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Front Page - Friday, December 20, 2019

Orchard Knob’s Russell is STEM Teacher of the Year

Nikki Russell received the award for Outstanding Technology Teacher of the Year at the Tennessee Educational Technology Conference held the first week in December. - Photograph provided

The Tennessee Educational Technology Association has named Nikki Russell, STEM teacher at Orchard Knob Elementary School, the state’s Outstanding Technology Teacher of the Year.

The recognition is awarded to one person in Tennessee each year. With over 15 years as an educator in the Chattanooga and North Georgia areas, Russell’s work as an educator has impacted children in numerous elementary schools.

Not only is Russell certified as a Google Educator, Apple Teacher, Ozobot Certified Educator and Microsoft Educator, she’s also a graduate of the Public Education Foundation’s Leadership and STEM Fellows programs.

Russell has opportunities in private business in coding and STEM, but she continues to teach so she can reach the next generation.

“My passion lies in the day-to-day opportunities to motivate and coach students and teachers, particularly in underrepresented and underserved populations,” Russell says.

Russell is also a facilitator for Tech Goes Home Chattanooga, a part of The Enterprise Center’s digital inclusion program for residents across Hamilton County.

The organization partners with schools, libraries, churches and nonprofits to offer free courses designed to help residents develop skills and habits required for the use of smart technology and the internet.

“Nikki has been vital to the success of Tech Goes Home,” says Sammy Lowdermilk, director of Tech Goes Home Chattanooga. “Whether it’s teaching multiple classes or helping to develop curriculum, she always goes above and beyond to help.”

After Russell leads after-school tech camps and teaches Tech Goes Home classes, she can be found spending time with her two children.

To learn more about Russell and her upcoming presentations at the national Future of Education Technology Conference in January, connect with her on Twitter (@nikkicrussell17) and LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/nikkistem).

Source: Hamilton County Schools