Teachers recognized for use of technology

TIES Exceptional Teachers awarded to Park staff


Nathaniel Sturzl

Teach it: Special education teacher Christine Tvrdik writes on the whiteboard. She has a SMART board she uses to teach her students.

Nicole Sanford

With the availability of alternate teaching styles, Park teachers Lisa Yepes and Christine Tvrdik were recognized for technology use in their classrooms.

According to Superintendent Rob Metz, two teachers from Park won the Technology and Information Education Services (TIES) Exceptional Teachers Award this past year.

“The TIES organization, a technology education organization in Minnesota, honors teachers from across Minnesota at their state conference each year who are exceptional users of technology,” Metz said.

Park special education teacher Christine Tvrdik said the use of technology every day contributed to her receiving the award.

“I think the biggest thing is having the SMART Board in the class, we use that pretty much daily,” Tvrdik said. “Also, in the last couple of years SLP schools got Gmail accounts for students. I really pushed that with my class to do more, not only learning new skills around emailing and social media, but also just doing assignments.”

According to Lisa Yepes, a K-5 Spanish teacher at Aquila Elementary School, the TIES Exceptional Teachers Award recognizes teachers who actively use technology to help them teach in their everyday classroom.

“From what I understand, (the TIES Award is) based on that you use technology a lot because TIES is a group that’s all about educational technology and incorporating technology in the classroom,” Yepes said.

Yepes said although she uses technology with students everyday she did not expect to win the award.

“I had no idea,” Yepes said. “I’ve just found that (technology is) the most helpful tool for me to teach language. (It’s a) much more interactive and fun way to learn vocabulary and to be able to learn phrases to speak to each other. I use it every class, every day basically.”

One of Tvrdik’s special education students, senior Bre Dickens, said Tvrdik’s use of technology makes her class enjoyable.

“She is the best teacher in the world and I love her,” Dickens said. “I like math because she teaches me (and students) like the white board and the iPads. We learned to send emails and do photo stuff.”

Tvrdik said her motivated students make teaching enjoyable.

“I have the best students in the school, they just make my job easy because they’re excited about learning,” Tvrdik said. “(My students) are pretty excited anytime (learning) involves computers or technology.”

Metz said the teachers who won the award deserve the title.

“(The winners) both found creative ways to use technology that benefit their kids and were nominated by their principals,” Metz said. “I’m proud of them and they deserve their honor for sure.”