JQA Teacher DeAcetis Named "Bright Light" for Mentoring Work

JQA Teacher DeAcetis Named
Ashley DeAcetis, a second grade teacher at John Quincy Adams, was recently honored by Suffolk ASSET with the Bright Light Award for her work as an Edtech mentor. She was recognized at the annual ASSET luncheon at Timber Point Country Club in Great River.

DeAcetis is in her second year in the district. She previously spent three years teaching in Malaysia at the International School of Kuala Lumpur and four years teaching at the American School of Guatemala.

Deer Park initiated its Edtech mentorship program this year, with teachers chosen from each building to help guide and initiate new ways to integrate technology thoughtfully into the curriculum. DeAcetis was the first selected from JQA.

“I was excited about the opportunity to be more involved in my building and to spend time helping teachers with whatever they needed,” she said. “Working with colleagues that were not afraid to try something new and a supportive administration really helped the mentorship take flight.”

In December, working with the nonprofit organization Code.org, DeAcetis proposed a challenge to the faculty, asking every classroom to participate in the international Hour of Code.

“Without any formal training, our faculty took on this challenge and with almost 100% participation from all classrooms, unlocked the world of coding for their students,” DeAcetis said. “I was truly amazed to see teachers and students learning side-by-side and challenging themselves as they problem-solved using this new type of technology, many for the first time. Productive struggle, critical thinking, and collaboration just happened naturally as students attempted different levels of challenges. I provided coding options to meet the needs for our young learners, making sure that reading directions would not be an obstacle. Technology is ever changing, and our students at JQA, all under the age of 8, may be heading into career paths that we cannot yet imagine. When we take time to create learning experiences for our students, that’s when they make connections and truly develop the 21 century learning skills they are needed to be successful.”