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PBS Digital Innovator Program Honors Classroom Changemakers

Local PBS stations have nominated educators for integrating media and digital technology in their teaching environments and inspiring kids to use those tools in effective, responsible and empowering ways.

(TNS) — Christian Wrabley, a Greater Johnstown High School teacher, has been selected to participate in the PBS Digital Innovator All-Star program.

"I'm honored to be included in such an impressive and passionate group of educators from across the country," he said. "And I'm confident that our collaborative work will engage and inspire young people to learn and lead with a purpose. It's just really exciting to think that I get to learn with some of the top creative educators, and then I can bring those skills and ideas back to our community to make a difference at home."

Wrabley was nominated by local PBS station WQED for this honor that recognizes "classroom changemakers who offer fresh ideas and bold approaches to supporting their students' growth and learning," according to a PBS release.

Honorees are also chosen for their extraordinary work in supporting their students' learning by "integrating media and digital technology in their teaching environments" and inspiring learners to use those tools in effective, responsible and empowering ways.

The Johnstown educator is entering his 11th year teaching and is one of 19 kindergarten through 12th-grade instructors from across the country to be chosen for the all-star program.

Together, the group will spend the 2022-23 school year expanding their engagement with students, families, schools and other teachers.

Wrabley said he never though of himself as a digital innovator until the COVID-19 pandemic affected daily education.

"When our school closed in March 2020, and 43 percent of our students had no access to a device or an Internet connection, I had an amazing opportunity to work with WQED to imagine, design and create a 30-minute multidisciplinary unit that could be viewed as a TV show on basic cable, which 97 percent of students could access," he said. "This showed me the power of digital innovation and the unique ways we can leverage technology to bring down barriers to learning."

Since then, Wrabley has worked with WQED and PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs to amplify the voices of young people.

That led to the creation of a superintendent's student advisory group at Greater Johnstown.

"I recognized the value of PBS, WQED and other digital innovators in empowering young people to drive meaningful change," Wrabley said.

A full list of the 2022 PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars and their profiles can be found at

©2022 The Tribune-Democrat (Johnstown, Pa.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.