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Holt Teacher Named 2019 Canvas Teacher of the Year

Jennifer Willis-Nichols, a science teacher at Holt High School, has been named the 2019 Canvas High School Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made by Instructure at its annual InstructureCon edtech conference held in Long Beach, California July 9-11. This is only the second time Instructure has selected recipients for Educator of the Year Awards, which recognizes outstanding educators working to further teaching as well as shape the next generation of students in both K-12 and higher education fields.


Jennifer, who has worked for the WSD since 2016, integrates technology into her classroom in a manner that serves a purpose: to heighten the educational experience. She understands the importance of students engaging with tools like Canvas (the District’s learning management system) in preparation for what is to come as many colleges and careers have their own learning platforms. “As a science teacher, it’s very impactful for me to channel technology,” says Jennifer. “It’s a creative outlet for me in terms of how I present content to my students. It also allows for differentiation and individualized learning that previously did not exist. Technology allows me to continue pushing my students, develop their critical thinking skills, and cheer them on consistently.”


The Canvas Educator of the Year Awards were judged on the following criteria:

  • How does this teacher redefine traditional classroom activities to prepare students for college and careers?
  • How does this teacher's classroom experience improve achievement for at-risk populations?
  • How does this teacher impact student engagement, curiosity and/or achievement?

“Each winner is dedicated to their students’ success and is using Canvas to improve teaching and elevate learning,” said Melissa Loble, SVP of customer success and partnerships at Instructure. “Their inspiring stories showcase the role that technology plays in education and how we can use it to prepare students for the world outside of the classroom. Congratulations to all of our winners!”



Instructure helps people grow from the first day of school to the last day of work. More than 30 million people use the Canvas Learning Management Platform for schools and the Bridge Employee Development Platform for businesses. More information at


Jennifer accepting award at conference