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RMS’ Bates honored with technology award

One Russellville City Schools educator was recently honored with a prestigious award for her efforts to incorporate technology in the school in which she works.

Molly Bates, the media specialist at Russellville Middle School, was chosen as a recipient of the 2013 Chiquita Marbury Technology Innovation Award in the middle school category.

Each year, one person statewide in one of six categories is presented with the award that honors Chiquita Marbury’s invaluable years of service as a technology innovator in Alabama.

This is the 10th year for the award to be given out and sponsored by the Alabama Department of Education.

Nominees are based on the criteria of innovation and creativity, impact on teaching and learning, leadership, teamwork, and scholarship.

Officials said Bates’ scores were rated at the highest level of excellence in each criteria area.

She was presented with the award at the 2013 Alabama Educational Technology Conference in Birmingham on June 12.

Bates being chosen for the award was actually unique since the awards are usually given to classroom teachers for the way they incorporate technology in their classroom setting, but Bates ideas for technology inclusion obviously set her apart from her peers.

This past year, Bates was instrumental in helping with the technological aspect of the school system’s re-accreditation process.

She also hosts instructional strategies with the faculty once per month where she tries to incorporate technology, and she has several resources on her website that support the teachers’ curriculums.

“I really try to work with the teachers to make sure they have innovative resources to use in their lessons,” Bates said.

“Technology is huge right now and it’s something that is ever-changing, so I try to stay on top of it and make sure we are using things that will help our students grow and learn.

“The students are great at using the technology we have to play games, but we need to teach them how to utilize the technology we have in a real-world setting.

“Many jobs these students will have in the future will use many different forms of technology and we need to start preparing them for that now.”

Susan Hall, curriculum coordinator for Russellville City Schools, nominated Bates for the award based on her outstanding qualifications.

“I nominated Ms. Bates because of her state-wide and local training, passion for innovative ideas in technology, and her tireless efforts to share with others,” Hall said.

“If anyone reads about Chiquita Marbury, the educator for whom this award is named, he will notice these same qualities.

“By Ms. Bates receiving this award, she brings recognition not only to herself, but to our system and to our other media specialists that work as a team to provide invaluable services for our teachers and students.

“Ms. Bates is very worthy of this honor because she does so much for all of our staff and students.”

Bates said receiving the award was a very humbling experience.

“What I do is for our students because they are the first priority, but it also takes a faculty to implement these technologies and an administration to approve of them and support them, so I feel like this comes from the top down and I am just one person representing what the Russellville City School System as a whole is doing,” Bates said.

“To be that one person chosen to receive this award is such an honor, and I appreciate Superintendent Rex Mayfield, Mrs. Hall, our principal, Mr. Hammock, and so many others for working with me and being part of this team.”