Awards – 2023
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE UCET 2023 AWARD WINNERS!
UCET Outstanding Leader Award recognizes and honors a leader (principal, superintendent, school or district technology staff, regional technology trainer, etc.) who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education.
UCET23 Outstanding Leader – Darren Draper
Director of Innovative Learning, Alpine School District
Nominated by: Blaine Edman, Molly Chew, Melanie Hall and Camille Zollinger
As the Director of Innovative Learning in Alpine School District, Dr. Darren Draper has been the district’s catalyst for innovation. He has spearheaded leveraging technology among teachers, benefiting thousands of students at the elementary and secondary levels. Dr. Draper has a vision of the impact of blending technology with best teaching practices and continually strives to offer professional learning opportunities to teachers within the district. He has led the Innovative Learning team in their pursuit to offer District Supported Solutions to teachers and students within the district. Additionally, he actively builds the capacity of the Innovative Learning Coaches he directs to increase their abilities to coach teachers at school sites and impact student learning.
Further, Dr. Draper is an educational leader statewide in regard to educational technology. He hosts and attends events such as C-Forum, presents at UCET, and actively contributes to collaborative communication to problem-solve issues districts throughout the state are encountering. He has a vision for education communities across the state to share best-technology practices, learn from one another, and ultimately enhance teaching and learning in schools. Darren Draper demonstrates his ability to develop a systemic plan aligned with shared vision for our large school district regularly. He researches the best digital supported solutions and resources for our schools to effectively utilize. He has been an integral part in continuously improving his professional practices but also ours as Innovative Learning Coaches. He exhibits constructive engagement and cohesive partnerships. He values independent voices, while balancing his own independent voice and positive authoritative support.
Dr. Darren Draper is a remarkable example of the mission and purpose of UCET. He has been a leader in the promotion of Educational Technology in Utah for several decades and has influenced many thousands of educators. He has hired, supervised, supported, trained, and helped many of the past and present members of the UCET board as well as many of our USBE leadership. He is a connector for individuals from different entities, districts, and organizations across the state and has influenced many UCET participants and members in Alpine, Canyons, Jordan, and other districts.
UCET Outstanding Coach Award recognizes and honors an educational technology coach, library technology coach, instructional coach, or curriculum coach who has demonstrated outstanding coaching and leadership in implementing technology to support teachers to effectively use technology with students to engage them in learning, enhance learning with options that aren’t possible without the use of technology, and extend learning in ways that relate to the student’s real world and effectively meet their unique needs.
UCET23 Outstanding Coach – Bekah Jones
Instructional Coach, Uintah School District-Uintah High School
Nominated by: Machele, Christy, Tawna, Instructional Coach, UHS Principal, Uintah School District, Uintah High School
Bekah Jones is a dynamic instructional coach and leader whose talents have enriched the lives of countless educators and students across Uintah School District. Bekah builds relationships and genuinely cares about others, she listens to understand and knows how to build trust, and Bekah is a technology titan. In the Uintah School District, the instructional coaching priority is supporting and mentoring provisional teachers. To best meet the needs of our new teachers Bekah created a District-wide mentoring course called PEAKS. This tool has been a successful way for our new teachers to meet expectations, have mastery experiences, and monitor their progress toward licensure. Additionally, it helps teachers in the APPEL program meet their requirements.
Jones also served on a district task force responsible for overseeing the adoption and implementation of the Canvas platform at the outset of the pandemic. She played an integral role in helping teachers complete a Canvas orientation course designed by the district to teach educators how to navigate the platform, create and publish courses, and develop proficiency with the technology. Bekah’s technology acumen is diverse. She is the resident expert of SWIVL, Go React, Nearpod, Aspire Plus, State Benchmarks, and many other technology tools.
Bekah’s influence at Uintah High School helped us achieve double-digit growth in many areas on the Utah Aspire Plus Assessment. She facilitated the use of benchmarks and helped teachers analyze data to inform and adjust instruction. She helped set up ACT prep courses and taught teachers how to use Utah Aspire Plus data to implement the use of complex text and improve rigor.
Bekah’s impact is far-reaching and powerful. She has changed instructional practices District-wide, has supported and inspired provisional teachers on their journey to licensure, has helped move an entire District toward the use of a common LMS, teaches PD, and supports all educators and learners.
UCET Cache Valley Electric Jack Erickson Excellence in Technology Services Award recognizes and honors a network technician, administrator, engineer, or systems operations specialist.
UCET23 Cache Valley Electric Jack Erickson Excellence in Technology Services Award – BJ Peterson
CUES Regional Network Engineer
Nominated by: Paul James, Technology Director, Piute County School District
Byron or as everyone knows him by BJ is the person who is responsible for many of the things that are in use today throughout the state. Byron has been working at CUES since the late 1990’s. He spends hours upon hours in the systems needed for the school districts. He runs services at his office to allow the school districts central locations for servers to backup districts and also run financial software and systems used regionally. He is an amazing person and is more knowledgeable than anyone working currently in the school systems. Byron is an essential part of the district in the CUES region for making sure all the schools design and deploy the networks to maximize the resources needed for the needs of today’s student learners. He has the students in mind for every decision he makes and tries to keep all the districts on the cutting edge of best technology practices and deployments. Byron was involved in the very beginning of Utah’s Ednet system. BJ is the leader that is the exact copy of what this award is all about. He has spent the majority of his life providing the support and forethought of how schools should do the things with technology to provide the best possible example of what technology for learning should all be about. I know that without BJ and his knowledge and expertise I could not do my job at Piute. I know people from all over the state rely on BJ and his vast knowledge to keep things running for all schools. Byron also volunteers his time to coaching soccer in his spare time at South Sevier High School. He is an all-around asset to the schools and communities.
ISTE Making It Happen Award is given to a Utah educator, who over time has made a significant and broad impact on the vision and practice of Digital Teaching and Learning in the state of Utah.
UCET23 ISTE Making It Happen – Robert (Bob) Potts
Education Technology Specialist for the Southeast Education Service Center (SESC).
Robert (Bob) Potts supported Utah’s rural school districts and state-wide committees as an Education Technology Specialist for the Southeast Education Service Center. As a Technology Specialist, Bob had the opportunities to act as a technology communication conduit between the Utah Rural Schools Association, the Regional Technology Advisory Committee, Utah Education and Telehealth Network, Utah State Board of Education, and the Consortium for School Networking where he earned his Certified Education Technology Leader certification. Robert was responsible for organizing the Utah Technology Coordinators Council, and the Utah Winter Tech Retreat. He was dedicated to helping rural schools in Utah gain equity when it comes to education. Bob’s untimely passing in June, 2022 deeply impacted those who depended on his resources and support.
Bob was proud of his community and was well known throughout Carbon County and Price, Utah, where he was born and raised. He supported the College of Eastern Utah and later Utah State University Eastern’s athletic programs as the university’s Game Management Director. Bob also volunteered for the Price City Fire Department and Hazmat Department for over 20 years.
UCET23 INNOVATIVE TEACHER AWARD WINNERS
The Innovative Teaching Awards recognize teachers for facilitating student learning through innovative teaching practices using technology. Innovative Teacher submissions are by the district.
Alpine School District – Portia Ames, 2nd Grade, Greenwood Elementary, American Fork
Portia Ames is an energetic and highly skilled second grade teacher from Greenwood Elementary in American Fork, Utah. She is highly collaborative and always willing to go the extra mile to be able to meet the needs of her students and fellow teacher team members. Every school needs a Portia Ames, as she always brightens every meeting, lesson, and day!
Portia implemented blended teaching and learning with a few members of her team last year to improve literacy instruction. This year she helped to bring the entire team on board. Currently, they have a team goal to implement self-paced Nearpod lessons for student practice days in math, so that teachers can pull together small student groups for specific instruction while the rest of the class receives feedback through Nearpod lessons. She is always looking for and coming up with other innovative ideas to implement in her classroom.
Alpine School District – Jonathan Lindberg, Life Skills (Special Education), Lehi Junior High School
Jon has been involved in human services for the past thirty years, the last eighteen of which have been as the small group life skills teacher at Lehi Jr. High in Alpine School District. If Jon is not buried in paperwork, creating spreadsheets to streamline his work, or finding unique technological approaches to instruct his students, you can find him in his kitchen cooking, on a trail with his son exploring Utah’s mountains and deserts, or bouncing along a dirt road in his Jeep.
Jon Lindberg is an innovative and inclusive teacher-leader in the Alpine School District and in the field of Special Education. This past summer, Jon spent his free time identifying and creating a solution for data collection, which has been tedious and time-consuming in the past. Not only did Jon use these resources with his students, but he also shared them with every Special Education educator in his district. This innovation has the potential to optimize data collection, increase teacher productivity, and simplify learning gaps for students with disabilities. His district and students are fortunate to have him on their team.
Beaver School District – Patricia Stewart, 5th and 6th, Milford Elementary
Patricia Stewart is the 5th and 6th grade expert teacher when it comes to Science and Social Studies at Milford Elementary. Patricia wears many hats in our small district. She is continually improving her craft and has really “latched” onto using technology inside her classroom. She is not afraid to try anything out and is definitely not a quitter. She understands how technology can improve teachers’ efficiency and increase student engagement. She is an expert at Canvas, Nearpod, Google, and coding.
Mrs. Stewart is using a model where students work through their assignments at their own pace. Each unit is filled with videos from herself teaching to YouTube to pretty much any educational platform. Students are given small snippets at a time so they stay engaged.
Box Elder School District – Tom Little, 5th grade, Lakeview Elementary, Brigham City
Tom has been teaching for 16 years. He has taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. He has evolved into a solid foundation at his school that teachers can turn to when looking for new and engaging strategies to teach.
Tom has been working with a blended classroom to help students learn how to engage with computers and learning. He has changed his classroom into a place where students can learn at their pace and gain as much knowledge as they want. By changing his classroom, he has more time to intervene with students who need additional help or need an adult to listen to them. He puts in extra time creating engaging lessons using Canvas, Nearpod, Lucid, and Scratch. I recently found a training video from Lucid where Tom was sharing how he uses Lucid for the whole world to see.
Cache County School District – Alison Ence, 9-12, Green Canyon High School, North Logan
Alison has been teaching for nearly 10 years. She started out teaching Business and Marketing classes, but with a background in web design, wanted to change course and now teaches Computer Science classes at Green Canyon High School in North Logan, Utah. Teaching is her passion; she loves helping young minds grow.
Alison is a leader of innovation and technology at Green Canyon. She collaborates with her administration to provide monthly trainings on effective use of technology in the classroom. She is always coming up with great ideas to engage teachers in learning how to utilize technology in her school. She is always researching and providing top quality professional learning for everyone at Green Canyon.
Canyons School District – Jakob Swanson, High School, Jordan High, Sandy
As part of his progressive nature, Jakob has added an AVID class to his schedule that motivates students to embrace college and career readiness. He is able to guide students through deep dives into ACT preparedness, and he helps his students find enjoyment and satisfaction from their accomplishments. On a regular basis, Jakob is able to identify students who need more instruction and then willingly gives of his time to re-teach and tutor these students until they have reached their goals.
Jakob has been extremely influential in the success of the math department and the resulting positive reception from the community and students is due to his excellent leadership skills and his love of teaching. Perhaps Jakob’s most powerful trait as an educator is his ability to connect with his students. He inspires in them a passion for learning and a vision of their future adult lives that are founded on the important life skills he is teaching and modeling for them now. Jakob will have a long-lasting, positive impact on students’ math understanding, but more importantly he’s teaching students how to be better people.
Davis School District – Adam Sturm, 8th grade, Shoreline Jr High, Layton
Adam Sturm grew up in Star Valley, Wyoming. He then completed his bachelor’s degree in history education. Adam then went to Weber State University and completed his master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. This is his 9th year of teaching in the Davis School district and his current assignment is teaching Civics, and US History 1 at Shoreline Jr High School. Adam has won the Best of Davis Award and has a huge love the Cincinnati Bengals.
Adam has been part of our Leading Edge cohort that is for teacher leaders effectively using technology in the classroom. Adam is a Microsoft Innovative Educator and is a team lead for Social Studies within Davis school district. With a focus on learning and student growth Adam uses technology to enhance the learning experience for each and every student. Adam focuses on creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration with assignments and projects, using technology as a way to elevate what can be done with student work. Adam is also a great leader, always willing to share and learn with colleagues at the school or within the district.
Garfield School District – Beth Christensen, 4th grade, Escalante Elementary, Garfield
Beth is the GCSD Innovator teacher of the year. She is an exemplary teacher: polite, creative, innovative, professional, and prepared. Beth has changed many lives in her classroom. Her dedication to innovative ideas in her class has been going on for many years. She has been an educator for 36 years.
Beth changes the mindset, mood, and overall classroom setting to deliver and make the classroom more innovative. She thinks about her students as leaders, creatives, and inventors, too. She acts as a guide rather than teaching content and asking students to spill out information on a standardized test.
This year, GCSD’s new Computer Science program, she was able to integrate several lessons using a CS/Tech tool named Makey Makey. With her inspiration and dedication to the projects, the students learned how to use computational thinking skills to problem solve, code, and analyze data from testing solutions by designing a device that converts energy from one form to another. In another lesson they created a piano using PlayDough that was programmed to play sound, also they designed a cardboard cutout guitar using tempera paint sticks. They use black lights that really popped under the lights. Students used Scratch coding to program the music for their guitars that were hooked up to their Makey Makey tool.
Granite School District – Tammy Curtis, 3rd grade, Hunter Elementary School, West Valley City
Tammy Curtis is a very experienced teacher and is inspiring in her use of technology in her classroom. Uniquely, she has her technology endorsement and is one of the frontrunning technology users at the elementary school. She is using stop motion animation, Canvas, Pixel Art, Smart Boards, and so many other wonderful technology tools that enable her to engage and teach her students.
Tammy is a master at identifying and utilizing new technology in her classroom. She has obtained many tech tools in an effort to enhance learning and help students to engage with technology in ways that are beneficial to their learning. She recently acquired Hue cameras which allow her and her students to animate math concepts, like arrays, in a way that helps students to animate, conceptualize, and interact with math in a new way. Additionally, she has found a fun mystery math program, using excel and Google Sheets, that allows the students to fill in a mystery picture by answering math questions! This is available on paper, but I have never seen it used on a Chromebook. These are just two of many ways that she is using technology in the classroom. Every time I go in her room, I learn something more and she is more than willing to teach and share so she can benefit as many students as she can.
Iron County School District – Angela Harker, 4th Grade; Escalante Valley Elementary, Beryl
Angela is the 4th grade teacher at Escalante Valley Elementary in Beryl, Utah. She has taught 4th grade for 7 years, but has worked at EValley for 14 years total. She grew up in Northern Arizona and has lived in Utah most of her life. She has a wonderful husband and two amazing boys, who have grown to be outstanding young men. Angela and her husband own and operate a farm in Beryl, but Angela’s path has primarily been focused on teaching and furthering her education. She always knew that becoming a teacher would be in her future. Angela has earned a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, along with an ESL and EdTech endorsement. Angela is looking forward to many more years as an educator.
Angela uses technology in her classroom to enhance learning in many ways, but she knows she has barely begun to skim the surface of what technology she can incorporate into her classroom. Angela is grateful to have one-to-one chromebooks and a class set of iPads. She uses an AppleTV an iPad for teaching the bulk of her lessons. She uses many different apps and programs to make her teaching life easier and organize the plethora of data that accumulates sin a classroom. Some of the programs she uses are: MasteryConnect, Canvas, Planbook, Google Classroom, and Nearpod. Some of her favorite programs to use with students are iReady Reading and Math, Studies Weekly, Kahoot, and her new favorite Infini-D. She really enjoys the adaptive programs, such as iReady, that focus on the individual needs of the students. Her class also uses iMovie, green screen, MakeyMakey, Digital Breakouts, and Adobe Spark to complete various projects in Angela’s class each year. Angela loves to see the spark in her students’ eyes when learning is hands on, engaging, and fun; using technology is one of the tools that helps accomplish that spark.
Angela’s principal, Allison Drake, also shared that Angela is always working to integrate multiple subjects as she teaches and uses technology to help her accomplish that task.
Jordan School District – Kasey Chambers, 5th Grade, Rocky Peak Virtual Elementary, West Jordan
Kasey has been teaching in Jordan School District for 10 years. She has always had a passion for technology in the classroom and has always been a school leader in implementing tech into school culture. Kasey is working on a Masters and Endorsement in EdTech, and is endorsed in Coaching. She has two little boys, one husband, and one dog. Kasey coaches teachers at Rocky Peak Virtual, and she spend their days coaching, problem solving, and inventing ways to do things virtually. Every day is a challenge and an adventure, and she is so proud to be a part of it.
Kasey has used technology to enhance student engagement and learning by providing training and activities to be used online with students at Rocky Peak Virtual Elementary.
Kane School District – Lance Peterson, Valley High School, Orderville
Lance Peterson grew up in Lyman, Utah and currently lives in Orderville, Utah with his wife and 3 children. Mr. Peterson started teaching in August 2014 at Valley High School. From the very beginning, he has become an integral part of the school in technology as well as other areas. He is constantly helping teachers and students with technology needs, helping the learning outcomes in the school to excel. He is constantly helping with projects at the school as well.
Mr. Peterson, along with his students, creates our entire yearbook each year from taking pictures, designing layouts, printing, and binding as well as providing digital copies to all of our students. He designs all of our sponsor banners and has created student athlete banners. He started and has expanded our school broadcasting while involving students in filming, commentating, and other areas. Mr. Peterson has been in charge of creating our school sportsmanship video for UHSAA with our students and they have won the 1A competition from the inception of the program. Mr. Peterson is also a lifelong learner and is constantly taking new courses and trying new things to better engage the students and to improve the school as a whole. We are very fortunate to have Mr. Peterson as one of our teachers.
Juab School District – Kristen Nielsen, 4th Grade, Nebo View Elementary, Nephi
Kristen has been teaching at Nebo View for 5 years. Kristen’s bachelor’s degree was in Social Science with an emphasis in family services. After substituting at the schools, she discovered a love for teaching and decided to become an educator. Kristen recently earned her Master’s Degree from Western Governors University. In her free time, Kristen loves to hike, travel, explore new places, and work on home remodeling projects.
Kristen is always looking for ways to increase student thinking, learning, and achievement. Kristen uses digital standard mastery assessments to help students reach rigorous levels and demonstrate their understanding of new concepts. Kristen also uses Seesaw to communicate student learning to parents and as a way for students to demonstrate their learning and provide evidence of their learning.
Logan School District – Juan Caballero Prieto, US History, Logan High School, Logan
Juan is a born and raised Spaniard that grew up in the city of Seville, a city deeply rich and unique in its own history. Growing up in one of the most historical cities in the world inspired Juan to be a life-long student of history. He went on to earn double Master’s degrees in Ancient Civilizations and Secondary Education. For the last decade he has been an educator teaching history subjects, currently geography and world history courses. And he LOVES it!
In addition to his career in education Juan is a published author of a fictional Greek mythology book called “Breathing: A Retelling of Greek Myth.” He is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, a national history honor society and of Eta Sigma Phi. Which is a national Greek and Latin honors society and for which he has presented at several conferences. He manages the Facebook page Thinking Like the Ancients, where the philosophy of Greek and Latin thought is highlighted. Juan is fluent in several languages including English, Spanish, Ancient Greek and Latin, as well as French. He is currently learning Japanese.
Juan is exactly what a parent wants in their kids teacher. Someone willing to use modern teaching strategies that are authentic in these kids real lives. Recently, Juan has started up a podcast called “The Munchies, With Mr C.” This Podcast is an unscripted, one take with Juan and his students centered on discussion about history. In the discussion you can clearly see that though Juan has a passion for history and for the podcasting idea, the students really are the center of these episodes. He has even identified ways to make the students really take charge of not only the discussion but also the editing of the podcast. Now, this is one small part of Juans teaching and something new to his classroom. However, it is the perfect example of who he is as a teacher. Someone who is trying to find and do new innovative things to better reach his students.
Millard School District – Erika Nickle, 8th Grade, Delta Middle School, Delta
Mrs. Nickle is an 8th-grade math teacher at Delta Middle School. She is in her 3rd year of teaching at DMS and is doing an absolutely fantastic job! Students love her class and are excelling.
Delta Middle School has recently adopted Mastery Connect as they strive to personalize education for their students. Mrs. Nickle has been crucial in this adoption and has served as a teacher leader in helping others build and administer Mastery Connect assessments.
Nebo School District – Karla Craner, 1st Grade, Meadow Brook Elementary, Springville
Karla taught preschool in her home for 15 years while raising her 5 wonderful children. She began teaching in public schools 10 years ago. When she came back, she realized that she needed help learning the technology. She began with her Educational Technology endorsement to try to ‘catch up’ with her colleagues.
Karla said: “I love the confidence I see in my student’s eyes as they learn and grow with me.” Outside of school, Karla enjoys sewing and doing puzzles.
Karla is constantly using technology with her first graders. She has created Blended Literacy Centers and Math Choice Boards to give her students more ownership of their learning. These allow her students to have choice over their path and pace as they learn and some of the activities she selects allows them to practice with feedback. While students are working on these, she is able to meet with small groups and individual students to help meet their varying needs. Karla has also incorporated the Computer Science Standards into her classroom. Her students like using the Code and Go mice to retell nursery rhymes and solve math problems. She has also created spreadsheets with conditional formatting to track student data and has involved her students in the process. They are motivated to work hard because they enjoy watching the colors change as she changes their score. Currently, she is working on creating Project Based Learning activities for her students. Her students have loved having choice in how they create a project. Karla is always learning and willing to try new things to help improve student learning.
North Sanpete School District – Darcie Stansfield, 4th Grade, Fountain Green Elementary, Fountain Green
Darcie has been teaching elementary school since 2018. She has been a standout educator and willing to learn new methods and techniques. She has been proactive in integrating technology into her classroom. She is great at coordinating with administration and working with her fellow educators.
Darcie has taken a leading role in finding ways to connect robots to her curriculum. Although Darcie did not graduate from MIT with an Engineering degree, she has found the drive to learn new technologies and integrate them into her classes. She worked tirelessly with her administrator to organize two STEM-focused days at her school focused entirely on robotics. Reports on those events were overwhelmingly positive. Darcie Stansfield has taken initiative in a number of ways along with her focus on robotics.
Ogden School District – Megan Coronado, Kindergarten, Bonneville Elementary, Ogden
Megan is a kindergarten teacher at Bonneville elementary. Megan has her Level 1 Google certification and is working toward getting her EdTech Endorsement. Megan designs learning activities for her students that prove that “Kinder kids can use tech too.”
There is a prevailing belief that kinder students can’t do as much with technology as older students. Megan is proving time and time again that Kinder kids can use tech too. Megan takes the time to design innovative digital learning activities that provide students with authentic experiences. Megan provides her students with the support and guidance to help even our youngest learners engage in active learning with technology. With digital tools like Canvas and Flip, Megan’s students record their own retells from the weekly reading and record their own weather predictions as meteorologists. There is no limit to the technological potential of Megan’s kinder students!
Park City School District – Amanda Lawing, Kindergarten, Trailside Elementary, Park City
Amanda Lawing is an educator with over 20 years of experience. She is currently teaching kindergarten in Park City, Utah. She has experience teaching preschool, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. Her field of specialization is Early Childhood Education. She is working on her technology endorsement so that she can integrate more technology into her everyday classroom. Amanda is married with two children who both graduated from Park City High School.
Amanda is an innovative teacher who holds the belief that technology can enhance the learning of even the youngest student. She set out to improve her instructional technology skills in 2021 partially based on her experience with remote learning in 2020. She earned her Google Level 1 certification and is iPad badge certified. She was featured in a UEN PDTV entitled The 4Cs. Amanda created a Google Site that is an engaging digital portfolio showcasing some of her most impactful work with technology. Some examples are: creating a Flipped Classroom for math, using Pic Collage to reflect on a field trip to the zoo, using Hyper Doc to categorize living and non-living things, Canva created directions to log onto SeeSaw, and a Pinterest digital citizenship board. Additionally, Amanda developed a penguin unit saturated with technology. Students used Google Earth to locate where penguins live. They tapped into Google’s augmented reality to place a life size Emperor penguin in the classroom and have student pictures taken with the penguin. She utilized a digital escape room to explore what penguins eat and students used BeeBot robots to explore animal habitats.
Most recently for parent conferences, students used Chatter Kids to animate a self-portrait telling their parents the highlights of kindergarten. The self-portraits were uploaded to SeeSaw and a QR code was created for each parent to access their student’s work. This is just a small sampling of the engaging and innovative applications of technology used by Amanda Lawing to help her students access content.
Piute County School District – Tyrel Ivie, Piute High School, Junction
Tyrel is an educator that had his sights set on teaching music in colleges. He was derailed from those plans when he was hired to teach music at Piute High School. Tyrel has a true love of teaching music and getting students to be excited and engaged about music.
Tyrel is an amazing teacher with a deep understanding of Music and Technology. He has been successful in many choir concerts with his use of technology to put on a show like none other around. He has also been successful in building a state of the art music lab for his students. He teaches music and composition with the aid of technology to give the students a real world experience in the music industry. He is also the teacher that has successfully pioneered streaming at Piute High School to bring concerts, sports, activities, and more to the homes of those who could not be in attendance to the events. He has built a student ran system for streaming all of these events.
Provo City School District – Mary Wade, 5th Grade, Provost Elementary, Provo
Mary Wade has loved tinkering with “What-Ifs” for 8 years of teaching. From building a DIY smartboard using Wii remotes, to organizing a student stop motion film premiere, to training students to plan their own daily schedules, she’s always exploring new learning possibilities. The daughter of a school librarian, she adores children’s literature and believes in the power of stories & of students owning their stories. She can’t ever keep up with her students’ book recommendations, but she enjoys trying! She also enjoys biking, skiing, rock climbing, & traveling with her three kids & husband.
Mrs. Wade has been at Provost Elementary going on three years. In those three years she has transformed her classroom from being a teacher centered environment to a student centered environment through flexible seating, student choice, and a completely innovative approach to learning.
Mrs. Wade’s classroom is most definitely NOT a sit and get kind of classroom but rather an environment where students take ownership of their own learning. When you walk into her classroom you might see a student painting in the corner while others are reading a book in another corner, while others are practicing the skill they learned that day on the computer, while another group is at the front doing a workshop with the teacher.
Mrs. Wade’s instruction is a perfect example of Provo City School District’s Flexible Learning approach, removing barriers to learning and promoting student voice and choice while ensuring high levels of learning.
Salt Lake City School District – Casey Wohletz, KIndergarten, Edison Elementary, Salt Lake City
Casey Wohletz is a kindergarten teacher at Edison Elementary, a title 1 school in the Salt Lake City School District. Mr. Wohletz is an innovator by implementing numerous technology best practices in his daily lesson planning. In his three years of teaching experience, he has gone above and beyond to master instructional tools such as Canvas and Nearpod. Mr. Wohletz demonstrates leadership through his innovation by training other teachers and staying informed on the current technology best practices.
Mr. Wohletz demonstrates leadership through his innovation by training other teachers and staying informed on the current technology best practices. As a result of Casey’s impressive instruction, his students are constantly showing academic growth and proficiency.
South Sanpete School District – Landon Burke, 9th grade, Gunnison Valley High School, Gunnison
Landon Burke has been teaching at Gunnison Valley High School for the last four years. He teaches English 9, an ELL class and helps students in the school’s math lab. His wife is also a teacher. They have a sweet daughter. Landon helps with football and track as an assistant coach. He has great communication skills and goes above and beyond what is expected with his students. He is a hard worker. He recently landscaped the yard around his home as well as building a shed on the property.
Mr. Burke has learned the ins and outs of software to help ESL students. He is a pro at using Canvas and knows many tricks and tips to use this learning management system. Students in his class have been taught to use apps on their iPads to help them in English class as well as their other classes. His knowledge of technology and his passion for teaching go hand-in-hand. He is not afraid to try something new and he is always trying something new!
Wayne School District – Austin Moore, Piute High School, Junction
Austin teaches middle and high school science in our district. He started his career in business then made the switch to education. He works hard to provide authentic learning experiences for students and is eager to learn. Austin has been participating in the 3D-RST Project and incorporated technology to improve his teaching and the learning experience of his students. He is also the e-sports coach for our middle school which demonstrates his willingness to try new things to benefit our students.
Washington County School District – Teresa Harris, 9th Grade, Pine View Middle School, St George
Teresa is a Science Teacher at Pine View Middle School. She is always trying to improve her practice as a teacher. Recently she has earned her Technology, Teacher Leader, and Administrative endorsements. She also serves as team lead and is on the school Digital Transformation Leadership team.
Teresa is always seeking ways to innovate the learning experience that her students are receiving. Presently she is working with the digital systems of Canvas, PowerSchool, and Performance Matters to find the most effective ways to communicate student learning in an evidence/standards based format. This information is helping her to be able to deliver targeted intervention and adjust her tier one teaching strategies when needed. She is also giving feedback to her school and the district to promote big picture change. Teresa’s students are fortunate to have a teacher who works so hard to give them the best educational experience possible.
Charter or Private Schools
Sydney Johnson, St. John the Baptist Middle School, 7th Grade, St. John the Baptist Middle School – Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, Draper
Sydney Johnson has taught at St. John the Baptist Middle School for two years. In addition to instructing 7th grade Science, she has led the faculty in greatly improving digital learning instruction. Her commitment to technological support in the middle school has been imperative for both our teachers’ progress through the challenges of the pandemic and our students’ growth as digital learners.
Sydney Johnson is passionate about helping kids learn how to better utilize technology as a learning tool. In her teaching, she incorporates innovative blended learning practices such as online discussions, research webquests, and creatively designed projects. Her students have grown to become responsible and highly effective users of technology in the classroom. Ms. Johnson is readily available to troubleshoot computer program issues and provide guidance about our school learning platforms: Canvas and Powerschool. She keeps faculty updated with technological changes and offers detailed tutorials on how-to operate the new programs. Several times a semester, she will communicate a “checklist” for faculty to ensure that they are completing all digital steps necessary and have the support they need to submit grades and instruct effectively with blended learning.