October 10, 2006 (Arlington, Virginia) –SETDA recently honored three outstanding educational leaders for their efforts to ensure students and teachers receive the opportunities they need to be competitive in the World’s global marketplace. Senator Tom Harkin (IA) received SETDA’s Federal Policy Maker Award for his efforts to provide resources to ensure each child has a Highly Qualified Teacher and the tools and resources to ensure achievement. Senator Harkin has worked to maintain funding for NCLB’s Title II, Part D program entitled Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) in recognition of the importance of the federal program as a catalyst to state investment. Senator Harkin has been a long time friend of educational technology especially related to the opportunities distance learning provides to rural teachers and students. SETDA applauds Senator Harkin’s commitment to providing the funding necessary to implement the goals of NCLB and his continuous efforts to invest in our nation’s most vital asset for future success –our students.

Dr. Jorea Marple, Associate State Superintendent of Schools for the WV Department of Education received SETDA’s State Policy Maker Award for her relentless pursuit of West Virginia’s commitment to use technology as an agent of systemic change within their education system. Dr. Marple is concentrating on ensuring that all students have technology literacy skills infused into daily instruction of Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Foreign Languages. Dr. Marple works diligently to collaborate with educators in Special Education and other Title programs, assessment professionals, library media advisors, and technology experts, to meet the goals of West Virginia. Dr. Marple is truly a champion for teachers and students who are gearing up to compete in a World economy.

Dr. Melinda Maddox, Director of Technology Initiatives for the Alabama Department of Education, received SETDA’s Leader of the Year Award from her peers representing all fifty states, DC, and American Samoa. Her vision and dedication resulted in the successful development and implementation of a comprehensive distance learning program called ACCESS (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide). ACCESS provides the courses necessary to meet Alabama’s advanced diploma requirements and creates additional online course offerings, including Advanced Placement, remedial, and enrichment courses, as it provides both professional development for teachers and access to multimedia resources to be used in their instruction. Her leadership and service to SETDA’s Board of Directors has been an inspiration and model to her peers.

Last week, at SETDA’s Education Forum: What It Takes to Compete, Hudson LaForce, Senior Counselor to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, identified technology as an “accelerator of change.” Mary Ann Wolf, SETDA’s Executive Director, stated, “Our honorees are leaders who have utilized technology to improve our education system –both in ensuring teachers are highly qualified and students have the skills they need to succeed in a competitive workforce. Many teachers and students have benefited from the dedicated work of these people.”

About SETDA

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal association for state directors of technology and their staff members providing professional development and leadership around the effective use to technology in education to enhance competitiveness in the global workforce.

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