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Stacey Browning of Machen Elementary School, Carrie O’Hanlon of Phenix PreK-8 School, and Tracy Bourne of Kecoughtan High School receive the division’s Technology Leadership Award

Hampton City Schools is proud to announce the winners of the 2020-2021 Technology Leadership Award. This year’s winners are: Stacey Browning of Machen Elementary School, Carrie O’Hanlon of Phenix PreK-8 School, and Tracy Bourne of Kecoughtan High School.

This prestigious award recognizes staff who are at the top of their game when it comes to technology, and who exhibit the best teamwork, leadership, creativity, and innovative spirit to make big things happen with technology.

At Machen, Browning is well-known as the “go-to” person and a technology leader. She hosts her own help sessions called Tech and Tea with Stacey Leigh. She is always willing to help anyone in the school who has technology questions. She is constantly learning new things with technology, especially with creating the yearbook this year. Browning has also led several professional development sessions for technology. 

Marisa Hixon, a colleague of hers, shared, “She is super deserving of this because she has, without hesitation, jumped into virtual teaching and is a natural at it and helps those who may not be as technology inclined with open arms.” 

“I would like to thank you for recognizing my unique skills and insight as a member of this diverse team,” said Browning. “I am so glad I can be an asset to Hampton City Schools and will do everything in my power to continue to be a valued member of the team.” 

At Phenix, O’Hanlon has done an outstanding job as a virtual and concurrent hybrid teacher. Her use of a variety of platforms and applications has helped to keep all students engaged despite the challenges of this year. O'Hanlon uses Swivl technology for her classes to ensure that virtual learners in her classroom feel supported and can actively be engaged with their teacher and classmates. Her seamless integration has created a welcoming and supportive classroom environment for all students. Students' interest in the Swivl has allowed O'Hanlon to strengthen relationships with her students as they like to help her set it up each day and provides them time to catch up with one another while accomplishing a daily task. 

Her students look forward to attending her class because of the different activities she uses to instruct and enrich. For example, she uses Google Jamboards, virtual iSpy, and self-designed board games, such as “Civics-opoly”, and even created her own version of “Among Us” for civics & economics SOL review.

Her digital notebooks through Google Slides have not only provided students with daily opportunities to practice TEI and hot spot questions, but also kept them engaged. Her consistent use of digital and interactive Google Slides allowed her to establish a routine in her classroom, making it easier for students to navigate through a very stressful school year. Her use of the GIPHY Chrome extension helps to make material relatable and inviting to students through the inclusion of GIFs, stickers, and emojis. 

Lastly, O’Hanlon provides students with opportunities to participate in a “flipped” classroom model by making instructional videos. She has even gone on-site to content-related locations to create first-hand experience videos. For example, during her local government unit, she filmed her video in downtown Hampton at the city offices and at her polling place on election day. 

At Kecoughtan, the KHS theatre department moved quickly at the beginning of the pandemic to bring their performances to life via Zoom to give much needed brevity and joy in a difficult time. Under the leadership of Tracy Bourne as director, the theatre department and Performing Arts Academy were able to hold rehearsals and deliver a spectacular performance for free via Zoom. During the year, the Kecoughtan Theatre and Performing Arts Academy put on the Holiday Channel Movie Wonderthon; Stay at Home Edition in December right before winter break to bring holiday cheer. This performance was streamed through a third party service where audience members purchased “tickets” in order to view from home. In the spring, KHS was able to have their first in-person performance since January 2020, in which Into the Woods was performed to limited audience sizes. Bourne creatively adapted the theatre program and the Performing Arts Academy to an online model with Zoom rehearsals, sending students the music necessary to practice over online mediums, and bringing the teachers of the Performing Arts Academy together to help bring success and light in taxing times. 

“Thank you. It's all for the kids,” said Bourne.

We cannot overemphasize the amount of creativity and work that our teachers put into remaking our entire educational model in a matter of months. Thanks to innovation and efforts of these teachers and others throughout the division, Hampton City Schools was able to say that even during a pandemic, we truly were there for “every child, every day, whatever it takes!” Congratulations again to Stacey Browning, Carrie O’Hanlon, and Tracy Bourne and the work they did to inspire, teach, and bring joy to others.