JoJo Shay’s enthusiasm for education and technology is contagious.
Since being named as Ohio County School’s first ever Innovation Coordinator, her passion has invigorated the administrators, teachers and students with whom she works. She’s an energetic and pleasant presence in the Ohio County Board of Education Office and throughout all of the schools in the system. Shay has been an educator 23 years, and her energy today is no less than at the start of her career.
“I’m very excited to come to work every day,” She said. “It’s one of the best jobs because I get to do fun stuff every day.”
Shay’s career began as a Spanish and social studies teacher at Weirton Madonna High School. She then taught at Union Local High School before teaching Spanish for two years at Wheeling Park High School. She was an education professor at West Liberty University for nine years before teaching for a year at John Marshall High School. She was named the Ohio County Schools Innovation Coordinator prior to the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
As the coordinator, Shay is the leader of the Ohio County Schools Innovation Team. The team also includes former Warwood School teacher Monica Supanik and former Wheeling Park High School teacher Gayle Adams, who was once named West Virginia Teacher of the Year. The team was put in place to ensure each school is making the best use of its technology and preparing teachers to present that technology to students as effectively as possible.
Shay said the most important task this school year was the implementation of the Ohio County Schools 1-to-1 Initiative. The program provides each sixth-grade student in Ohio County Schools with a new Chromebook for use in the classroom and at home. She said the program will eventually include all Ohio County Schools students, and its initial roll out has gone as well as could be expected. Shay said another important goal is ensuring that the schools are making the best possible use of the space available to students.
“We are in the design stage of what STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) will look like as we move forward,” she said. “That will involve Innovative Spaces and determining where they are needed. We intend to design an overall plan by the end of this school year and make sure that will consistently take place across the school system.”
Shay said she truly enjoys her role as innovation coordinator, and she looks forward to the remainder of the current school year. She said it has been a pleasure to collaborate with the school system’s principals, teachers and students.
“Watching the teachers engage with the students in this process and seeing the students become empowered by these initiatives has been rewarding,” Shay said. “My role is to support teachers. It’s about listening to what teachers need for their students and determining how to get it for them. It’s my job to respect their expertise and provide them the environment to do the most for the students.”
Photo: Ohio County Schools Innovation Coordinator JoJo Shay introduces Superintendent Kimberly Miller to the Codeapillar, which is being is in Pre-K classes throughout the school system.