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Olympus Announces First Members of the Olympus Visionary Educator Program

Posted Dec 12, 2005
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Olympus America, Inc., has announced the names of the first educators to join the Olympus Visionary Educator Program. The Program is being launched to advance the use of digital imaging and promote visual literacy among students and teachers in all areas of the core curriculum. The initial seven members are:

* Dr. Suzanne Banas, Lead Teacher, Richmond Heights Middle School, Science Zoo Magnet, Miami, Florida
* Jeanne Biddle, Director of Technology, Scott County Schools, Georgetown, Kentucky
* Deborah Hargroves, Media Specialist, Windsor Forest Elementary School, Savannah, Georgia
* Lynn C. Israel, Technology Teacher Leader, and Beth Hartman, Art Teacher, Clara Barton School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
* Meg Ormiston, Professional Development Specialist, Burr Ridge, Illinois
* David Thornburg, Thornburg Center for Professional Development, Lake Barrington, Illinois

Olympus Visionary Educators will be using an Educator Kit with the latest Olympus digital camera, digital media cards, a reader/writer micro drive, and a digital photo printer. While each Visionary Educator's contributions are unique, Olympus relies on the program members to contribute in three key areas:

* Using Olympus digital cameras in creative ways to encourage visual learning in the classroom and beyond
* Encouraging other educators to integrate digital imaging in the classroom
* Teaching peers to use Olympus digital photographic equipment

Lynn Israel and Beth Hartman of the Clara Barton Elementary School in Philadelphia have been using Olympus cameras for over two years in the school's MG (Mentally Gifted) program. "We are honored to represent Olympus as Visionary Educators," said Ms. Hartman. "In our MG Program we teach children to use a camera the way a photographer would, to think about depth, perspective, and composition." Once they learn how to photograph, the students take their knowledge further. "The program uses photography to teach vital life skills," said Ms. Israel. "The children practice writing and speaking about their photographs. They also learn to use photography as a means of documenting an event or location."

Meg Ormiston, Professional Development Specialist, has recently completed a three-year, multi-million-dollar grant focusing on reading in the content areas with the support of digital tools. "I am honored to be selected as one of the founding members of the Olympus Visionary Educator Program," said Ms. Ormiston. "I absolutely believe in the power of the visual images in the classroom and, as I work with thousands of teachers each year, I share my passion."

Olympus plans to expand the Visionary Educator Program in the coming months, bringing on board more teachers who have achieved exemplary results in integrating technology in the area of visual learning.

Source: Olympus America, Inc.,

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