FIS teacher Deanna LeBlanc named 2017 Lowell Milken Center Fellow

Courtesy Lyon County School District

The Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas, an international educational non-profit, has awarded its prestigious Fellowship to 5th Grade Math and Science Teacher, Deanna LeBlanc, of Fernley Intermediate School. LeBlanc will arrive in Fort Scott on June 25 for a week of collaboration with LMC staff.

The LMC Fellowship is awarded on the basis of merit to educators who have distinguished themselves in teaching respect and understanding through project-based learning or who have the potential for this distinction. The Center selects exemplary teachers from across America and Europe, drawn from a variety of disciplines, to collaborate on projects that discover, develop, and communicate the stories of Unsung Heroes in history.

LeBlanc has been an educator for 15 years, including work as an elementary school teacher, special education teacher, and instructional coach in Northern Nevada. She was named the Nevada Teacher of the Year for 2012, in part because of her work with struggling learners in her classroom. She has earned a Master’s degree in STEM education for elementary school, and continues to work in staff development for her district.


LeBlanc assists her colleagues with their struggling learners as a member of the Instructional Consultation Team. She believes in holding students to high expectations, and she regards science education to be an important pathway to improving reading and math achievement as well as critical thinking skills. LeBlanc has given a Ted talk and produced an educational video with valuable advice for other teachers. She also has co-founded a non-profit organization called Fernley STEM Council, whose mission it is to increase awareness of STEM-related fields in and around Fernley, Nevada (

“Special Education is often overlooked in awards programs, with Deanna we want to make a statement about the needs of all children,” LMC Executive Director Norm Conard said. “Project based learning and unsung heroes fit the curriculum in every classroom.”

While in Fort Scott, LMC Fellows gain knowledge, educational resources and ongoing support to enhance their classrooms and help students cultivate a passion for learning by creating projects that initiate positive change. Fellows emerge prepared to develop Unsung Heroes projects with their students as they apply and evaluate the stories of role models who have changed the world throughout history.

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