Del Mar Hills technology teacher named finalist in prestigious Fellowship Award

Kimber Johnston, STEAM+ technology specialist at Del Mar Hills Academy, has been named a finalist for the Computer-Using Educator’s (CUE) LeRoy Finkel “Big Idea” Fellowship. The fellowship is awarded each year to an educator who is integrating technology into standards-based education in innovative ways.

Johnston submitted her “Big Idea” in the form of a one-minute YouTube video pitch to CUE. As a finalist, she will be awarded $500 to purchase materials necessary for implementing her ideas, and will receive complimentary registration to the National CUE Conference, the largest educational technology conference in California.

While at the CUE Conference, Johnston and the five other finalists must present a 5-minute pitch for a scaled-up version of their big ideas. Panelists and conference attendees will vote, and the LeRoy Finkel Fellow will be named during the closing keynote address on March 18. The Fellow will receive $2500 to purchase materials to enhance technology-integrated instruction and will work with a mentor from CUE throughout the upcoming year.

Johnston’s “Big Idea” pitch involves integrating literature, art, music, and coding to allow students to interpret a novel, write their own narratives, select music and sound effects that complement those narratives, design characters and settings, and then use the Scratch coding environment to code a dynamic animation combining all of their design elements. Always ready to tackle something new, Johnston has already taken steps to implement her lesson ideas with sixth grade students and is excited to expand upon it.