Jones named 2023 Outstanding Coach by UCET

Jones named 2023 Outstanding Coach by UCET
Posted on 01/31/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Jones named 2023 Outstanding Coach by UCETThe Utah Coalition for Educational Technology has chosen Uintah School District instructional coach Bekah Jones as the recipient of its 2023 Outstanding Coach Award.

The award honors an educational technology coach, library technology coach, instructional coach, or curriculum coach who demonstrates outstanding coaching and leadership in implementing technology to support teachers to effectively use technology with students to engage them in learning.

Jones not only meets the award criteria; she exceeds it. She is a dynamic instructional coach and leader whose talents have enriched the lives of countless educators and students across the Uintah School District. Jones was nominated by Uintah High Principal Christy Nerdin, USD literacy specialist Tawna Baumgardner and instructional coach Machele Lemon.

“Bekah builds relationships, genuinely cares about others, listens to understand, knows how to build trust, and is a technology titan,” according to the nomination letter submitted by Nerdin, Baumgardner and Lemon.

The instructional coaching priority in the Uintah School District is to support and mentor provisional teachers. Jones created a district-wide mentoring course called PEAKS to best meet the needs of new teachers. The course is an effective way for the district’s new teachers to meet expectations, have mastery experiences, and monitor their progress toward licensure. Additionally, it helps teachers in Utah's Alternate Pathway to Professional Educator License (APPEL) program meet the state requirements.

Jones also served on a district taskforce responsible for overseeing the adoption and implementation of the Canvas platform at the outset of the pandemic. She played an integral role in helping teachers complete a Canvas orientation course designed by the district to teach educators how to navigate the platform, create and publish courses, and develop proficiency with the technology.

“Bekah has been key to the sustained and supported implementation of Canvas as a tool to enhance and optimize instruction district-wide,” Nerdin, Baumgardner and Lemon wrote. “She has supported individual teachers, teams, and even entire departments in their use of Canvas."

Jones’ technology acumen is diverse and well-rounded. She is the district’s resident expert for SWIVL, Go React, Nearpod, Aspire Plus, State Benchmarks, and many other technology tools.

Jones’ influence at UHS helped the school achieve double-digit growth in many areas on the Utah Aspire Plus Assessment. She facilitated the use of benchmarks and helped teachers analyze data to inform and adjust instruction. Jones also helped with ACT prep courses set up by Uintah High librarian/media specialist Machelle Maxwell, and she taught teachers how to use Utah Aspire Plus data to improve rigor and implement the use of complex text.

“Bekah’s impact is far-reaching and powerful,” Nerdin, Baumgardner and Lemon wrote. “She is the obvious choice for this award and we’re also pretty sure she wears a cape!”

Jones will receive her award on March 14, during the first day of the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology’s annual conference in Provo.
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