Michael Atwood: Connecting Students with IT


Michael Atwood in northern California.

Helen Simmons, Editor

Michael Atwood, Bellows Free Academy’s new technology integration specialist, has finally found his target job. 

While on a teacher contract, Atwood works in a school setting, alongside students and teachers, to integrate new technology and support the technology already in use.

Atwood studied at several Vermont colleges until he graduated from Johnson State College with a bachelor’s degree in business professional studies. He went on to be an accountant, a treasury analyst, a business analyst and then landed a job in a school setting. After moving on from being a library media tech at Grand Isle Supervisory Union, he got the job at BFA. Along with working at BFA, Atwood teaches online classes at Champlain College. He teaches two classes: Information Systems Design and Information Systems Development to fourth-year students training to be developers or IT professionals.  

Working in a school setting is something that Atwood finds “gratifying.”  His favorite part is “working with students like yourself … seeing the connection with the students, the opportunity for growth for them, for myself. To know that you’re able to provide maybe a fresh, different perspective on how to use technology in a way that’s not like intrusive or, you know, overwhelming,” said Atwood. 

School environments allow Atwood to have the opportunity to get involved and coach baseball again. “I love baseball. Baseball is near and dear to my heart from when I was younger; we won a few state championships,” said Atwood. 

Atwood coached the same baseball team that his sons, Tyler Atwood and Cody Atwood, who are now in their 20s, played on when they were in middle school. One of his favorite memories with his family was from that time. Tyler was pitching to Cody, the catcher, and Cody hit his first home run during that season. 

Baseball has played a major role in Atwood’s life. Not only does he have a very athletic family, but his favorite memory from his childhood was when he was 13 and moved from his hometown in Waterbury, Vt., to Essex, Vt. His Babe Ruth baseball team won the state championships.

Atwood lives in Grand Isle, Vt. with his wife of ten years, Shawn Willis, and their Australian Shepherds, Lucy and Tally. They enjoy gardening and hiking together the most. “It’s great, life’s good,” Atwood said. 

Shawn helped Atwood get established in the education field. She’s been a math/science teacher for 30 years and currently teaches at Essex Middle School. 

Atwood and his wife returned to the United States last year after spending over two years in Switzerland. Atwood taught virtual classes through Champlain College, and his wife taught at a school. “It’s a nice place to go; I would recommend it to anybody. It’s like the Disney World of Europe,” Atwood said. 

Atwood has a passion for being outdoors, sports, technology, traveling and helping students, which makes him a great person to connect with. If you ever need any technical support, you can find him in the IT department in the north building.