Tami Genry, media specialist and school technology coordinator for Helena Intermediate School, was recently honored as the “Elementary School Teacher” winner of the State Department of Education’s Chiquita Marbury Technology Innovation Award. Genry received the honor at the Alabama Educational Technology Conference, held June 9 at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Complex.
The focus of the Chiquita Marbury Technology Innovation Award is to spotlight K12 educations, administrators, and support personnel who are exemplary models of technology teachers and leaders. The award honors Chiquita Marbury’s invaluable service as a technology innovator in Alabama. Marbury was a passionate visionary in technology integration and led the charge to help educators in the state toward improved teaching, leading, and learning through technology. One of Marbury’s many contributions was as the director and original organizer of the successful statewide training initiative, Technology in Motion.
Each year one state award is presented in each of the following categories: Elementary School Teacher; Middle School Teacher; High School Teacher; School Administrator; District Technology Coordinator; and Superintendent/Central Office Staff.
Genry, who also won the Shelby County School District’s Owens-Young Technology Award earlier this year, was nominated for the state honor by Technology Coordinator Susan Poling.
In her nomination, Poling said Genry’s media center at HIS is about more than just reading and researching.
“She thrives on giving students unexpected opportunities to explore and encourages them develop an inquisitive mind,” said Poling. “She arranges for virtual field trips and Mystery Quests. She is currently establishing a maker space that integrates technology so that the media center becomes a place to dig in, connect, collaborate, and create. She makes sure that students learn technology skills through purposeful challenges, ensuring that they develop their digital citizenship along the way.”
Poling said Genry is not only dedicated to her own professional development but that of her fellow co-workers. Every new device or technology service that the county offers to its teachers and students is something that Genry immediately sets out to master, integrate and share.
“She is a constant learner who immediately designs workshops and learning resources for her school’s staff every time she finds something new and exciting that they can put to good use,” Poling said.
Genry’s principal, Kathy Paiml said she does an excellent job balancing and integrating her roles as media specialist and technology coordinator.
“She collaborates regularly with our teachers to help them integrate technology in their lessons and to help our students become 21st century learners,” Paiml said. “We have also worked closely this year to recreate a portion of our library into a more collaborative learning space for our students. I’m excited to see that vision continue to grow.