Thursday, July 25, 2024

White named Secondary Instructional Technology Specialist – The Madison Record

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MADISON – Maria White believes learning should be dynamic, interactive and meaningful. That outlook will blend with her new work as Secondary Instructional Technology Specialist for Madison City Schools.

After completing several teaching fellowships with Breakthrough Collaborative in Birmingham, White taught at Morris, Liberty and Journey middle schools. Her work for MCS started in 2020.

“My experience teaching in various settings and grade levels sparked my interest in using instructional technology to enhance learning and make instruction more engaging and accessible,” White said. “Joining the Transformative Teacher Certification Program, initiated in 2023 by Rachel Gibbs and Russel Johnson, allowed me to grow as an instructional technology coach.”

White’s new position enables her “to further develop as a coach and lifelong learner, expanding my impact on teaching and technology integration.”

Her teaching philosophy centers on creating lessons stimulating students’ curiosity and promoting critical thinking and collaboration. “I adopt a student-centered approach, working alongside students to unlock their fullest potential and foster a love for learning,” she said. “This collaborative environment encourages students to engage deeply with the material and each other.”

As Secondary Instructional Technology Specialist, White will support integration of instructional technology throughout the district. This objective includes setting and achieving instructional technology goals, facilitating effective use of classroom technology and leading professional development sessions for digital tools.

“Additionally, I support the district’s 1:1 initiatives, ensuring teachers and students can effectively utilize technology to enhance learning experiences,” she said.

At day’s end, White can feel the most confident when she has taken time to listen to students or staff and provide valuable feedback. Collaborating with them for improvements that engender pride for everyone is incredibly rewarding, she said.

“Whether it’s helping a student overcome a challenge or working with a teacher to enhance lessons, seeing the positive impact of our efforts at the end of the day reassures me that my work is making a meaningful difference,” White said.

White is filling Russel Johnson’s vacancy. He left the position to work as Secondary Instruction Specialist after Mary Oliver’s retirement.

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, White moved to Alabama after high school. At the University of Alabama, she earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education / language arts and English. “Recognizing the transformative potential of technology in education, I pursued a Master of Education in Learning, Design and Technology from the University of West Alabama, graduating in August 2023,” White said.

Her fiance, James Copeland, works as a design engineer at Dynetics. “We’re getting married in Huntsville in September,” she said.

Most people don’t know that she coached cheerleading at Liberty and Journey. “I loved building relationships with young ladies on the team and seeing them develop their skills and confidence,” White said. “Watching them grow not only as athletes but also as individuals was incredibly rewarding. The experience taught me a lot about leadership, teamwork and the importance of encouragement in helping others achieve their goals.”

“When I’m not teaching, I love to travel and spend time outdoors. I also love to work out, read and bake,” White said.

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