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Thornton Academy Named Apple Distinguished School 2021-2024

Walk through the halls at Thornton Academy and you see students in every classroom using iPad and Apple Pencil. Annotating English reading assignments. Recording the chorus’ latest song. Creating animated videos in New Media. Thornton Academy has gone beyond simply distributing iPad to students, and has integrated Apple technology into the student’s learning experience.

“Technology use at Thornton has far surpassed writing essays or turning assignments in online,” said Thornton Academy Director of Technology Ben Nasse. “Our students are producing digital works of art, programming robots and conducting virtual experiments - all with their iPad and Apple Pencil.”

Thornton Academy was recently recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2021-2024 for its comprehensive program integrating iPad and Apple Pencil into student coursework. This is the third time Thornton Academy has received the Apple Distinguished School honor.

“We are so proud to once again be recognized as an Apple Distinguished School. Our faculty are at the forefront of using technology to transform the way we teach and the way students learn,” said Thornton Academy Headmaster Rene Menard. “Through their innovative and creative use of technology, our faculty are fulfilling Thornton Academy’s mission to prepare students for an ever-changing world.”

Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership and educational excellence. They use Apple technology to connect students to the world, fuel creativity, deepen collaboration and make learning personal.

“These devices are relevant to student lives both in and outside the classroom,” said Nasse. The external recognition that comes from being an Apple Distinguished School validates the work performed by faculty and staff in introducing iPad and Apple Pencil into all facets of education.

Technology transforms learning
Teachers and students alike have let their creativity loose. Students on the Library Advisory Board recorded book reviews to engage peers in reading. Thornton Academy faculty member Geoffrey Slack’s engineering class used SketchUp to design Neoclassical doll houses. Student Ivy Turbide took her biology class assignment one step further when she created a graphic novel telling the story of the cell cycle. Lori Smith, who teaches Digital Design, worked with her class to draft personal logos. And some faculty create their own Apple Books, using interactive applications and embedded videos to engage students.

Thornton Academy intends to continue to evolve its program as new technologies become available in the future, including creative uses for upcoming augmented and virtual reality applications. Picture a student someday using an iPad interactively to guide in dissecting a frog in biology, or in building a robot. Nasse pictures it every day. With Thornton Academy’s strong technology foundation, the possibilities are limitless.

Thornton Academy is a co‚Äźeducational, private boarding and day school serving grades 6 through 12. Thornton Academy was voted the 2021 Best Private School in Maine in the Down East Magazine Readers’ Choice Poll.