Ridgeline High School educator recognized for exceptional integration of technology in his classroom
Congratulations to Eddie Faires, who has been awarded the UCET22 Innovative Teacher of the Year Award given by the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology (UCET). This award recognizes teachers who have done outstanding work integrating technology into their classrooms.
An educator for 11 years, Faires has been teaching at Ridgeline High School for two years. Faires teaches an array of technology classes, such as Robotics, Electronics, Computer Science Principles, Computer Programming 1 and 2 (Python), Business Office Specialist, Web Development 1, and he will soon be teaching a Mobile App Development class. He is also the VEX Robotics coach and has taken several robotics teams to state over the last two years. He is working with CCSD and Bridgerland to bring two industrial robots into the classroom for the upcoming school year.
Additionally, Faires is currently taking computer science courses through Utah State University, and last year, he spent 900 hours working toward the Automated Manufacturing Certificate from Bridgerland Technical College, which allowed him to get his Robotics 1 and 2 endorsement.
Faires' goal is to inspire his students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). He believes that as students gain experience in STEM, it will open up future career opportunities as they graduate high school. “If we can get them excited about it here [at school] and make it fun, then maybe it’s something they can look at down the road,” he explained.
The hands-on courses Faires teaches help to bring a sense of reality into his classroom. Recently, Faires brought in the owner of WHIPS, the local soda restaurant, and had him talk to the Web Development class about his journey to owning his own soda shop. The students were then asked to create a website for WHIPS, taking into consideration branding and the vision of the WHIPS owner. This activity gave students a chance to consult with an actual business and expand their understanding of web development as a career.
Former Ridgeline principal Brittany Foster observed that Faires works tirelessly for his program and students. “Most of the classes Eddie was asked to teach required additional endorsements and training,” Foster said. “Eddie did so positively and without complaint.” She continued, “He volunteered to coach the VEX robotics team without an expectation of doing so because it was what his students needed. Eddie is a lifelong learner, and as such, he has grown a program that benefits his students and encourages them to be lifelong learners as well.”