About Me

Leigh Ellen Ray  |  Educational Consultant & STEM Advocate

Mission: To be a driving force in moving forward our country’s education system so that it can better serve students in preparation for 21st century careers.

Objective: To assist my clients (school districts, school communities, teacher teams, and individual teachers) by framing, designing, then releasing to the client state-of-the-art units and curriculum that include rigorous, gold-standard STEM integration.

Distinguished Teacher Competencies:

*  ELA Curriculum Committee for Standards Alignment, District Innovation Committee, School Technology Committee
*  Teacher Technology Leader (in-services & conference presenter, technology use, coding, robotics, 3D printing, blended learning, LMS integration)
*  Research-driven teaching (best practices)
* Microsoft Office and Google Apps expert
*  School Testing Coordinator (AMP, KITE, PEAK, Aimsweb, NAEP)
*  Project- and Problem-Based Learning through integrated STEM
*  Cooperative Learning with engagement strategies (Kagan)
*  Student enrichment through Genius Hour (engineering, coding, creativity)
*  Canvas (LMS) and PowerSchool advanced user
*  Personalized, Blended Learning
*  Differentiation Through Leveled Grouping and Response to Intervention (RTi)
*  Strong and positive communication skills with colleagues, families, and the community
*  FIRST Lego League coach


Higher Education and K-12 Blended Learning Design (2015), certification, Quality Matters, MarylandOnline (MOL) consortium

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Licensure Program (May 2010), Elementary Education, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK

Computer Technician (2001), certification, North Carolina State University, Computer Training Unit

Bachelor of Arts ( December 1999), Journalism, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; Dean’s List, Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society, Golden Key National Honor Society

Associate of Arts (June 1982), Bryn Athyn College, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania


VIPKid (March 2019-present), Online ESL Teacher, more info here 

Johnson City Schools (2017 to 2018), Classroom Teacher, Indian Trail Intermediate School, Johnson City, TN

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (2011 to 2017), Classroom Teacher, Seward Elementary School, Seward, AK

Boys & Girls Club, (June 2011), DaVinci Summer Camp. View news article and video.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (2005-2011), Substitute Teacher Seward High, Middle, and Elementary Schools, Seward, AK

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (August 2009-May 2010), Student Teacher Seward Elementary School, Seward, AK

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (Nov. 2007-May 2009), ELL Tutor Seward High, Middle, and Elementary Schools, Seward, AK

Durham Herald-Sun (Jan. 1998-2003), Freelance Reporter, Durham, North Carolina

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (1997-1998), media/public relations intern, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

I have also owned and operated three businesses over the years: Martz Communications, Inc., Durham, North Carolina (editing consultant); Raysong, Inc., Seward, Alaska (Bed & Breakfast Inn); and Rayword IT Professionals, Inc., Seward, Alaska (software development and web authoring company)

Professional Learning Networks & Memberships

  • American Association for Quality (current)
  • American Association for Engineering Education (current)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA) member (current); subgroup member of Design & Technology in education
  • International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) member (current)
  • ISTE Professional Learning Networks: Global Collaboration Network, Personalized Learning Network
  •  Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) member (current)
  • International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) member (current)
  • Quality Matters (QM) member (current)

Certifications & Awards

  • State of Tennessee Teacher Certification (July 2017 to present), Highly Qualified K-6
  • State of Alaska Teacher Certification (June 2010 to present), Highly Qualified K-8,  Journalism K-12
  • Western Governors University Excellence Award, 2016
  • BP Alaska Teacher of Excellence Nominee,  2017, 2015, 2014, & 2013
  • Microsoft Partners in Learning Winner & participant in Bellevue, WA, August 2012. Winning project: “Seward, Alaska: Through Young Eyes”
  • ETS Recognition of Excellence for an outstanding score on The Praxis Series, Elementary Education: Content Knowledge, Nov. 15, 2008
  • National Writing Project/Alaska State Writing Consortium Mini-Award (2009)
  • Heart Journalism Award, in-depth writing (1999)
  • Heart Journalism Award, feature writing (1999)
  • Golden Key National Honors Society member
  • Kappa Tau Alpha member (national society dedicated to the recognition and promotion of scholarship in the field of journalism)


  • 2018: Teacher Leader Cohort III, Johnson City School District, member.  This District cohort is charged with assisting teachers during implementation of technology for learning in the classroom as well as leading a summer technology camp (2019). To accomplish this, cohort members attend professional conferences and trainings (such as iNACOL, ISTE, etc.), collaborate regularly, and become Google Certified Educators.
  • August 2015 to May 2017: Innovation Committee, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, member.  This District committee, comprised of principals, teacher leaders, and administrators, is charged with creating a plan for implementing personalized learning in all schools within the next five years. To accomplish this, committee members must develop professional development guidelines and opportunities; purchase technology to support blended learning, competency-based learning, and project-based learning; and  create policies to shift academics, curriculum, and school structure in the district.
  • Presenter at Alaska Society for Technology in Education, February 2017, Blended Learning in Elementary
  • October 2016:  West Homer Elementary School, presenter and workshop.  Blended Learning and Canvas Integration. Worked one-to-one with several teachers during the morning hours to help them develop Canvas courses and modules. In the afternoon, led a workshop for 12 teachers that allowed them to experience the blended learning model first-hand. At the end of the afternoon workshop, teachers worked on Canvas courses with my assistance.
  • August 2016: KPBSD District in-service, presenter. Blended Learning in Elementary. More than 100 teachers participated in an online, interactive 2-hour class that detailed creating a blended learning classroom.
  • May 2016: Leadership Academy, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, presenter. Showcase of Blended Learning in an elementary classroom.
  • February 2016: Alaska Society for Technology in Education Symposium, Anchorage, AK, attendee. Where Technology and Education Converge. Promoting access to technology, connectivity to information resources, and technology integration for all Alaskan learners.
  • November 2015: iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium, Orlando, FL, attendee. I attended this symposium as a member of my district’s 2015/16 DTi cohort. iNACOL’s annual conference is the industry’s leading event for K-12 online, blended and competency-based learning. Experts, practitioners, educators, policymakers, and researchers gain access to expertise, analysis, and trends in online, blended and competency education.
  • August 4, 2015: Youth Mental Health First Aid, certification course, Seward, AK. An 8-hour public education program intended for adults that introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.  Mental.Health.First.Aid.Certificate
  • June-July 2015: International Society for Technology in Education Conference & Expo, Philadelphia, PA, attendee. Pushing the boundaries of education by harnessing the power of technology to advance learning and teaching; connecting with other innovative educators; taking my skills to the next level by participating in the world’s largest and most comprehensive ed-tech meeting of the minds.
  • Summer 2015: Rural Alaska Communication & Culture – Cultural Immersion Camp (University of Alaska Anchorage).

Extra-Curricular and Community Activities

  • Homeowner Association President, Johnson City (current)
  • One Acre Café, Johnson City, volunteer (current)
  • First Lego League certified robotics coach for Indian Trail Intermediate School (August 2017 – December 2018).
  • Author of CANVAS modules for Johnson City Schools English Language Arts curriculum (February – June 2018), shared to Canvas Commons for 6th grade ELA teachers.
  • 2016-2017 Teacher Enrichment Pathway, Genius Hour in Elementary Education, by Leigh Ray and Susan Pfeiffenberger. The goal of this project is to create a database of resources and design a year-long course of instruction for elementary school teachers, which supports effective integration of Genius Hour, also called 20% time, in elementary classrooms. Genius Hour activities draw upon science, technology, engineering, and math.
  • Author of CANVAS modules for KPBSD English Language Arts Common Quarterly Assessments (August 2016), shared to Canvas Commons for K-6 teachers
  • Coordinator for the Hour of Code event, Seward Elementary School (2013 – 2016)
  • William H. Seward Elementary School Technology Committee (2013 to 2017)
  • English Language Arts Curriculum Committee for Standards Alignment, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (2013 to 2016)
  • Coordinator for Jump Rope for Heart, Seward Elementary School (2011 -2017)
  • Seward Arts Council, a local non-profit, board member (vice president, 2013-2016)
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, DTi Cohort, Blended/Online Learning (2015-2016)
  • Co-Founder of the Seward Code Club, which has offered programs in Lego Robotics (both WeDo and Mindstorms) and computer programming both during school, after school, and during the summertime. (2013 to 2016)
  • First Lego League certified robotics coach. The team, Resurrection Bay Brainstormers, was part of the Seward Code Club and met after school once a week. Our team competed regionally. (2014-2015)
  • Seward Elementary Vision and Mission Committee (2013-2014)
  • Schoolyard Habitat committee (2012-2014)
  • Seward Schools Site-Based Council secretary (2012-2014)
  • Place-Based Social Studies: Seward Alaska Through Young Eyes (2012) – student projects tied to local chamber of commerce and tourism industry through brochures, website, podcasts, field trips, guest speakers, history studies
  • Alaska Environmental Literacy Plan steering committee (2012)
  • Bias & Sensitivity Review committee for the Alaska state assessment with Data Recognition Corporation (August 2010)


  • World Class: How to Build a 21st-Century School System (July 2018)
  • First Lego League Ask an Expert (October 2017)
  • Master Teacher Meetups through Better Lesson TeachCycle (2015-2016)
  • Future Ready Schools | 2015 School Leadership Summit, June 24, 2015 (8 hours)
  • Teachers Know Best: Making Data Work for Teachers and Students, June 3, 2015 (1 1/2 hours)
  • Environmental Education: Implementing Your State Literacy Plan Webinar, April 2012

Other Professional Development & University Coursework

  • Creativity & Inquiry STEM Education, June 2018: SCED 5610, 3 credit hours (graduate), Eastern Tennessee State University
  • STEM & Literacy conference, June 2018
  • Leadership Academy, KPBSD, May 2016
  • Rural Alaska Communication & Culture, Summer 2015: ED 541P, 3 credit hours (graduate), University of Alaska Anchorage
  • A Deeper Understanding of Danielson’s Framework for Teaching, Spring 2015: EDUC 58168, 1 credit hour, Alaska Pacific University (APU); [For classmates: Click here for session 3 worksheet response.  Check out this sheet for formative assessments and check out this Formative Assessment set]
  • Exploring Prince William Sound: Chugach National Forest  with Chugach National Forest Wilderness Manager Tim Lydon, June 2014.  Alaska Geographic & UA Southeast (3 credits, graduate level). This six-day course took place in the scenic heart of western Prince William Sound. Emphasis was placed on exploring the area’s human and natural history, with the human relationship to nature as a central theme. While camping and traveling in the Wilderness Study Area in western Prince William Sound, the group explored the area’s Alaska Native history, early Euro-American activities, evolution of the Chugach National Forest, 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the local effects of global climate change. Topics also included flora, fauna and glaciers. Immersed in wilderness travel and themes, participants discussed new ways to incorporate the natural world into teaching methods.
  • Leadership Academy, KPBSD, June 2014
  • Motivating and Engaging Students, EDUC 58106, Alaska Pacific University (APU), Winter 2014 (3.0 credits, graduate level)
  • Leadership Academy, KPBSD, June 2013
  • Instructional Strategies: Cooperative Groups (2012-2013, 15 Contact Hours)
  • Technology Academy, KPBSD, May 2012
  • Advisory Committee, Alaska Environmental Literacy Plan, 2011-2012. Final Document (online, updated)
  • Write Tools 101, December 2011
  • Power School Train-the-Trainer seminar, Fall 2011
  • National Science Teachers Association, A Framework for K-12 Science Education, 1.5 hour NSTA Web Seminar, July 26, 2011
  • Alaska Alive! with Father Oleksa, Spring 2011, Alaska Pacific University (3 credits, graduate level). Also watched Father Oleksa’s “Communicating Across Cultures” DVD series.
  • Small Schools Curriculum Design, ED F631, Summer 2010, UAF, Prof. Ray Barnhardt (3 credits, graduate level)
  • Alaska Division of Forestry, UAF, School of Education, Summer 2010, created two PowerPoints for elementary schools about wildfire (grades K-3, 4-6)
  • Cultural Bias in Standardized Tests Advisory Committee, Department of Education, Summer 2010
  • Senior Honors Thesis, UNC-CH (1999): Media reaction to the JAMA 1998 issue on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Leigh Ellen Martz, aka Leigh Ellen Ray (PI)

I’m Proud of…

  • I won $10,000 in computer hardware for our school through Code.org (Fall 2014).  Through this award, our school received a 3D printer (MakerBot), 28 Chromebooks, web cameras for every classroom, document cameras (8), mp3 players, and more.
  • I have had multiple Donor’s Choose projects for my classroom fully funded, worth thousands of dollars (2012 to present).  Through these projects, my classroom has gained 27 Amazon tablets for 1:1 learning activities, headphones, a conference webcam, ten mp3 players, 6 cameras, a complete non-fiction library (with bins), a complete fiction library (with bins), digital recorders (2), Jr. Great Books curriculum for 30 students, watercolor paper, hand sanitizer, wireless keyboard and mouse, microphone, SAM animation kit, craft supplies, and more.

Classroom Without Walls

  • Global Read-Aloud Project, Fall 2016, partnering with a second grade in Raleigh, NC
  • Global Project: Make This World A Little Better, led by Cheryl Arnett, a closed Facebook group
  • Global Read-Aloud Project, Fall 2015
  • Community Service: Thanksgiving Songs & Poems at Mountain Haven Elder Home, 2013-2016
  • Global Read-Aloud Project, Fall, 2014
  • ClassDojo Advertisement: professional filming at Seward Elementary, featuring my classroom and Mrs. Fabian’s classroom
  • Flat Classrooms Global Collaboration, 2013-2014
  • Thanksgiving Celebration: Skype Presentation for the Elderly, November 2013
  • Place-Based Social Studies: Seward Alaska Through Young Eyes (2012) – student projects tied to local chamber of commerce and tourism industry through brochures, website, podcasts, field trips, guest speakers, history studies



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