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Follow Up with Mrs. Fleming

Mrs. Fleming hard at work to create new innovative ideas for everyone across the country.

Lillian Hui

Mrs. Fleming hard at work to create new innovative ideas for everyone across the country.

Lillian Hui, A&E Editor

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After just one year of being a media specialist at New Milford High School, Mrs. Laura Fleming has officially accomplished all of her goals.”

Last year, Mrs. Fleming said she wanted to renovate the library to “make this space more inviting,” and this year, that has happened along with some other achievements.

Last year, when NMHS was in need of a new media specialist, former NMHS principal, Mr. Eric Sheninger, brought in Mrs. Fleming.

“When the position became available, I immediately reached out to Mrs. Fleming and basically begged her to take the position,” Mr. Sheninger stated.

He explained, “I was aware of her innovative work in the field of education. She immediately had an impact, transforming an outdated and underutilized space into the most dynamic learning environment in the school for our students. Her vision for what education could and should be aligned perfectly with mine as well as and that of the school as a whole.”

When asked what it was like to work with Mrs. Fleming, Mr. Sheninger noted it was an honor to do so.

“Watching what she was able to do with that space and the impact it had on students was one of the highlights of my tenure as principal. I love watching from afar what the students of NMHS are up to in the makerspace and in turn sharing that with others.”

Current NMHS principal, Mr. Louis Manuppelli, said that Mrs. Fleming does “an outstanding job of creating an environment where students can learn, experiment, and broaden their views of the world. She makes everyone feel welcome and encourages them to be themselves. In addition, she provides opportunities for teachers and students to expand their knowledge base.”
Mrs. Fleming recently became well-known throughout the world of education as she released her book, titled “Worlds of Making: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School”.

As Mrs. Fleming made her debut as an author, Mr. Sheninger said that her book “showcases one of the many ways NMHS became an innovative model of what’s possible in education for schools across the country and globe.”

Mr. Sheninger explained, “The practical nature of the book provides an easy to follow framework for other educators and schools to replicate her work. The makerspace concept is simple, yet one of the most effective ways to allow students to experience value in their learning.”

“Everyone has their own definition for exactly what a makerspace is,” Mrs. Fleming stated. “Here is mine; a Makerspace is a metaphor for a unique learning environment that encourages tinkering, play and open-ended exploration for all.”


She also created “a digital-badge based professional learning platform for teachers called Worlds of Learning at NMHS.”

Mrs. Fleming explained that these badges, “…provide a framework which allows our teachers to earn digital badges through learning about technology tools and applications and applying their learnings to their instruction to improve learning outcomes.”

In addition to being used as a framework for teachers, they can also be used by teachers to share their badges across social networks, put them on resumes or in portfolios or use them as artifacts for the teacher evaluation system.

Mr. Sheninger added, “The work Mrs. Fleming has done at NMHS is having a positive impact near and far. Wherever I go in this country and abroad, at least one person is always asking me about Mrs. Fleming’s work. Nothing makes me more proud than to see her positively impact her students, as well as countless other teachers, administrators, parents, and politicians.”

Mrs. Fleming’s reaction to becoming an inspiration for other educators across the country truly shows why so many educators look to her for new ideas.

“I get inquiries from educators across the country all of the time and I try to always take the time to respond to each one, in the effort of pushing education forward, making a difference and ultimately making the world a better place.”

Aside from being an inspiration for her fellow educators, Mrs. Fleming is also very supportive of her students and their work.

Freshman Christian Pavone, known as the student who built a computer from scratch, said that Mrs. Fleming gave him the resources, space, and time to be creative with technology.

“Mrs. Fleming taught me that I can take what I am good at doing outside of school and make it a part of my school day.”

He also added that “Mrs. Fleming was very patient with me and made me look forward to coming to school each day by making anything I was interested in doing possible.”

In addition to all of her work with the makerspace, just months ago, the library was officially renovated; book shelves were taken out and replaced with sofas and a table, while several old library tables were moved to the back and some were kept in the front.

We were even lucky enough to include the addition of Chromebooks last year and it was all thanks to Mrs. Fleming.

“One of our most successful initiatives has been the circulation of Chromebooks for students.”

Mrs. Fleming said she has so many ideas that there’s just not enough time to get to them all.

“One of my goals for next year is to renovate the back room in the library into a collaborative workspace we’re going to call ‘The Think Tank’.”

think tank


Mr. Manuppelli added that Mrs. Fleming changed a traditional library into a modern media center.

“The Media Center has become an integral part of what we do at NMHS.”

Mr. Manuppelli believes there has been a change in the relationship between the students and the media center.

“The Media Center has become a very welcoming and exciting place to be. Students have the opportunity to interact with technology and exciting programs provided by Mrs. Fleming.”

Mr. Manuppelli definitely believes that Mrs. Fleming’s efforts in making the media center more welcoming has worked. “Years ago, the traditional library worked because there was not such an influx of technology. Mrs. Fleming has embraced technology to the benefit of all our students and staff, therefore her efforts have been extremely successful. She has truly created a special place here at New Milford High School.”

We hope that Mrs. Fleming will be able to make new changes to improve NMHS and we can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.

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Follow Up with Mrs. Fleming