Bullitt County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Adrienne Usher knows the value of educational technology in the classroom.
She emphasizes funding and encourages training so technology needs are met for students and staff
Herself a former teacher, principal and instructional coach, Usher is now in charge of the district’s Student Learning Department and was recognized at the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education (KySTE’s) 2020 spring conference with the Outstanding Technology Leader Award.
“My initial reaction was complete shock when presented with the award at our Leadership Team Meeting because I was completely unaware of the nomination,” Usher said. “I am extremely honored, but also humbled because my goal as a leader is to positively impact the lives of others by providing opportunities for growth and development for all staff in our district. As educators, we leave an imprint on every child that walks through our classroom doors and educational technology is a necessity to ensure our students are life ready for their next steps after high school. I cannot do what I do for our staff and students without the teamwork and dedication of those around me and all staff within our district.”
Usher was nominated by Digital Learning Coaches Amy Cuenca, Christie Turbeville Danita Cobble, Kali Ervin and Keith Barnes. Only two Outstanding Leader Awards are presented annually by KySTE.
“Her work has had a significant positive impact on technology use in our educational community and beyond,” Cuenca wrote in the application. “Adrienne understands the importance of technology in education and emphasizes the positive impact technology has in supporting and promoting innovation in the classroom.”
Usher includes excerpts about technology integration, SAMR and other teaching practices that improve learning through integrating technology into her weekly district-wide newsletters.
Cuenca said her strong support of a 1:1 learning environment in schools demonstrates her value and the support systems and personnel she has put in place to reach district technology goals.
“She is open to pursuing the opportunity for BCPS to become Kentucky’s first Google Reference District and has provided funds to purchase and promote innovative programs and technology integration tools including ZSpace, VR/AR, and robotics,” Cuenca said.
Additionally, Cuenca cited Usher actively involving the community through partnerships and collaboration in supporting and funding the use of digital resources.
“She founded Bullitt County Lady Leaders, a mentor program for high school juniors, through collaboration with JCTC, BCPS and the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce,” Cuenca said. “This program provides personal development assistance and mentoring for high school girls, presenting them an opportunity to increase their potential and future success through school and community collaborations. It also provides these lady leaders with support for the use of digital resources through their mentorship opportunities.”
Usher also works with Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Anita Stump on numerous initiatives including the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Development program, participates in fundraisers that support Bullitt County students and teachers (many of which are funded with technology resources), and supports the Mobile Bookmobile that gives away free books to children and encourages them to visit libraries to experience the books and digital resources that are offered for free in the community.
“Adrienne is vocal about her support of technology in education and is quoted as saying, ‘I am glad to have digital leaders in Bullitt County Public Schools serving our students, staff and community. Digital technology is important now more than ever in the changing landscape of the workforce.’
Usher included new technology goals in BCPS’s most recent Comprehensive District Improvement Plan (CDIP) because she said, “including technology in the plan is so important.” She values EVERY district employee including support staff, and empowers her staff to take risks and become leaders in technology development and integration.
Cuenca emphasized Usher participates in professional development to increase her knowledge of technology.
“Adrienne continuously improves her professional practice through the promotion of technology-related professional learning plans,” Cuenca said. “For the past two years, she has provided funding for Google Certified Educator 1 and 2 Exams for BCPS employees and even became Google Certified herself at the first district-wide test date! She provides funding for dozens of BCPS employees and leaders to attend the KySTE conference each year and attends the conference herself in order to continuously develop, implement and communicate plans for the effective use of digital tools and resources.”
Cuenca said Usher also models technology integration on a daily basis with her digital newsletters, tools for instruction through person to person and virtual meetings, and personally tests out innovative tools within her position.
“Adrienne has positively impacted the Bullitt County Public Schools community through her support for technology professional learning opportunities in the district as well as the annual district wide Digital Learning Academy,” Cuenca said. “She provides technology support for ALL BCPS staff including classified positions.”
While other districts may not invest in the importance of technology, Cuenca said Usher has a proactive vision and is very future-focused on the technology landscape.
“Adrienne supports maintaining Digital Learning Coaches on staff and allows all technology staff to participate in professional learning and collaborative opportunities in the community and around the state regularly,” Cuenca said. “She has a true sense of team and shows a willingness to listen and determine the importance of a digital impact for all stakeholders.”
Usher has been actively involved in helping to develop the district strategic plan, placing significant importance on innovation and technology.
”It is not surprising based on all that Adrienne Usher does for our local community and beyond that she was selected by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for the Leadership Institute for School Principals in 2016, was inducted into the Kentucky Women in Education Leadership by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators in 2018, and was selected by Envision Learning, Inc. for the Deeper Learning Leadership Forum Cohort in 2018,” Cuenca pointed out. “As a leader, Adrienne places significant importance on growing, developing and building the capacity of others to be experts and leaders. It is such a core belief that she gravitates toward having her teachers, peers and colleagues involved in sharing and presenting their knowledge at conferences rather than booking herself as the primary presenter. She states that she couldn’t do what she does without all of those around her, however, it is important to recognize that her staff and colleagues have many opportunities to excel as a result of her leadership. Adrienne Usher is the epitome of an outstanding and authentic leader. She is selfless, genuine, trustworthy, and reliable and simply put, is someone people want to follow.”
Adrienne’s Short Bio:
Ms. Adrienne Usher currently serves as Assistant Superintendent for Bullitt County Public Schools. In this role, she oversees all instruction, curriculum and assessment, safe schools, federal funding, pupil personnel and human resource development. Adrienne has been an educator for 18 years serving as a classroom teacher, school counselor, instructional coach, Principal, and Director of Elementary Education in Kentucky and Tennessee.