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 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 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 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.