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Waukee APEX instructor Russ Goerend was presented the Outstanding Educator Award at the Iowa Technology & Education Connection Conference (ITEC) on October 10, 2016.

The award recognizes innovative educators who use technology to improve instruction and student achievement. This year’s annual conference was held in the Ballroom of the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

“I’m always learning,” Goerend said. “I try to stay current with new trends and am always open to new ideas. I am honored to receive this award in recognition of all of the hard work that has been completed with my students and team.”

Goerend, who is in his eighth year of teaching at Waukee Community School District (WCSD), said he works to make technology part of everything students do while they are in school just as it’s part of everything they do outside of school.

“If my students are going to have smartphones with them, let’s put them to use,” Goerend said. “Let’s use the built-in camera on it. Let’s document learning with it.”

The collaborative culture at WCSD and exposure to “big thinkers” in the district, which include Superintendent Dr. David Wilkerson, helped shape Goerend as an educator and allowed him to share new ideas with colleagues across the district.

“The APEX program is all about responding to new trends, especially in our Business, Technology, & Communications sector,” Goerend said. “Our director, Michelle Hill, pushes us to to be innovative so we can do the best work for our clients. Working on client projects challenges my APEX students to learn new skills and incorporate emerging technologies, which in turn inspires me to learn about them as well.”

About Waukee APEX

Through a collaboration of education, business and the community, Waukee APEX develops highly skilled, adaptable, global innovators and leaders. Waukee APEX draws on the knowledge and expertise of business leaders to bring real-world application into the comprehensive high school experience. Through inquiry-based learning and authentic projects and experiences, students add value to business partners while exploring passions and career possibilities identified by economic trends within our metro area and state.

About Iowa Technology & Education Connection

ITEC promotes the use of technology in education by demonstrating to its members, other educators and the public, developments in educational technology and how its appropriate use supports teaching and learning.

ITEC serves its members by:

  • conducting an annual educational technology conference in October
  • providing a network of educators available to share their expertise
  • making contact with legislative groups, department of education, user groups, and other professional organizations
  • displaying information about the organization at statewide conferences
  • providing leadership on how technology can impact teaching and learning