2023 ACHIEVE Award Winner

The ACTEM ACHIEVE Award honors educators who have mastered the art of effectively implementing technology in their classrooms. They are known for their ability to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and practices in the field, while also being innovative and creative with their approach. They inspire, encourage, and nurture their students, which leads to a positive and engaging classroom environment.  ACHIEVE Award winners are setting the standard for being a successful educator in the 21st century. ACTEM provides ACHIEVE winners with a personal cash award of $2,000 plus an additional $1,000 gift certificate for their school to be spent on technology related purchases.

Todd Abbott  -  K-4 Technology Integrator at Yarmouth Elementary School

The comments below are from Alice Barr and Cathy Wolinsky’s and are taken from the awards presentation at ACTEM’s recent fall conference.

I met Todd Abbott on a Skype interview for a position as a third grade teacher at Yarmouth Elementary School. He was connecting with the interview committee from his Brooklyn, New York apartment. With his bicycle hanging behind him on the wall and his trademark grin in place, I began to get to know a remarkably talented thinker, educator and innovator who I respected and learned from for the next six years. Todd brought to Yarmouth a rich liberal arts background followed by two graduate degrees in Education from Brooklyn College. In addition, his ten years of experience teaching in the Bronx in grade levels from Kindergarten through Middle School prepared him to offer flexibility and understanding to all his students.”

Todd is so passionate about what he does with staff and students. He keeps current and up to date on all things tech.

Todd’s Tech team of second through fourth graders meet with him during lunch. They keep the 3D printers and other equipment in the building running. It is incredible to hear these students problem-solving with teachers and students when an issue arises. The relationships he has formed with these students carry with them through the rest of their education. When Todd enters the high school, he is often greeted by many kids who have had him as a teacher. They always have a memory to share! 

Classroom teachers in Kindergarten through fifth grade regard Todd as an open, supportive person who prepares learning sessions, co-teaches lessons, and offers an enthusiasm that draws in students at all grade levels. The Yarmouth elementary schools are fortunate to have Todd in this instructional leadership role and I thank the ACTEM committee for honoring him with this award.

Amy Tucker  -  Teacher at Maranacook Community Middle School in Readfield.

The comments below are from Sonja Abbott and are taken from the awards presentation at ACTEM’s recent fall conference.

Amy has been an early adopter of technology and ed tech for as long as I've known her. Apps, devices, practices - Amy tries them out and absorbs them into her curriculum, adapting them to best suit her students and the topics they’re discovering.  She understands that students need to know how to use technology safely and wisely, that technology is and will continue to be an integral part of their daily lives. She believes that technology has the power to transform the student experience from a flat and one-dimensional experience to a 3- or 4-D experience, making the learning more relevant and applicable to student lives.  

A proponent of a student-driven curriculum, Amy is an advocate for student voice and choice.  She believes that students must feel connected to and interested in the topics they study in order to find those topics relevant and purposeful, and she understands that technology has the power to help do this.  In providing her students with multiple pathways for learning, Amy incorporates student tech options to encourage and allow for increased engagement in learning.  She understands the power that technology has in leveling the playing field for ALL of her students. 

Amy also encourages her colleagues and friends into trying new tech practices that she has found to be successful in her own classroom.  She often specifically tailors the tech tools or practices she shares with others, keenly aware of the intended recipient’s comfort level with technology and tech tools in general.  She’s a regular presenter at local, regional, and statewide professional development, and early this spring worked tirelessly to hold one of this state’s first post-pandemic EdCamps.  Amy has a zest for sharing technology and tech practices with others, students and educators alike. 

Amy embodies all that this award stands for.  When I was asked if I felt comfortable giving a brief introduction, I thought that the nomination I’d written was a little NOT brief, so I put it through the ChatGPT machine, asking it to abbreviate what I’d written.  Here’s the final result: 

  • ·       Amy, tech-savvy educator, elevates learning with safe, relevant tech.
  • ·       Beane model advocate, promotes student choice, tech engagement, equity.
  • ·       Shares tech insights, empowers all. Amy's superpower: tech for all.

Congratulations to the 2023 ACTEM ACHIEVE Award winners!

Consider nominating an outstanding educator for the 2024 ACHIEVE award at ACTEM’s website:  https://www.actem.org/AchieveAward


Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine

P.O. Box 187, Gorham, ME 04038

Phone: (207) 222-4353  Fax: (207) 222-2057  Email: info@actem.org