Visionary Award: Kerrin Welch-Pollera
Kerrin Welch-Pollera has spent her entire career in the area of instructional technology. Her advocacy for the use of technology was honed and expanded when she began working in a districtwide role assisting teachers in their classrooms and offering professional development workshops to staff. She has been the Executive Director of Instructional Technology for the Three Village School District for the past 15 years where they are completing the last phase of a one to one Chromebook program for students in grades 7-12, as well as, distributing teacher devices across the district.
As part of her responsibilities, Kerrin oversees the Library Media program for the district. Over the past several years, they have installed Makerspaces and added Breakout sessions to the curriculum. Kerrin has been an integral part of developing a vision and setting goals for a robust K-12 STEM program. zSpace labs were added in the secondary schools where students experience augmented reality lessons via 2D and 3D technologies. Many new Computer Science courses have also been added to the district offerings in both the middle and high schools over the past several years. In addition, many new and exciting technologies were instituted in the district’s 5 elementary schools including: 3D printing, robotics, coding, CAD, engineering design and aeroponic growing stations. Kerrin lives in Port Jefferson with her husband Anthony.
Most Innovative Use of Technology Award: Kelly Powers
Katie DiGregorio, Ed.D. began her teaching career at the Greenport School District in 2011 where she taught Spanish and ENL for five years. For the past three years, Dr. DiGregorio has been an ENL teacher at the Smithtown School District at Smithtown High School West. In 2019, she will take on in addition to ENL, the role of Middle School Instructional Technology Coach.
The use of instructional technology allows for the ENL students to work collaboratively with their English speaking peers, think critically at high levels and have instruction that is specifically differentiated for them through the different technology tools. Additionally, Katie leverages her expertise in instructional technology to further the implementation of instructional technology at Smithtown High School West, by her creation of an instructional technology coaching initiative called, “Teaching Technology Talk.” This program allows her to work closely with teachers in guiding them through their learning of the tools and how to implement effectively into their classroom. She enjoys working with her colleagues to promote the use of instructional technology that provides instruction that creates a culture of innovation and engagement by students, teachers, leaders and the community. Katie lives in Rocky Point with her husband James, and their dog, Max.