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True innovation isn’t about novelty; it’s about growth. An innovative teacher is one that employs the most effective tools to optimize learning for all students.

Provost Elementary Teacher, Mary Wade, has a deep-dyed devotion to exploration, purpose, and autonomy, earning her the prestigious Innovative Teacher award from the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology (UCET). The Innovative Teaching award “recognizes teachers for facilitating student learning through innovative teaching practices using technology,” and it’s easy to see how and why Mary Wade deserves the award after reading her award nomination:

“Mary Wade has loved tinkering with “What-Ifs” for eight years of teaching. From building a DIY smartboard using Wii remotes to organizing a student stop-motion film premiere to training students to plan their own daily schedules, she’s always exploring new learning possibilities. The daughter of a school librarian, Wade adores children’s literature and believes in the power of stories and students owning their stories. She can’t ever keep up with her students’ book recommendations, but she enjoys trying! She also enjoys biking, skiing, rock climbing, and traveling with her three kids and husband.

“Mrs. Wade has been at Provost Elementary going on three years. In those three years, she has transformed her classroom from a teacher-centered environment to a student-centered one through flexible seating, student choice, and a completely innovative approach to learning.

“Mrs. Wade’s classroom is definitely NOT a sit-and-get kind of classroom but rather an environment where students take ownership of their learning. When you walk into her classroom, you might see a student painting in the corner while others are reading a book in another corner, while others are practicing the skill they learned that day on the computer, while another group is at the front doing a workshop with the teacher.

“Mrs. Wade’s instruction is a perfect example of Provo City School District’s Flexible Learning approach, removing barriers to learning and promoting student voice and choice while ensuring high levels of learning.”

Mary Wade is the sort of teacher that empowers students by teaching them how to learn for life. She’s a remarkable teacher, as Provost Principal Kami Alvarez attests:

“Mrs. Wade is a fantastic teacher and professional who embodies the belief that we are all lifelong learners. She is constantly looking for ways to engage her students in the learning process and has implemented a creative use of her classroom that allows for student differentiation and choice. Her students love her and feel supported and recognized.”

Creating a personalized, student-centered learning environment takes work, but Mary Wade is a testament to its lasting value. We thank Mary Wade for her unwavering commitment to foster lifelong learners, and congratulate her for receiving the UCET23 Innovative Teacher Award.

Spencer Tuinei
  • Communication Specialist
  • Spencer Tuinei