On May 17, the 2011 class of Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Gurus, which recognizes distinguished educators who are thought leaders in the education community, were announced. Selected through a competitive application process, five educators were chosen as this year’s DEN Gurus for their commitment, leadership and participation in one of the nation’s largest professional learning communities.
In its second year, the DEN Guru program honors educators who go above and beyond to share their passion for education with others and demonstrate an expertise in one or more academic topic areas. This year’s five Gurus are recognized as passionate individuals encouraging the integration of educational technologies and digital content into curriculum and classrooms.
The 2011 DEN Gurus include:
Cheryl Lykowski, Bedford Public Schools, Michigan
Cheryl is in her 20th year of teaching and currently teaches 5th grade in SE Michigan. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Instructional Technology. From her first Commodore 64 to her current array of electronic devices, Cheryl has always enjoyed exploring her passion for technology and its endless possibilities in education. Her boundless energy and expertise has allowed her to share with others at ISTE conferences, state level conferences and through several journal publications.
Kathy Schrock, Eastham, Massachusetts
Kathy has been a school district director of technology, an instructional technology specialist, an adjunct education professor and more. She is currently teaching online graduate courses for Wilkes University, as part of the Wilkes-Discovery Master’s program in instructional media. She has received numerous awards for her work, including a People’s Choice Webby, the ISTE and MassCUE Making IT Happen Award, the NCTIES Service Learning Award, and has served on the ISTE Board of Directors and worked with the US Department of Education on educational technology matters.
Dean Mantz, Sterling Public Schools, Kansas
Dean is the Network Coordinator and Integration Specialist for Sterling USD #376 in Sterling, KS. Before working in Sterling, Dean was honored in his previous district as “Teacher of the Year” while teaching middle school history and technology. He has been serving on the Kansas DEN Leadership Council since it was established in 2008. Along with working for Sterling Public Schools, Dean is an Adjunct Professor for Sterling College facilitating the Technology in the Classroom course for pre-service students. Dean also serves as a National Mentor for LoTi conducting professional development sessions in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Rita A. Mortenson, Verona Area School District, Wisconsin
Since 1995, Rita has been a leader in technology integration as the Educational Technology Coordinator for Verona Area High School. An Apple Distinguished Educator since 2007, Rita has been developing curriculum and showcasing student work in a variety of ways. She also obtained the Apple Certified Associate Degree in the iLife ’09 Suite, and is a National Board Certified teacher with an MBA degree. She is an active Discovery STAR Educator, serves as the Events Chair for the Wisconsin DEN Leadership Council and was one of three teachers selected in 2009 to participate in the Discovery Student Adventures pilot in China for 15 days.
Jennifer Wagner, Calvary Murrieta, CA
Jennifer is part of the IT/Help Desk department at a private K12 school in Southern California. She assists students, teachers and administrators with creative ways to utilize 21st century digital tools. In her spare time, she hosts online projects for PreK – 6th grade teachers at Projectsbyjen.com, writes a monthly newsletter and provides Daily Wordles for teachers to use with their students. Jennifer has been recognized by Global SchoolNet, Google, and Kidspriation for her innovative uses of technology.
These extremely talented members of our community join the 2010 class of DEN Gurus: