Wentzville School District Instructional Technology Coach Sam Hardesty Knoll received the Educational Technology Association of St. Louis Virgil C. McCluer Award for her outstanding personal contributions to the instructional programs of St. Louis area schools.
Sam has given more than 20 years to the education field, and made her way into the WSD as a fourth grade teacher at Peine Ridge Elementary in 2007. In 2009, she became a computer teacher, roving around to three different elementary schools in the District. Then in 2015, she began dedicating her time to integrating tech into the classroom for all teachers as a WSD Instructional Technology Coach. Sam holds a master’s degree in educational technology, is a Google Certified Trainer and Google Certified Educator (Level 1 and 2), an Apple Certified Teacher, and a BrainPOP Educator. A frequent presenter at area educational technology conferences, Sam is truly passionate about sharing ideas for the betterment of all students. “The best part of being a tech coach is working with the amazing educators across our District,” she said. “I love supporting our teachers and helping them see how the power of technology can best make learning more engaging and relevant for our students.”
Since technology is now more than ever increasingly imperative to the modern classroom, an instructional tech coach’s time is in greater demand. But Sam relishes in the result. She said, “It has been a busy year for the tech team, from expanding the Access Initiative at our middle schools to adding iPad carts to our K-2 classroom, I am proud that the continued efforts of our department are helping to move our district forward and improve instruction and learning.”
WSD Technology Director Greg Lawrence can’t think highly enough of her efforts. “I could not be more excited for Sam receiving the V.C. McCluer Award through the ETA,” Lawrence said. “Sam’s dedication to ensure every educator is supported and encouraged every day in the Wentzville School District is just one of the many reasons she was nominated with this honor. Student success is always at the center of every decision!”
Sam was also nominated as secretary for the ETA Board. The ETA of St. Louis and is made up of educational technology specialists (directors, coaches, etc.) from the St Louis area. The V.C. McCluer Award (or the Virgil C. McCluer Award), was established in 1965 and is named for the former superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District and one of the founders of the EducationPlus (formerly Cooperating School Districts). McCluer was an accomplished photographer, world traveler and educator. The V.C. McCluer Award is presented annually to an active full member of the Association.