At Learner-Centered Collaborative, we know centering student voice is key for meaningful change in education. We recently witnessed the power of learner voice in an impressive video produced by high school students at our partner district, Deer Lakes School District.

To showcase Deer Lakes’ work with Learner-Centered Collaborative to redesign learning, high school students created a video highlighting their school’s Portrait of a Learner. This framework, developed through an extensive process engaging all stakeholders, defines 5 key competencies Deer Lakes graduates need to thrive: creativity, communication, collaboration, empowered citizenship, and wellness.

While the video summarizes the collaborative process the district undertook with educators, administrators, and the community to create this framework, the students powerfully drive home the “why”  behind the portrait – how centering learner voice and agency prepares and empowers them to become the leaders of tomorrow. Rather than a typical school video, as one student remarks, they wanted to “showcase the hard work that went into envisioning our futures.”

The video summarizes framework components while bringing them to life through graphics and student perspectives. It is powerful to hear learners describe – in their own voices – how they will grow as leaders, improve their community, and manage self- care. 

The video is a testament to the outcomes that can emerge when school leadership commits to elevating student voice. Deer Lakes demonstrates that centering learners ensure students feel invested in their future. We applaud Deer Lakes for their vision and hope this video inspires other districts to create spaces for learner-centered design.


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We thank the Deer Lakes students for lending their creativity, voice and vision to producing this inspiring video. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with this trailblazing district!

Learn more about their learner-centered journey in Developing a Framework for the Future Informed by Learners, Industry, and Higher Ed

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