2015-02-12 / Youth

McKinney tops in Texas

Joe Martinez
Reporter


Port Aransas High School Principal Sharon McKinney helps seniors Austin Scott (left) and Nicholas Delao with online college applications on Monday, Feb. 2, in a PAHS computer lab. McKinney was awarded Administrator of the Year on Feb. 2 from the Texas Computer Education Association for her work implementing technology in the classroom. 
Staff photo by Joe Martinez Port Aransas High School Principal Sharon McKinney helps seniors Austin Scott (left) and Nicholas Delao with online college applications on Monday, Feb. 2, in a PAHS computer lab. McKinney was awarded Administrator of the Year on Feb. 2 from the Texas Computer Education Association for her work implementing technology in the classroom. Staff photo by Joe Martinez The Texas Computer Education Association awarded Port Aransas High School Principal Sharon McKinney the Administrator of the Year award on Monday, Feb. 2, in Austin.

The TCEA is an organization founded in 1980 that has worked to promote technology in schools in Texas. McKinney and two other nominees were named finalists for the administrator award by the TCEA late last year.

As part of her award, McKinney was given a plaque and $1,000.

“McKinney has transformed PAHS in to what it is today by being proactive thus ensuring that the campus is meeting the needs of 21st century learners,” District Librarian and Instructional Technology Counselor Pam Voyles said. “She models the use of technology with the faculty and students.”

Since her time at PAHS, McKinney has been active in promoting the use of technology in the classroom; something she says has increased productivity and creativity with students.

“The Port Aransas Education Foundation and voters passing the (2013) bond and grant money is what really made this happen,” McKinney said regarding the surge of technology at Port Aransas ISD. “We use technology as a resource to enrich and enhance what we’re doing. It doesn’t replace anyone; good teachers are good teachers.”

She also said that having access to the Internet through iPads or other mobile devices has allowed students to become more engaged in projects or discussions.

PAHS science teacher Ryan Piwetz calls McKinney a visionary when it comes to technology.

“She is a tireless leader who strives for excellence in her students, her staff and in herself,” Piwetz said. “Ms. McKinney is first and foremost an educator.”

McKinney regularly attends technology conferences during the summers where she learns about different applications and how to implement what she’s learning.

“Ms. McKinney has led this school from an average small school into a leader in preparing our students for the future,” PAHS history teacher Peter Barello said. “This year, U.S. News and World Report placed PAHS in the top five percent of schools in the nation. (McKinney’s) efforts in engaging and educating our students played a key role in our selection.”

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