was nominated as Virginia Principal of the Year and won the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Educator of the Year Award in 2009. She is currently an educational consultant at Lane Leadership Group,LLC and Director of Professional Learning for Alexandria City Public Schools. She serves as a board member with NOVA Outside, Fall for the Book Literacy Festival at George Mason University, George Mason University Curriculum Advisory Council, and Robinson Secondary School Athletic Booster Board.

Dr. Debra Lane has been an educator for more than 25 years, as a teacher and administrator in the U.S. and abroad. She has led several schools as principal, including most recently at one of the world's leading international schools, Shanghai American School. She taught grades from pre-K through middle school, as well as ESOL, Literacy, and Gifted and Talented classes in Fairfax County Public Schools and in the Dominican Republic. She holds a BS from Baylor University, master's degrees from Virginia Tech and George Mason University, and an Ed.D. from the University of Virginia. Her dissertation work on bullying prevention has led to her advising government agencies, associations, and school boards on effective bullying prevention strategies both locally and internationally. She has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at George Mason University and the University of Virginia. As part of her work with the National Staff Development Council she applied current research in adult learning to her work on staff development, focusing on professional learning communities. She presented at numerous international conferences, including Near East South Asia Association, Tri-State Educators, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and through her work with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, at the National Science Foundation. Currently she is working on federal government grants focusing on transformative leadership and increasing teachers leadership and instructional roles across the U.S., Central and South America. Dr. Lane has also participated in accreditation teams in China and Hong Kong with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. She was nominated as Virginia Principal of the Year and won the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Educator of the Year Award in 2009. She is currently an educational consultant at Lane Leadership Group,LLC and Director of Professional Learning for Alexandria City Public Schools. She serves as a board member with NOVA Outside, Fall for the Book Literacy Festival at George Mason University, George Mason University Curriculum Advisory Council, and Robinson Secondary School Athletic Booster Board.

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

I want to support and practice innovation in my own community. Consulting in schools around the world has led me to realize if we collaborated and listened more we may learn more. Innovation is about taking a concept or product and creating something that is even more or better than the original. Innovation really take a look at organizational sustainability and puts it out there as a new idea. This is what HundrED Community does, they take innovative ideas and puts them in the hands of teachers and learners, as well as leaders. This is ideal for growth and I want to be a part of this next wave in education. 

How can education support students to flourish?

In order for educators to support students to flourish we must:

  • Allow choice for students, talk less and let them choose. 
  • Encourage goal setting and reflection.
  • Test less. 
  • Model problem solving. 
  • Ask open-ended questions, don't have kids guessing. 

What role does innovation play in education change?

Innovation gets us, educators, to explore, use, and improve a process using tools and a pathway to create something new and often improved. The process compels students to use higher-level thinking skills, critical intelligence to come up with a new process. Education creates a role for our students in looking at sustainable practices. Innovation is needed as we try to save our planet. 

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

1. Education Cities- Education Cities turn the city into one big school, by making collaborations between the first sector (formal and informal education, welfare, employment, city planning, engineering, etc.), the second sector (businesses), the third sector (non-profit organizations) and the fourth sector (social business organizations) that are active in the city. I love this concept of involving everyone to nurture and develop ideas in a collaborative process. All walks of life within the city take part in tackling challenges in the city. 

2. Teaching Tolerance- This organization work on bias and social justice. They provide so many resources for educators who can share these resources while having these conversations. 

3. Girls Rising. Girl Rising’s videos explore the profound barriers faced by girls around the world – poverty, child marriage, gender violence, trafficking, tradition – and the change that happens when barriers are dismantled. Young people, from upper elementary through high school, are spurred to see beyond their borders, value their education, think critically, and believe in their capacity to create change. I love that you can use these films in and outside the curriculum with all kinds of groups.

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

1. Small, swallowable medical devices for patients. I have always hated anesthesia and to hear about this device coming soon led me to want to learn more. My husband is a medical writer and he worked with interventional radiology, he would share the latest in medical news. I am curious how this will change medicine, educating students to leading up to exploring these types of technology, and will it pare down our use of the pharma industry.

2. Reinvent Toilet Challenge. Bill Gates has been running a competition on how we could cut our use of sewage. Students have been putting in submissions on ideas. We need to learn to figure out how to cut our waste down. Our students have some creative ideas on ways we can be more sustainable. 

3. Beyond Meat. Meat has a huge impact on our planet. Researching and learning ways we are using agriculture, drone farming, NGOs, and decreasing the cow industry is something our youth are passionate about. I would love for us all to catch this wave on plant-based farming, how it could prevent disease in our diet and improve regenerative farming practices.