State council honors AMSA teacher


State council honors AMSA teacher
Kelly Powers. Photo/Submitted

Marlborough – The Advanced Math and Science Academy (AMSA) was founded to help groom the technological leaders of tomorrow and prepare them for an ever-changing and demanding world. Kelly Powers, the charter school's Computer Science Department chair, has been honored for her commitment to that principle, receiving the 2012 Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council Workforce Development Award (MTLC).

“We are hoping that Kelly Powers” award recognition will cause more education and business leaders to work collaboratively in identifying initiatives which will make STEM [Science Technology Engineering Math]-focused opportunities more accessible to our students throughout the nation,” said AMSA Executive Director John Brucato. “The Advanced Math and Science Academy is a model for others to follow because it works.”

Now in its 15th year, MTLC Awards is the only awards program in the region to recognize outstanding achievement in both the development and implementation of technology. The Workforce Development Award is a special honor, selected by a committee of trustees and other technology leaders. It is given to a person or organization for inspiring, educating and connecting students and teachers to technology.

Thomas Hopcroft, president and CEO of the MTLC, echoed Brucato's sentiment that the award may act as a clarion call, telling Powers: “In recognizing you we shine a spotlight on your important work in hopes of inspiring others to follow your example.”

The MTLC is considered one of the premier associations for senior executives from innovative technology organizations. Its mission is to foster entrepreneurship and promote the success of companies that develop and deploy technology. Sponsoring more than 100 events a year, the council advocates for industry where policy issues are concerned while engaging in workforce development activities focused on increasing the quality and quantity of workers needed in the technology industry.

The council's governing board has consisted of some of the world's most noteworthy technology leaders.

Powers was recognized at the MTLC's Awards Gala Sept. 13.

“The honor places Kelly among the most renowned educators in the field and one of few, if any, working at the secondary school level,” Brucato said.

Humble in her achievements, Powers insisted that her AMSA colleagues be appropriately recognized for the various roles they play in continuing to promote a model program in computer science. AMSA Principal Joseph Sweeney has worked collaboratively with Powers in putting together the last pieces of the puzzle to complete a 21st-century computer science curriculum that incorporates all aspects of STEM education. Currently, the curriculum is unique to AMSA.

“We are confident that the AMSA model will continue to gain attention and serve as the one that all others use in developing their programs,” Powers said.

For the past decade, federally funded research studies have produced volumes of information and data, resulting in recommendations for the revision of school curricula to meet the needs of American students in preparing them for college and university studies and careers that require technical skills.

Brucato indicated that STEM education has been slow to catch on because of a lack of funding and a preoccupation with the traditional century-old curricula the American public school system was built upon.