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For Jess Loucks, Another Google Milestone

Jess Loucks, who works at Illing Middle School as a technology integration specialist, was recently selected as a participant in the Google for Education Certified Innovator Program. She will be traveling to an “innovation academy” held at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., on February 24-26.

“I’m flattered and excited,” said Jess, who is among 34 participants from across the country chosen based on their professional experience, their passion for teaching and learning, their innovative use of technology in school settings, and their potential impact on other educators. “I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with such fabulous teachers from around the country and bring what I learn back to Manchester.”

Jess is a rising star in the Google world and has traveled quite a bit to Google Summits around the country (MHS has hosted two of them). Her contacts were instrumental in Manchester becoming the first district in New England to use Google Expedition virtual field trip technology.

At the academy next month, participants will discover how to unlock creativity, translate insights into solutions, experiment rapidly, and build an effective innovation culture in schools and organizations. They are expected to come away with practical approaches, valuable tools and techniques, and the beginnings of an Innovation Project.

Jess’s project focuses on promoting student voice through performance and podcasting. This will involve coaching teachers to encourage students to voice their passions, display their creativity, and reflect on their personal growth to make a positive impact on the world.

Like other projects developed during the academy, Jess’s is expected to drive change in education, impact educators and students, and will be documented for other educators to follow.

After the academy visit, Jess will be a Google for Education “Certified Innovator” -- which is the highest level of certification offered.

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