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WCASD Instructional Technology Coordinator Named Tech Innovator of the Year

Michael Wagman, Dr. Rebecca Eberly, Jennifer Southmayd Michael Wagman, Dr. Rebecca Eberly, Jennifer Southmayd


The Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C) has named West Chester Area School District Elementary Instructional Technology Coordinator Jennifer Southmayd as the first-ever recipient of the Dr. Laura Hummell Technology Innovator of the Year Award. Ms. Southmayd received the award at the organization's annual event, which was held earlier this month in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Ms. Southmayd has been with the West Chester Area School District for five years. Prior to becoming the Elementary Instructional Technology Coordinator, Ms. Southmayd was an instructional coach at Fern Hill Elementary School and taught fourth-grade at Westtown-Thornbury Elementary School.

Fern Hill Elementary School Principal, Dr. Rebecca Eberly, nominated Ms. Southmayd for the award.

"Jennifer is a hard-working, enthusiastic, data-driven, tech-savvy, innovative educator who continually reflects on her practice to be the best teacher-leader she can be for the students, as well as the teachers she supports," says Dr. Eberly.

One of Ms. Southmayd's main objectives is to infuse 21-century learning with traditional learning methods.

"Technology plays an imperative role in our ability to develop future-ready learners. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) reports that 65% of children entering grade school today will end up working in jobs that don’t even exist yet," says Southmayd.

"With the help of purposeful technology integration, we can create learning experiences for students that develop their 6Cs (creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, content, and confidence), while also differentiating our instruction to meet the needs of all learners in our classrooms. Digital platforms, programs, and other resources enable us to transform the learning our students are experiencing by offering student choice while developing student ownership of the learning."

Michael Wagman, WCASD director of technology, says Ms. Southmayd represents the future of education leadership.

"She has a tremendous work ethic and is passionate about ensuring our schools continue to be relevant and engaging to our students."

The Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference is a statewide event that provides quality programs focused on technology in the educational field. Dr. Laura Hummell chaired the PETE&C Awards Committee and epitomized innovation in educational technology as the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) technology education content advisor. She was tragically killed in a hit and run accident outside the PDE office in Harrisburg last November.

"Receiving this award was an extremely humbling experience, and I appreciate that the PETE&C community is recognizing the need to celebrate the forward progress educators are making to reinvigorate learning through purposeful technology integration in the 21st century," says Southmayd. "This award was a win for our district and the great work we are doing to facilitate innovative teaching and learning to educate and inspire all students to achieve their personal best."