Given its focus, Richardson West Junior High Arts and Technology Magnet School at Richardson West Junior High School in Richardson, Texas, is particularly invested in helping students use new tools to advance their academic and personal growth. Principal Kimberly Kindred notes, “At Richardson West Junior High Arts and Technology Magnet School, we want more engagement with technology. We want more student created projects, we want more student voices, we want everything that we do here to demonstrate what students are learning.”
At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, Richardson West joined the inaugural year of the Dynamic Learning Project (DLP). The Dynamic Learning Project places instructional coaches in schools across the US to help teachers access the skills, training, and resources they need to effectively use technology in the classroom. Principal Kindred needed an excellent DLP coach—someone who had experience leading their fellow educators, a deep interest in technology, and a strong desire to continue their own professional development.
Miko Wagstaff was just that person. As a former engineer and math department chair at Richardson West Junior High Arts and Technology Magnet School, Miko spent 13 years helping her students use different tools and strategies to grasp new concepts. Digital tools have been a core part of her teaching practices for nearly half of her time in the classroom, and she was passionate about helping more teachers at Richardson West develop their own skills.