Update: On December 4, Microsoft selected faculty members Josh Seamon, Mattie Byrd, and Kim Evelti to be members of the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Program for 2015, joining a group of over 800 educators.
At the company’s Global Forum in Miami in November, Microsoft announced that the Wiliston Northampton School had been selected as one of 150 Microsoft in Education Showcase Schools, a designation that recognizes innovators in leading and learning.
“We are one of only 21 schools in the country and 140 schools around the world to be awarded this designation,” noted Williston’s Chief Information Officer Andrew Shelffo. “And it’s a testament to the hard work we’ve done over the past few years.”
Williston launched a Curricular Technology Initiative (CTI) last year, a program designed to give students the digital tools they need to be successful in the 21st century. As part of the program, every student and faculty member on campus was issued a Microsoft Surface Pro with such essential systems as Windows 8, OneDrive, OneNote, and video and audio conferencing features.
Head of School Robert W. Hill III noted at the time that tablets not only put everyone on an equal playing field by giving them all the same device with the same programs, but would ignite the creativity of both teachers and students.
“The thought of what can be accomplished with the same platform and with everybody on the same device is kind of mind boggling,” he said. “Seeing students and faculty with the same device and already hearing about the great applications for teachers is music to my ears.”
According to a press release from Microsoft, the Showcase School designation celebrates schools’ “pioneering efforts and innovation in rethinking teaching, learning and assessment in order to drive deep 21st century competencies.”
“At Microsoft we celebrate your efforts, not just through this selection process, but in recognition of all the work you have put in to make learning an engaging and personalized experience for students and educators in your school,” wrote Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft Corp., in an email to the selected schools. “I am proud of each of you and encourage you to keep up the great work and share with us any feedback you have on your experience throughout the program.”
As part of the program, Showcase Schools receive complimentary Microsoft IT Academy membership, special pricing on SteelCase Education learning classroom furniture, access to professional development tools, invitations to BETT and Regional Global Forums, and monthly community webinars.