Tag Archives: Award Winners

Making It Happen Award Winners 2015

Making IT Happen is an internationally recognized awards program for educators and leaders in the field of educational technology integration in K–12 schools. The program identifies and rewards educational technology leaders around the world for their commitment and innovation. The program is coordinated by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

In 2015, VSTE recognized two Virginia educators with this important award:

copenhaverJanet Copenhaver is the Director of Technology and Innovation in the Henry County Public Schools. Copenhaver has worked for the Henry County Public School system for 21 years. Her untiring dedication to the students of Henry County has helped make the school division a leader  in emerging technologies. She has received a variety of recognitions for her work and has traveled throughout the United States presenting at conferences and helping other school divisions.

A photo of Dr. Mano TalaiverPrior to her retirement, Dr. Mano Talaiver was the Director of Longwood University's Institute for Teaching through Technology & Innovative Practices (ITTIP). She has worked to bring emerging technologies, STEM learning, online learning, teacher professional development to school divisions with a focus on broadening the participation of low-income, rural and minority communities in computing and STEM.  She continues her work as part of ISTE's Verizon Mobile Learning Academy.

You can learn more about the award and previous Virginia winners here.

2015 VSTE Award Winners

Each year, VSTE recognizes exemplary educators through several different awards.  We are proud to announce this year’s recipients who will be recognized at the Annual Educational Technology Conference.

Doug Saunders Doug Saunders is the 2015 Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Doug is an experienced teacher and instructional coach who inspires others to become confident in implementing 21st century instruction within their daily curriculum. He currently works as an ITRT at Holman Middle School in Henrico County. Doug’s educational philosophy that by using technology, educators can provide an interactive, meaningful, experience and create an environment where students can learn at their own pace, actively seeking out new information and empowering themselves to master content and embrace lifelong learning, is evident in his approach and coaching of teachers. The Huskie Exchange, now in its third year, was created to provide opportunities for teachers learn from one another and to share high-quality engaging lessons that incorporate 21st century skills. Doug’s approach to professional development for himself and his teachers, is a model for other ITRTs in Henrico County. He is constantly looking for new and creative ideas but more importantly his ability to affect change within a school and a division through coaching and professional development is what makes him an amazing teacher and an invaluable member of our HCPS ITRT team.

Dr. Helen CromptonDr. Helen Crompton is the 2015 Outstanding Leader of the Year. Dr. Crompton is an assistant professor of Instructional Technology in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Old Dominion University. She has dedicated her life to improving educational technology at all levels: local, state, regional, national, and global. Locally, Dr. Crompton has brought K-12 and university educators together. In collaboration, both practitioners and scholars have worked to ensure that our future teachers go out into the Commonwealth, and beyond, prepared with the technological knowledge, skills, and tools they need to educate 21st century children. Globally, Dr. Crompton is working with two divisions of the United Nations to educate the public regarding the benefits of educational technology. Dr. Helen Crompton works tirelessly to enhance the lives of learners at all levels. She is an outstanding advocate for educational technologies and is an outstanding candidate for this award.

Kim HarrisonKim Harrison is the 2015 Innovative Educator of the Year. Kim is an Instructional Technology Specialist based at Indian Lakes Elementary School in Virginia Beach. Kim is truly an innovator. She has a passion for sharing virtual environments and was the innovator behind Virginia Beach City Public Schools bringing Minecraft into the elementary classroom. Kim has shared her passion for bringing Minecraft into the elementary classroom in her school, throughout the division (through division-wide professional development courses), and across the state of Virginia (as she serves as Chair for VSTE's new Virtual Environments Professional Learning Network and leads sessions at the VSTE conference each year). Another pet project is VSTE Island in Second Life. She can always be found "in world" leading a book study, modeling to a newbie how to walk around (as opposed to appearing as a floating head), or just hanging out. Kim is always ready to jump in and answer any questions from those of us who "just don't get it!" Kim’s passion for this technology and dedication to bringing this awesome new technology to her young students impresses all who know her.






2014 VSTE Award Winners

Each year, VSTE recognizes exemplary educators through several different awards.  We are proud to announce this year’s recipients who will be recognized at the Annual Educational Technology Conference.

nemerovThe 2014 VSTE Teacher of the Year is Daniel Nemerow, a math and special education teacher at Patriot High School (Prince William County Schools).) In his 11 years of teaching, Daniel has proven to be an exemplary model for the seamless implementation of emerging technologies in the classroom. His singular focus is always on creating the best possible 21st century learning environment for his students. He regularly inspires his fellow educators to reach beyond their comfort level to implement technology in their classrooms. Congratulations, Daniel!

copenhaverThe 2014 VSTE Leader of the Year is Janet Copenhaver, Director of Technology at Henry County Public Schools. Janet has worked tirelessly to both network and upgrade networking in all facilities of our school division. Her leadership in implementing a 1:1 mobile device initiative for students in grade 3-8 has earned Henry County the privilege of hosting a plethora of visits from districts around the country seeking to emulate the successful integration of technology into daily learning that exists in Henry County Public Schools. A large part of each day is occupied by classroom visits as she works with students and staff to maximize the way they use technology for learning and student achievement. Congratulations, Janet!

coffmanThe 2014 VSTE Innovative Educator of the Year is Dr. Teresa Coffman, Professor of Education, University of Mary Washington. Dr. Coffman is working to pilot Google Glass in the College of Education at the University of Mary Washingon. The use of wearable technologies is relatively new and she is at the vanguard of its immersion into education and society at large. Dr. Coffman is also responsible for piloting “Teacher Spot” an online Community of Practice for teachers in their degree program at the University. It also serves as a Learning Community for practicing teachers following graduation. She is viewed as an expert on instructional technology and the use of inquiry learning, both within the University and the larger global educational community. Congratulations, Teresa!

2013 VSTE Award Winners

Each year, VSTE recognizes exemplary educators through several different awards.  We are proud to announce this year’s recipients who will be recognized at the Annual Educational Technology Conference.

phillipsThe 2013 VSTE Teacher of the Year is Wendy Phillips, a literacy specialist at Belview Elementary School (Montgomery County Schools) who also serves as an adjunct professor in literacy education at Radford University. Wendy has been the recipient of many grants, most recently securing the iRead grant from the Community Foundation of the New River Valley which awarded her iPads and iPods to integrate into her teaching and build on her strong understanding of technology and how this mobile technology could be leveraged to enhance learning in and out of the classroom. Check out her iRead with iPads blog athttp://iread2learn.blogspot.com/! Congratulations, Wendy!

pierceThe 2013 VSTE Leader of the Year is Richard Pierce, Associate Professor at Shenandoah University. Dr. Pierce is an active member of VSTE, ISTE, Association for the Advancement for Computing in Education, Society for Applied Learning Technology, Texas Educational Computer Association, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, and EDUCAUSE. Richard’s practice of online content, open resources, online assessments and pedagogy has been adopted as a model by the Frederick County Schools for their gifted and talented program. Be sure to check more on those efforts at his presentation at the VSTE conference in December!  His technology planning and design model has been adopted by the larger Shenandoah University campus for all multi-site, distance education programs including Pharmacy, Nursing, Physician’s Assistant, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. Congratulations, Richard!

berryThe 2013 VSTE Innovative Educator of the Year is William Berry, an ITRT at Moody Middle School (Henrico County). William’s passion is excellent instruction and makes it his mission to improve instruction for his teachers ad learning for his students by introduction innovative uses of blogs, Twitter, and RSS feeds. He has established a culture of innovative thinking and teaching at his school and throughout the division. William’s newest project is a blog of multimedia-rich resources containing high-level questions, lesson starters, and chunks of content in digestible pieces. Check out this great resource here,http://blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/hcps-ushst-resources/. Congratulations, William!

2012 VSTE Award Winners

Each year, VSTE recognizes exemplary educators through several different awards.  We are proud to announce this year’s recipients who will be recognized at the Annual Educational Technology Conference.

norene skilesThe 2012 VSTE Teacher of the Year is Norene Skiles, the library media specialist at Windsor Oaks Elementary School in Virginia Beach. Norene is in her 26th of teaching, 23 of those years at Windsor Oaks. Along with being a VSTE member, she is also a STAR Discovery Educator and a member of the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL). “Every class that comes to the library receives a personal lesson taught by Mrs. Skiles and every lesson includes technology integration. From laptop computers to online databases to iPads to iTouches, our students are exposed to the newest technology and online resources through Mrs. Skiles’ lessons and demonstrations.” Congratulations, Norene!

The 2012 VSTE Leader of the Year is Mark Nichols, Special Education Supervisor for Assistive Technology and Individual Education Programs for Loudoun County Public Schools. Mark NicholsMark is an active member of VSTE, the Northern Virginia Assistive Technology Alliance, and Capitol Region Society for Technology in Education (CRSTE). Mark is a leader who makes it a priority to keep abreast of the current trends in all aspects of technology. He understands and navigates the operations of a large school district in order to provide administrators and instructional staff members with contemporary technology skills, advice, and philosophy. Most importantly, through his daily interactions Mark works tirelessly to genuinely improve the quality of education by modeling best practices. Congratulations, Mark!

Monica KisselThe 2012 Innovative Educator of the Year is Monica Kissel, Assistant Principal of Steuart Weller Elementary School in Loudoun County. Monica is a leader in innovation.  She works tirelessly to find new ways to bring excitement and motivation in her school.  Among her projects, Kissel worked with Microsoft to incorporate the Xbox into the special education setting and was featured on Microsoft’s Innovative Educator Blog; she presented a Microsoft Webinar; and was featured in USA Today. Kissel was selected by George Mason University to present at the Educational Leadership Program for future administrators, and was an integral part in the Business Partnership with National Geographic, connecting students to scientists from around the world.  Last but not least, Kissel is a founding member of TEDx Ashburn, an event that brought together leading visionaries and community members, all looking for ways to improve education. Kissel’s influence spans beyond her school walls.  Her expertise is sought out at the district level and she is asked to train peers, consult, and present at conferences about the different ways she uses technology, works with colleagues and brings staff on board new projects.  Her efforts received visibility and press coverage, and her projects are now adopted at the international level. Congratulations, Monica!

2011 VSTE Award Winners

Each year, VSTE recognizes exemplary educators through several different awards.  We are proud to announce this year’s recipients who will be recognized at the Annual Educational Technology Conference.

Congratulations to the VSTE Teacher of the Year, Kristina Peck, a third- year mathematics teacher from Riverbend High School in Spotsylvania County Schools. According to her principal, Dr. Troy Wright, she makes mathematical instruction relevant and engaging to her students and is a leader in the school and the division in the use of technology in education. Ms. Peck incorporates a variety of online resources to improve communication with parents and student-support groups.  Further, she requires her students to construct their own online resources to help process, review, and document their learning. She is active in the profession working with new teachers as well as presenting at local, regional and state conferences.

Congratulations to the VSTE Leader of the Year, Tom Woodward, Assistant Director of Instructional Technology, for Henrico County Public Schools.  Mr. Woodward is described by his colleagues as an inspirational leader with a clear vision of 21st century teaching and learning.  He has been instrumental in putting his vision into practice in Henrico County by working towards ways to clarify, document and assess 21st century skills in the classroom through the development of the Teaching Innovation Progression Chart and providing recognition and support to teachers for their work in creating high quality 21st century lessons through the Henrico21 effort (http://blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/21).  Dr. Wendy Krickovic, Education Specialist from Henrico County, shared that these initiatives were “successful because of Tom’s vision to build the capacity of individuals across the district to understand and model the use of effective technology use in the 21st century.”  Mr. Woodward is an active contributor to the profession through writing (http://bionicteaching.com) and presenting at local, regional, state, and national conferences.

Congratulations to Dr. Matt Dunleavy, Assistant Professor of Educational Technology,  at Radford Universitywhose groundbreaking work in augmented reality has led to an intellectual property disclosure, a patent submission, and a private commercial spin-off as well as numerous awards and recognitions.  Additionally, he has created a YouTube channel where graduate students taking classes created and uploaded technology tutorial videos for the larger education community, which have been viewed over 390,000 times from nine different countries (http://www.youtube.com/user/RadfordEducation), served as Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation and a Virginia Department of Education grant, developed 18 K-12 iPod touch and iPad apps, which have been downloaded over 110,000 times from seven different countries, and received 2nd and 3rd place awards for both 2009 and 2010 Virginia Mobile Learning Apps Development Challenges.

Congratulations to Making It Happen award winner, Janene Gorham, Director of the Center for Teacher Leadership, Virginia Beach City Public Schools. She has been a dedicated champion of technology in education from her classroom days, through her work as a technology and professional development leader in one of Virginia’s largest school divisions, and through her tireless efforts as a member, Board Director and Chair of the Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) Board of Directors.  She has been nationally recognized as a National School Board Association’s “20 to Watch” recipient.  She continues to facilitate enhanced professional development models and promote technology in education for teachers all over the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Congratulations to VSTE Hero, Tim Stahmer, Instructional Technology Specialist for Fairfax County Schools.  Mr. Stahmer has been actively involved in VSTE for more than a decade, volunteering his time and effort on projects such as Virginia’s Community of Learning and the VSTELive! webinar series.  He is a renowned presenter whose sessions at the conference are usually standing room only.  A former teacher, Mr. Stahmer now works closely with teachers, administrators, and technology trainers to help them better integrate technology in their classrooms.  A well-known blogger, Tim’s observations on education and technology are regularly read by educational leaders, and he has been included on several lists of “best educational blogs.”