She built her professional career around two of her greatest passions: education and project-based learning.
Now, after more than 30 years, Bartholo- mew Consolidated School Corp. educator Diane Clancy, 66, is retiring at the end of the school year after serving six years as principal of Columbus Signature Academy — Fodrea campus.
Clancy is expected to be replaced by Lyndsey Linneweber, assistant principal at Clifty Creek Elementary School. The school board is expected to act on the appointment at its 7 p.m. meeting today at Columbus East High School.
Before leading CSA — Fodrea through its first years as a project-based learning school beginning in 2010, Clancy was a teacher at the original Fodrea Elementary School in Columbus for 16 years.
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During her time in the classroom, Clancy practiced an instructional style that focused on student engagement and hands-on learning, closely mirroring the project-based learning curriculum used in the district’s schools today.
“I think it’s the best way for kids to learn,” Clancy said. “The excitement I see when students are working on a project is proof of their engagement and how important the project is to them.”
CSA — Fodrea is one of four Columbus Signature Academy campuses in the BCSC district, along with CSA — Lincoln campus, an elementary school, CSA — Central Campus, better known as Central Middle School, and CSA — New Tech campus, a high school. Those schools place a special emphasis on teaching a project-based curriculum through technology.
When the district chose to reopen Fodrea as a project-based campus, Clancy was tapped to lead to school through the transition, a change she said was not difficult because of her prior experience with hands-on learning techniques.
“Our data shows that all of our students are successful and are growing, and that’s the most exciting part of project-based learning,” Clancy said.
Clancy’s retirement will take effect June 10. After that, the former principal plans to continue working in education but this time with a different group of students — other teachers.
Because of her experience with project-based learning techniques, Clancy has been asked on several occasions to lead workshops with educators who also want to implement a student-led learning curriculum. She plans to spend her time after retirement traveling the country to participate in those professional development sessions while continuing to live in Columbus.
Linneweber, who previously taught at Fodrea while Clancy was principal, said she shares her predecessor’s passion for student-led learning.
She was among the first educators in Indiana to become certified in project-based learning techniques and has even implemented those techniques in schools in China.
During the summer of 2014, Linneweber spent two weeks using hands-on learning practices to teach Chinese students of all ages in a summer school program that was started by a parent of a Fodrea student.
Similar to Fodrea, Clifty Creek teachers often use project-based teaching techniques, which will make the transition between the two campuses easier, Linneweber said.
Her immediate goal when she takes the helm at her new school is to begin building relationships with Fodrea students and parents.
Diane Clancy, 66, began her teaching career in 1984 at the original Fodrea Elementary School. She worked in the classroom teaching third, fourth and sixth grades until 2000. That’s when she first stepped into administrative roles at various schools around the state, including stints as principal at Clifty Creek Elementary School and the renamed Columbus Signature Academy – Fodrea campus. When she retires in June, Clancy will continue living in Columbus and working as an advocate for project-based learning curriculum around the country.
Lyndsey Linneweber, 31, is a Columbus native and a graduate of Columbus North High School. After attending Saint Mary of the Woods College, Linneweber began teaching first, second and fourth grades at Clifty Creek Elementary and CSA – Fodrea for two and three years, respectively. Then, she became the assistant principal of Clifty Creek, a position she has held for three years. She is expected to take over as Fodrea principal in June.