SKIE Award Regional Winners Announced
The SKIE (Supporting K20 Innovative Educators) Award celebrates educators or teams of educators across the state who have demonstrated the ability to link student learning with the innovative use of technology and the K20 IDEALS. Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives are a proud sponsor of this award.
Summer Boismier | 9th Grade English
Piedmont High School, Piedmont Public Schools
Summer Boismier grew up reading science fiction and fantasy, imagining herself battling cyborgs and defeating Dementors. Now entering her sixth year of teaching, she’s found inventive ways to bring science and the humanities together in the classroom by linking project-based learning and robotics with English/Language Arts (ELA) concepts. Boismier’s innovative methods enable her to connect personally with her students. “My philosophy of teaching comes down to one deceptively simple word: relationships. I believe not only in meeting my students where they are but also in valuing them for who they are. I strive to give my students voice and choice in how they learn and that includes the use of technology.”
Chrisie Young | 1st Grade
Horace Mann Elementary, Duncan Public Schools
Chrisie Young’s career path took her from the boardroom to the classroom when she left a career in business management 10 years ago. She found herself exactly where she was meant to be and hasn’t looked back. “Teaching is not about getting rich; it is truly about living a life of service to children.” The first-grade teacher has used her leadership skills to guide projects integrating parents and students of all ability levels through shared leadership and authentic engagement. “It is very important to establish a mutually respectful, honest rapport with students and their parents—a relationship in which communication is of the highest priority.” Young believes that teaching is a learning experience and humbly adds that she learns more from her students each year than they could ever learn from her.
Elizabeth Rader | 3rd Grade
Greenwood Elementary School, Tahlequah Public Schools
In any way she can, Elizabeth Rader brings the world to her classroom. “My students don’t simply learn about the Trail of Tears; they talk to elders, watch videos, investigate historical sites, take virtual field trips, create artwork expressing their experiences with the subject matter, and present iMovies showing differing viewpoints.” Rader says she was “born a teacher” and honed her skills practicing on her six younger brothers and sisters. For the past six years she has brought her life experience into the classroom to help build a third-grade program that is engaging and focuses on technology integration. “It’s been exciting to see the ripples of change in bringing 21st century learning to our rural school district!”
Ahmet Unlu | Dove Engineering Team
Dove Science Academy, Oklahoma City Public Schools
Ahmet Unlu led a program at Dove Science Academy designed to inspire students where the rubber meets the road—literally. The end product for the student engineering team each year is a car that races in the National Solar Car Challenge, a closed-track event at the world-renowned Texas Motor Speedway. The Dove Science Academy Engineering team, known as the Rocketeers, learn how to design, engineer, build and race roadworthy solar cars. “The program is designed to inspire students in science, engineering, design, and alternative energy programs.” The students work with local engineers and experts, putting in hours after school and on weekends, to learn about solar power and physically build their competition vehicle.
Cassie Flora, Haley Michael, Brandy Swinford, and Katie Thompson | Kindergarten, Pre-K, Pre-K, and Kindergarten
Shawnee Early Childhood Center, Shawnee Public Schools
These dedicated early childhood teachers keep their little ones focused on having fun while they learn. “We share a love of teaching, technology, and innovative instructional strategies. Together we have a combined 25 years of teaching experience in early childhood. Classroom Smartboards and iPads allow the four walls of our classroom to be extended into the real world. Students explore and interact with our planet through Google Earth, virtual field trips, and apps that engage students in their personal interests.” Even at this early age, students at the Shawnee Early Childhood Center experience coding through the daily integration of technology.
Abraham Kamara | 7th and 8th Grade STEM and Robotics
Memorial Junior High, Tulsa Public Schools
Abraham Kamara, an 18-year veteran teacher, has channeled his experience to develop a highly successful STEM and robotics program that reaches all types of learners. “My approach in facilitating learning is to recognize that students have individual abilities and learn differently. For example, some are visual, auditory, verbal, social, logical, and solitary. I expose students to different learning situations and allow the students to grow in their preferred learning style.” Kamara has been teaching long enough to see students successfully transition into high school engineering programs, higher education, and careers. Providing students an environment that allows them to thrive has led to accomplishments in and out of the classroom.