District Librarian/Online Ed Coordinator, Physics Instructor
Bennett School District 29J, CO
MS, School Library and Information Technology, Mansfield University, PA 2008
Competes in rodeos with his family
Photo c/o Casey Veatch
“My principal gives me total freedom to allow my imagination to run wild,” says Casey Veatch. “This is why we now allow cell phones and iPods in the classroom, why we have an online enhancement program for gifted and talented kids, why I have an iPhysics class, and why I have a fun and successful library program.”
But Veatch’s own initiative won this Colorado school librarian and physics teacher a $10,000 grant from the Follett Corporation and $2000 in recognition for excellence in education from Congressman Jared Polis last year. Veatch used the funds to buy iPads and books for the library and to upgrade library systems.
“The iPod and iPad are truly extensions of the library,” he says. For a class assignment on flight, for instance, he has students create iBooks—combining their Wright Brothers research, drawn from the Library of Congress website, with their own flight analysis. The iBooks are then uploaded to the library card catalog. Using the iPad as a Response to Intervention (RTI) tool to meet the needs of struggling students, he crafted another program to help high schoolers bolster reading skills by developing read-aloud audiobooks for first and second graders.
Veatch also started an online program with broad opportunities for students at various learning levels—offering AP classes for the first time, as well as a credit recovery program for students who have fallen behind.
In Veatch’s three years as district librarian, says Bennett High School principal Mark Purslow, he “has made huge changes to the program.”
His ambition is engagement. Veatch says, “I want kids to go home and talk about the library or physics at the dinner table.”
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