40 Under 40? Gamechanger

Some exciting news to share with everyone this week, with text courtesy of the public relations office at my awesome employer, Bishop O’Connell High School:

meehan-awardCongratulations to Bishop O’Connell English teacher, John Meehan, who was recognized by the Arlington Leadership Center for Excellence on Dec. 2 as one of this year’s “40 Under 40” honorees. Each year, the Center recognizes 40 emerging leaders under the age of 40 who demonstrate impact personally and/or professionally through their exceptional leadership in the DC metropolitan region—hailing them as “the next generation of trailblazers.”

The award comes at the end of a busy year for Meehan, who also serves as the coordinator of the school’s “igKnight” teacher professional development program. His role as an instructional coach has been recognized at the state and national level–with presentations at the annual conference of the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the annual conference of the National Catholic Education Association, a panel presentation at Notre Dame University’s Play Like a Champion Today Athletics Leadership Conference, and an appointment to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2016-2018 Teacher Advisory Council.

Meehan was unable to attend the awards luncheon in person, as he was fulfilling his commitment at the Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle for the winter working session of the Teacher Advisory Council (TAC), where he serves on their instructional leadership subcommittee. He will return to Seattle for the council’s summer working session in June of 2017.

The TAC is a group of 50 teachers from across the U.S. committed to a two-year term, who comes together on a regular basis to support the development and review of the foundation’s education strategies, share their insights on how to translate that vision into implementation in schools and districts, and provide feedback and perspective as they lead this work in the field. Through online collaboration, the cohort likewise engages in regular planning and professional development initiatives between their bi-annual meetings. Meehan was chosen from a pool of more than 400 exceptional educators from around the country. He will serve on this committee for the 2016-2018 school years. Mr. Meehan is the only Catholic school teacher on the TAC in the country.

“Anyone who has dropped by Mr. Meehan’s 11th grade literature classroom has witnessed an extraordinarily passionate teacher and a completely engaged class of students,” said Carl Patton, Assistant Head of School. “He has taken that same enthusiasm and energy to help shape our peer-to-peer professional development program at Bishop O’Connell.”

“This year has been a whirlwind,” Meehan commented. “I’m so proud to be a part of the incredible work that we are doing at Bishop O’Connell High School, and I’m humbled and honored to have the opportunity to be recognized for our efforts in spheres outside of our school. I can’t thank the faculty, the staff, and the administration enough for everything that they continue to do each and every day in support of Catholic education.”

Author: John

John Meehan (@MeehanEDU) is an English teacher and school instructional coach at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. He began his teaching career in 2010 as a career switcher through The New Teacher Project, after spending five years working in social media and event marketing. He is a 2017 ASCD Emerging Leader, and an alumnus of the 2016-2018 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council. In 2016, he was named one of Arlington, Virginia’s “40 Under 40” by the Leadership Center for Excellence. He is a past presenter and regular attendee at educational conferences throughout the United States, including the annual conference for National Catholic Education Association, ASCD Empower19, and the Play Like a Champion Today: Character Education Through Sports summer conference at the University of Notre Dame. He’s an avid runner who’s completed more than three dozen marathons, half marathons, long-distance road relays, mud runs, and obstacle course races. John lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife, Laura, a high school music teacher and fellow graduate of The Catholic University of America, and a giant-sized Maine Coon cat named Jack.

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