Lakota digital learning teacher wins national honor

A national digital learning organization has named a Lakota Schools teacher as a rising star in classroom innovation in America.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a nonprofit focusing on accelerating innovation in education, picked Lakota Woodland Elementary School’s innovation specialist, Kimberly Carlson, as one of America’s “20 Teachers To Watch.”

Lakota officials recently announced Carlson’s honors, and she and Lakota Superintendent Matt Miller and other district officials are attending the ISTE conference in New Orleans this week.

The 17,000-student district, which is the largest in Butler County and ninth biggest in Ohio, officially adopted the ISTE standards in 2013 as part of its levy commitments to innovate and modernize instructional technology.

In 2020, Lakota was one of three school districts worldwide to receive ISTE’s Distinguished District Award.

“We are thrilled to have an ISTE 20 to Watch educator at Lakota,” said Miller. “Mrs. Carlson is an exemplary teacher and a leader in our schools. Her passion for education comes shining through.”

Since Miller’s hiring in 2017, Lakota has made sweeping modernizations of digital classroom technology and instructional lessons including the provision of free learning laptops to most grades and a Cyber Academy for high school students seeking training for possible employment in America’s booming cyber security industries.

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Miller has won national acclaim, as has Middletown Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr., for his many reform efforts and for his leadership in adopting digital learning in the traditional classroom.

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Carlson joined Lakota in 2000 and become an “innovation specialist” in 2018 working with many teachers throughout the 24-building school system.

Lakota officials said through her ISTE certification, Carlson has connected with educators throughout the world who share a passion for being innovative in their instructional strategies and use of technology.

“In my 22 years of teaching, it has been exciting to learn ever-changing, innovative ways to provide instructional support for my fellow teachers and our students,” she said. “I am thrilled to represent Lakota Schools and humbled to be included in the company of talented international educators.”

Woodland’s principal, John Wise, said Carlson “works tirelessly to ensure our teachers have what they need to be as innovative and impactful as possible for our (students).”

“Her drive to make the teaching and learning the best it can be at Woodland has a direct, positive impact on our students and their future,” said Wise.

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