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Schools tech department lauded

Employees to attend national convention

POSTED: October 15, 2010 9:58 a.m.
Staying on top of the constant deluge of innovations and advances in technology is no easy feat, but members the Liberty County School System’s technology department have handled the task commendably and will be nationally recognized for their accomplishments next week.
Dr. Patti Crane, executive director of technology and media, and her staff will travel to Phoenix, Ariz., on Oct. 19-21 to attend the National School Board Association Technology and Learning Conference, where the LCSS employees will be honored during a seminar.
In addition, tech staff members received certificates during Tuesday’s board of education meeting for their use of technology in classrooms to further student achievement.
School system spokeswoman Demere’ Bowen called staffers to the front of the room where board Chairwoman Lily Baker and board member Carol Guyett distributed the certificates.
Bowen said Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer also will travel to Arizona next week where she will address conference attendees.
“LCSS is one of three school systems in the nation to be honored and I am so very proud of our efforts. The technology department is most deserving of this award for their innovative methods of integrating technology into every aspect of the total school environment and our teachers and administrators who have embraced the concepts and utilize them in their instruction,” Scherer said. “When I came here, I was amazed at the technical skills of even our youngest students who can produce multi-media projects as young as kindergarten.”
Keeping the school system on the cutting edge of technology has been an ongoing, 12-year project for Crane, who said she’s noticed a lot of advancement in the five years she has served as the department director.
“It is all about the students and providing them with the resources and opportunities,” said Crane of her staff’s dedication to enhancing students’ learning experiences.
BoE members also watched a three-minute video created by the department’s 17 members. The presentation included photos of students working on computers and an audio message from Crane about the department’s role in classroom education.
Crane said the clip, which will be part of the conference’s opening ceremony next week, took the staff about a week to put together.
During next week’s event in Arizona, the LCSS technology department will host a workshop for other attendees titled “TAB Over for Success: Inspire, Lead and Empower!”
The workshop is geared toward administrators looking to increase classroom technology use and ensure their schools are keeping up with digital technology advancement, Crane said.
“TAB Over for Success: Inspire, Lead and Empower” will be presented by instructional technology specialists Celia Norris, Portia Evans, Cathy Lane, Melissa Roberts, Brittney Mobley and Jaime Rearley.
Even though the technology department is a separate entity, Crane said district administrators have been active and open in learning about new technology such as interactive whiteboards and podcasts.
Scherer agreed the award wouldn’t have been possible without encouragement and cooperation.
“We appreciate the support of our BoE and the community who have been willing to provide the hardware and personnel to support the extensive use of technology,” Scherer said.
In other meeting news:
• Board members received conceptual site and floor plans for the Career Academy building, which will be erected by the old airport site, behind the existing Savannah Technical College building.
Barry Sallas, director of education at BRPH Architects-Engineers, Inc., pinpointed the location of each room and extra storage areas. He said future expansion is possible because of the building is designed to allow for additional growth.
A construction start date has not been selected, said Assistant Superintendent Jason Rogers, but the school system expects the facility will be completed by mid-fall 2011.
BRPH will work on the interior design plans until a construction date has been set.
• In addition to the technology department’s recognition, another Liberty County employee was honored for her work as a 12th-grade counselor at Bradwell Institute.
The Georgia School Counselors Association named Torri Jackson a Region 12 secondary counselor of the year for the state. BoE members presented her with a certificate.
“I am truly humbled,” Jackson wrote in an e-mail. “I work with great people who make it a pleasure to work hard.  Receiving this award is motivation for me.”
Jackson will be honored again at the Georgia School Counselors Association’s annual fall conference Nov. 4 in Athens.
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