Daviess County teacher inspires students through technology
By Susan Riddell
Jackie Revlett had trouble selecting a major while she was attending Murray State University. She went from music therapy to nursing to accounting to computer science.
“I enjoyed business classes in college, but knew that my personality would not conform to an office cubicle from 8 to 5,” Revlett said.
Knowing she came from a family heavy in educators, one of Revlett’s sorority sisters recommended business education, and for the past 23 years, Revlett has taught business education in the Daviess County school district.
Revlett has been at Daviess County High School after spending her first nine years at Apollo High School. Earlier this year, she was named the outstanding teacher by the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education.
“Jackie is an inspirational leader in the field of technology,” Daviess County High business teacher Barney Hall said. “She is a role model for classroom teachers integrating technology into the curriculum and using technology to help students reach their full potential.
“Her classroom is an exciting place where students are encouraged and challenged to use technology as a resource and tool for learning,” Hall added. “Her students are excited to walk into her classroom every day because they are looking forward to the challenges that she presents.”
Revlett teaches Financial Services 1 and 2, Financial Accounting 1 and 2, Help Desk and Computer Applications at Daviess County High, along with serving as Business Academy dean. She said she’s fortunate to be in a district that offers every high school student their own laptop for four years.
“Technology is at the center of instruction and learning, which makes business education even more of an integral part of a child’s high school education,” Revlett said. “Our Computer Applications course is a required course for graduation, and it also is an articulated course for college credit with Owensboro Career and Technical College.”
While her top priority is her students, Revlett also works with teachers at the school in fulfilling their technological needs.
“Through the benefits of technology, she works constantly to support staff and students and helps them solve serious problems,” Principal Anthony Sparks said. “Many times, resolving these issues leads to increased efficiency and production. At other times, Jackie’s work focuses on helping teachers to become better teachers.
“No matter the issue, Jackie demonstrates professionalism in every way. Her commitment to technology, and the power that it can bring, is quite admirable. While serving as Business Academy Dean and teacher, Jackie always has improvement on her mind.”
Revlett said the most important thing for business teachers to remember is to adjust to technology advances and the times in which we live.
“Technology has directly impacted the direction for teaching in business education,” she said. “Each year brings new changes and challenges, but it makes the teaching of business exciting. Business educators must be willing to accept change and to learn and must also stay in direct touch with the needs of industry.
“Gone are the days of typewriting and shorthand,” Revlett added. “Currently, a business educator must be comfortable with a multitude of software application packages, knowledgeable of Web applications and Web design, be able to teach a working knowledge of accounting concepts, help students critically analyze financial statements in industry, understand the impact of multimedia and digital imaging in business, and continue to share with students the importance of a strong work ethic, teamwork and networking in building relationships in the workplace.”
To help her students get ready for the workplace, Revlett makes students apply for jobs in the Financial Services class. The process begins with students filling out a job application and a resume and then the interview with Revlett and a representative from a local sponsoring bank.
“Considering that this is a capstone course in our program and students have completed resumes and applications prior to this course, I give minimal instruction for preparation of these documents,” Revlett said. “Their submitted credentials and interview must be high-quality in order for them to prove that they would be the best employee for the job. To me, I’m preparing them for the workforce. They will not have someone coaching and rewriting their resumes prior to most employment opportunities.”
After jobs are assigned, Revlett meets with each student to provide feedback so they can improve on the next interview.
Revlett also values working with teachers in other content areas. In the past, her Financial Accounting 2 class has helped the school’s athletic director analyze transportation expenses on a monthly basis for specific athletic teams.
“Personally, I think anytime you can show students the connection between what they are learning from the teacher and textbook to a real-life situation, they will gain more understanding in the subject,” Revlett said.
One of Revlett’s favorite collaborative efforts was a project called “Dirt to Dollars” that involved six teachers from the business, agriculture and science classes working together to make items sold by the Daviess County High School Greenhouse, a school-based business.
“Our marketing class promoted the sale, and my accounting class recorded the revenue, expenses and financial statements,” Revlett said. “It was exciting to have so many students and teachers working together to promote a school-based business.”
“We want our business students to graduate with the skills necessary for the workforce,” Revlett added. “Our students are a beautiful mixture of college-bound students, students who will pursue military service and students who will graduate and go directly into the workforce. We must prepare them all with the skills they need to succeed.”
Jackie Revlett, firstname.lastname@example.org, (270) 852-7300