Centre USD 397 Superintendent Jerry Kemble will travel to Houston, Texas, this week to accept a Tech Savvy Superintendent Award Saturday during the National Conference on Education.
Kemble is one of 10 administrators nationwide who will receive the award, including another Kansas winner, Mark Evans of Andover Public Schools.
The winners were chosen by the editors of eSchool News, an online publication for kindergarten through 12th grade educators, with help from last year’s winners.
The eSchool website credited Kemble for being a pioneer in using technology in education. Editor Dennis Pierce said research shows that technology can facilitate better teaching and learning, but only when it is used effectively.
“That starts at the very top, with strong district leadership,” he said. “If you start with a clear vision for how to implement technology wisely, and you make sure your staff are well trained and supported, and you seek to transform instructional practices to leverage technology’s full potential, then technology really can empower education. And that’s what the winners of our annual awards are doing.”
During her four years as superintendent at Centre, Kemble has been successful in implementing the Kansas Online Learning Program, which now has nine part-time student-advocate positions and a full-time virtual school coordinator. The program added 250 class offerings to high school students.
High school students have individual laptops, fifth through eighth graders use laptops at school, third through fourth graders have iPods, and kindergarten through second-grade students use the iPod touch.
Kemble initiated a web-based student-information system. She uses wikis, Skype, and Blackboard for staff development, as well as Gmail for all staff and students. She promotes continuous training for teachers in using technology in the classroom.
Kemble was quick to give credit to the board of education and her staff for obtaining her award.
“I believe this honor is a tribute to a progressive and supportive school board and an incredible staff that embraces change to make sure our students are well prepared for the 21st century,” she said. “All the positive changes and the positive growth our school has experienced is due to a professional, caring, and dedicated staff.”