Tom Welch

French Teacher and Kentucky Teacher of the Year

Tom Welch is known around the country as an ardent revolutionary when it comes to the redesign of the learning process. While he was a high school French teacher he was selected as the Kentucky Teacher of the Year, and later was a high school principal who mandated that all administrators teach one class every day.  His commitment to the opportunities for unbounded learning today has caused him to reexamine many of the practices and beliefs that led to the education paradigm of the 20th century.  

Tom served as the World Languages coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Education and has been an active member of the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL) for over 25 years.  His experience as a member of the ACTFL committee which developed the original Foreign Language Standards helped propel his passion to improve opportunities for every learner to develop proficiency in more than one language no matter where they live.

Tom has also been a proponent of nontraditional credentialing opportunities for learners and helped develop one of the first programs where high school credit was given for experience outside of the traditional time-bound classroom using micro credentials.

As an independent consultant for the last ten years Tom has witnessed, participated in, and advocated for the explosion of opportunities for learning unbound by traditional limits of time or place. He is committed to helping students, teachers, administrators, parents and the wider public understand that new opportunities for learning will bring both unimagined and unforeseen opportunities and challenges.  

He currently lives in Chicago where he has established himself as a “connectivist”, deliberately connecting varied organizations, projects and initiatives.