Professional Development Specialist, retired 2013
Dr. Dagenais began his work at the Academy as Coordinator for Professional Development, Office of the Alliance (1989–1993). In this role, he was responsible for interpreting and disseminating IMSA curriculum and teaching/learning strategies to schools across Illinois. Additionally, Dr. Dagenais served as the IMSA Science Team Curriculum and Assessment Leader and worked in IMSA’s outreach programs, including The Center@IMSA as Field Supervisor for the Illinois Benedictine University/IMSA Alternative Certification Program, and most recently in Professional Field Services as the Professional Development and Curriculum Specialist in Science and Mathematics for the IMSA Fusion Program.
Dr. Dagenais provided leadership for curriculum and assessment design and development, and worked with state and national science and mathematics organizations, including the Illinois State Board of Education to generate support that enabled IMSA to have a voice in the improvement of STEM education across Illinois.
Dr. Dagenais developed the IMSA Professional Development Calendar, wrote articles for the IMSA Mathematics Journal, and presented at state, national and international conferences on science, mathematics and education. He was a consultant for the Illinois State Board of Education, Chicago Public Schools, the Teachers Academy for Math and Science, and for several school districts.
He has served in numerous leadership roles, including Past President of the Illinois Science Teachers Association (2007-2009), co-leader of Aurora University’s John C. Dunham STEM Partnership Design Team, member of Aurora University’s “Illinois Math and Science Partnership” Master’s Degree Program Design Team, and was a member of The Associated Colleges of Illinois Task Force.
At the time of his retirement in 2013, he reached thousands of educators, gave numerous conference presentations and published over 30 academic papers. An article from IMSA Archives quotes past Principal Dr. Eric McLaren, “When the U.S. Department of State invited IMSA staff member Dr. Raymond Dagenais to travel to Thailand to learn about the Thai culture and educational system, he knew it was a proposal he could not turn down” (2005).
From strategies and methods of gifted student identification, to the assessment of student performance, academic standards for science and mathematics, and professional development best practices for educators in science and mathematics, Dr. Dagenais’ work in education is far-reaching and important. “Science allows us to look at the world from a curious and skeptical perspective,” he said. “It’s not just about presenting the material, but presenting it in ways that engage the students and get them to formulate their own questions. It’s getting them to find ways of learning about things they’ve always wondered about.”