Monday, June 10, 2013

Meet the Region 5 Candidates

Donna Martin, Program Specialist in the Guilford County School System
My current role in the Guilford County School System is that of Program Specialist serving five elementary schools participating in the Mission Possible TIF III Grant.  I was specifically selected by two schools due to the recognitions I received during the multiple leadership roles in the district that directly pertain to the integration of instructional technology.  Basically, the core component of my job is to serve as an instructional coach.  I coach teachers in two elementary magnet schools; Montileu Academy of Technology and Bluford STEM Academy.  As Montlieu is the first one-to-one school in our district, my skills have come in handy while coaching best practices.  Although my first responsibility is to address pedagogy, my understanding and creative ideas of how technology can enhance learning is recognized and appreciated by the teachers and administration.

My skills were first recognized as a classroom teacher with a passion for student learning utilizing technology.  I was quickly invited to serve as a technology specialist in a Science and Technology school where I served for seven years.  During that time I presented many times at the state technology conference and led an October computer learning month initiative across the state.  I was also an active member of the Region 5 technology educator group. 

Afterwards, I moved to the district level as a technology specialist and continued to serve elementary schools and one middle school.  I conducted many workshops in our district during that time as well as at state conferences, including NCTies.  My colleagues and I were honored as we were selected as the top presenters at the conference for two consecutive years.  During those years, I was also awarded the North Carolina Technology Educator Award by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.  I also served as technology liaison for new schools opening in Guilford County.  Pilot Elementary, a new school, was named as an Apple Distinguished school.  Montlieu Academy of Technology, a school that I currently serve, was named this year as an Apple Distinguished school.

I was later promoted to serve as Instructional Technology Integration Specialist assigned to work with the district’s K-12 curriculum specialists in the district’s curriculum department in efforts to assist them with the integration of technology.  I designed a laboratory equipped with cutting edge technology for these specialists and trained them accordingly.  I continued to participate in NCTies events as well as other state conferences such as FETC, NECC and ISTE.  As a matter of fact, I am headed to ISTE this June! 

I have participated on interview teams for technology specialists and have even created district-level digital report cards that required the understanding of advanced functions.  I have also enjoyed participating on technology educator award panels and reviewing technology grant submissions.  Two summers ago, I was named as an Apple Distinguished Educator and attended the Apple Academy in Cupertino CA just before Steve Jobs passed away.  If I remember correctly, only about 75 people across the nation were selected to attend that year.  I was so honored!!

Although my current role does not have “technology” in its title, I am still actively involved in seeking the best instructional practices to benefit student learning.  In this case, technology is always on the forefront.  I have attended NCTies for many years and would love to be a part of the executive board in order to serve such a dedicated organization that benefits our teachers and students.

Sam Walker, Technology Facilitator in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System
Here's a snapshot of my education, work history, and involvement with NCTIES.
  • Named North Carolina Technology in Education Society Instructional Technology Specialist/Educator of the Year – March 2010. NCTIES Award Winners 2010
  • NCTIES concurrent session presenter 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Invited and scheduled to co-present with Kelly Mendoza of Common Sense Media at ISTE 2013 in San Antonio, Texas about the importance of teaching digital citizenship at the elementary level 
  • NCTIES Preconference co-presenter ActivInspire with former Winston-Salem/Forsyth Couty School Director of Instructional Technology Marlo Gaddis and Matt Barfield of Promethean 2009
  • Headed the creation of a Social Media Best Practices and Education Goal in Kimmel Farm’s current and ongoing School Improvement Plans.
  • Featured co-presenter at 2012 ASCD Conference (March, 2012, Philadelphia, PA) “Creating Social Media Policies for Schools” with Steven Anderson, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Director of Instructional Technology
  • I serve as a consultant to CERTL (Center for Excellence in Research, Teaching and Learning - Wake Forest University Medical School) and led several digital projects to upgrade their database of Problem-Based Learning Library to a Moodle platform.
  •  Member Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools District Media-Technology Advisory Committee
  •  Guest Panelist/Co-Presenter at the 2012 North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR) Annual STEM Conference, Raleigh, NC October 24, 2012
  • Partnered with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School’s Director of Instructional Technology to implement a new technology initiative (Teach21 -2007-2008) that called for ongoing professional development in appropriate use of technology, and significant classroom technology hardware upgrades.
  • I have a BA from Elon University in Communications (1990)
  • I have a MAT from Salem College in Elementary Education K-6 (1997)
  • Presently enrolled in Appalachian State's Master of Arts Program - Instructional Technolgy/Computers (Degree Completion set for December 2013)
  • Since 2005 I have served as a Technology Facilitator in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System and helped open newly constructed Kimmel Farm Elementary in 2009.