The Profile of an Exceptional Blended Learning Coordinator
The role of a school administrator often takes place behind-the-scenes. Although the job requires someone who can juggle being a big-picture leader and a technological pioneer, a data wizard and an instructional role model, sometimes it can feel like a thankless task.
It’s a tall order, but Kristie Burk, Coordinator of Blended and Cyber Learning at Downingtown Area Schools in Downingtown, PA and our 2016 Administrator of the Year, is up to the challenge.
During the past three years, Kristie has developed Downingtown’s Blended Cyber Learning program. Built from scratch, it is a hybrid classroom format where students alternate between attending class in-person and participating in virtual classes using Schoology.
Kristie maintains close relationships with all her teachers. Every week she visits Downingtown Area schools employing this blended program to train, consult, and advise teachers on how to maximize student engagement.
Between visits, Kristie keeps teachers up-to-date with a helpful blog about new educational practices like graphical organization, SAMR learning (Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition), innovative discussion forum techniques, and links to lots of handy apps.
Kristie’s colleagues appreciate and admire the infectious positive energy she brings to the job.
“She’s creative. And fun. And full of energy. And is everyone’s biggest cheerleader. She deflects the spotlight and promotes others,” explains Ben Mountz, Kristie’s former colleague and the reason she was even nominated for our Administrator of the year award.
As the ultimate testament to Kristie's charisma, Ben and a few of Kristie's colleagues created the video below to shed a little light on who Kristie is and what she’s been able to accomplish.
In 2015, Kristie hosted Downingtown’s first EdCamp, bringing in teachers from overseas to share ideas and help each other grow. She also serves as a Schoology Ambassador and has facilitated sessions at Schoology NEXT conferences.
Last year, a group of Harvard Business School researchers examined Downingtown’s blended learning program as part of their analysis of the efficacy of blended learning. Kristie and many of her teachers were interviewed for the study. The data and results are available in this Harvard Business School publication.
While Kristie and her blended learning program have definitely reached a coveted milestone, there’s no sign of slowing down. Kristie, with her thoughtful, positive leadership, and the faculty she serves will continue to elevate achievement to new heights.