Randall Deich as nominated by his colleague, Darien Lovett.
Finding your bliss and turning that passion into the driving force of lifelong learning, is a quality Mr. Deich has as an educator. It is a habit of mind he instills in his students, his peers, and the rest of the school community.
Having resided in Broward County for almost five decades and worked as a school board educator in Broward for 25 years, Mr. Deich has made a massive impact in the district, yet it is what he has accomplished at Lauderhill 6-12 STEM-MED that has the largest footprint on his community. Four years ago, he volunteered to enter a triple F school that was repurposed to turn around a failing culture. A challenging middle school was now a 6th through 12th grade combo school that needed immediate assistance.
Mr. Deich designed and delivered an original Computer Science (CS) program that focused on building coding skills, student mentoring, and authentic work experiences in the community. His CS program, which includes events, activities, competitions, professional development, and coaching, has taken Lauderhill’s students from a starting point of zero knowledge and skills to job ready within two years. Students who participated in his CS program received instruction that played to each student’s strengths.
Within two years, Lauderhill 6-12 students have been recognized nationally for video game development, mobile app development and HTML/CSS application. The community has recognized their value by offering work-related experiences, business and tech mentorships, and paid coding jobs. The impact of Mr. Deich's work at Lauderhill 6-12 has influenced the attitude and aspirations of current students and stakeholders. He has changed the perception of external partners and community members, and has turned around the culture of his school.
Mr. Deich's leadership in creating a nurturing environment has been a model of professionalism at the highest level. He has turned around a school’s culture for both high school and middle school students using gaming, computer science, and mentoring. Mr. Deich has recognized that the popular game Minecraft builds students’ leadership, one block at a time. Through a mentoring program of Mr. Deich's design, students gained experience working effectively as part of a team, learning the value for discovering, quality, and pride.
As a participant of Minecraft for Innovation, his mentoring program, high school students at Lauderhill 6-12 have adopted the same vison of the School Board of Broward County – “educating today’s students to succeed in tomorrow’s world.” They wanted to teach elementary and middle school students and prepare them to be job market ready for the high-tech industry. Lauderhill 6-12 high school students have committed their summer to assist economically disadvantaged students to learn Minecraft and to step closer to this vision.
While attending Minecraft for Innovation, students used their imaginations to build, create and explore within the famous gaming world of Minecraft. They also competed in Minecraft battles and completed challenges that are aligned with the Florida Standards to reinforce students’ skills in science, social studies and mathematics. As a participant, students applied their problem-solving and critical thinking skills to complete tasks and activities specially designed around concepts being taught in their classrooms. Students who attended Randall’s program gained experience working effectively as part of a team discovered the value of problem solving, developed research skills, acquired presentation skills, collaboration skills and even reinforced curriculum that was taught in their classroom.
'Randall’s vision is the spark where content becomes experience," Lovett said. "Where thoughts become tangible. Where students own learning. Where failure becomes opportunity. Where virtual walls break down social barriers. Where laughter fills the room. Where empty seats are filled with happy children. To understand Randall Deich, you do not read about Randall Deich, you come to Lauderhill 6-12."