2020 ASTE Teacher of the Year is Ms. Carlyn Nichols

Soldotna, February 28, 2020—Ms. Carlyn Nichols [Seward Middle School] is recognized as the 2020 Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) Teacher of the Year for her exceptional and intentional integration of technology to redefine the learning experiences of students!


Seward Middle School teacher Ms. Carlyn Nichols is continually on the forefront of innovation and strategic in her application of technology. The drive to personalize the education that her students receive from her is paramount in all aspects of her practice. She is consistently applies new strategies to address the needs of her students, streamline her practice, and the learning experience. Her utilization of the learning management system to offer flexibility in learning paths, content options, and pacing is exceptional. Above all else, her continual design, prototype and iteration process values empathizing with the perspectives of her students. She continually incorporates new technologies into her classroom not for technology’s sake, but instead for the expansion of learning into realms previously not possible. On a continual basis, she uses the technology to reach kids and offer them access to their learning journey. Her teaching practice is truly exceptional, balancing intentional and purposeful technology integration.

20-0228 Carlyn Nichols Teacer of the Year

L-R, Carlyn Nichols, 2020 ASTE Teacher of the Year; Amanda Adams, ASTE President


“This award has special meaning to me because it came from a group of people who have served as my mentors and inspiration for using technology to improve student learning and engagement,” said Carlyn Nichols. “Technology is a powerful tool to improve the equity and impact of learning, but it should be used in moderation and with intention. Technology can’t substitute for hands-on, experiential and collaborative student experiences, and when they are available, these activities are powerful and important.”


“Carlyn is the instigator and creator of the Makerspace Lab at Seward Middle School. So, not only is she all the things described in the award, she is also a purveyor of the balancing act of hand-on creation in tandem with digital creation!” –Amanda Adams, KPBSD Personalized Learning and Student Success Specialist, ASTE President


“My favorite thing about Ms. Nichols’ use of technology is that it exists behind her effective teaching practices and philosophy for meeting the needs of every student she serves. Specifically, she knows that it’s her responsibility to help every child learn and grow—regardless of the challenges they bring through her door. She is also a master teacher with a vast array of skills and strategies that she can leverage in her planning and in her instruction. It is at this point, in her craft, that she considers how technology will best help her students meet their instructional outcomes. This is what makes her technology integration in instruction seamless and effective.” –Trevan Walker, Seward Middle School principal


“Every time that I have the privilege of visiting Carlyn Nichol’s classroom, I am amazed with the level of engagement of her students. Carlyn brings learning alive for her students in a truly personalized way. She is so very deserving of this honor.” –Superintendent John O’Brien