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For Immediate Release
June 14, 2005
Contact: Charles Pyle
Director of Communications
(804) 371-2420
Julie Grimes
Public Information Officer
(804) 225-2775

Educators Receive Governor’s Innovative Technology Awards
Annual Technology Awards, Sponsored by America Online,
Presented Today to Nine Virginia Teachers

Governor Mark Warner today honored nine teachers at the Fifth Annual Governor’s Innovative Technology In Education Awards during a ceremony and luncheon in Richmond. The awards, sponsored by America Online, Inc. (AOL) in conjunction with the Governor and the Virginia Department of Education (DOE), recognize educators who have improved instruction through the innovative use of technology.

The winners are:

  • David Carroll, a meteorology and earth science teacher at Pulaski County High School, Pulaski County Public Schools;
  • Amy Cummings, a library media specialist at Franklin County High School, Franklin County Public Schools;
  • Leon “Buddy” Darby, a mathematics teacher at Prince George High School, Prince George County Public Schools;
  • Belinda Jenkins, a life science teacher at James Solomon Russell Junior High School, Brunswick County Public Schools;
  • Eric Miller, a social studies teacher at Daniel Morgan Middle School, Winchester City Public Schools;
  • Tina Schuster, a U.S. history and government teacher at Fluvanna County High School, Fluvanna County Public Schools;
  • Patricia Skiles, a library media specialist at Windsor Oaks Elementary School, Virginia Beach City Public Schools;
  • Mary Swihart, a biology teacher and technology specialist at Middlesex High School, Middlesex County Public Schools; and
  • Karen Duffy of Fredericksburg Academy, a private school in Fredericksburg.

“In our knowledge-based economy, technology and education are critically linked to our future prosperity,” Governor Warner said. “These educators understand the power of technology as a tool to enhance learning – and they are putting it to work in the classroom.”

"Technology is an integral part of instruction in today's learning environment and AOL is always striving to help teachers and students make the best use of online resources in education," said Rich D'Amato, vice president of AOL Community Investment. "We are happy to have worked with Governor Warner and the Commonwealth of Virginia to encourage the innovative use of technology in the classroom and get students excited about learning."

Entrants were asked to submit a technology portfolio of classroom work samples representing proficiencies, competencies, and talents in the use of educational technology and media. The portfolios were judged on technology skills, curriculum integration, research, communication, teaching/learning styles, motivation, evaluation, and peer coaching. A winner was selected from each of the DOE’s eight administrative regions and one from the private-school sector. Each winner received an unrestricted award of $2,500 as well as 2 years of Internet service from AOL.

Governor Warner appointed a Blue Ribbon Panel to evaluate the technology portfolios that were submitted for the competition. Panel members were Cindy Charlton, education specialist with the Community Idea Stations (Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation); Pat Johnson, instructional technology coordinator with Wise County Public Schools; Fred Scott, instructional technology integration manager with Chesterfield County Public Schools; Jill Woolley Stafford, instructional technologist with Prince William County Public Schools; Linda Townsend, instructional technology design specialist for the National Institute for Technology Policy and Research; Dr. John Wenrich, associate director of the Institute for Connecting Science’s Research to the Classroom program at Virginia Tech; and Scott Willett, account executive for Dell Computers.