Monday, June 03, 2013

Judy Gressel, you make a difference!

As Judy Gressel retires, we say thanks ...
There has been some internet “buzz” over the last few weeks about 7 Habits of Highly-Effective Teachers Who Use TechnologyAt New Trier, we have been so fortunate to have had years of learning from just such a teacher/librarian, Judy Gressel. 

Looking at those seven habits, we cannot help but think of Judy Gressel – always asking “why?” –since she has been a significant contributor to curricular units at our Integrated Global Studies School (IGSS) and through the many other lessons and projects she has developed and refined throughout her tenure. “Malleable” and “always embracing change” describe her, too.  Judy is THE consummate early adopter – she has brought so many wonderful tools to our attention and keeps a lively online presence through Twitter and her PLN.  Can you guess Judy's mantra? “Learn one new thing a day!”

The habit that says so much about Judy for me is “share, share, and share some more.” She has tirelessly stepped up with colleagues not only at our high school, but also locally through a long relationship with Illinois Computing Educators, with the Illinois School Library Association and nationally through countless webinars.

Win, Win, Win” and its reference to administrators, parents and students reminds us of the quality relationships she has with each of those communities and how a few years ago when we saw administrators using Prezi on an Institute Day, we knew it was due to Judy’s influence. “Thinking two steps ahead” is probably a minimum for Judy – I am always amazed when I bring her an idea and she starts to tweak it, saying, “why don’t we … ” and we are off and running in at least a couple of exciting directions.

Finally, the 7th habit: Judy Gressel “actively cares” about students! Often here late working one-on-one, she is relentless in reviewing bibliographies, suggesting additional sources and framing essential questions.  For all of us, Judy has had a major impact and has truly made a HUGE difference.  Thank you.