LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Vincent Facione

Position: History Teacher
School: Will Rogers College Middle and High School
School District: Tulsa Public Schools
City, State: Tulsa, OK

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Vince Facione was nominated by his spouse, Vadean Facione.

Mr. Facione is currently is in his tenth year of teaching. Currently, he is in his sixth year of teaching at Will Rogers College Middle and High School in Tulsa, OK. Mr. Facione teaches AP Modern World History and College Summit. When students enter his classroom, they can see and read his motto on one of his bulletins: "Every student can learn. I believe you will succeed!" He greets students with a smile and a word of encouragement. He also celebrates every student's birthday. Why? His smile, word of encouragement, celebration of life, and moment of joy may be the only time a student experiences someone smiling at them, a lifting word, and joy.

Mr. Facione believes that teaching occurs as much outside the classroom as inside the classroom. He serves as one of the co-sponsors for the Class of 2021. He also served as one of the co-sponsors for the Class of 2017. Mr. Facione not only attends his students' games and concerts, but he serves as the announcer, clock keeper or score book keeper, and chaperone. He works with his student leaders in planning yearly trips, the Junior and Senior Prom, the Senior Sunrise and Sunset activities, homecoming, fundraisers, and other special events.

Mr. Facione's commitment to his students' academic success speaks for itself. He has served as a grade leader for his school's Early Warning Initiative. The purpose of the EWI is to identify and help students who are either failing a class or two or whose grades are dropping. The grade leader collaborates with other grade level teachers to meet with students to discuss and discover how students can be best supported academically, psychologically, and socially. 

He leads by example and through his service to his school and the Tulsa Public School District. Mr. Facione has served as the High School History Department Chair. He serves on the senior principal's cabinet and the visioning committee. He volunteers to help on school registration nights, as well as Senior FAFSA nights, to help students and their parents complete all of the necessary forms. Within the district, he served for two years as the high school's representative on the Superintendent's Teacher Cabinet. The Cabinet collaborates with the superintendent and her team in promoting the values of TPS and improving the quality of education.

Within his subject area, he worked last summer with the district history coordinator in creating online lesson plans in world history. Before COVID-19, Mr. Facione led three district field trips to Washington D.C. through an organization called Close-Up. The purpose of these trips is to encourage students to become active participants in their country's civic affairs and government. Once permission is given to continue the field trips, he plans to take students back to Washington D.C. every summer.

Mr. Facione's pursuit of excellence is relentless. He participates in AP summer institutes, online and in-person social-emotional learning (SEL) seminars, and book studies. He was nominated and accepted into the 2020-2021 Emerging Leaders Cohort for Tulsa Public Schools. Only teachers who have been recognized for strong teaching skills, a record of raising student achievement, and the disposition to lead other teachers are considered. Members of the cohort receive training in key leadership practices, such as using data to strengthen instruction, managing difficult conversations, and delivering effective feedback. Participation in the program benefits educators who are seeking to advance their careers or become more proficient in their leadership roles.

What Mr. Facione is most proud of is his nomination and acceptance as a Great Expectations' Instructor. Great Expectations is a education association based out of Oklahoma that provides educators and administrators with training in creating harmony and excitement within the school atmosphere, as well as elements that inspire students to pursue academic excellence. Every summer for the last six years, Mr. Facione has represented Great Expectations as an instructor, teaching secondary teachers, administrators, and superintendents how to discover and use the best research and skills in the areas of pedagogy, classroom culture, and classroom management to help both students and teachers to succeed throughout the state of Oklahoma. His involvement in Great Expectations has been recognized and welcomed by his senior principal. Since he began teaching at Will Rogers College Middle and High School, the senior principal has set aside funding to send twenty teachers to go through the Great Expectations' training.

One other accolade Mr. Facione is proud about is his acceptance in becoming a Teaching Fellow for the United States Institute of Peace in their Peace Teacher's Program in 2017. Only four teachers are accepted from throughout the United States. Throughout the school year and as an alumni, Mr. Facione participates in learning and implementing global peace-building themes and skills into his classroom. He continues to help the United States Institute of Peace in developing other programs that educators can use within their classrooms, as well. The United States Institute of Peace was established by Congress in 1984. It is a nonpartisan, independent institute founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. In conflict zones abroad, the Institute works with local partners to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict.

"Vince always reminds our son and his students that actions speak louder than words," said Vadean. "He strongly believes in modeling high moral and ethical standards inside and outside his classroom."