NCCE Member Highlight: Jeremy Macdonald


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Our members are weaving the threads of education every day with people of all ages across the country. They are involved in improving lives and the overall well-being of our communities. With over 4000 members strong, NCCE would like to introduce you to a few peers. Every month we will take a snapshot of active NCCE members and find out what they are doing to make a difference in technology education.

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NAME and TITLE: Jeremy K. Macdonald, Director of Technology & Innovation

SCHOOL DISTRICT: Redmond School District 2J

NCCE MEMBER SINCE: 2013?

What is one new initiative you are working on in your district?

Like most school districts, we have a lot going. It can be difficult trying to get all or a big group of teachers headed in the same direction with a new tool or concept. Teachers already have an endless list of tasks, new initiatives, and district goals to manage..and then they still have to teach. One of the things that we are trying to do as a leadership team across the district is to work with teachers on a shared vision and then create the conditions. Mandates do not always work. We value our teachers’ insight and value their vision. While we work together on this shared vision it is our (district and building administration) to create the conditions for our teachers and students to successfully and meaningfully attain our vision. “Creating the conditions” can mean a lot of things but more often than not it means “providing time, resources, and support.” This also has to happen in a safe work and learning environment where staff and students can take risks in their learning and have the time and support to learn from the process. It is not always easy. Time and resources are often scarce. We are focused on find time that we can give back to teachers and empower them to be productive learners along with their students. It is a long term initiative, one that will probably always be “ongoing” but one that will have the greatest impact on learning in Redmond School District.

What is one strategy you use to have a more productive workday?

My attention span is that of a fly or kindergartener, whichever is shorter. I struggle with extended periods of focus and concentration. My desk is usually messy and I have 100+ tabs open on my computer screen at any given time — all things that probably do not contribute positively to my work day. I like to think of myself as a creative individual. I enjoy the process of learning, making, starting from scratch. I give myself some time each day to engage in activities or tasks that allow me to be creative. Some mornings I start by tinkering with the 3D Printer and starting a print or two. Other days I use my lunch break to read up on a variety of interests, thus perpetuating my curiosity. When I give myself time to do these things, I find that I’m much more productive throughout the work day.

Name one thing your “mama always told you”?

“Remember who you are.” — I think a lot of us have heard that one. It has always stuck with me. It helps me keep my priorities straight and it is a good reminder to be me.

When you “unplug” – what do you like to do?

I don’t unplug all that often. A lot of what I do in my downtime still includes my phone, a laptop or the TV. I love cars. I still have dreams of being a racecar driver. (Never give up on your dreams, right?) I love the racetrack, the smell of race fuel and tires. And I relish my work trips that include long windy roads and minimal traffic.

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