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Featured Faculty/Staff: Lauren Levesque: Technology Integrator & Senior Class Advisor!

This week’s Faculty Feature is the phenomenal Lauren Levesque! Ms. Levesque is TA's Technology Integrator, but she thinks of herself as more of a “Tech Coach.” She is also the senior class advisor, loves TA’s Unified Basketball team, and has advised our Unified Cheerleaders!  The majority of her time is spent troubleshooting student and teacher tech questions. “You can often find me in the library or running from classroom to classroom helping to make sure things are going smoothly tech wise.”

Ms. Levesque double majored in education and English at the University of New England after graduating from Sanford High School. She returned to her alma mater to teach high school English for four years before beginning her time at TA. “I loved teaching and I truly miss it and all of my students, but it's that love that makes me thrive working with my colleagues at TA. Talking shop is my passion!” 

Recently, Ms. Levesque was asked to present to the leader of the entire Apple Distinguished Schools (ADS) program, as well as regional ADS representatives. She shared an update on how Thornton Academy is continuing teaching and learning in a remote and hybrid format using iPads. “It featured great teacher content about different ways TA faculty are using laptops and iPads to do things we never thought possible prior to the pandemic.” She also highlighted our 1:1 Apple Pencil Program, a “pretty groundbreaking” program in the field, as well as the student experience at TA. She received rave reviews, including feedback from Ryan Wiggins, an Apple Leadership and Learning Executive, that Apple Distinguished Program representatives were “blown away” by her expertise and creativity!

What is the best thing about working at TA? What is the most challenging?
“The best part of working at TA is being a part of a great Tech Department that is contributing to such a unique educational experience in Maine. My colleagues are the best—and we are doing cool things, even when it gets lost in the day to day struggle. TA’s tech team is one of a kind.” The most challenging part is getting to know, see, and be with everyone at work—TA is so big! It's my responsibility to meet the needs of our teachers and support staff by knowing their teaching style, preferences, and classes. I spend a lot of time with them, but it never feels like enough!”

What is your favorite TA memory? 
“I love having other schools and people visit us to see our tech program. I've hosted Apple Distinguished visits from other teachers and tech departments, but last year students from Gorham High School visited and the TA student tour guides were amazing. I loved seeing our students share their tech experiences—through their eyes, everything feels worth it! I also LOVE going to TAMS to help teach digital citizenship! Their energy is so fun and talking about social media and online choices with them is the best.” 

 What do you hope for TA students? 
“I truly hope that they see the connections—content, skill, and social and emotional aspects between the lessons they're learning now and the opportunities available beyond our school. This has been such a tough year, but their perseverance and troubleshooting, along with their willingness to put in the work, will pay off through and through!

Faculty Fun Facts:
Favorite food: “My favorite Saco food is anything from Cia Cafe.” 
Favorite book: “As a former ELA teacher, picking a favorite book is tough, but I really loved The Round House by Louise Erdrich.

Thank you, Ms. Levesque, for the tremendous impact you have at TA. The support you provide faculty, staff, and students is far reaching and so important, especially during this time of remote learning. We are lucky to have an expert among us, especially one who is so enthusiastic and supportive!