STEM School Chattanooga Educator is TechX Unsung Tech Hero of the Year
Posted on 09/15/2020
Photo: Kristen Burrus - STEM School Chattanooga educator is TechX Unsung Tech Hero of the YearKristen Burrus, an educator at STEM School Chattanooga, was named winner of the First Technology Excellence Awards Unsung Tech Hero of the Year Award announced by the Chattanooga Technology Council. The inaugural TechX Awards recognized regional organizations and companies for outstanding involvement, achievement, and accomplishments in the Chattanooga technology community. Across ten categories, there were 70 nominations from 33 companies or organizations. The Chattanooga Technology Council announced the winners in a virtual awards presentation on Thursday, September 10.

The Unsung Tech Hero of the Year is the unheralded technology superstar in the trenches who paves the way for a successful implementation of technology, makes for a smooth business day, or ensures a working desktop device. Burrus was called a driving educational and pedagogical force. Her colleagues agree she wears the cape behind the success many of them experience working with students.

“Kristin Burrus is an absolute superstar innovator in education,” said Dr. Tony Donen, principal of STEM School Chattanooga. “As the district STEM digital fabrication lead during the 2019-20 school year, she was integral in the recognition of Hamilton County Schools as a world educational leader in STEM Fab Lab integration. Kristin’s recognition as the Unsung Hero in Technology for Chattanooga is very well deserved. As the only K-12 educator considered for any of the awards in this business and community recognition, it is clear that Kristin’s efforts are transformational to our community.”

Burrus is the digital fabrication ecosystem lead at STEM School Chattanooga, and she is also the instructional lead and director for the Global Center for Digital Innovation (GCDI), a state of the art STEM Fab Lab now under construction. The new lab will serve K-14 students in Hamilton County Schools and Chattanooga State Community College. The GCDI will be the first K-14 STEM Fab Lab in the world and provide prototyping and entrepreneurship opportunities for the region.

“It is a huge honor to be recognized by ChaTech in the TechX Awards,” said Burrus. “I am so lucky to be part of our STEM and digital fabrication community in Hamilton County Schools and the Chattanooga area.”

The Chattanooga area is also feeling lucky to have Burrus. She was part of the inaugural cohort of eLabs, opening the first K-12 VW eLab at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (CSAS). Burrus worked with Michael Stone of PEF in the early days of the eLabs to get them off to a great start, and he nominated her for the TechX award.

“Kristin is a phenomenal teacher who is constantly innovating to provide incredible learning experiences for students, families, and her fellow teachers,” said Stone. “She has had a profound impact on our community, and we are excited for her to earn this recognition. She is truly an HCS Hero!”