Tamsen receives WNEA Friends of Education award

Kent Tamsen, director of technology for USD 465, stands between Michael Bumgarner and Lynn Gerber, both with the Winfield National Education Association.

Kent Tamsen, director of Technology and Operations for Winfield Public Schools, recently received the “Friends of Education” award from the Winfield National Education Association.

WNEA had voted to give Tamsen the award in the spring, but circumstances pertaining to COVID-19 derailed presentation plans until recently.

Tamsen was given the honor in surprise fashion on Oct. 16 during USD 465’s Elevate Professional Development conference.

“Kent Tamsen has worked tirelessly to make USD 465 a district in which teachers are actively encouraged to advance their own comfort with and understanding of technology in the classroom,” WNEA co-president Michael Bumgarner said. “He has helped create an environment where technology works for the teachers — not the other way around. The students, staff and families of our district are fortunate to have Kent on our side.”

Superintendent Dr. Nathan Reed added, “In challenging times, it is a necessity to have leadership that is thoughtful, timely and concise. Kent embodies these qualities every day with every situation. I cannot think of a better person to be honored in this way.”

A banner presented to Tamsen reads: “A great leader inspires and supports even when ‘we’ve never done this before.’” The last phrase is something Tamsen said comes often due to the changes being made in every facet of education because of COVID-19.

“I am truly honored,” Tamsen said. “I am so fortunate to work with such amazing and passionate colleagues at USD 465. We all have the same goal in mind, and that is to help our students be successful learners.” 

The surprise event was attended by Tamsen’s wife, Katrina, as well.

Tamsen came to work for USD 465 in February 2016. He has a background of 30-plus years in education and technology experiences, including K-12, higher education and corporate levels. He has been a classroom teacher, district level administrator, university professor, staff developer, and a corporate and private technology consultant.

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