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Andrea Arnold, a twelve-year veteran English Language Arts teacher at Caldwell High School (CHS) in Idaho, is a self-described “lifer”, wholly committed to the students and families of CHS. Dubbed “Smalltown, USA” by many of its inhabitants, Caldwell is an intimate community of diverse citizens that care about their students’ successes; even the Mayor of Caldwell attends both the Homecoming Assembly and Caldwell’s graduation. It’s clear that the families of CHS and educators like Andrea are all deeply devoted to the school:

“I am 100% committed to these kids and this building. It’s not always perfect— there are tough days for sure—but I work really hard to build a strong relationship with my students and they know I want them to be successful… we produce some pretty amazing kids.”

Winning the 2018 Turnitin Global Innovator Award was a huge honor for Andrea, who is invested in teaching foundational writing skills and the importance of originality. This year, in addition to her regular English schedule, she’s partnering with the journalism department in a new course where she’ll cover the value of authenticity, real news vs. fake news, and copyright laws. “I’m excited to see how the students are writing with originality,” she says.

In her personal life, Andrea strives to uphold integrity in every way, whether it’s as the Secretary of her Roller Derby team, reviewing the previous meetings’ minutes, or as a mother, discussing citation with her nine-year-old daughter. “Integrity is important to me. I try to hold people accountable for what they’ve produced in all areas of my life.”

Moving forward, Andrea plans to be a steadfast advocate for academic integrity by supporting her peers in their use of Turnitin and their understanding of plagiarism as a whole. She understands that, while it can be easy for instructors to assume malicious intent when faced with an academic dishonesty case, a more meaningful and effective route is to have a conversation with the student and give them a second chance to correct their mistake.

“My goal this year is to continue to inspire students to challenge themselves and productively struggle. We learn best when we work through a problem and I want my students to enjoy that struggle.”

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Interested in reading more? Check out all of the 2018 Global Innovator stories here