Teacher Darren Tighe's explanation of how he incorporated technology in his own classroom led to the offer to serve as the Redwood Valley School District's technology integration specialist.
Mostly, Tighe explained, it means working with the school’s staff as they try and find those new ways to use technology as they teach.
As an educator, Darren Tighe was constantly looking for ways to enhance what he presented to his students through the use of technology.
He did not imagine his technology knowledge would lead to a different kind of educational experience.
Tighe, a 2004 graduate of Cedar Mountain High School, earned a degree in English studies from the Mankato campus of Minnesota State University, but it was in an experience as a coach where he cemented his interest in education.
“I was the assistant coach for the Bethany Lutheran College team,” said Tighe. “I loved working with the kids. I enjoyed helping them learn the process and decided that is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”
After spending a year as an English teacher in the Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton District, Tighe opted to move closer to home.
Living in Nicollet, he was traveling one direction, while his wife, Samantha, was teaching in the Springfield school district.
Last year, he said, between the two of them they were traveling 170 miles each day, and today the trip to work is much shorter – two miles.
Tighe applied for a job in the local district, but in the end was approached about his interest in working with technology instead.
He said his explanation of how he incorporated technology in his own classroom piqued the interest of those interviewing him, which led to the offer to serve in the role as technology integration specialist. Tighe said his role includes working with technology for the middle school and high school programs, adding Sue Osborne is working with the technology at Reede Gray.
So, what does Tighe’s job entail?
Mostly, Tighe explained, it means working with the school’s staff as they try and find those new ways to use technology as they teach. That means serving as a resource for those staff members and offering training for them as they add new technology.
For Tighe that might mean one day sitting in on a class period and then offering suggestions on how to add technology to their teaching methods or sitting in his office keeping up to date on the constant changes taking place in the world of technology.
He might also be looking for a specific application a teacher is looking for to use in their class.
In addition to working with technology, Tighe is also going to be working as the coach for the ninth grade basketball team.
Tighe said he and his wife absolutely love the community, and he said he is glad to be part of a school district that has such a strong reputation in the area.
When he is not at school, Tighe said he enjoys spending time playing golf, reading and being with his family, including his new daughter Adeline.
While Tighe may not be in the classroom impacting students directly, what he is providing for the school district is helping to have the same kind of impact as the district prepares students for the world waiting beyond its walls.