Wendy Phillips, an adjunct literacy education professor in Radford University's School of Teacher Education and Leadership, has been named the Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) 2013 Outstanding Teacher of the Year.
VSTE is a professional development and advocacy organization for educators in Virginia and is the Commonwealth's affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education. The organization recognizes exemplary educators each year through various awards.
In addition to teaching at RU, Phillips serves as a literacy specialist at Belview Elementary School in Montgomery County. Phillips has earned two degrees from RU, a B.S. in interdisciplinary studies in 1996 and a M.S. in reading education in 2005. She also received licensure and an endorsement in educational leadership from RU in 2012.
Phillips has won numerous awards for teaching excellence, including the Centennial Service Award through RU, Community Service Award of Excellence through Radford City Schools, Exemplary Interest in Professional Development Award through Roanoke City Public Schools, Belview's 2012 Teacher of the Year award through Montgomery County Public Schools and the 2013 Reading Teacher of the Year Award through New River Valley Reading Association and Virginia State Reading Association.
In addition, Phillips authored the proposal which led Belview Elementary to win the 2013 Exemplary Reading Program Award for the State of Virginia through the Virginia State Reading Association. She also is one of the founding board members of the new online literacy journal at RU Educational Practice and Reform.
"I strive to demonstrate outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education," Phillips said. "I consistently promote excellence in education through my career at RU and Belview Elementary as well as in my professional development endeavors supporting the integration of existing and emerging technologies. My goal is to have an exemplary influence in technological innovation in education and be recognized as an agent of change across the Commonwealth."
In announcing the award, VSTE said Phillips "has been the recipient of many grants, most recently securing the iRead grant from the Community Foundation of the New River Valley which awarded her iPads and iPods to integrate into her teaching and build on her strong understanding of technology and how this mobile technology could be leveraged to enhance learning in and out of the classroom."
Phillips' collaboration with RU's Mobile Innovation Learning Lab (MILL), formerly called the Games, Animation, Modeling and Simulation (GAMeS) Lab and Professor Matt Dunleavy has created a valuable partnership and provided 26 iPods and five iPads for students at Belview Elementary. Her research with instructional technology is focused on actively engaging students and staff and instilling an enthusiasm for learning and teaching.