Westonka Teacher to Become Google-Certified

With it being as difficult as it is to keep up with new technologies, one Westonka teacher is going above and beyond by becoming Google-certified.

Sue Simonson, technology integrationist for the Westonka School District, is one of only 50 educators from around the globe selected by Google to attend the Google Teacher Academy, held Wednesday, July 24, in Chicago. Her leadership in introducing the Mound Westonka High School to Google Apps for Education in 2009 helped her gain traction around new technology in the district. Since becoming technology integrationist, she’s implemented Google Apps for the entire district. “This award embodies Sue’s passion for technology and how it can be harnessed to engage students in the learning process and to deepen their learning experience,” says Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Mark Femrite. “It supports our district focus on ensuring all Westonka students are college and career ready.” The Google Teacher Academy is a two-day intensive program that recognizes educators who are doing innovative and exciting things in their classrooms with technology. The 50 participants will get hands-on experience with Google's products and technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies and receive resources to share with colleagues. To apply, Simonson submitted a one-minute video on the topic of “Positive Change in My Community” as part of her application for the Academy. The video highlights the recent Westonka Tech Academy, which was led by Simonson and TILT in June 2013. Upon completion, Google Teacher Academy participants become Google-Certified Teachers, who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local regions and beyond. “The ideas and concepts I learn will help Westonka TILT and myself lead the faculty of our district to personalize learning for our students and embed 21st Century Skills into our curriculum,” Simonson says. “I can’t wait to share what I learn with my team!” Congrats, Sue!