Alaska educator receives NSRF National Facilitator certification


Avant-Garde Learning Alliance’s Lead Facilitator, Tonio Verzone, has become Alaska’s only National Facilitator for the National School Reform Faculty.

ANCHORAGE, AK (August 19, 2013) Avant-Garde Learning Alliance’s CEO and President, Kameron Perez-Verdia, is happy to announce that Avant-Garde’s Lead Facilitator, Tonio Verzone, has become Alaska’s only National Facilitator for the National School Reform Faculty (NSRF).  With Verzone’s certification, educators in Alaska will now have access to NSRF training in-state without the cost and disruption of traveling to the Lower 48. In the 5-day intensive coaches’ training, educators will have the opportunity to learn how to effectively employ the NSRF protocols and activities within their school communities and will gain access to NSRF materials and resources.  Verzone will be offering the first open training for educators through Avant-Garde Learning Alliance in Anchorage from October 16-18, 2013. 

“I am excited that Alaska now has its own National Facilitator from the NSRF,” said Avant-Garde Learning Alliance President and CEO Kameron Perez-Verdia.  “NSRF has been working with educators and education leaders for almost 20 years, helping schools to develop as ‘learning communities’.  These training opportunities, now offered in Alaska through Avant-Garde, will support our schools in adapting their teaching practices and structures to meet the rapidly evolving needs of today's students.”

The National School Reform Faculty (NSRF) is a professional development initiative that began in the fall of 1995 at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University and relocated to the Harmony Education Center in Bloomington, Indiana in 2000.  NSRF is focused on developing collegial relationships, encouraging reflective practice, and rethinking leadership in restructuring schools—all in support of increased student achievement.  Through collaborative professional learning communities called Critical Friends Groups, educators utilize protocols focusing on the development of meaningful and efficient communication, problem solving and learning.  Work is guided by a belief that facilitative leadership skills are essential to engaging school communities and strengthening practice of school leaders, classroom teachers and administrators.  

Verzone first used the NSRF protocols early in his teaching career.  He then completed training to become a coach in 2009, followed by his certification as a trainer this spring.  In addition to his NSRF certification, Verzone is the current Chidley Scholar from the Learning Forward Foundation and a member of the Learning Forward class of 2014.  

Verzone has worked for Avant-Garde Learning Alliance since 2008, facilitating professional learning workshops with communities throughout Alaska.  Avant-Garde, founded in 2005 as a nonprofit corporation by Dr. Shirley Holloway, the former Alaska State Commissioner of Education and Early Development, works through partnerships to build the capacity of Alaska’s schools and community organizations, bringing a balance of innovation and best practice with respect for local leadership, culture and tradition.  Through needs assessments and in-depth planning, Avant-Garde designs and facilitates engaging and practical professional learning workshops that support educators in making informed decisions, problem solve, and plan strategically.


Avant-Garde press release