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Hampton assistant superintendent earns national honor for technology use

| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
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Hampton Assistant Superintendent Jo Welter was named Leader of the Year by “Tech & Learning” magazine for her technology initiatives in the school district.

The Hampton Township School District administration's increased focus on incorporating technology in recent years has garnered national recognition for Assistant Superintendent Jo Welter.

Tech & Learning magazine named Welter “Leader of the Year” for the innovative technology initiatives she has worked to set up within the school district.

“I was extremely surprised and humbled,” Welter said about the award. “I certainly recognize that award doesn't come without the help and support of everyone in this organization.”

Welter works with Ed McKaveney, technology director, and staff, teachers, administrators and school board members to incorporate technology into the curriculum districtwide, as well as offer professional-development opportunities that will help teachers incorporate the technology into their curricula.

Welter also works closely with the technology council — made up of teachers, administrators, school board members and other Hampton stakeholders — to address technology needs and issues in the district, and she spearheads planning for the T4 Technology Expo, which is held every other year in the district and features demonstrations of the various technologies used in the classroom.

“The goal has always been to enhance instruction,” Welter said. “The focus is never technology to learn technology. (Students) need to be able to use it as a tool, so it enhances and in some cases motivates kids and provides another avenue for learning in the classroom.”

The district recently provided laptop computers to all of the high school teachers and, as of last year, it implemented use of a Google Docs account that allows students to upload assignments to a server and work on them from school or from home.

Since Welter joined Hampton Township School District seven years ago, she said, technology “just exploded.”

“The entire landscape of technology in the past seven years has changed,” Welter said. “Seven years ago, there was hardly a computer in every classroom; now, every teacher has a laptop, and every classroom has a few computers.”

This is the second time this year a Hampton Township School District administrator has been recognized for the technological advancements in the district.

In the spring, McKaveney received the 2013 Withrow Chief Technology Officer Award from the Consortium for School Networking for the technology initiatives he has been involved in.

“Obviously, we are very proud of Dr. Welter and Mr. McKaveney as both have received national recognition for their outstanding work in the area of technology,” Superintendent John Hoover said.

“We are most appreciative of Dr. Welter's efforts to create outstanding opportunities for our students, and we congratulate her on receipt of this prestigious award.”

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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