The Lab School: Gala Awardee Dean Bragonier Returns

Dean at The Lab School with an art teacher

Dean at The Lab School with an art teacher

Dean at The Lab School looking at a drawing class.

Dean at The Lab School looking at a drawing class.

Gala Awardee Dean Bragonier Returns to The Lab School 12/11/2015 Dean Bragonier says he is still reeling from the day and evening he spent at The Lab School visiting the campuses, interacting with the students, faculty and staff, and attending — and being honored at — the school’s annual 2015 Gala. “There is a spirit at The Lab School that I haven’t ever seen before at a school,” he says. “I wanted to come back to better understand how Lab makes learning come alive, truly come alive.”

Mr. Bragonier is the founder and executive dyslexic of NoticeAbility Inc., a nonprofit organization that designs and delivers proprietary curricula to students with dyslexia.Inspired by the neuroscientific discoveries presented in Brock L. Eide MD, MA and Fernette F. Eide MD’s book The Dyslexic Advantage, NoticeAbility’s curricula provide authentic inquiry experiences in vocational subject matters that capitalize on the neurological strengths of students with dyslexia: entrepreneurship, engineering, architecture, and the arts.

Mr. Bragonier has experienced his own challenges associated with his dyslexia and after struggling through the traditional secondary education system, he became a diligent and successful college student who developed a true love of learning at Bates College in Maine. His company is the culmination of his passion for education and his conviction that the advantages of dyslexia far outweigh its associated challenges.

At Lab, Mr. Bragonier met with Head of School Katherine Schantz to talk and share ideas, and also spent a few hours in Academic Club classes with Head of Academic Clubs Noel Bicknell. The students shared their experiences at their old schools and how different their experiences have been at Lab, especially in the Elementary and Intermediate Academic Clubs. “It’s fun to go back in time,” said one Intermediate student. “I still remember being mummified in Gods Club and why the body had to be salted,” said another student. Still another added, “Being in Club is like being a time traveler for a full year and that helps with learning.”

Mr. Bragonier observed the power of immersion in Lab's Academic Club Methodology as a way of teaching and learning, noting the ownership the students took in their work and the whole collaboration of donning characters with costumes, having a password to “leave the present and return to the past,” and learning history, math, engineering, and arts all at once. “This sense of ownership I see in the class is wonderful,” he says. “If you have a sense of ownership in your work whether in school or in business, you will no doubt succeed.”

During an Industrialists Club class, Mr. Bicknell was teaching the students, who were working on portraits of their characters, about contrast and how blacks, whites, and greys can change the image and interpretation of the subject in a photograph or a painting.

“Always know where your light is coming from,” he says, “and go from there.” Indeed.

- The Lab School (12.11.2015) See more at: http://www.labschool.org/page/Copy-of-News-Detail?pk=796000&fromId=181925