Multiple times a week, Jennifer Reaves walks the staff at Mylan Park Elementary School in Morgantown, West Virginia, through new technology skills, apps, tools and tricks. The school’s first full-time technology integration specialist in more than seven years, Reaves understands that technology integration does not come easily to everyone and adapts her instruction to benefit fellow educators who need more assistance. Patient and always willing to go the extra mile for her colleagues, she has a special knack for building up the technology skills of Mylan Park’s teachers so they, in turn, are equipped to advance the skills of their students. Working with Code.org, Reaves led professional development over the summer to help her colleagues implement a coding curriculum in all classrooms. Student technology literacy at the school is rising, and 20 of its 35 teachers now use tools like Nearpod, Google Classroom and Google Slides during their instruction. Largely because of Reaves, Mylan Park received a large grant from the West Virginia Department of Education to become a Technology Model School.
A former second-grade teacher, Reaves truly understands how technology should be infused into a child’s learning from a young age. She studies West Virginia’s technology standards and wraps them into the state’s overall curriculum standards. Reaves co-teaches monthly with all homeroom teachers. Students in kindergarten and first grade work in a new computer lab, and the school has a one-to-one Chromebook program for older students. Reaves is passionate about coding and the career opportunities it opens up for students. She organized and coordinated a schoolwide Hour of Code event, created the Code Like a Girl Club to motivate girls to pursue computer science, and hosts a fifth-grade technology club that helps students use tech in their daily lives. Mylan Park students now aspire to become programmers and talk with excitement about careers in coding and computer science.
Reaves serves on the school leadership team and co-chairs Mylan Park’s technology committee, which includes classroom teachers, a special educator, a Title I teacher and administrators. She has presented at the West Virginia Statewide Technology Conference and to the state’s Board of Education. As a Code.org Computer Science Fundamentals Facilitator, Reaves mentors educators around West Virginia as they implement the Code.org curriculum. She holds certifications from Google, Nearpod, Common Sense Media and Flipgrid. A valued resource for parents, Reaves invites families and community members to school to discuss online safety and promoting good digital citizenship.
Reaves earned a bachelor’s in advertising in 2007 and master’s degrees in reading and elementary education in 2011 from West Virginia University.
Press release: Tech Guru Jennifer Reaves Earns a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Powering a Grade School Paradigm Shift
“I believe that every child deserves the opportunity to learn computer science and coding in the schools.” — Monongalia County..." (read more)