Technology integration secrets of award winning teachers
Secrets of Award
These Award Winning Educators
Share Many Skills That Helped
Lead to Their Success and
Recognition from Peers.
Mr. Christopher Chappell, a social studies
teacher at Menchville High School in Newport
News, was recognized as the 2012
“Technology Integrator of the Year” at the
High School level.
Look for opportunities to participate in
technology pilot projects: Chappell was
selected to pilot the VDOE’s Beyond Textbooks
initiative. His passion for technology integration
and a reputation as an outstanding, innovative
teacher helped to secure him this role, but he had
to extend himself first.
As a second year teacher at Victory Elementary in
Portsmouth, Rachel Heil was recognized in 2011 as
Technology Educator of the Year at the Elementary
Apply for grants: Heil applied for and won a division
grant, and used these funds to set up student
computer workstations which included an interactive
whiteboard, MP3 players, Flip video cameras, and
digital voice recorders. Grant opportunities are great
way to secure funds for equipment, software, and
services that can provide you and your students with
access to tools they might not otherwise have access
to (but you don’t apply, you’ll never have these
The 2011 Middle School Technology Educator
of the Year was awarded to Melissa Chai
Eighth Grade English Teacher, at Toano Middle
School in Williamsburg.
Take Initiative: Ms. Chai worked hard at
improving all students’ achievement through the
use of technology. “She took the sole initiative to
create the Stonehouse Elementary Computer Club
in 2006 and the Toano Middle School Computer
Club in 2008 and now serves as the coach and
sponsor of four teams that participated in the
2011 Great Computer Challenge.”
The 2012 Elementary Technology Educator
of the Year was awarded to Ashley Theriault,
4th Grade Teacher, Hilton Elementary
School, Newport News.
Theriault collaborated closely with teachers on
her team to, “transform instruction into a
digital interactive 21st century learning
experience for students using iPads, Glogster,
podcasting, blogging, and digital e-portfolios.
Videos of her technology-rich performance
assessments in action have been used during
division presentations at gatherings such as
ASCD’s annual conference.”
Mirroring a theme you will see throughout
many of these awards, teacher Christopher
Chappell collaborated with media specialists,
technology integration specialists, and another
high school teachers while working on the
As an English teacher, Melissa Chai “worked
collaboratively with colleagues on the
development and sharing of lesson plans that
provided students with a first-hand approach to
technology, leading to a rise in the 8th grade
reading pass rate from 84% to 97%.”
Facilitate professional development:
Rachel Heil encouraged fellow teachers to
attend “Tech Tuesday” classes after school.
She even organized car pools to help get them
there! She is also a member of, and
contributor to, the school division’s
professional learning community. By seeking
out professional development
opportunities, getting involved, and
encouraging others, teachers can be “shining
stars”, providing a great example while helping
peers learn and grow.
Present to peers: Christopher
Chapell presented on mobile learning
to his peers at a VSTE learning event
and at the National Council for the
Social Studies national conference.
Christopher Chappell challenged students to
become researchers, inquirers, and content
producers, and they were provided a mobile
device to use over the course of the full school
year towards this end.
Rachel Heil allowed students to share their
knowledge, further empowering them. As
students in her class worked with these new
tools, they in turn taught other students and
teachers how to use the technology.
Share your expertise: “Ashley Theriault’s
enthusiasm for technology and innate desire to
be on the cutting edge compels her to keep up
with the ever-changing world of technology and
to share her expertise with teachers and
students.” Making the time and taking the effort
to share what you learn about technology can
help other teachers get a leg up on technology
integration, and also lead to new opportunities.
Her fourth grade team was one of only two
across her school division to be selected as a
pilot team for a 1:1 tablet computing initiative.
Network: As a Discovery Education
Network (DEN) Star, Rachel Heil
networks locally, regionally, and
nationally. She is a model for other
teachers to follow. Today’s tech tools
and social media make it easier than
ever to build, expand, and leverage
your own Personal Learning Network
(learn more in this article).
Heather Ulsh, Math Teacher at Tabb Middle
School in York, was selected at the 2011 Middle
School Technology Educator of the Year.
Create: Ulsh learned how to take advantage of the
latest technology tools to help keep her math
students engaged. “Using GPS systems, she created
a scavenger hunt on the football field to help
students review for the SOL test. Students used
Animoto, Glogster, MovieMaker, Toondoo, Blogs and
Wikispaces to learn the essential vocabulary of
math.” When you and your students use tech tools
to create their own learning experiences, in can be
engaging and make learning fun!
It was noted in the write-up that
Heather Ulsh was recognized, “For
her creative and fun uses of technology
to increase interest and knowledge in
math”. Ulsh has fun using technology,
and you should too! Nothing makes
learning and work more productive and
enjoyable than having some fun while
you’re doing it.
Come on out to
EmergingEdTech.com and read
the full post to learn about
additional preventive measure you
can take to help ensure success!
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