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UCS staff recognized by Microsoft for excellence in technology education
UCS staff recognized by Microsoft for excellence in technology education
Posted on 09/22/2021

It is not just students who are expanding their knowledge this year at Utica Community Schools. Two Instructional Technology Coaches, Trapper Hallam and Courtney Conley, were recognized at the highest level by joining the 2020-2021 Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) program.

With UCS being a Microsoft district, Conley felt this would be a great opportunity for her to gain new ways to leverage Microsoft Office 365 and other tools throughout UCS.

“As a MIE Expert, I will be privy to tons of professional development as well as opportunities to collaborate globally with other MIE Experts,” said Conley.

According to Hallam, the best place to learn and grow as instructional technology coaches is through the MIE Expert program.

“The sharing that takes place in the community is fantastic and we get to bring all of that back to our staff and the district,” Hallam said.

Utica Community Schools’ Superintendent, Robert Monroe, said the initiative shown by Hallam and Conley echoes the district’s support of staff and teachers expanding their knowledge base whenever possible.

“Courtney and Trapper have demonstrated great leadership in pursuing this program,” said Monroe. “I look forward to seeing how their efforts support student success throughout our district.”

To be accepted into the MIE Expert program, Hallam and Conley had to display their Microsoft proficiency and show how they transformed their classrooms or trainings to be more inclusive, supportive and inventive.

“Joining the program offers us a wealth of knowledge and support to help foster growth for education, specifically in the digital space,” said Hallam.

However, for Hallam it is not about the recognition, rather it is about the community of excellent educators and instructional coaches that he and Conley get to be a part of.

“If we can find a better or more efficient way to help teachers make their job a little easier, then it was totally worth it.”