Lincoln teacher wins technology prize in national competition

Lincoln High School teacher Marilyn Proctor Givens expressed her astonishment after learning that she was the Grand Technology Prize winner.
Photo by St. Clair Murraine

By St. Clair Murraine

Outlook staff writer

Lincoln High School senior Nicholas Williams could hardly control his emotions as he expressed his appreciation for Marilyn Proctor Givens, his digital technology teacher for the past three years.

“Whenever there is a new technology coming out, she is always pushing, ‘hey guys, this is cool let’s try to do something with this,’ ” Williams said, with a broad smile. “She has instilled into us a love for new technology coming out.”

Proctor Givens has gotten more cool stuff for her students. She was surprised when she found out during her third-period class that she was the winner of the Grand Technology Prize, valued at $8,000 in equipment and service.

Proctor Given’s class will receive 10 Acer Chromebooks and 10 Acer tablets. PCM, primary sponsor of the contest and an IT software marketing company, will also give the students its Silver services package.  Acer and Google also participated in the Star Teacher Award contest in conjunction with

“I’m over the moon excited,” Proctor Givens said. “I have to be because we have been waiting but we knew what we wanted. I really, really appreciated it.”

Proctor Givens said she entered the nation-wide content at the urging of an Acer representative last spring. She advanced though the contest and in April was one of three quarterly winners, picking up a $2,000 prize and moving on as one of the final four.

The contest is in its second year. It was started by PCM-G as part of an effort to broaden its community relations, said Dave Wiltz, vice president of sales for the company.

“You take a look at your company and you try to figure out how you can do more,” Wiltz said. “Sometimes people talk about it but as a company we feel we could do more and this was our stab at it. Going forward, we’re going to try to make it a little bit better.

“When you boil everything down, it’s about the kids. There is going to be somebody that comes through this that learns something that they wouldn’t have if they didn’t have the technology to help them.”

With a growing trend of  millennials moving toward careers in technology, Proctor Givens uses every opportunity to develop career-ready students.  She teaches the use of several typed of software, include Flash and In-Design.

The new equipment is expected to allow them to do even more advanced work.

“We have great kids so putting this in their hands is going to be even more awesome,” said principal Allen Burch. “This is a niche for a group of kids that love this and we have a teacher who is not afraid to release them into the technology.”

The work that students produce isn’t just in-house. They’ve also produced digital work and silk-screening for outside groups, Proctor Givens said. She added that some have become so proficient that they’ve earn industry certification. 

 “We just make sure they’re prepared to get out there and use that software,” Proctor Givens said. “We just want to teach them that skill they can use beyond the classroom.”