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Discovery Education Announces 2011 Discovery Educator Network Gurus

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Christina Scripps, Discovery Education

Emily Embury, C. Blohm & Associates

— Five Educators Chosen For Their Dedication and Leadership in Professional Learning Community —

Silver Spring, Md. (June 8, 2011) – Discovery Education is pleased to announce the 2011 Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Gurus, which recognizes distinguished educators who are thought leaders in the education community. Selected through a competitive application process, five educators were chosen as this year’s DEN Gurus for their commitment, leadership and participation in one of the nation’s largest professional learning communities.

In its second year, the DEN Guru program honors educators who go above and beyond to share their passion for education with others and demonstrate an expertise in one or more academic topic areas. This year’s five Gurus are recognized as passionate individuals encouraging the integration of educational technologies and digital content into curriculum and classrooms.

“Discovery Education and the DEN are proud to honor the work and dedication of these five devoted educators,” said Lance Rougeux, vice president of learning communities and instructional implementation for Discovery Education. “This year’s DEN Gurus are masters in their chosen field, deeply passionate about education and committed to sharing their expertise with others across the country.”

The 2011 DEN Gurus include:

Cheryl Lykowski, Bedford Public Schools, Michigan
Cheryl is in her 20th year of teaching and currently teaches 5th grade in southeast Michigan. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in instructional technology. From her first Commodore 64 to her current array of electronic devices, Cheryl has always enjoyed exploring her passion for technology and its endless possibilities in education. Her boundless energy and expertise has allowed her to share with others at ISTE conferences, state level conferences and through several journal publications.

Kathy Schrock, Eastham, Massachusetts
Kathy has been a school district director of technology, an instructional technology specialist, an adjunct education professor, and more. She is currently teaching online graduate courses for Wilkes University, as part of the Wilkes-Discovery Master’s program in instructional media. Kathy has received numerous awards for her work, including a People’s Choice Webby, the ISTE and MassCUE Making IT Happen Award, the NCTIES Service Learning Award, and has served on the ISTE Board of Directors and worked with the U.S. Department of Education on educational technology matters.

Dean Mantz, Sterling Public Schools, Kansas
Dean is the Network Coordinator and Integration Specialist for Sterling USD #376. Before working in Sterling, Dean was honored in his previous district as “Teacher of the Year” while teaching middle school history and technology. He has been serving on the Kansas DEN Leadership Council since it was established in 2008. Along with working for Sterling Public Schools, Dean is an adjunct professor for Sterling College facilitating the Technology in the Classroom course for pre-service students. Dean also serves as a national mentor for LoTi, conducting professional development sessions in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Rita A. Mortenson, Verona Area School District, Wisconsin
Since 1995, Rita has been a leader in technology integration as the Educational Technology Coordinator for Verona Area High School. An Apple Distinguished Educator since 2007, Rita has been developing curriculum and showcasing student work in a variety of ways. She also obtained the Apple Certified Associate Degree in the iLife ‘09 Suite, and is a National Board Certified teacher with an MBA degree. She is an active Discovery STAR Educator, serves as the Events Chair for the Wisconsin DEN Leadership Council and was one of three teachers selected in 2009 to participate in the Discovery Student Adventures pilot in China for 15 days.

Jennifer Wagner, Calvary Murrieta, California
Jennifer is part of the IT/Help Desk department at a private K-12 school in southern California. She assists students, teachers and administrators with creative ways to utilize 21st century digital tools. In her spare time, she hosts online projects for PreK-6th grade teachers at, writes a monthly newsletter and provides daily wordles for teachers to use with their students. Jennifer has been recognized by Global SchoolNet, Google and Kidspiration for her innovative uses of technology.

As this year’s DEN Gurus, these five select educators will share their knowledge with peers across the country in a variety of ways. The five Gurus will be regular contributors to the DEN Global Blog, represent the DEN through virtual presentations and participate in major educational conferences nationwide throughout the year.

As part of one of the largest professional learning communities for educators, DEN members have access to a wide range of technology training resources, an expansive library of teacher-generated projects and tools, and in-person and online activities. DEN members also have the option of applying to become STAR Discovery Educators, providing them with additional engagement with the learning community and access to a wider range of DEN resources. A group of 4,500 members and counting, STARs can take their involvement further by applying to become part of their regional DEN Leadership Councils.

For more information about the Discovery Educator Network, or any other products and services from Discovery Education, please visit or call 800-323-9084.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at