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Champion of Innovative Education at West Goshen Elementary

In the heart of Goshen, Indiana, the visionary leadership of Principal Aimee Schade has brought transformative changes to West Goshen Elementary School. Her commitment to innovative educational practices has been instrumental in adopting the ETHOS Grade Level Certified (GLC) curriculum, a hands-on national science curriculum designed to meet all the national standards and the diverse needs of all students. Under her guidance, teachers and students alike have thrived, and one standout example is the exceptional work of Ally Medellin, a dedicated 4th grade teacher.

Ally Medellin, who teaches 20 eager young minds, seven of whom have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and many who face reading challenges, has fully embraced the ETHOS GLC science curriculum to transform her classroom into a dynamic hub of learning and discovery. The curriculum fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills, standing out with its impressive array of visuals, individualized Student Data Notebooks for each unit, picture instructions for lab lessons, and comprehensive materials for every lab activity. This innovative approach ensures that every student, regardless of their learning barriers, can actively participate and thrive.

Each day in Ally’s classroom begins with a clear focus. She posts the standard they will explore—today, it’s 4-PS3, which delves into the principles of energy. Her students, well-versed in the routine, eagerly retrieve their GLC Student Data Notebooks, ready to follow along. These full color notebooks are personalized learning tools that guide each student through the unit’s concepts with clarity and consistency.

Ally’s commitment to inclusivity is evident in every aspect of her teaching. The picture instructions for lab lessons are particularly impactful, allowing students who struggle with reading to independently follow along and engage with the material. This visual support is crucial for her students with IEPs, providing them with the confidence and autonomy to participate fully in the learning process.

In one recent lesson, the classroom buzzed with excitement as students conducted an experiment to understand the transfer of energy. Equipped with all necessary materials, each child followed the picture instructions to set up their “Flapping Butterfly Wings” lab lesson. 

The room was filled with the sounds of discovery—questions, observations, and the occasional exclamation of triumph as a student successfully completed a task. "The wings are flapping!" one student exclaimed. Another added, "The energy from the balloon is making the butterfly wings flap!" Meanwhile, a lively debate ensued over materials, with one student asserting, "I think the wool is better bro!" and another simply stating, "This is so cool!" Ally moved around the room, providing guidance and encouragement, her passion for teaching evident in every interaction.

The impact of the ETHOS GLC curriculum extends beyond academic achievements. It builds a community of learners who support each other, celebrate each other’s successes, and work collaboratively to overcome challenges. For Ally’s students, many of whom face significant obstacles, this sense of belonging and accomplishment is invaluable.

Ally Medellin’s adoption of the ETHOS GLC curriculum is a testament to her unwavering dedication to her students’ growth and success. By integrating this innovative approach into her classroom, she not only meets the diverse needs of her students but also ignites a lifelong love of learning. Her classroom at West Goshen Elementary School is a model of how inclusive, hands-on education can transform lives, one student at a time.

Reflecting on her experience with the curriculum, Ally enthusiastically shares, "I LOVE GLC and the kids LOVE GLC! It’s an amazing curriculum!"

(L) Aimee Schade- Principal, West Goshen Elementary

(R) Ally Medellin, 4th Grade Teacher, West Goshen Elementary 

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