School Employees Chosen For Innovative Learning Program

Johnston County Schools employees (from left) Jen Roberts, Dave Hinrichs, Pam Batchelor, Jackie Tingen, Leslie Pope, and Heather Pennica were selected to be a part of the Digital Leaders Coaches Network.

Six employees from Johnston County Schools were selected to be a part of the Digital Leaders Coaches Network (DLCN), an innovative blended professional learning program.

The DLCN was developed by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at the North Carolina State University’s College of Education to better meet students needs of ever-changing technology. The program will give educators the tools and support they need to teach students about evolving technology.

“In giving these coaches an opportunity to learn and network with other educators who are in similar roles, we are helping to build a support structure that will ultimately have a positive impact on student learning experiences,” said Nancy Mangum, project lead at the Friday Institute.

Digital Learning Specialists Pam Batchelor and Dave Hinrichs, Lead Media Specialist Heather Pennica, Dixon Road Elementary Curriculum Coach Leslie Pope, Personalized Learning Specialist Jen Roberts, and Dixon Road Elementary Technology Teacher Jackie Tingen were selected from Johnston County Schools to participate in the DLCN.

The six JCS employees are among 200 digital leaders from across the state who were chosen for the program.

The team will join their peers to receive ongoing, job-embedded professional learning opportunities to build their capacity in digital and personalized learning. They will also acquire strategies and knowledge related to best practices in leadership and supporting stakeholders at Johnston County Schools.

“It’s not every day that you get to attend a life changing professional development, but I feel blessed to have that opportunity as a part of the DLCN,” said Pennica.

This blended learning experience will help participants grow as educators, coaches and leaders while assisting them in building strong professional learning networks. The core components of the program are leadership and culture, effective coaching, content and curriculum, sustainability and evaluation, and being a connected educator. These components are woven throughout all components of the DLCN experience.

This year’s group will be mentored by 23 members of last year’s inaugural cohort. Many of those participants are currently in the process of implementing digital learning initiatives in their own schools and districts.