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PBS Teachers® Innovation Awards Presented to 50 Educators for Inspiring Students and Transforming Classroom Learning

Winners receive tools for the classroom from Elmer’s, SMART Technologies, Logitech, and PBS,as well as professional development courses


ARLINGTON, Va., May 5, 2010 – Today, PBS and its member stations celebrated 50 of the nation’s most innovative preK-12 educators who are discovering new ways to engage their students and inspire them to achieve. The PBS Teachers Innovation Awards program honors teachers who are transforming classroom learning and providing children with the tools they need to reach their full potential and succeed in the 21st century. All winners will receive instructional technology resources from PBS and its partners and participate in a peer-to-peer network to share best practices using public digital media. The top 10 winners will receive a SMART Board™ Interactive Whiteboard System, a Logitech camera and are invited to the PBS annual membership meeting.

PBS will host the top 10 PBS Teachers Innovation Award winners for an exclusive behind-the-scenes trip to the organization’s annual membership meeting May 17-20 in Austin, Texas, where they will attend sneak previews of upcoming programs, meetings with producers, and participate in professional development workshops about teacher leadership and integration of Web 2.0 tools for collaborative learning. They will also receive a Logitech® Web camera and their SMART Board Interactive Whiteboard System, which allows teachers to build media-rich lesson plans and students to participate in collaborative and fun curriculum-based games such as those from PBS (http://pbskids.org/whiteboard/).

All 50 winners will receive an exclusive educator’s kit filled with tools and instructional technology resources for the classroom from PBS and Elmer’s Products, Inc., as well as a Web-based facilitated course from the professional development service, PBS TeacherLine. Through the online resource PBS Teachers, the winners’ submissions will be featured as best practices case studies, and the winners will serve as teacher leaders and catalysts for expanding effective instructional techniques using public digital media in the classroom.

A judging panel of PBS TeacherLine course facilitators and PBS education staff selected the 50 winners from nearly 700 online entries. The top 10 award recipients are:

Kareen Borders, science teacher, Key Peninsula Middle School, Lakebay, Wash.
Tricia Fuglestad, art teacher, Dryden Elementary School, Arlington Heights, Ill.
George Hademenos, science teacher, Richardson High School, Richardson, Texas
Louisa Hodges, elementary science teacher, Bethany Christian School, Baker, La.
Colleen Howard, middle school science teacher, Mesa Public Schools, Mesa, Ariz.
Michael Lampert, science teacher, West Salem High School, Salem, Ore.
Samantha Melvin, art teacher, RJ Richey Elementary School, Burnet, Texas
Fanny Perez Michaud, high school science teacher, Rockland BOCES Career & Technical Education Center, West Nyack, N.Y.
Robert Schechter, language arts teacher, Sunny Brae Elementary, Winnetka, Calif.
Monica Schnee, elementary ESL teacher, New Bridge Center, River Edge, N.J.

“PBS is working with teachers to improve performance outcomes and help close the achievement gap in critical areas ranging from literacy to STEM,” said Rob Lippincott, senior vice president of education for PBS. “The PBS Teachers Innovation Award winners use media creatively to engage and support their students in new ways, representing the highest standard of innovation in education, and we are pleased to have them collaborate with us as we help prepare tomorrow’s workforce.”

The PBS Teachers Innovation Awards program was created to identify innovative educators--including preK-12 classroom teachers, library media specialists, and homeschooling parents--and advance the profession through collaboration, networking and professional development. Educators were asked to submit a 200-word essay and video or photos demonstrating why they are innovative educators for categories ranging from digital storytelling to robotics. Earlier this year, President Obama acknowledged PBS as a partner in the “Educate to Innovate” campaign for showcasing educational excellence through the awards program. These awards are one way PBS is highlighting the work of creative, inspiring educators.

The PBS Teachers Innovation Awards program is sponsored in part by Elmer’s Products, Inc., and supported by in-kind contributions from SMART Technologies and Logitech.

PBS Teachers (pbsteachers.org) is the central Web destination for educators to access all of PBS’ educational services, including multimedia resources, online professional development, and a professional learning network.

About PBS
PBS, with its 356 member stations, offers all Americans – from every walk of life – the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each week, PBS reaches more than 124 million people and invites them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and Web site, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.

CONTACTS:
Staci Lewis, PBS, 703/739-5165, selewis@pbs.org
Kristen Plemon, C. Blohm & Associates, 608-839-9805; kristen@cblohm.com


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