EUGENE — After jumping feet first into digital learning in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the teachers at O’Hara School here recognized the importance of proficiency in the Google suite of products for both their teaching and students’ learning.

O’Hara has been using Google’s educational tools for 10 years and enjoyed the benefits of Google Classroom prior to the move to digital learning. But this summer many teachers used their break to become Google certified educators. The certification program combines classroom experience with Google-developed training resources and examinations.

The certification is one way O’Hara “continues to strive to set teachers apart, validating their proficiency with all of Google’s tools for the classroom and allowing them to engage and do more with their students through technology,” said school leaders in a press release. As the school year starts with fourth through eighth grade students in mandated distance learning, and some K-three families in optional distance learning, “this is more important today than ever,” administrators said.

Nearly half of O’Hara teachers are Level 1 Google certified and three teachers have achieved their Level 2 designation.

“Using technology to enhance our teaching capabilities is the future of education,” said Tammy Conway, principal of O’Hara. “I am proud of the commitment our teachers have made to their students in becoming Google certified educators. It is just one more way we strive to meet our mission of encouraging our students to strive for excellence and to be life-long learners.”