This month’s Texas STARs are: Lori Reed (who will be attending the Bahamas Institute), and Vanessa Jones (who will be attending the Berkeley Institute) — read all about them here, and watch for guest blogger posts from them as they attend National Institute!
Lori Reed teaches 3rd graders at Kress Ind. School District in Kress, Texas. She has held this position for 18 years, through TABS, TAAS and TAKS testing tribulations. Lori has also had the privilege of teaching at the same small, rural school in her town, in the same classroom, but absolutely not in the same way! She states, "I’ve seen much change in that time and I can honestly say digital media and curriculum are the BEST changes I’ve experienced to date." Lori is a current member of the district’s technology committee as Elem. Tech. Specialist, has presented staff development both for local and regional, is a current ATPE member and past president for school district, is a SMART Exemplary Educator and Peer Educator, has participated in the SMART Teacher Conference in Calgary, Canada in 2005 and as Mentor Teacher at the SMART Texas Teacher Conference last spring. Lori was also invited to be a SMART Trade Show Teacher at NECC last summer and at National School Board Association this past spring. She is a Renaissance Model Classroom Educator in Reading for 10 years, and a Master Educator for 5 years. Lori’s technology successes in the classroom were featured in the Fall 2006 edition of i.e. magazine, a SMART Technologies publication. Most recently they have included her as the Reading/Writing Specialist in their Best Practices Guide for North America. Also, her district will soon become one of SMART’s newest Case Studies. According to Lori,
"Having been exposed to so many opportunities has created nothing but more success for my students – my first obligation. I believe in being the best teacher I can be and bringing them nothing less than my best each and every day. Whether it’s a digital media file, an interactive lesson on the SMART Board, a Power Point show with embedded video clips, or any other interactive, engaging activity – digital media is destined to be the spark that ignites their learning and raises more hands. Pixel or Perish!"
Vanessa Jones is an Instructional Technology Facilitator for the Austin Independent School District. She is currently a Master Teacher and a Senior Trainer for the Intel Teach Program and has been a PBS Teacherline online facilitator since 2001. She has presented at the National Educational Computing Conference with the keynote speaker, Craig Barrett who is the former CEO of the Intel Corporation. Ms. Jones also serves on the Saint Edward’s School of Education Board of Advisors and has been an educator for over 15 years. Ms. Jones has taught third through eight grades and in 2002, she was recognized by the State Board of Educators for being the first African American in Texas to be a state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science. Ms. Jones holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and was teacher-certified at Saint Edwards University. She also holds a Masters of Science in Technology Integration from the University of North Texas.
Ms. Jones has written curriculum for several of the Intel Teach programs and for UTOPIA, a digital gateway that provides access to the University of Texas at Austin’s vast reservoir of knowledge and cultural assets. Ms Jones has also been a Design and Curriculum Writer for Illinois State University for Math, Science and Technology (IMaST and CeMaST) Consultant for the University of Texas at Austin Astronomy Department (Project Alien Rescue) and a consultant for University of Texas at Austin Institute for Technology and Learning: TX2K: The Texas 2000 Living Museum.
Ms. Jones has been featured in the technology magazine Converge and in the Austin American Statesman article (Robotics in the Classroom). Ms Jones enjoys integrating digital media into both student and teacher learning opportunities and uses United Streaming resources as often as she can. Ms Jones has always been a lifelong learner and an innovator of curriculum. She continues to strive to make sure all students and teachers learn, succeed and apply essential 21st Century skills to their everyday lives. She enjoys creating a cohesive learning community in which everyone shares ideas, applies knowledge, gives feedback and makes reflections on their learning experiences. Her goal is to continue to develop a community of learners.