By Mary Waggoner, Everett Public Schools Director of Communications.
Everett Public Schools Education Technology Specialist Sonja Delafosse is known locally as an expert educator – working with teachers to use technology to enhance student learning and the art of teaching. Now, Delafosse will take her expertise to the world as one of Microsoft’s 250 Expert Educators.
She was chosen from among 23,000 applicants from around the world for a one-year program in which she will share her skills and learn from others new ways to transform education.
“Microsoft Expert Educators and Mentor schools are inspiring examples of how individuals and schools are using technology to prepare their students for the 21st Century,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft Corp. “Not only are they doing innovative work in the classroom, but they are actively mentoring others and creating change within their own education systems. They set an outstanding example for their peers.”
Superintendent Gary Cohn noted Delafosse’s abilities to motivate students and adults. “Sonja can transform a technophobe adult into a willing technophile just by demonstrating how today’s students can use technology to learn, explore, create, problem solve and collaborate in ways never before possible. I know she will learn much from the group she will be working with this year. I am even more certain that this group will learn a great deal from her, and that the students and teachers in this district will benefit from this wonderful experience and global learning team Sonja is joining.”
This year, the Expert Educator program selected 250 educators to be part of an exclusive global community of education leaders who use technology to positively impact learning and student outcomes.
To be selected, educators went through a rigorous application process. Each filled out an online application, created a learning activity and produced a short video that described their project and how they used technology and innovative teaching practices to impact student learning outcomes.
Delafosse’s video documented team STEM lessons of Monroe Elementary teacher Barney Peterson and Construction Manager Darcy Walker. The winners were selected by a worldwide group of judges who used a broad set of criteria to assess the educators’ evidence of learning, collaboration, knowledge construction and critical thinking among other things.
Expert Educators work closely with Microsoft to lead innovation in education, advocate and share their experiences with effective uses of technology in education with their peers and policy makers. In addition, they mentor other educators and help train them in education technologies and Microsoft products and tools.
To be considered for an Expert Educator, Delafosse and the other 249 demonstrated a commitment to innovation and the ability to overcome obstacles in preparing students to be 21st century learners. Expert Educators were selected based on their innovation, leadership skills and effective use of technology for better student learning outcomes.
Expert Educators receive a range of benefits including:
- · An invitation to attend the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain in March 2014
- · Free Surface devices for their schools or districts
- · Insider access to Microsoft strategy and technologies
- · Professional and career development opportunities and certifications including peer coaching
“I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected as one of Microsoft’s Expert Educators!” said Delafosse. “I look forward to making the most of the mentoring and learning opportunities now available to me, as well as being able to connect with like-minded educators at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum. Being a Microsoft Expert Educatorwill help me to increase learning outcomes for students, as well as drive technology in education on a global stage.”