by Jon Tienhaara
Twelve years in a small, rural school district have provided me a variety of educational experiences. A native of Naselle (pronounced nay-sell), I have done everything from mowing the grass and fixing computers during my college summers, teaching science and mathematics to elementary, middle and high school students, to my current position of business manager and serving as one of the principals in the Naselle-Grays River Valley School District.
I have always had a passion for technology and its implications for both teaching and learning. For example, two years ago I wrote a grant which funded a 1:1 iPad initiative for Naselle’s ninth and tenth grade classes. Today grades 9-12 are 1:1 with iPads. Students utilize the iPad in most all of their classes and technology is very much integrated into the school. I also oversee our online Alternative Learning Experience school which has a larger student population than our regular brick and mortar school. Currently, I am working with Michigan State University to bring online Mandarin Chinese to students across Washington.
Technology plays an important role in student learning, and principals have great ability and responsibility to influence technology utilization in their schools. This is one of the reasons I am pursuing a doctorate degree at SPU. My research interests include the role principals and superintendents play in positively and effectively integrating technology into K-12 education. My future educational goals include a superintendency and/or professorship working in education technology leadership.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first two quarters at SPU. The doctoral program continues to be a great experience.
Follow Jon’s work at http://mrt-naselleschools.blogspot.com/