About Us

Many new, inspiring trends have hit the world impacting how we lead and how we go about work. Education needs to adapt to these changes, which is difficult if teachers are left out of these new paradigms. The Educators' Lab aims to support the many visionary educators working within our school systems who are helping to improve teaching and learning. We believe teachers with innovative ideas for the classroom should be given the support and resources they need to develop and implement their ideas. In the same way that today’s entrepreneurs will change the way we do business, The Educators' Lab believes teachers are the change agents who will direct the future of education. We hope that by investing in teachers, we can revamp education from within and help schools to better adapt to the changing needs of the 21st Century.

Our Team

Michelle Blanchet
Founder & Director

Michelle Blanchet is an educator passionate about inspiring innovation in the field of education. She has been working with young people for the past ten years and founded The Educators’ Lab, which supports teacher driven solutions to educational challenges. Michelle earned a Master in International Relations from Instituto de Empresa in Madrid. She taught sociology and economics, and has presented at numerous events including SXSWedu and TEDxLausanne. Michelle is a part of the Global Shaper Community of the World Economic Forum. She has worked with organizations like PBS Education, Ashoka’s Youth Venture, the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, and the Center for Curriculum Redesign. She occasionally blogs for Edutopia and PBS TeacherLounge.

Darcy Bakkegard
PD Coach

Darcy Bakkegard is the Teacher Ambassador for Prairie Public Broadcasting in Fargo, ND where she leads professional development workshops, webinars, and 1:1 training for teachers across the state. With 10 years of experience teaching English and Theatre in public and private, rural and suburban, and international schools, she has taught every type of learner. Building from a BA in Theatre and years in educational theatre, Darcy specializes in interactive strategies for the classroom, meaningful technology integration, and how to build meaningful relationships with students. Along with a Master’s Degree in Secondary English Education, Darcy is a Level 1 Certified Google Educator and EdPuzzle Certified Teacher. She has presented workshops at the National Council of Teacher of English National Convention, the International School Conference of Turkey, and the Fargo-Moorhead Metro Area Tech Camp.

David Marchante
Technology Ninja

David is an experienced full stack web developer and analyst with a passion for design. He has led many projects with organizations such as LG, Orange, Vodafone, Vorwerk and public administrations. If you talk to him you should be prepared to hear things like Ruby on Rails, Python, JavaScript, CSS or "it works on my computer!".

Katie Gage
Career Coach

Katie Gage is a leadership and career coach specializing in education and non traditional experience to employment pathways. As Director of Programming for Enstitute, the first National Apprenticeship program, she helped young people gain the skills needed to navigate an evolving job market. She's mentored young people, ages 18-30 through entrepreneurial and university programs to jump-start their careers and always be building on the growth opportunities available to them. As a career and leadership coach, she has helped hundreds of career professionals over the past decade to build the confidence and skills they need to go after their most ambitious career and life goals. Katie offers proven resources, tools and ideas to discover potential and non traditional career paths, redefine success and start taking action right away.

Brian Deters
Facilitator

Brian Deters has been in education for twenty-four years teaching social studies and coaching varsity soccer in the U.S. and abroad. Brian, a co-host of the 4 A Better Tomorrow Podcast, flew back and forth from Switzerland to run in the 2018 election as a U.S. Congressional primary candidate from the 18th District of Illinois. Brian holds a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education from Illinois State University as well as a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration. He currently teaches social studies at Morton High School and is an adjunct professor at Illinois State University working in the field with student teachers.

Don Sturm
Facilitator

Don Sturm has been an educator for twenty-eight years serving as both a social studies teacher and technology integration specialist. A co-host for the 4 A Better Tomorrow Podcast, Don served as Brian’s campaign manager during their U.S. Congressional run in the 2018 Primary Election. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in history from Illinois State University and a Master’s Degree in Teacher Leadership with an emphasis in technology from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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