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LITA Forum 2014

Dr. AnnMarie Thomas

I was fortunate to attend my very first LITA conference last week.  LITA is the Library and Information Technology Association that educates members in the library field on leading edge technology.  This year’s conference was held at the Albuquerque Hotel in Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico.


The keynote speaker, Dr. AnnMarie Thomas, provided the perfect enthusiasm to the opening of the LITA conference.  Dr. Thomas is an engineering professor at the University of St. Thomas, and believes in hands-on education and utilizes play in her teaching.  She believes that if you allow yourself to play, you get lost in the process of learning. If you are laughing, you will work harder.  Dr. Thomas asked her audience if they were Makers.  As a few reluctant hands were raised, she identified that all of us are Makers.  Makers make things, whether they are crafting, baking, or creating electricity with soft play dough.  Dr. Thomas said, “This is the time of the big Maker Movement.  Anyone can be a Maker, just jump in and try!”


Dr. Thomas believes there are personality traits that great Makers such as Bill Gates and author Paul Rink had when they were children.  Makers are curious, Makers are playful, Makers are willing to take risks, Makers are resourceful, Makers are persistent, Makers share their knowledge, and Makers are optimistic.  She stated that we need to keep Makers, Makers.  Children start out as Makers, but many lose their curiosity as they grow older.


Dr. Thomas’ advice to aspiring Makers:  Focus on learning new things.  Be open to being silly. Be willing to let others know you don’t know how to do something.  Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them.  Create something that adds value for other people. Play!


Dr. AnnMarie Thomas is the author of “Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation” (2014).

November 13, 2014 | By lkozel | Category:

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.