By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN Fellow teachers voted Gwen Egly, media center specialist at the Delano Middle School, as Delano’s teacher of the year.
Egly manages the media center in the middle school, teaches research and technology skills to fifth- and sixth- grade students, web 2.0 tools to seventh-grade students, and Google applications to eighth- graders.
These classes explore many 21st century skills that embrace creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication, according to a press release from Delano Public Schools.
Egly said her teaching philosophy is summed up in the following quote from Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.”
The environment Egly tries to create for the middle school media center is one where students are directly and actively involved in their education, according to the press release.
She has fostered an environment where students feel safe to take risks, therefore encouraging intellectual curiosity. Egly encourages her students to think outside-the-box as they participate in project-based media courses.
She had the opportunity to visit Apple headquarters in California a few years ago, according to the press release.
That experience helped her realize that teachers should no longer be viewed as “fountains of knowledge,” but rather, they should be referred to as “educational facilitators.”
“Educators need to serve as guides, encouraging their students to develop the gifts and talents they each possess,” Egly said.
She said she believes the best approach for preparing students to take advantage of future opportunities requires putting 21st century skills into practice. The product educators produce must be prepared for the opportunities that exist in a world beyond our imagination, according to the press release.
“The American people have huge expectations for educators across the nation, and we will find a way to respond based on our critical thinking skills, creativity, collaboration efforts, and communication,” Egly said.
Egly received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with licenses in coaching and library science from St. Cloud State University.
She went on to earn her master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, according to the press release. In addition, she concluded her higher education with a technology endorsement from Hamline University.
Egly came to Delano in 1997, and has taught in both the elementary and middle school media centers. She also has served on many district committees, including site base, staff development, QComp, Delano Teachers Association, and district and building technology committees.
“Gwen is passionate about serving on committees to collaborate with her colleagues and share knowledge,” stated the press release. “As Gwen interacts with her students and shares the resources available to them, she learns as she teaches, right alongside her students, while staying current with the ever-changing world of technology.”
Egly lives in Delano with her husband, Darrell, and their two children, Julia and Nicholas.
Her hobbies include reading, gardening, playing golf, and enjoying their cabin with friends and family.