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District leaders honored by Edina Chamber of Commerce

Edina Chamber of Commerce Teachers of the Year May 28, 2020 – Edina Public Schools Digital Learning Specialists Sean Beaverson and Michael Walker have been selected by the Edina Chamber of Commerce as the 2020 Teachers of the Year. This honor comes during a historic school year in which Beaverson and Walker led a collaborative group of administrators to design and implement a distance learning plan that provided continuity of learning for 8,500 students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beaverson and Walker are both licensed teachers who moved from the classroom to a district-wide role providing leadership in educational technology. In the nomination, their work on behalf of students and their colleagues was called out. “During the implementation of the distance learning plan, Beaverson and Walker led efforts to train teachers and staff and communicated effectively with the community. In a matter of weeks, Beaverson and Walker were able to address the needs of teachers who varied in skill level with using platforms and technology needed for distance learning. They also created a designated distance learning website that provided a sense of calm and direction and served as a lifeline for students, teachers and families."

"Students often see Beaverson and Walker in classrooms teaching lessons on technology. They focus on its use to help students learn more about their own learning styles and they also prepare students for the technology-shaped world. Even during distance learning, Beaverson and Walker continued with this focus. They provided resources for responsible technology use and digital citizenship guidelines. Structures were arranged to support the social and emotional health of students, parents, and staff.”

The Edina Chamber of Commerce recognizes teachers who exemplify creativity, enthusiasm, commitment, and development of a positive learning environment. Beaverson and Walker were nominated as a team. “Sean and I are blessed to come to work each day with dedicated educators and support staff who are committed to supporting all of our students,” said Walker. “We relied on a network of fellow educators from around the world who shared ideas and best practices; they and all of my fellow colleagues, who have worked tirelessly during the last few months, share in this honor as well.”

As part of the honor, Beaverson and Walker received a $500 check from Royal Credit Union, which sponsored the Teacher of the Year award. They plan to use the money to pay it forward around the district and to buy lunch for their colleagues. “None of what we are being recognized for is possible without the collaboration and coordination of every staff member across our district,” said Beaverson. “It is an honor to work on behalf of the staff and students of Edina Public Schools.”