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Westside Community Schools

WMS Teacher Named Tech Educator of the Year

Kristeen Shabram, a business and technology teacher at Westside Middle School, has been named the Tech Educator of the Year for AIM’s 2016 Tech Celebration Awards.

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AIM is an innovative not-for-profit community organization that grows, connects and inspires the tech talent ecosystem.  AIM recognizes six individuals or businesses annually to honor outstanding achievements within the tech community.

Criteria for the Tech Educator of the Year required the nominee to be a dynamic K-12 or postsecondary educator who has risen to the top of the profession as an outstanding technology educator/administrator, a dynamic colleague, and a caring mentor to students. This person is a key player in developing and building the Youth IT Pipeline.

Lynn Spady, Early Learning Teacher Leader for Westside Community Schools, nominated Shabram.  The following is an excerpt from the application Spady submitted to AIM.

“Mrs. Kristeen Shabram has gone above and beyond to ensure that all students at Westside Middle School receive an opportunity to learn about IT.  Up until the last couple years, Kristeen’s 9 week business and technology course taught the basics of various technology tools to all 7th graders.  After introducing a small unit on computer programming to her course two years ago, Mrs. Shabram quickly realized the potential coding had in regards to student motivation and engagement.  She has spent the last two years engaging in a variety of professional learning opportunities to grow her own knowledge of IT.  She has been a cheerleader for students to explore careers in IT by taking students on field trips to UNO, sponsoring girls for Code Crush, and sponsoring an after school programming club. 

Mrs. Shabram’s impact has radiated beyond her district.  She shares her passion of exposing students to IT by leading STEAM-related opportunities at AIM’s Brain Exchange.  When students have access to the right tools and resources, their imaginations run wild!  Students’ ability to be creative, innovative, and think out-of-the-box heavily depends on the adults in their life making sure they have access to the tools and resources they need to be successful.  Mrs. Shabram makes sure this happens!  Whether it’s writing a foundation grant to purchase Spheros, Ozobots, and Makey Makeys, or lining up guest speakers and field trips, Kristeen realizes the importance of setting students up for success.  She has been a CodeCrush Teacher Sponsor and Computer Science Club sponsor for the past two years.

Mrs. Shabram’s largest contribution to the field of information technology is introducing students to the power of coding.  While coding is not the only area IT encompasses, it provides a great outlet for students to create and innovate.  Whether it’s making sure students have the required hardware to create apps on App Inventor or providing work space for students to create wearable technology, Kristeen’s largest contribution to the field of information technology is believing in the future by providing students with the tools and resources to dream big.  She believes in students and their abilities to change the world!”

Shabram and her family are invited to the AIM Tech Celebration Thursday November 10 at the Holland Performing Arts Center.