102 Educators Selected to Compete for Top Honors at the Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 U.S. Forum

Editor’s note – June 6, 2012 –

The press release below was updated to correct information about two of the finalists from California.

REDMOND, Wash. — June 6, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the 102 finalists selected to attend the Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 U.S. Forum. The educators will travel to Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Wash., July 31 through Aug.1 to showcase the creative ways they are transforming learning through technology. An unprecedented number of applications were submitted this year, and the chosen innovative projects represent 25 states across the Pre-K–12 spectrum and include creative uses of blended learning, student video game design, professional development, flipped classrooms with students teaching their peers, and improving communications skills for those with autism and other special learning needs.

“These educators have applied the technology lens in trailblazing ways to develop real-world learning experiences that are certain to engage students and provide them with the 21st-century skills that will set them up for success, both in and out of the classroom,” said Andrew Ko, general manager, U.S. Partners in Learning, Microsoft. “Recognizing the unparalleled influence today’s teachers have on tomorrow’s leaders, Microsoft’s commitment to education is deeply rooted in empowering teachers with the tools they need to help students succeed and celebrating them as heroes in our society.”

These are the 102 finalists selected to attend the Partners in Learning U.S. Forum:


– Leigh Ray, Seward Elementary School (Seward)


– Kelli Etheredge and Marty Lester, St. Paul’s Episcopal School (Mobile)

– Gina McCarley and BeLinda Cross, Lawrence County High School (Moulton)


– Karen Mensing, Sonoran Sky Elementary School (Phoenix)


– Daphne Bradford and Jacqueline Lopez, Crenshaw High School (Los Angeles)

– Alice Chen, Suzanne Middle School (Walnut)

– Diana Cornejo-Sanchez and Christopher Wakefield, High Tech High (San Diego)

– Gail Desler, Elk Grove Unified School District, , and Natalie Bernasconi, La Paz Middle School (Elk Grove)

– Jennifer Hogan, Visual and Performing Arts/Photography, Henry M. Gunn High School (Palo Alto)

– Olga Kokino and Danna Coonen-Lee, University High School (Los Angeles)

– Angela Sveda, Ralston Middle School (Belmont)

– Gregg Witkin, Digital Media, Boynton Continuation High School (San Jose)


– Cheryl Arnett and Melany Neton, Sunset Elementary School (Craig)

– Neil Pollard and Karie Green, High Tech Early College (Denver)


– Leslie Chausse, The Morgan School (Clinton)


– James Bell and Denise Spence, Dunbar High School (Fort Meyers)

– Andy Goldstein, Omni Middle School (Boca Raton)

– Randy Lavery, U.B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School (West Palm Beach)

– Todd LaVogue, Roosevelt Community Middle School (West Palm Beach)

– Sylvia Martinez, Jorge Mas Canosa Middle School (Miami)

– Jamie Worrall, Christa McAuliffe Middle School (Boynton Beach)


– Robert Osborn, Margaret Harris High School (Atlanta)


– Susie Oh, Everett School (Lake Forest)

– Lisa Perez, Dept. of Instructional Tools & Technology, Chicago Public Schools (Chicago)


– Rodrigo Anadon, Penn High School (Mishawaka)

– Don Wettrick, Franklin Community High School (Franklin)


– Mary Durand and Tracy Rampy, Humboldt Middle School (Humboldt)


– Meghan Bottom, Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary School (Lexington)

– Jeanne Caudill, Mullins School (Pikeville)

– Shannon Putman, Cochran Elementary (Louisville)


– Jennifer Bevill, LSU Laboratory School (Baton Rouge)


– Nancy Ale and Michelle Lipson, Earle B. Wood Middle School (Rockville)

– Brenda Green, Cabin John Middle School (Potomac)

– Ellen Krich and Ethel Bouloubassis, Roland Park Country School (Baltimore)

– Jacob Scott, Montgomery Blair High School (Silver Spring)


– Pauline Roberts and Rick Joseph, Birmingham Covington School (Bloomfield Hills)

– David Squires, Oak Valley Middle School (Commerce Twp)

– June Teisan and Alexandra Beels, Harper Woods Secondary School (Harper Woods)


– Krisandra Venosdale, Hillsboro Intermediate (Hillsboro)

New Jersey

– Kimberly Leegan, Union Catholic Regional High School (Scotch Plains)

New York

– Vincent Interrante, Mineola Middle School (Mineola) and Robyn Hrivnatz, Lamar ISD (Rosenberg, Texas)

– Christina Jenkins and Francesca Fay, NYC iSchool (New York City)

– Patricia Ragan, Canastota Jr. Sr. High School (Canastota)

North Carolina

– Julie Conn, Sugarloaf Elementary (Hendersonville)

– Lorraine Ethridge and Stephanie Hall, The Fletcher School (Charlotte)

– Gail Holmes, North Carolina Virtual Public Schools (Raleigh)

– Kacey Sensenich and Kevin Combs, E.E. Smith High School (Fayetteville)


– Jenifer Conard, Springboro High School (Lebanon)

– Greg Martin, Cincinnati Country Day School (Cincinnati)


– Lora Davis, Keith Valley Middle School (Horsham)

– Kelly Farmer and Tom Gaffey, High School of the Future (Philadelphia)

– Young Kim, High School of the Future (Philadelphia)

– Kate Reber, Bodine High School for International Affairs (Philadelphia)

– Peter Sigmund and Braden Bonner, La Salle College High School (Wyndmoor)

– Kim Sivick and Marisol Booth, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (Philadelphia)

– Pamela Volakis, West Allegheny High School (Imperial)

South Carolina

– Marion Myers, AC Moore Elementary (Columbia)


– Joli Barker, Slaughter Elementary (McKinney)

– Sarah Collins and Jo Spark, Moody Elementary (Moody)

– Angela Kirkendoll, Martin Luther King, Jr. Early Childhood Center (Houston)


– Stephen Biscotte, Cave Spring High School (Roanoke)

– Amy Burk, Westgate Elementary School (Falls Church)

– Bonnie Ellis, York High School (Yorktown)

– Gaynell Lyman and Debra Roethke, Henrico County Public Schools (Henrico)

– Kelley Queen and Jennifer Thomas, York County School Division (Yorktown)

– Kimberly Rouse and Martha Potts, Newton-Lee Elementary (Ashburn)


– Ericha Anderson and Alicia Cast, Vancouver Public Schools (Vancouver)

– Michael Braun, Rainier Beach High School (Seattle)

– Jac de Haan, Westside School (Seattle)

– Jamie Ewing, Mount View Elementary (Seattle)

– Caleb Gentry, Sequim Middle School (Sequim)

– Julie Hembree, AG Bell Elementary (Kirkland)

– Robin Lowell and Sherry Hahn, Washington State School for the Blind (Vancouver)

– Lindsey Own, The Evergreen School (Shoreline)

– Kathy Wright, Eastlake High School (Sammamish)

Presented by Microsoft Partners in Learning, the Partners in Learning U.S. Forum is an annual event that honors leading educators who enhance student success through the innovative use of technology in the classroom. Teachers who apply to attend are evaluated based on how their projects use technology to inspire students to think critically, collaborate and extend their learning beyond the classroom.

The event presents a unique opportunity for educators to share teaching best practices with peers from across the country, participate in hands-on learning sessions with Microsoft’s latest technologies and present their projects to a panel of judges. A select number of educators will win the opportunity to represent the U.S. at the Partners in Learning Global Forum in Athens, Greece, this November, where they will compete with teachers from around the world and gain global recognition. Last year, more than 250,000 applicants from more than 70 countries competed at national and regional events across the world to qualify for the worldwide competition.

BrainPOP, which creates award-winning animated, curriculum-based content to engage students, is the forum’s partnering sponsor. More information on the finalists and the educators’ classroom project selected to attend the Partners in Learning U.S. Forum is available on the Microsoft TeachTec blog. Activity and conversation about the forum can be followed on Twitter @Teachtec and at hashtag #pilus, as well as the Partners in Learning Facebook page.

About Microsoft Partners in Learning

Microsoft Partners in Learning is a 10-year, nearly $500 million commitment by Microsoft to help education systems around the world. Since its inception in 2003, the Partners in Learning program has reached more than 210 million teachers and students in 119 countries. Partners in Learning helps educators and school leaders connect, collaborate, create and share so students can realize their greatest potential. The online Partners in Learning Network is one of the world’s largest global professional networks for educators, connecting millions of teachers and school leaders around the world in a community of professional development.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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