Kiffany Lychock is uniquely qualified for her job in the Douglas County School District’s professional development department. With 10 years of classroom experience and 13 years of employment with DCSD, she’s deeply familiar with both the craft of teaching and the district.
Lychock, awarded a 2014 Apple Award as Administrative Employee of the Year, gives much of the credit for her recognition to those she works with and the teachers she serves.
“It’s a huge honor and it’s very humbling, but I really do work with a very outstanding team of people,” she said. “I’m more of a facilitator of learning. We have such outstanding, thoughtful and talented educators and administrators in this district. I really feel I’m in a very unique and privileged position to work with them as well.”
Lychock graduated from the University of Colorado in 2000, and began working for DCSD in 2001. Except for a six-month break taken when her now 5-year-old twins were born, she has always worked for the district, along the way earning a master’s degree in instructional learning technologies.
Lychock initially taught Spanish at ThunderRidge High School, where she said Principal Carole Jennings recognized her talent for instructional coaching. She eventually was promoted to a district-level position, and in 2012 was named to the post of professional development coordinator.
Unlike classroom teachers, summer is when Lychock’s job kicks into high gear. She’s now preparing for her busiest season.
Professional development’s recent focus includes sustainable learning.
“Those courses really focus on instructional strategies that help make learning stick,” she said, “based on questioning, inquiry, really focusing on, how can we make the learning experiences for kids relatable to real life?”
That typically involves project-based learning, in which students seek answers for real-world problems.
She also keeps an unrelenting focus on 21st-century skills, teacher courses that aim to keep pace with a fast-changing, technology-based world.
It’s a job she takes to heart, especially given the fact her twins will start school at Castle Rock’s Meadow View Elementary this fall.
“I really feel like we’re so on the cutting edge of doing what’s right for students,” Lychock said. “It’s just frankly very exciting as a parent to know my kids are going to take part in a district like this.”