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Teacher Awarded for Creative Web Use

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Jennie Carr, a master in education student at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) and fourth-grade teacher at Elkton Elementary School, was chosen as one of two recipients of the 2011 Virginia “Thinkfinity” Teacher of the Year award.

Carr joins Mary Johnson, a first-grade teacher at Clark Elementary School in Charlottesville, in sharing the award.

“Jennie is a resourceful and creative teacher so it comes as no surprise that she is the recipient of this award,” said Don Steiner, director of EMU’s MA in education program. “We are proud of Jennie’s recognition…. She is a gift to the students she teaches.”

“Teaching is about inspiring and challenging young minds, enhancing learning with interactive technology, and providing a safe, encouraging atmosphere for every child to reach individual goals and find personal success,” said Carr. “The award was a true honor.”

The award — supported through a grant from the Verizon Foundation — recognizes Virginia teachers who use “Thinkfinity” resources into the classroom. Thinkfinity is Verizon Foundation’s free web portal providing access to online instructional resources, including lesson plans aligned with state standards, reference materials and interactive tools for students, according to a Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) release.

“Great teachers are always on the lookout for new sources of lesson plans, reference materials and activities that engage students and support increased learning,” said Patricia I. Wright, superintendent of public instruction at the VDOE.

Carr was nominated by her peers for the awards program. Nominations included lesson plans using Thinkfinity and a video demonstrating it in the classroom.

Carr received $1,000 stipend to conduct workshops on Thinkfinity, $1,000 unrestricted cash prizes and iPads. The gifts were provided through a Verizon Foundation grant.

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