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2009 Excellence in Technology Winners


"Not what they do for themselves,
but how they involve and inspire others."


ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WINNERS

Download Elementary School Winners list here.

Technology Educator of the Year


If you spend any time examining the new ISTE Technology Standards for Teachers, you will find a strong emphasis on using technology for creativity and innovative teaching as well as a strong sense of collaboration. The judges felt that two Educators met these criteria and have decided to offer a tie for the 2009 Technology Educator of the Year.

Cameo Slaybaugh, Grade 5 Lead Teacher,
Suffolk SECEP School
Cameo Slaybaugh

As a veteran educator at SECEP, Ms. Slaybaugh enriches her instruction with technology that allows students to go beyond the classroom walls. In 2007, she “took her students to Alaska with her.” In 2008, she spent six weeks conducting research as part of a scientific research team with PolarTREC, funded by the National Science Foundation. Ms. Slaybaugh built and tested a remote operated vehicle to survey under the ice in Antarctica. Students participated in her work by building their own ROV with thrusters, remote control, and video cameras and conducting local research. Students communicated with engineers and watched video events from their classrooms. Ms. Slaybaugh shared her experiences with not only her own students, but also students across the United States.

Ms. Slaybaugh also created and helps to maintain a website ~ http://www.teacherthinktank.org ~ that provides information for teachers about obtaining free teaching materials and applying for grants.

For her collaboration with students in innovative technology-driven lessons, the judges are proud to award the 2009 Technology Educator of the Year Award to Cameo Slaybaugh.


Kristen Taxson, First Grade Teacher,
Brighton Elementary, Portsmouth
Kristen Taxson

Kristy’s first grade inclusion classroom is an active and engaging classroom. Using an interactive whiteboard, a document camera, a student response system, a classroom blog and VoiceThreads into her instruction, she creates a child-centered environment that helps all students be successful.

Her classroom blog gives parents a snapshot of what is going on in the classroom. Each week, she sends home the link to encourage parents to stay involved. Student writing and publication on VoiceThread is also shared with parents via the blog.

For starting students off right with a technology-enriched classroom and using technology to help all students, the judges are proud to award the 2009 Technology Educator of the Year Award to Kristen Taxson.

Technology Integrator of the Year
Sheila Teri, Computer Resource Teacher,
Trantwood Elementary, Virginia Beach
Sheila

As the CRT at Trantwood Elementary, Ms. Teri works on a variety of levels to integrate technology and include the 21st century skills of problem solving, creative thinking, and team work in instruction within the classrooms. She has encouraged teachers to examine their old lessons and re-design them to include higher level thinking. Her training with teachers on using VoiceThread has lead to collaboration with students in other schools.

Ms. Teri is a technology force within her school. She created and maintains the school blog, the school website, and Portaportals for every grade level. She applies for and has received several grants, most recently for Promethean Slates and Activotes. She sponsors the Computer Club, and she has served on several division-wide technology committees.

Ms. Teri also goes beyond her own school to share her skills. She has presented Voicethread training for both Discovery Education and at VSTE 2009. She is also offering it for summer PDP for The Virginia Beach City Public School Division. She created and maintains wikis for Hampton Roads ModSim and the Computer Resource Teachers, and she is the Voice of VSTE on Twittter.

For working within her school and going beyond the school to share her mission of technology integration, the judges are proud to award the 2009 Technology Integrator of the Year Award to Sheila Teri.

 

Technology Administrator of the Year
Shannon Panko, Principal,
Riverside Elementary School, Newport News
Shannon Panko

Mrs. Shannon Panko serves as a model for all of her colleagues in Newport News when it comes to effective leadership in a 21st century school. Through her four and half years at Riverside, she has led the transformation of the school from one teetering on the brink of a loss of accreditation to a high-achieving center for academic achievement by focusing, in part, on innovative instructional technology integration school-wide. She earned the opportunity for her school to house the only two elementary-level "technology incubation classrooms" among all 28 elementary schools in the district. Her school is also the only district elementary school to pilot Parent Assistant, a web-based tool that allows families to access school-related information such as attendance and grades. When Mrs. Panko read how iPods were being used in secondary classrooms in other states, she decided to bring the power of the devices into her first grade classrooms – and now Riverside students as young as six years old use them to track their reading fluency growth, practice retelling skills, watch educational videos, and more. And when the district told her they did not have the funds to bring electronic response systems into her school, she formed a partnership with a vendor to use several sets on a trial basis, eventually purchasing them outright at a greatly reduced rate. Mrs. Panko does not confine her advocacy efforts to the boundaries of her own school. She has presented and co-presented at the ASCD Annual Conference, the Florida Educational Technology Conference, and the NNPS International Conference.

Whether she is advocating for integration, supporting integration by her teachers, integrating herself, or spreading the message of integration to educators across the country, she continues to set herself apart as a visionary leader who knows how to set up and support effective modern learning environments for students. For her driving and inspiring force that has led to Riverside Elementary to becoming the technology hotspot in elementary education in Newport News, the judges are proud to award the 2009 Technology Administrator of the Year Award to Shannon Panko.


MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL WINNERS

Download Middle/High School Winners list here.

Middle School Technology Educator of the Year

Jim Sumner, Grades 5-6 Math and Science,
Trinity Lutheran School, Independent School
Jim Sumner

The 2009 Middle School Technology Educator of the Year is Jim Sumner, Grades 5-6 Math and Science, Trinity Lutheran School, Independent School

Jim Sumner has been described as a great example of a teacher that consistently utilizes technology to enhance instruction for all children. As a first year teacher, he has shown great leadership and continues to make a big difference within his school. Not only does he work with the teachers to train them how to use the technology, he is thrifty with fixing up some of the older technology saving the school a few bucks. For example, he took some older LCD projectors, reprogrammed them and they are now they are used daily.

Discovery Education Streaming and digital cameras are some of his favorite tools for classroom integration. He thirsts for new knowledge and once he gains it, brings it back to the other teachers at his school through the trainings he provides and serving on the technology committee. He attended a week of Tech Trek to sharpen his integration skills, and continues to expand through other trainings such as the Science Program at the Jefferson Lab.

You will also see him at many community events such as the Great Computer Challenge and the First Lego League. His school brought their 4th team to the regional First Lego League Competition, and then continued to the State tournament. Even though this is his first year teaching, he has been the support of his school attending such events for years.

For his love of technology for the past 25 years, and his successful year of his first year of teaching, the judges are proud to award the 2009 Technology Educator of the Year Award to Jim Sumner.

High School Technology Educator of the Year

The judges had a hard time choosing just ONE high school technology educator of this, so we have the pleasure to announce a tie between Michael Weber, Teacher, Norfolk Technical Center, Norfolk Public Schools and Chris Jones, Math Teacher, Green Run High School, Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

Michael Weber, Teacher,
Norfolk Technical Center, Norfolk Public Schools
Mike

The first 2009 High School Technology Educator of the Year is awarded to Michael Weber, Teacher, Norfolk Technical Center, Norfolk Public Schools.

With today’s increase demand of using technology in the workplace, it takes someone like Mike Weber to prepare our students for the highly competitive, global marketplace. Have you heard of a Safari System, SynchronEyes, LanSchool system, Turning Point Personal Response System, CamStudio? Leave to Mike. If there is a new technology, he will find a way to integrate it into the classroom.

He uses the turning point response system to prepare his students for the CNA Certification Exam and the Advanced Placement Test for Computer Science throughout the school year. Through this system, Mike and his students get immediate feedback and quickly assess strengths and weaknesses.

Challenging his students and getting them to use critical thinking skills, he gives them opportunities to present using the latest technology. One tool, CampStudio, allows them to capture their screen and create a video tutorial explaining how to perform certain tasks on the computer. Their self confidence and oral presentation skills have improved enormously through this type of technology.

Through his 15 years of service he has been valuable part of his students’ lives, mentoring them into employment opportunities. Four graduates from Mr. Weber’s class are currently employed by NPS as Network Engineers!

The judges are proud to award the 2009 High School Technology Educator of the Year Award to Mike Weber who is also a Great Computer Challenge Coach.


Chris Jones, Math Teacher,
Green Run High School, Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Chris

The second 2009 High School Technology Educator of the Year is awarded Chris Jones, Math Teacher, Green Run High School, Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Here is another classroom with many emerging technologies. Chris Jones implemented a “jigsaw” teaching method in which groups of students become subject matter experts on different topics and “jigsaw” with the other groups to share and report on their findings. This supports Robert Marzano’s research that depicts a pyramid of learning in which a person will remember and retain 95% of what that person teaches to someone else. Videos were created by Chris to teach the topic. He used a Sony Handycam, Smart Technologies Notebook and Airliner, and iMovie for editing. The students watched the videos, and then they present their own lesson using laptops, SmartBoard, and a document camera.

On a daily basis, Chris created video lessons that are then posted on the internet. This is great help for absent students or for those needing reinforcement.

Chris’ enthusiasm and innovative teaching methods motivate each of his students learning Geometry X and Algebra II.

The judges are proud to award the 2009 High School Technology Educator of the Year Award to Chris Jones.

Middle School Technology Integrator of the Year

Kay Bisaillon, Computer Teacher,
St. Gregory the Great School, Independent School

Kay Bisaillon

The 2009 Middle School Technology Integrator of the Year is awarded to Kay Bisaillon, Computer Teacher, St. Gregory the Great School, Independent School.

Whether teaching Audacity to 4th and 5th graders, Movie Maker to parents or SmartBoard software to teachers, Mrs. Bisaillon is always helping to push the technological envelope.

Kay was exposed to a program called Scratch, learned more about it, and brought it to her students in collaboration with the Language Arts and Spanish teacher to make a student project where the students wrote a script and a storyboard for a short conversation. The students were so excited about this program that they worked on additional projects.

The Oscars come to town through an event Kay developed after she began making movies with the middle students. This was a way to show off their film documentaries, foreign films, and animations.

The judges are proud to award the 2009 Middle School Technology Integrator of the Year Award to Kay Bisaillon.

High School Technology Integrator of the Year

Gayle Hartigan, Computer Resource Specialist,
Tallwood High School, Virginia Beach City Public Schools
Gayle

The 2009 High School Technology Integrator of the Year is awarded Gayle Hartigan, Computer Resource Specialist, Tallwood High School, Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Expanding beyond the classroom walls is what Gayle Hartigan is known for these days. She has been reaching out to scientists on the Antarctica, Holocaust survivors, students in Canada and India to discuss world religions, all through video conferencing. Video conferencing technology opened the doors of interaction with scientists at work in a remote area, gave the students opportunities to question their methods and discoveries and challenged students to see climate issues from a global perspective.

Gayle works into the night collaborating with teachers on events and activities such as the video conferencing. Many professional development trainings are offered for her teachers by her, leading them to projects such as a sociology class using 3 different Web 2.0 tools to create an electronic family tree and voice thread slide show during Black History Month.

The judges are proud to award the 2009 Technology Integrator of the Year Award to Gayle Hartigan.

High School Technology Administrator of the Year
William Davis, Jr., Principal,
Norfolk Technical Center, Norfolk Public Schools
William Davis

The 2009 High School Technology Administrator of the Year is awarded to William Davis, Jr., Principal, Norfolk Technical Center, Norfolk Public Schools

William Davis embraces the use of technology to improve instruction and encourages both his staff and students to embrace it as well.

He teaches through example using multimedia presentations for faculty meetings and the Turning Point Response System to check the understanding of the staff after presentations.

Due to his support of the technology within the school, the student success rate has increased 63% over a four year period.

Teachers receive many professional development opportunities in instructional technology under his direction. Mr. Davis also has encouraged and supported 16 years of teams at the Great Computer Challenge.

The judges are proud to award the 2009 Technology Administrator of the Year Award to William Davis, Jr.,