- Director of Innovation and Technology
- Author of The Fire Within
- Leadership, Innovation & Divergent Teaching
Mandy Froehlich is currently a Director of Innovation and Technology and a Google for Education Certified Trainer, but has been involved in education in a variety of positions from teacher to technology integrator, and has also taught pre-service teachers educational technology at the higher education level. Mandy has presented across the United States at various conferences such as TIES, FETC and ISTE on technology integration, effective leadership, and building a culture and climate for learning. She also consults with state agencies and school districts on similar topics and maintains an educationally based blog at mandyfroehlich.com.
One of Mandy's fundamental life beliefs is that people's stories shape who they are. Every decision, reaction, or relationship people have or create is directed and defined by their past experiences and how they have reacted to adversity. These stories also shape their engagement in their profession, and their love for learning and students. Her message inspires people to take charge of their stories and determine their own outcomes, and how to become re-engaged in the profession if that has been lost along the way.
Her first book, The Fire Within: Lessons from defeat that have ignited a passion for learning, is a compilation of stories from amazing educators who have faced personal adversity head on and have become stronger people for it. They use their new-found strength to support the students and teachers they work with. They are sharing their stories with a hope that others in the same situations might not feel alone, knowing that in our darkest hours, when our situations feel the most hopeless, is when we develop the extraordinary characteristics that make us who we are at our very cores. In addition to the powerful and inspirational stories, there is a chapter included on trauma and how it rewires our brain, as well as the effects of Secondary Trauma, especially as it affects someone who is still dealing with their own fallout from traumatic experiences. This chapter also includes mindfulness activities that support coping and healing.
Mandy is invested in determining what needs to be done to launch an environment ripe for innovative change and divergent thinking. She believes that there are steps that can be taken to create conditions that give teachers the best chance to both be innovative and create opportunities for innovation for their students. She has devised a framework called the Hierarchy of Needs for Innovative Thinking and Divergent Thinking to assist districts to assess and implement systemic changes to support this thinking.