Microsoft Corp. has named 40 educators nationwide as Innovative Educator Experts for 2015. Three of them work in Manteca Unified School District: teachers Tammy Brecht Dunbar and Kristen Messer, and Superintendent Jason Messer.
In a statement, Microsoft called the three “visionary educators who are paving the way for their peers to share ideas, try new approaches and learn from each other.”
Brecht Dunbar is a fifth-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School and technology instructor for teachers in training at Teachers College of San Joaquin. She won the 2010 eInstruction $75,000 Classroom Makeover Video Contest, wrote a successful $208,000 Enhancing Education Through Technology Grant for MUSD in 2008, and was Teacher of the Year in Manteca Unified School District in 2006.
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Kristen Messer is the technology teacher at be.tech Vocational Academy, an MUSD charter school with career-focused education for culinary arts, industrial tech and first responders.
Both educators are serving on the core advisory committee of Manteca Unified School District’s “Going Digital 2015” project, which will provide computers to its 23,000 students, kindergarten through high school, this spring. The district has chosen to use the education-targeted Panasonic 3E devices, which use Microsoft software. Brecht Dunbar and Messer provide training and support for teachers throughout the district.
“It’s only been a short time since the announcement, and already I’ve connected with MIE Experts from around the world,” said Brecht Dunbar. “This is going to be a stimulating, collaborative and productive experience.”
“Being selected as an MIE Expert is an amazing honor,” Messer said. “I look forward to continue finding innovative ways to equip students with the proper tools needed to succeed in the new world of work.”
Microsoft selected more than 800 educators in 100 different countries, including 40 in the United States, to be part of its 2015 global community paving the way for peers to share ideas.
The experts work with Microsoft to help push innovation in education and assist teachers in better using Microsoft products and tools. The program works to build educator technology skills and share what they have found works in the classroom.
“Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts are inspiring examples of how individuals are using technology to increase students’ productivity and develop the skills needed in the workplace,” said Anthony Salcito, Microsoft vice president of worldwide education, in a press release. “With an innovative use of mobile and cloud technology, these educators are transforming learning environments and delivering more personalized education to students, allowing them to do more and achieve more.”