The eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards, sponsored by Trox, highlights inspiring examples of education during the COVID-19 pandemic

Equitable access to digital tools became this district’s COVID learning goal


The eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards, sponsored by Trox, highlights inspiring examples of education during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and that means educators across the globe are still finding inventive and innovative ways to support and teach students in classrooms, during hybrid instruction, and in virtual settings.

The eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards program, sponsored by Trox, recognizes the determined and dedicated efforts of educators throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Never before have educators been challenged and tested as they were, beginning in March 2020 and up until today, and never before has their resilience been more apparent. Administrators, technology leaders, classroom teachers, and educators in all roles have persevered as they taught each and every one of their students during a global pandemic.

Here, eSchool News highlights Woodridge School District 68–one of its K-12 Hero Awards finalists. Keep reading to discover how this district keeps learning going in the middle of a global pandemic.

Nominee: Woodridge School District 68

Nominated by: Screencastify

What makes this nominee a hero?

While Tarah Tesmer has spent the past several years as Instructional Technology Specialist at Woodridge School District 68, she has also spent time in the classroom and knows the value of technology for students and teachers in creating the best possible learning outcomes.

Screencastify has nominated Tarah for a Hero Award because of her ongoing commitment to providing her district with the best tools to position it for success well into the future.

“Pre-pandemic, we learned a lot about how important consistency with all of our tools that we use is, and how we support teachers is going to be key moving forward,” Tarah said.

However, it’s more than just providing the best technological tools for Tarah. She also needed to make sure that everyone was able to use them.

“We are close to a 46% free and reduced school district, and we worked with our families and our IT department to make sure we had equitable access to Wi-Fi this year,” she said. “But when we couldn’t ensure that they always had that access, we said [that for] things that they might miss instructionally or, just in terms of relationship building, to record that with Screencastify so that they could watch it anytime and not just be anchored to that one class.”

In doing so, Woodridge School District 68 was able to create an environment that maximized learning potential during the most difficult period it had ever faced.

“I know it sounds cliche, but we are family,” she said of her district. “And people talk about the bright spots. And they also talk about things that don’t work. But when things are working, everyone’s voices are heard. Everything just takes off.”

We hope you will consider Tarah Tesmer for a Hero Award, considering the difference she makes every day in ensuring technology is available to every student and every teacher – even in the most challenging of times.

Laura Ascione

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at submissions@eschoolmedia.com.