Spring in WI is always an inspiring time. Early perennial plants like tulips, daffodils, and trilliums begin to emerge from the warming earth and revive the spirits of many winter-worn cabin-fever people. Our DEN is also starting to renew its spirits with the help of many bright educators coming out to the forefront and sharing their talents and enthusiasm.
A recent email I received included these glowing compliments about one of our WI DEN members: "…one of the coolest ladies in education…the epitome of SMART Board professional trainers and without peer in the whole of the American Midwest." ~Jackson Veit, Director of Sales and Marketing Chief Operations Officer – InfoCor
Who is he talking about? Rachel Yurk, of course! High and well deserved praise for an educator that is ‘trying to light her district on fire.’ Rachel has been using her connections to the DEN and SMART Technologies to do just that. You may have been lucky enough to catch one of her many presentations at WEMA (Wisconsin Educational Media Association) or the NSBA T+L 2 (National School Board Association Technology and Learning Conference) 2005 in Denver and 2006 in Dallas, the ASCD (Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development) and the Discovery Midwest Institute held in Chicago last summer.
The Spring 2006 issue of the i.e. Interactive Educator magazine highlighted Rachel and her co-SMART Board trainer, Toni Heinowski, as they shared best practices for infusing technology into their classrooms.
The SMARTer Kids Foundation held a special meeting in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for selected teachers like Rachel to receive professional development. After returning to her classroom, Rachel and her class stayed connected by SMART technology with the other selected educators and students through many interactive projects. They will meet again in May for a week in Calgary to culminate this unique collaboration.
Rachel and her class have also been developing their blogging skills using Virtual Office and were featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal. You can read the entire on-line version of the article HERE.
As a respected STAR DEN, Rachel continues to inspire WI educators. As a WI DEN Co-Chair, along with Patrick Uselding, WI is under GREAT Leadership!
If you would like to leave a message or question for Rachel, or would like to recommend another great WI educator to SHOWCASE on this blog, please post your comments.