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Gallery walk features Portrait of a Graduate designs by students

Gallery walk features Portrait of a Graduate designs by students


If you want to see designs Bettendorf students have created to depict the “Portrait of a Graduate” concept, you’re invited to a gallery walk in person or online.

For the past year, the Bettendorf School District has collaborated with the community — including students, parents, the community, business and industry partners (including Arconic and Deere & Co.) and educators — to determine what skills a Bettendorf graduate should have.

The Portrait of a Graduate initiative describes the knowledge, skills and dispositions  graduates will possess when they move on, said Jillian Dotson, curriculum director. “We want to focus on the whole child instead of just academics: Can you problem-solve? Are you a critical thinker? Are you self-directed?”

“You can teach anybody anything,” Dotson said. “But there are 21st Century skills they need to have."

The competencies are:

  • Critical thinking
  • Self-direction and growth mindset
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Interdisciplinary and global knowledge
  • Social/emotional skills and responsibility.

“We don’t want this to be another thing for teachers to teach,” Dotson said. “We don’t want it to be a poster on the wall. We want to build it into what we already have in place. It’s important to start working on these competencies in preschool, all the way through 12th grade.”

Art teacher Hilary Puglisi offered to ask her students to make graphic designs depicting the skills.

“We had multiple entries and we narrowed it down to the top five that really nailed it,” Dotson said.

The designs will be featured in a gallery walk from 2-5 p.m., Nov. 14, at Bettendorf Schools Administration Center, 3311 18th St. Stakeholders can give feedback and help select the visual.

In addition, you can browse the designs online, where you can vote and provide feedback. A link will be sent out on Nov. 14. To be added to a distribution list, contact Celeste Miller at


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Film critic/reporter since 1985 at Quad-City Times. Society of Professional Journalists, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Alliance of Women Film Journalists member. Member of St. Mark Lutheran Church.

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