Centre?s Kemble feted for tech use



Jerri Kemble of USD 397-Centre is one of 10 superintendents from across the country to receive the 2012 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award for exemplify outstanding leadership and vision in using technology to advance their district?s educational goals.

The only other Kansas superintendent to win the award was Mark Evans of the Andover district.

The recipients were chosen by the editors of eSchool News with help from last year?s winners. The 2012 honorees were selected based on 10 ?hallmarks of excellence.?

?Research shows that technology can facilitate better teaching and learning, but only when used effectively,? said Dennis Pierce, editor of eSchool News. ?And that starts at the very top, with strong school district leadership.

?If you start with a clear vision for how to implement technology wisely, and you make sure your staff are well trained and supported, and you seek to transform instructional practices to leverage technology?s full potential, then technology really can empower education.


?And that?s what the winners of our annual Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards are doing.?

The eSchool website credited Kemble with making the Centre School District ?a pioneer in using technology.?

Kemble attended a White House meeting on technology and virtual learning in 2010; in 2011, Vice President Joe Biden?s office asked to meet with her again to get an update on the district?s technology progress.

?Despite a struggling rural economy, the district experienced a 26 percent population increase and created nine part-time teaching positions and one full-time virtual school coordinator position last year,? the site reported. ?The district also added 250 class offerings to its high school students.?

Through virtual education, Centre students now have the opportunity to take classes such as Biotechnology, Graphic Design, New Solar Technology, and Chinese. The Kansas Online Learning Program has taken in students from across the state of Kansas.

?During Kemble?s four years as superintendent, the district has implemented a one-to-one laptop program at the high school; a two-to-one laptop program in grades 5-8; a one-to-one iPad program in grades 3-4; and a two-to-one iPod Touch program in grades K-2.

The district operates a Web-based student-information system and uses Wikis, Skype and Blackboard for staff development, as well as Gmail for all staff and students.

Kemble is not only the superintendent, but also the Virtual Program Leader.

?Kemble holds informative sessions to help parents understand how various technology tools will be used in classrooms,? the site states. ?She encourages district staff to reach out and not only learn from other districts, but share their technology expertise.?

Each Tuesday, a technology integration specialist comes to the district to help teachers integrate technology into the curriculum. Each year, Centre and four area school districts gather to celebrate technology at the Technology Excellence in Education Mash-up.

Kemble and the other winners of the 2012 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Award will be honored in a ceremony held in conjunction with the Century Club 100 annual meeting at the American Association of School Administrators? annual conference in Houston Feb. 18.

The Century Club 100 is an honorary organization composed of superintendents from every state in the country.

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