Jean Thorpe,
Reading Specialist
Keystone: Technology Integrator
Star Discovery Educator

Caley Elementary School
Upper Merion Area School District

I have been teaching children and adults of all ages for 35 years. At various times in my career, I taught many grades from elementary, to middle, to high school and have enjoyed each different job in education from first grade teacher, to educational supervisor, to my current one as reading specialist at Caley.

I graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science degree and certification in early childhood and elementary education and a Master of Education degree with a concentration in elementary mathematics education. I also hold certifications as an Elementary and Early Childhood Supervisor, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, K-12, and Reading Specialist, K-12.

This is my sixteenth year at UMASD. I taught 8th grade reading at the middle school and was the first IST teacher in the district (at both Caley and Bridgeport schools). I have also served as a Subject Area Leader for elementary math, science and social studies as well as on various districtwide and school committees such as technology, language arts, IST, and Faculty Advisory. Two highlights of my tenure at UMASD have been working on Caley's National Blue Ribbon Schools application, which we were awarded ranking number 1 in Pennsylvania, and being nominated for, and inducted into, the UMASD Wall of Fame in 2001.

Outside of the district, I have served on the Pennsylvania State Department of Education's Mathematics and Reading Assessment Advisory Committees for 3rd through 5th grade since 1998 and on the Governor's Institutes for Middle School and High School Content Area Literacy steering committees in 2003 and 2004. I was a facilitator at the Middle School Institute at
Susquehanna University in 2004. Currently, I am serving on the Keystones Advisory Committee.

Although I mostly teach reading now to children from first through 4th grade, I spend some of my free time away from Caley teaching adults who are becoming teachers at St. Joseph's University. I am also proud to say that I was nominated as the Outstanding University College Faculty Member at Widener University in 2004 and 2006.

As much as I love reading and math, I caught the "technology bug" when I booted up my first Apple IIe in 1985! Each year I see my students academic skills, motivation to learn, and ability to share and collaborate with their classmates increase as I infuse more technology into my teaching such as using the Smart Board and the Internet to bring the ideas in the books we are reading to life. The highlight for my third graders is using the Palm handheld computers and keyboards to them daily access to tools that make writing a pleasure rather than a chore.

I have enjoyed participating in three innovative technology projects at UMASD over the past 8 years - Technology Enhanced Instructional Design in Mathematics (1999-2000), TechPD (fall 2000) and the Palm Pioneers grant in 2001-2003 as well as serving on the district technology committee. In 2006, I was chosen as a State level Keystones: Technology Integrator and enjoyed attending the Keystones Summit at St. Francis University in August 2006 (read about my experiences by clicking HERE then click November 2006).