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Meet Melissa Handy

HSTE welcomes a new president to the board! Melissa Handy, currently the Education Technology Director at Le Jardin Academy, comes to the board with much experience and vision. She believes in technology as a way to empower students. Melissa’s work at Le Jardin Academy shows her passion in working with students to realize their abilities and impact through technology and computer science.

*See President’s Message. * Direct Link: hste.org/Presidents-Message-2017

Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Melissa attended university for Computer Science. She has found her home and family in Hawaii and works hard at her job as an educator and technology director.  She lives with her sister, who is a K-2 Art Teacher at Le Jardin and has a son, Ethan, who is a senior at Le Jardin Academy. Melissa is also an aunty to two nieces and a nephew. Surrounded by children, she enjoys working in education because she is inspired by kids and their inquisitiveness and creativity.

Continue to get to know Melissa in the Q & A section below!

Q : How did you first get involved in HSTE? What made you want to join?

A : Friends of mine, Mark Hines and Phil Bossert, had asked me to participate as the team was just forming. I was the Secretary back in 2011 when we became HSTE. I am always eager to work with educational leaders, and dedicate my efforts to improve teaching and learning.

Q : If you could take one technology device with you on a trip, what would you take and why?

A : Believe it or not, I cannot go anywhere without my laptop. A smartphone is always in tow, but the laptop is a critical device. I can picture myself vacationing in Italy and still tapping into the laptop to check on some important network service or coming to the aid of a colleague remotely.

Q : What do you love about working in education?

A : Kids and their inquisitiveness and creativity keep me coming back to education. Teaching is a passion for me, and I feel satisfied in the thought that my Technology Department team’s work keeps learners connected to the world and equipped to create professional work.  

Q : What is your guilty pleasure?

A : Dessert is my guilty pleasure. If there is cheesecake or creme brulee on the menu, I just cannot resist.

Q : If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?

A :  A service dog. I like helping people.

Q : What is one thing you’ve done at your school that you’re proud of?

A : My work to ensure students have opportunities to participate on robotics teams and work on STEM projects has turned out a number of engineering or science-focused undergraduates. I have shown the girls, underrepresented in these fields, that engineering and computer science are careers available to them, and that their contributions can make a huge impact.

Q : Any advice for other educators getting involved in technology integration?

A : Focus on the learning journey (design thinking) and the learning outcomes rather than the tools. Flashy technology often disappoints when we measure learning outcomes. Always start with the big idea and how students could learn it and then look for where the tech fits in. Technology should never get in the way of learning and it certainly should not control learning activities.

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