Congratulations to Greg Sumner and Mark Thornton on their selection as 2010 TIES Exceptional Teachers. Sumner and Thornton received their awards at the TIES Conference on Dec. 7 in Minneapolis.

Greg Sumner is an Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology Specialist with the district. His effort at ensuring consideration and implementation of appropriate assistive technology for students with special needs has been instrumental in allowing all learners to access district curriculum. His advocacy for new technologies, such as Live Scribe, has propelled the district forward on many fronts.

Mark Thornton teaches social studies at Northfield High School. Among his use of technology has been an innovative use of a device high school students now consider an appendage – their cell phone. Using the free web site, Poll Everywhere, Thornton has leveraged the handheld technology his students bring every day into a formative assessment tool. Students text their answers to the Poll Everywhere number and instantaneous results appear on Thornton’s projected screen. He is able to make judgments based on that data to determine his next instructional steps.

The TIES consortium was created as Technology Information Education Services in 1967 to provide technology and information resources to school administrators, educators and students. It is now known solely by the acronym TIES.