County teachers gather for training day

Staff Report
Surry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves addresses roughly 300 educators who attended the annual SPARK educator conference recently at Meadowview Magnet Middle School. - Submitted photo

More than 300 local educators recently spent a day picking up teaching and other tips at the Surry County Schools’ annual SPARK Summit, held at Meadowview Magnet Middle School.

The event offered sessions based on teacher needs and showcased leaders from across the district sharing best practices to enhance student learning.

“With concurrent sessions, workshops and unconference breakouts, there’s something for everyone,” said Lucas Gillispie, director of Digital Learning and Media.

The day even had something for educators not in attendance.

“Teachers who were unable to attend SPARK will still have an opportunity to benefit from the outstanding resources provided since all resources presented are also digitally maintained for future access and learning,” the school system said in a statement about the event.

The annual gathering featured sessions on a variety of technology tools teachers can use in their classroom work with students.

“It’s exciting to see passionate educators taking time out of their summer to come and learn how to use digital tools to make learning better,” Gillispie said. “Certainly, teachers willing to facilitate learning with and among their colleagues on a summer vacation day exemplifies the passion, drive, commitment, and dedication for excellence that is the hallmark of Surry County Schools’ teachers.”

“I am excited about the number of teachers who attended SPARK18 to learn new tools for the classroom,” said Dr. Jill Reinhardt, assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “It was obvious teachers were excited about incorporating these strategies to engage students in their learning. SPARK was not about a gadget but about the application of learning in novel ways. We are beyond gadgets and tools in Surry County Schools. We are about how technology enhances learning.”

“Twenty-first century learners pick the tool for learning that makes the most sense to them because they are growing up with the technology,” said Meadowview Magnet Middle Media Specialist Alicia Ray. “We, as educators, must also be adept at making these decisions for quality instructional outcomes.”

“It is an energizer,” said Valerie Mule, an English as a Second Language teacher at White Plains Elementary and Cedar Ridge Elementary schools.

“Every year at SPARK, I learn something different. We are getting ready to spark our student’s brains,” said Daphne Wright, fourth grade teacher at Pilot Mountain Elementary.

“It gets me excited for the new things I can use in my classroom because my students are different every year,” said Heather Tucker, a fourth grade teacher at Pilot Mountain Elementary School.

“SPARK18 helps us learn lots of new tools to put in our toolbox to be successful and help students learn,” said Tammy Taylor, a Project Lead the Way official at Meadowview Magnet Middle School.

Surry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves addresses roughly 300 educators who attended the annual SPARK educator conference recently at Meadowview Magnet Middle School.
https://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Dr-Reeves-addresses-SPARK18-participants.jpgSurry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves addresses roughly 300 educators who attended the annual SPARK educator conference recently at Meadowview Magnet Middle School. Submitted photo

Staff Report