One of the best parts about working within Worthington Schools is the amazing number of really talented colleagues I have. It’s true that “you win with people” and frankly, my belief is we have a critical mass of really great educators in Worthington!
One of these amazing, incredible, super-talented, persistent, and hard-working educators is Brian Geniusz. Officially Brian is the Science Teacher Leader for Worthington Schools. In this role he coordinates the teaching of Science K-12. Unofficially, Brian is the person who understands how to make data work for instructional improvement and understands how technology and teaching and learning intersect. (Crazy important 21st century learning skills!)
Brian began his career in Worthington in 1994 as a high school science teacher at Thomas Worthington High School. After an incredibly successful decade and a half teaching in the classroom he was asked to consider moving into his current role where he impacts all 9,500 of our students and all 731 of our teachers.
Brian’s really good at his job. (Check out his Worthington Science Wiki). But, what makes Brian special is that when he sees a void he finds a way to fill it. One of our main goals in Race to the Top was to increase our teacher’s understanding and use of data based decision making for instructional improvement. Brian was not satisfied with the system we were using to store and sort data. Instead of simply complaining about the system, he set out (with TWHS Math Teacher, Tom Kaczmarek) to build his own system that would take the instructional and assessment data the district had and make is easily usable for teachers and administrators. Now, because of Brian and Tom, Worthington has our own home grown Data Tool Box that all Worthington educators access on daily. This system allows teachers to access important data to make instructional decisions that ensure all students are growing. You can see a small glimpse of how this system works here.
Furthermore, when we decided to use academic and content vocabulary to assess student and teacher growth for Student Learning Objectives, I asked Brian, along with District Language Arts Coordinator Jamie Lusher, to help all teachers learn to write strong assessments. (Other duties as assigned!) Brian connects well with our teachers and he understands better than most what they need to be successful.
Finally, when we receive our preliminary data from the Ohio Department of Education, it’s Brian who works with the data and puts it into formats that our schools can read and react to.
On a personal level when my dad retired from The United States Secret Service he spent several years teaching Government at Thomas Worthington High School. As a young teacher Brian was really good to my dad. He helped the old guy out, and for me, that speaks volumes about his character.
Brain will be embarrassed that I wrote about him. It’s not in his nature to seek attention. But inside every great organization are great people. We’re incredibly lucky to have Brian Geniusz in Worthington. Seriously this guy is a Geniusz!