BCS Superintendent Wins Prestigious Digital Early Learning Award

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Founding Superintendent/Principal Wanny Hersey

Wanny Hersey honored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals for implementing innovative educational technology practices

Wanny Hersey, the founding Superintendent/Principal of Bullis Charter School (BCS), was awarded the Digital Early Learning Award by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Hersey is being honored for the school’s emphasis on creating and implementing digital tools and offering blended learning early education services that are scientific, holistic, experiential, accountable, and relevant to the personalized needs of each child.

Hersey was one of five elementary school principals from across the nation chosen to receive this prestigious award and the only recipient from California. Winners will be recognized at the NAESP Better Practices for Better School Conference in National Harbor, Maryland on July 6, 2016.

A dynamic leader with a proven track record of establishing innovative programs for students, Hersey has spearheaded the integration of technology into every aspect of the learning process at every level at the school. From kindergarten to middle school, BCS students use technology to deepen and individualize their learning experience.

“I am honored to win this award,” said Hersey. “It reflects the innovation and hard work of the entire BCS staff and our commitment to leveraging our S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) program to seamlessly integrate technology into the BCS K-8 core curriculum, ensuring that technology is accessible to every student. As a national Digital Citizenship school, we are also dedicated to fostering a culture of digital learning enabling our students to think critically and participate responsibly in both the digital and real worlds.”

NAESP, in partnership with VINCI Education, created this award to recognize principals who have embraced technology that supports early learners in grades K-3. The organizations advocate for a blended curriculum and programs to help educators learn strategies and gain the necessary competencies, including the use of digital tools, that help young children succeed in school and beyond.

At BCS, students learn to use technology as an effective tool to research, communicate, code, model, and design starting in kindergarten. All BCS students have access to state-of-the-art tools in the MakerSpace and FabLab, where they are challenged to think critically and work collaboratively. With technological tools readily available, including Chromebooks, iPads, and iPods in every classroom, students are able to choose their own focus areas to conduct independent research, deepen investigation skills, and draw their own conclusions. This integrated technology supports learning with even the school’s youngest students, providing them the opportunity to dive deep into particular areas of interest and pursue additional knowledge at an individualized pace.

Mrs. Hersey was also honored for the school’s pioneering use of FreshGrade, a new online assessment tool. FreshGrade makes learning visible by capturing, documenting, and communicating progress via digital portfolios. Students, teachers and parents are able to communicate in real-time using the interactive digital platform, allowing all to focus on the learning process, not just the outcome.

BCS is committed to teaching 21st century skills, including creativity, collaboration, problem solving, and critical thinking. Incorporating technology in the educational program enables its students to actively engage in their learning, seek a deeper understanding of the content, and most importantly, sparks curiosity and a love of learning.

To learn more about the award, visit: https://www.naesp.org/digital-leader-early-learning-award