Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, February 5, 2002
PHS graduate wins national title
as ed tech leader of the year 2001
Gayle Britt, daughter of Elvia and Norma Gene Reynolds, was named Ed Tech
Leader of the Year for 2001, by Technology & Learning Magazine.
She teaches social studies/language arts in Central Middle School, San
The Pecos native was invited to give a presentation on electronic portfolios
to the National School Board Association conference in Dallas next November.
"I am thinking about it," she told Dr. Reynolds. "I must let them know
by Febuary 1."
Britt said she gave the presentation in her school to a standing room
only crowd recently.
"It wasn't that I was so great, but it was a topic of great interest:
electronic portfolios. Seems like many schools are requiring them, but
teachers have never done them," she said.
"I did them last year so I can show what my students did and tell about
my experience. I was able to tell them what worked and what didn't work.
I will do the same presentation twice in March," Britt said.
T&L Magazine reported on their web site that Britt is one of a handful
of educators named Leaders of the Year.
"In discussing her philosophy about education, Gayle Britt paraphrases
a challenge posed by Georgia Tech professor Janet Murray: How do we turn
an increase in information into an advance in human knowledge?
"For Britt, who teaches seventh-grade social studies and language arts,
this question strikes at the heart of how technology should be used to
"She ought to know. In the past decade, she has infused a project-based,
multimedia-rich learning culture into her classroom and school, all the
while determinedly broadening her own educational horizons.
`Britt has always been naturally curious. Raised in a small town in
west Texas, she yearned to get out and see the world, so after college
she taught English in Japan for five years. Upon her return, she got her
credential and began teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she
gradually gained an interest in technology through a series of experiences:
toying around with one of the first Macintoshes in 1984; taking a HyperCard
class a few years later; and finally, being part of a Challenge 2000 grant
that provided her with extensive training and support on how to integrate
project-based learning with multimedia in the classroom.
"To say that Britt embraced project-based learning is an understatement.
Since the Challenge grant, she has designed a body of curricula that is
exceptionally creative and thought provoking, from an interdisciplinary
study on the effects of the bubonic plague to a visual exploration of world
In a project that took home an award from the California Student Media
and Multimedia Festival, Britt's students replicated pieces of Asian art
and researched the history of their "artifacts" on the Web. Students then
went to work with video cameras and multimedia software to create presentations
in the show-and-tell style of PBS's popular "Antiques Roadshow."
`Britt's success with project-based learning has been an inspiration
to both students and teachers. Under her tutelage, many of her colleagues
are now incorporating simulations, digital photography, and other ultimedia
components into their lessons.
"This spirit of collaboration is also reflected in Britt's Web site,
http://central.sancarlos.k12.ca.us/britt which in addition to providing
weekly assignments, rubrics, and student portfolios, also encourages students
to think critically through the lively debate and exchange of ideas. A
notable example of this is Britt's weekly "radio show."
"Inspired by the tradition of weekly radio addresses given by presidents,
every Tuesday Britt posts an audio question on her site that students can
answer for extra credit. There's also a password-protected forum where
students can go to discuss with their peers the questions raised in the
radio address, or talk about group projects. Past projects include one
in which Britt's students used the forum to exchange bilingual biographies
with students in Japan.
"In addition to her regular teaching duties, Britt offers a class on
multimedia design at a local community college, serves as an online instructor
of professional development for software company Classroom connect, and
mentors 16 teachers in her district on the nuances of project-based learning.
"Britt does all this in addition to pursuing an online master's in educational
technology from Pepperdine University."
Britt's nephew, Randall Reynolds, is also attending Pepperdine University
on a scholarship.
"All of these pursuits let me help other teachers, but they also help
me examine my own teaching and keep improving," Britt says.
"Britt's seeking nature-her relentless quest to increase her knowledge
through experience and through reflection-is driven by her belief that
there is always something to learn," the article continues.
"I'm interested in everything, and I know enough to know how much more
there is to learn," she says. Britt's openness to new experiences and her
determination to share her knowledge with students and peers are qualities
that make her an innovator, a dynamic teacher, and above all, a leader.
Graham on Dean's List at West Point
Cadet Randall Tye Graham, son of Randy and Leslie Graham of Pecos, was
named to the Dean's List at the U.S. Military Academy.
To qualify for the Dean's List, a cadet must maintain a 3.0 grade point
Graham graduated from Pecos High School in 1999. He is concentrating
his studies in European history and environmental engineering and plans
to graduate from West Point in 2003 and be commissioned as a second lieutenant
in the U.S. Army.
Founded on March 16, 1802, the academy celebrates its Bicentennial this
The mission of the U.S. Military Academy is to educate, train, and inspire
the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character
committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country; professional growth throughout
a career as an officer in the United States Army; and a lifetime of selfless
service to the Nation.
OC features special series
The Odessa College Student Art Space Series presents, "Honky-Tonk Hideaways"
The exibit is a photo essay by art professor Barry Phillips the Elder
that documents area taverns, many of which are closed or abandoned. Phillips
created the pictures with a handheld Nikon 35 mm FG-20 camera outfitted
with a 50 mm 1:1.8 lens and Kodacolor 400 film.
Student Art Space is located in Sedate Hall, Room 111. Gallery hours
are 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
For more information, contact Barry Phillips the Elder at 335-6490.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise