Donnie Piercey is the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and teaches fifth grade in Lexington, Kentucky. After graduating from Asbury College and earning his master’s from Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama, he has been teaching in Kentucky since 2007. He specializes in using technology to promote student inquiry, learning, and engagement.
During the past 17 years of teaching, these interests have given him the unique chance to represent Kentucky and his students around the world. He runs a podcast called Teachers Passing Notes that is produced by the Peabody Award–winning company, GZMShows. He was the recipient of a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship to Antarctica, and he also represents Kentucky on the inaugural National Geographic Teacher Advisory Council. He is the North American lead for the Google Earth Education Experts Network, and he was the first teacher in Kentucky to become both a Google Certified Innovator and a Google Certified Trainer.
Piercey's recent work in AI and Edu has not gone unnoticed, earning him multiple appearances on Good Morning America, the Associated Press, and PBS (the Public Broadcasting Service). His upcoming book, Fifty Strategies for Using AI in the Classroom, published by Teacher Created Materials, is written for educators looking for practical classroom approaches to using AI to revolutionize their teaching methods and enrich their students’ learning experiences.
Piercey has been invited to keynote and present at schools in 33 states and on five continents. In 2017, he co-authored The Google Cardboard Book: Explore, Engage, and Educate with Virtual Reality, which is based on virtual experiences he created for his students. The Bluegrass always calls him home, however, and he regularly leads professional development at school districts around the state.
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