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Five Cherokee County School District teachers have earned international certification for excellence in effective use of educational technology in the classroom.

The teachers — Kim Bennett, Kerri Gainer, Connie Garrison, Elizabeth Huffaker and Traci Rollman – who all serve at Creekland Middle School, are the first in CCSD to achieve ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Certification. The competency based process is based on the ISTE Standards for Educators and best practices for effectively teaching with education technology.

“Those who have earned the certification have proven themselves innovators in their classrooms and mentors for others in their organizations,” ISTE CEO Richard Culatta said. “As ISTE Certified Educators, they join a distinguished community of educators from around the world who share their commitment to lifelong learning and their passion for engaging students in active, authentic learning.”

ISTE’s Standards call for every teacher to be a: Learner, Leader, Citizen, Collaborator, Designer, Facilitator and Analyst, and for teachers to guide each student to become an: Empowered Learner, Digital Citizen, Knowledge Constructor, Innovative Designer, Computational Thinker, Creative Communicator and Global Collaborator.

As part of the certification process, teachers participate in professional development based on the Standards and best practices, and then create a portfolio that demonstrates their competency, which is closely evaluated by educational technology leaders.

“We want our teachers to not only know how to use educational technology, but also to successfully leverage it with purpose — and ISTE Standards are the gold standard in how to best accomplish this mission,” Superintendent Brian Hightower said. “We’re so proud of these teachers for this achievement and hope to see many more join them as ISTE Certified.”

The five teachers will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Dr. Hightower at the School Board’s Sept. 19 meeting.

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