Adrienne Gifford Named NCEE Technology Leader of the Year

Open Window School’s Innovation & Technology Director Adrienne Gifford was honored at the Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) annual convention as the organization’s Technology Leader of the Year. NCCE is a professional learning organization for kindergarten through college educators and hosts the largest education technology conference in the Northwest. With a membership base from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, NCCE provides cutting-edge, world-class professional learning opportunities to its members throughout the year. For Adrienne to be selected as NCCE’s Technology Leader of the Year is an acknowledgement of her leadership in creating a school culture that has gained Open Window School a national reputation as a leader in supporting student-driven innovation. 
A graduate of Vanderbilt University (B.S.) and the University of Minnesota (M. Ed.), Adrienne taught science in Minnesota and Thailand before coming to Open Window in 2011 to develop the middle school technology program. Having had the experience of being the only female student in her college aerospace engineering program, she has a deep commitment to inspiring all students to develop their technology skills and has been a wonderful role model for both our students and faculty. She seized upon the opportunity to design the school’s Innovation and Technology Lab, which has been the inspiration for a myriad of student projects, including efforts that have won local, state, and national awards, which include two Verizon App Challenge awards and the national winner of the Future Engineer’s 3D Printing in Space Challenge. Open Window is one of 22 schools selected from the United States and Canada to design an experiment to be conducted on the International Space Station in 2016 as part of on Mission 9 of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). Much more importantly, her leadership at Open Window School has inspired many other faculty members to increase their use of technology in the classroom. She has always encouraged her fellow teachers, met them at their level of knowledge, and guided them further than they ever would have imagined they could travel.
In 2013, Ms. Gifford was named one of the International Society for Technology’s (ISTE) Emerging Leaders.  This is in recognition of her national service in many technology-relevant organizations.  She has attended and presented at the national ISTE Conference in addition to National Science Teachers Association, MESA Summit, Global STEMx Education Conference, and Northwest Council for Computer Education.  In 2015 she served as the Chair of the NSTA STEM Forum & Expo, overseeing all of the activities of the Steering Committee members, ensuring that the objectives of the conference were met, and serving as the focal point for communications between the conference committee and NSTA.  She is currently co-authoring a book chapter entitled “Computer Science, Coding, and Project-based Learning for Engineering Instruction” which will be published by Prufrock Press in the book Designing Innovative Engineering Instruction for High Ability Learners in K-8 Classrooms (coming out in Fall of 2016).
Open Window School provides a challenging academic curriculum blended with nurturing support from teachers that prepares students for long-term success.