Rita Mortenson, Apple Distinguished Educator

RitaThis past July, as an Apple Distinguished Educator, class of 2007, I had the opportunity to attend the Apple Summer Institute in Monterey Bay, California from Monday, July 23-Saturday, July 28. This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

We arrived at the Apple Infinite Loop Campus in Cupertino, California and got a beautiful tour of the Apple campus (there were no photos allowed so I don’t have photos to share from this part of the trip). During the tour, we got to stop at the Apple Company Store and do some shopping. Needless to say I bought quite a few things. This is the only place in the entire world where you can purchase Apple t-shirts, pens, notebooks, etc.

Maxx_judd_and_iAfter the tour, we were welcomed by Maxx Judd, ADE Program Manager, Apple Inc. John Couch, Vice President Education, Apple, Inc. gave a presentation called leadership through innovation which was incredible. Next we heard from Hiroki Asia, Executive Creative Director, Apple Inc. I can’t even begin to describe the energy or passion that he has. It was all just truly amazing.

Vincent_sharon_sizemore_and_ritaLate afternoon we got on the bus and headed to Monterey Bay and checked into the California State University for the week. The week was filled with leadership workshops, skill building activities, collaborative projects, professional growth, inspiration and FUN. One night, we were even treated to a keynote presentation by Vincent Laforet, Pultizer Prize Winning Photographer. The photography was inspiring and breathtaking – check it out! [Link].

The week ended with a celebration and closing session at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The aquarium provided a gorgeous environment for our wonderful dining experience. The living kelp forest, giant octopus exhibit, and sharks were breathtaking.

In reflecting back on the week I can’t believe it is over. The week went by so fast and I met so many talented, passionate and wonderful people. It was one of the most amazing weeks of my life. I was so inspired and am so motivated for the start of the school year. A special thank you to Apple and all the people that helped coordinate the many, many details that went into this week. THANK YOU!

-Rita A. Mortenson


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  1. Rachel Yurk said:

    Congratulations Rita! What a fantastic experience.

  2. Susan Tompkins said:

    Congratulations Rita! I am sure your students will benefit from your exciting adventures this summer. I know I enjoyed the DC DNI, partly because of your presence. Have a great year! ~ Susan

  3. Tracy said:

    Rita, you are just the coolest. I want to be one of your students!

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