Lori Byrnes- 2001 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award Recipient


The first recipient of the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award was Lori Byrnes, a fourth grade teacher and technology specialist from Cypress Ridge Elementary School in Clermont, Florida. Mrs. Byrnes was presented the award by Apollo 13 Astronaut Fred Haise in Chicago at the National Educational Computing Conference.

The School-To-Work/Technology Enrichment Program, implemented by Byrnes, prepares kindergarten through fifth grade students for the 21st century workforce. Students in every grade level managed their own business while strengthening their economic, technology and interpersonal skills. There was a kindergarten florist shop, a first-grade post office, a second-grade toy store and software business, a third-grade consignment shop/supermarket/recycling center, a fourth-grade printing business and a fifth-grade multimedia business.


Using computers, scanners, printers, cash registers, quick- and digital video cameras, as well as several software programs, students marketed their products to parents and the other students, managed their records, analyzed their data and evaluate the results. They all earned "classroom currency" wages and spend these earnings at the other stores. The program, the first of its kind in Florida, took place once a week and began in 1999. 

I am honored to receive this award. The School-To-Work program is proof that children can do remarkable things with technology when given the opportunity and moral support. Our students continue to master technology skills that are enabling them to do better in their academic subjects, adding to their enjoyment of school and increasing their self-esteem.
— Lori Byrnes