In order to recognize the teachers who have gone above and beyond with implementing the effective use of technology in classroom instruction, this year the Thomas County School System named the second annual Digital Learning All-Star Teacher at each school and for the district. Daphney King, a fourth grade teacher at Cross Creek Elementary School, was selected as the district winner.

“The Thomas County School System has made a significant investment in technology for our students and teachers as a result of having E-SPLOST funds and receiving other grants,” said Erin Rehberg, Digital Learning Coordinator for Thomas County Schools. “It is important to reward those teachers who have used the technology provided to them to effectively transform the learning process in their classrooms. Not only do all of our Digital Learning All-Star Teachers effectively use technology with their students, they are also known for helping their peers with various technology tools.”

Each school held a nomination process with the winner for each school completing an application in order to compete for the district title. This year, the district winner was awarded a Google Chromebook courtesy of Firefly Computers and will be able to attend an educational technology conference in the fall.

King, the district winner, said in her application, “Technology is here to stay, thank goodness! It is found in every facet of our society. Through the use of technology, we are able to do the unthinkable. I have, and will, continue to devote my time and energy striving to make a difference in the world. I can’t think of a better way than mentoring and encouraging students, teachers, friends, relatives, and strangers in the world of technology.”

“Ms. King incorporates the use of technology in her teaching to engage and inspire students,” said Clay Stanaland, principal at Cross Creek. “Students are able to create projects that not only enhance the learning being targeted, but also expand their knowledge of innovations in technology. She truly understands that the technology is important, but how the teacher uses the technology is what’s most important.”

Ashley Lane, assistant principal at Cross Creek added, “Ms. King has been an asset to our school with her work in organizing resources for instruction. Her ideas and willingness to take the lead on implementing the use of technology for collaboration and planning proves her leadership reaches beyond the walls of her classroom.”

Laurie Dawson, Digital Learning Specialist for Cross Creek, works closely with the teachers when implementing technology.

“Daphney has a knack for finding innovative ways to use all kinds of technology — not just devices but programs as well — to inspire students to creatively show what they’ve learned,” Dawson said. “Her students always seemed to be excited about what was next for them to try and explore. As any ‘pioneer’ user of technology is normally prone to do, Daphney willingly shares what she does in the classroom with other teachers, and this is truly the best way to promote the incorporation of technology into teaching curriculum in the classroom.”

School level winners include Jessie Norman (Hand-in-Hand Primary School), Marnee Stone (Garrison-Pilcher Elementary School), King (Cross Creek Elementary School), Carrie Holland (Thomas County Middle School), Justin Quigg (Thomas County Central High School), and Darrell Brinkley (Bishop Hall Charter School).