Indian Knoll ES Microsoft Showcase 9 7 21.JPG

Members of Indian Knoll Elementary School's Digital Transformation Team hold Microsoft logo cookies celebrating the school being named a 2021-22 Microsoft Showcase School.

Indian Knoll Elementary School has earned global recognition for integrating educational technology in the classroom.

The school has been selected by Microsoft as a 2021-22 Microsoft Showcase School. Only 38 schools were selected as showcase schools, and Indian Knoll Elementary is the only school in Georgia named to the list.

Principal Kim Cerasoli said the effort was led by technology lab teacher Marissa Williams and media specialist Jennifer Lewis.

Superintendent Brian Hightower and the Cherokee County school board will recognize them at their September meeting.

“Technology will never replace our experienced, talented and caring teachers, but it’s a critically important and incredibly powerful tool to advance instruction and student learning,” Superintendent Brian Hightower said. “We’re so proud of the teachers and staff of Indian Knoll Elementary for investing in their instructional technology skills -- an investment that not only earned this significant recognition, but, more importantly, benefits their students.”

As a showcase school, Indian Knoll will have access to additional Microsoft resources and support and the opportunity to share innovative best practices with other top schools.

“Showcase Schools are an elite group of schools that exemplify the best of teaching and learning in the world today,” said Anthony Salcito, Microsoft’s vice president for worldwide education. “Only a few institutions earn this designation … and you can take pride in knowing that Microsoft recognizes your impact on the future of education.”

In addition to earning the Showcase honor, Microsoft also named five Indian Knoll ES educators as Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEE) – the highest designation awarded: Lewis, Williams and teachers Chelsea Leming (who is the current CCSD Teacher of the Year), Rebecca Moore and Afton Roberts.

CCSD Chief Information Officer Bobby Blount praised Indian Knoll for its efforts to improve instructional technology use.

“This not only speaks to the fact that IKES worked for and applied for this designation, but it also speaks to the commitment by the school, as a whole, that obviously recognizes the importance of continuous education, skill enhancement and improving how we teach our students,” Blount said.

In addition to the efforts by Lewis and Williams, Principal Cerasoli thanked the school’s Digital Transformation Team, made up of teachers and instructional support staff, for its efforts that earned the designation. The other team members are: Lauren Abrams, Morgann Anderson, Kristen Brooks, Alyson Counts, Allison Eubanks, Ashlyn Grummer, Leeanne Hartman, Leming, Katie Malcolm, Megan Malecek, Carli Marinelli, Ashley Miller, Moore, Peggy Rein and Cayla Williams.

Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy, during the 2014-15 school year, became the world’s first whole school ever to be Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) certified, and the following year was the first CCSD school selected for the showcase. Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy earned the international showcase recognition during the 2018-19 school year.

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