MINFORD —When the pandemic struck schools last March, no one could have foreseen how much it would change how schools would be able to continue to educate students.
One of the main groups that had significant changes and much work to do were the technology leaders within the school districts. One of those is Ryan Stockham, Minford School District Technology Coordinator who has received the “Hero Award” from the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools(CORAS).
Jeremy Litteral, Superintendent of Minford shared a post on social media platforms congratulating Stockham.
“This award, meant for a district staff member who has made significant contributions to the school district during the COVID pandemic, highlights the hard work Mr. Stockham does for our students and staff each day, both in his role and outside of school hours.
The award was presented during a virtual CORAS meeting with remarks from Paulo de Maria, Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Renee Middleton, Dean of Ohio University’s Patton College of Education, and Dr. Richard Murray, Executive Director of CORAS.
Although Ryan’s contributions to our school system are too many to list, his dedication to help the district’s teachers, staff, and students navigate the challenges of COVID have not gone unnoticed. Just a few of Mr. Stockham’s accomplishments over the past few months include:
• Creating the Falcon Relaunchpad Website to keep families informed and to post all things return to school and COVID during the summer and throughout this school year,
• Creating teacher videos, professional development modules, and other resources to improve remote learning opportunities for students,
• Securing free technology from a number of sources to help get devices in the hands of students,
• Upgrading and creating a live streaming platform for all sports venues to allow spectators who can’t attend games to watch them online, and
• MANY other things to help many people throughout this school year.
The school district applauds and appreciates Ryan Stockham for all he does for our district, and thanks to him for doing so often without praise and notoriety. Mr. Stockham is truly a hero, and deserves this award greatly.”
Stockham said he was totally surprised about the award because he thought he was setting up for a virtual meeting with the state and when he walked in he saw his parents which he said when he saw his dad it didn’t think anything because his dad is a member of the Minford school board, but then along with him, were his mom and wife Angela and he knew something was up. Stockham truly had to set up the virtual meeting, but it was the bestowing of the award to him. The award was there at the school and they gave it to him and he said it was a nice little ceremony. “I was totally surprised, I knew nothing about it. I hate recognition, but it was nice.”
Stockham was asked if he ever dreamed when he started his job as Technology Coordinator, he would have to do things as he has done during this pandemic. He said that things like sending devices home and all the sanitation that is involved, and within a matter of weeks turning his school upside down to a flipped classroom, he could have never seen that coming and also with how quickly it had to be done. He said there were around 130 schools in the Coalition that set up the award.
He said, “The hardest was getting our staff trained sufficiently to be able to give the best possible education they can in this environment, that was the thing that really haunted me more than anything. Even though it was not necessarily fully on me, I felt the burden of that and really wanted to make sure that I did everything I could possibly do to get them all the resources they needed to be able to do this as well as we could.” Stockham wanted to give a shout out to his assistant, Tim Coriell and the other help he had because this certainly wasn’t all on him, and without him and all of us including Isaac Dever, they couldn’t have got it done.
One of the real tough things he said was that you couldn’t buy anything, the supply and demand was ridiculous. You couldn’t get Chrome books even if you had a million dollars, you couldn’t get them. Even simple things like webcams that teachers needed to do their lessons well. He said that because they couldn’t meet in the traditional way to train them, he created an entire Google classroom that took weeks and he did it in a way that the teachers would do with students. He added that the way they were seeing it, was the way their students would be seeing it, and they have continued to build upon that.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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