Newport Schools Sending Five Teams to State Technology Competition

Five teams from the Newport Independent School District have qualified for the Kentucky Department of Education’s Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) state competition in Lexington.

STLP uses project-based learning principles to empower student learning and achievement through the utilization and creation of technology to solve school and community needs. The student products and projects are then showcased at local, regional and state events. Newport's teams qualified at the recent regional competition at Northern Kentucky University.

Newport Independent Schools Superintendent Kelly Middleton said the success of the STLP program is a result of the district's investment in and focus on technology in the classroom, such as Project Lead the Way, an organization that develops STEM curricula for elementary, middle and high school students.

"In the past four years, the Newport Board of Education has made a major commitment to technology, including adding Project Lead the Way in grades kindergarten through 12, investing in laptop computers for students in grades nine through 12 and iPads for students in grades kindergarten through nine and purchasing 3D printers the students are using in the classroom," Middleton said. "When you see the success our students had at the STLP competition, it is a great example of how our investment in technology and a combination of our high quality staff and the hard work of our students is paying off in the classroom."

Newport Independent School District has one team from the intermediate school, one team from the middle school and three teams from the high school. All five teams qualified for the state competition, which will be held in March at Lexington's Rupp Arena.

 “STLP gives our students opportunities far beyond the typical classroom," said Bonnie Stacey, Newport's Career Technical Education Teacher. "I am very thankful that I work for a district that supports this type of experiential learning. The positive impact I have seen on my students gets better every year.” 

Stacey is Newport High School’s STLP adviser and coordinates STLP for the entire school district.

The students on the STLP teams have been working on their projects since the beginning of September. By November, their “idea” had to be complete and the students then put together a five to 10 minute presentation for the regional competition which includes a brochure, tri-fold presentation board and a power-point.

The regional showcase was held at Northern Kentucky University in November. At regionals, the teams only presented their ideas. The final project must be complete when presented at state in March.

The STLP state championship hosts nearly 14,000 students and educators from all over the Commonwealth to demonstrate for other schools what they can do with technology. Over 500 schools compete and volunteer judges then determine stand outs in over 40 educational technology related categories.

The intermediate school team’s project is to become experts at using the technology materials in the new library makerspace. Students will create and teach training materials to help other students learn how to use it.

The middle school’s STLP team is creating a webpage that highlights technology available for student use. Students will provide lesson plans and videos offering assistance to teachers and club leaders who would like to make use of the available technology.

The high school has three separate teams. One team is focusing on communication by building an app with a purpose of communicating all announcements and important information to students. The students will also have a role in providing content for Newport High School’s Facebook page to get word out about what is happening in the classrooms and to make sure all information is in both English and Spanish to better serve Newport's Latino community.

The second team’s project is developing Newport High School’s first Makerspace, which is a place where students with shared interests can gather and work on projects together while sharing ideas and equipment.

The third team is working on a student helpdesk for MacBook’s and iPads. All Newport High School students have one of these devices. There are over 800 devices at the school. The STLP team will support the Newport High School Technology Director by assisting with issues related to the devices such as Wi-Fi connectivity and updating programs.

“Our mission is to provide a great education for our students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they will need upon graduation and to help them become successful, productive citizens," Stacey said. "STLP provides excellent opportunities as they learn to integrate and use technology. Their success demonstrates that our students are learning and achieving at high levels.”

Intermediate Team Coordinator - Jennifer Davis

Intermediate School Team Members:

Donovan Macario

TaeShawn Reese

Kendall Mayse

Stephanie Wells

Middle School Team Coordinator - Tommy Thompson

Middle School Team Members:

Hudson Ward

William Metz

Andrew Rath

Jaylen Lewis

High School Team Coordinator - Bonnie Stacey

High School Team Members:

CJ Dyas

Autumn Dreyer

Chosalin Morales

Tony Sapp

Shaylee Hall

Jalyn Collier

Donny Cullum

Zach Glenn

Mirena Combs

Cody Baynori

-Staff report