Washington, DC (March 29, 2007)–The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) today announced the winners of its annual awards, celebrating the achievements and contributions of leaders in education technology. The awards were presented during CoSN´s 12th Annual K-12 School Networking Conference in San Francisco, California, themed Bridging Individualized Learning and High-Stakes Accountability.

This year´s award winners include:

*Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Public Service: Governor Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania

*Withrow Award for Educators: Dr. Michael Burke, Director of District Media and Technology Services, Edina Public Schools, Minnesota

*TEAM Award School District: Kiel Area School District, Wisconsin

*TEAM Award Individual School: St. Joseph´s Academy, Louisiana

*Volunteer of the Year Award: Jim Bosco, Professor Emeritus, Western Michigan University

*Private Sector Champion: Lil Kellogg, Education Networks of America (ENA)

"Across the nation there are education leaders, public officials, schools and school districts generating noteworthy, meaningful outcomes in education through the use of technology," said Keith Krueger, CoSN CEO. "We have identified a select group of these exceptional achievers to honor this year, and take this time to applaud their thought leadership and contributions to the education technology community."

CoSN wishes to thank Inspiration Software, sponsor of this year´s awards.

Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell is this year´s recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Public Service, and has been recognized for his visionary leadership in championing technology-based reform in the state´s schools. With his $250 million, three-year, comprehensive high school reform project called Classrooms for the Future, Governor Rendell has demonstrated his commitment to ensuring that Pennsylvania students have the technological tools they need to succeed and compete in the 21st Century global economy. The program equipped 100 local high schools with laptops on every desk to help students further develop the 21st Century skills needed to prepare them for success in the increasingly competitive post-secondary landscape. In addition to this initiative, since Governor Rendell took office, he has increased the state´s investments in K-12 education resources by $1.8 billion.

CoSN is pleased to present the 2007 Withrow Award for Educators to Dr. Michael Burke, Director of District Media and Technology Services for the Edina Public Schools in Edina, Minnesota. For nearly four decades, Dr. Burke has been a tireless advocate for the effective integration of technology in the classroom. Under his leadership, within a year, Edina moved from having one computer in classrooms and one computer lab to a 4-to-1 student-to-computer ratio. Dr. Burke was also responsible for launching an annual spring Technology Fair where students from across the school district showcase their creative use of technology and digital media. In addition, he played a key role in computerizing the district´s math and reading achievement tests, allowing teachers to review students´ results within two weeks and make necessary adjustments to their instruction plans. Dr. Burke was responsible for establishing a districtwide network called the Building Advisory Technology Team, which consists of technology leaders at each school who are dedicated to implementing districtwide education technology plans.

The Kiel Area School District in Wisconsin is the recipient of the TEAM Award School District. Kiel is the "little engine that could." A small, rural district, Kiel is "large in vision and vast in technology" according to its nominator. Kiel has accomplished many important outcomes despite limitations of time and funds. They have a state-of-the-art distance learning lab, video production labs, staff and student electronic portfolios data and curriculum warehousing, wifeless technology and paperless school board meetings. Kiel has also had a national focus on its online learning program to ensure that its results can be transferred to other districts and has created a joint computer lab for use by recently dislocated workers and our students with a local technical college.
Among the many valuable programs at Kiel, Build Your Own Curriculum (BYOC) is a Web-based curriculum program, which provides teachers a framework to organize their curriculum, instruction, and assessment. BYOC provides a view of courses and curriculum by state and/or local standards, through user-defined teaching objectives. This flexibility plus anytime/anywhere access by parents to student information make Kiel a truly "big" district that wins the CoSN 2007 Award for educational technology innovation.

This year CoSN was so impressed with one nomination we created a special award honoring a school level TEAM achievement. St. Joseph´s Academy (SJA) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a powerful school that has been a technology pioneer. We were touched by their community outreach in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The school invited 250 displaced students into their school of 800 young women. They gave these girls laptops and adapted their curriculum to match the regular curriculum of those students. In addition, the parents of New Orleans students were able to come onto SJA´s wireless campus to fill out electronic forms for FEMA, Red Cross and insurance claims, which further strengthened the ties between the Baton Rouge and New Orleans communities. This was not the first example of outreach from a technologically-savvy school. St. Joseph´s Academy has also established computer labs at two Baton Rouge elementary schools and also brought technology to impoverished students and teachers in six public schools and two orphanages in Cordoba, Mexico. Over the past two summers, members of the SJA Technology Department have traveled to Cordoba to install more than 100 computers, and set up numerous Web cams, Web pages and blogs for students.

Jim Bosco, this year´s Volunteer of the Year Award winner, has been recognized for his exemplary service in helping to make education technology a focus and priority for local, national and international educators. Bosco is one of CoSN´s Past Chairs and was the longest standing board member, and since that time has chaired CoSN´s International Committee. CoSN´s annual International Symposium was his brainchild and he has consistently developed intriguing, forward-looking topics and garnered participation from the some of the most prominent minds in education technology.

This year´s Private Sector Champion is Lil Kellogg with Education Networks of America (ENA). Kellogg has been honored for going above and beyond the call of duty to support the education technology community. In addition to co-chairing CoSN´s 2007 Advocacy Auction, she serves as chair of CoSN´s Marketing Committee, which oversees the development and coordination of CoSN´s messaging, Web site and marketing efforts, among many other tasks.

"Inspiration Software is proud to sponsor these awards and honor the service, vision and leadership of these innovators who everyday exhibit their commitment to demonstrating the value of technology as a tool to empower students and educators, and strengthen our education system," said Mona Westhaver, president and co-founder, Inspiration Software, Inc.

An awards committee with members from across the education technology spectrum chose this year´s honorees. Additional information about the CoSN awards program, including past honorees, can be found at www.cosn.org/about/awards.

Scholastic Administr@tor serves as media partner for the CoSN awards.

About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

CoSN is the country´s premier voice in education technology leadership, serving K-12 technology leaders who through their strategic use of technology, improve teaching and learning. CoSN provides products and services to support and nurture leadership development, advocacy, coalition building, and awareness of emerging technologies.

CoSN leadership initiatives include: Accessible Technologies for All Students (www.accessibletech4all.org); Cyber Security for the Digital District (www.securedistrict.org); Data-Driven Decision-Making (www.3d2know.org) K-12 Open Technologies (www.k12opentech.org); Taking Total Cost of Ownership to the Classroom (www.classroomtco.org); Value of Investment (www.edtechvoi.org) and the development of the Council of School District Chief Technology Officers (CTO Council).

CoSN´s membership includes a unique blend of education and technology leaders, policy makers, and influencers from the public and private sectors. Our audience includes key technology leaders (often called Chief Technology Officers–CTOs) in leading-edge states and districts, policy makers, private sector leaders, as well as those technology leaders who wish to accelerate their districts´ or states´ systemic technology use. Visit www.cosn.org or phone 866.267.8747 to find out more about CoSN´s programs and activities supporting leadership development to ensure that information technology has a direct and positive impact on student learning in elementary and secondary schools.

About Inspiration Software, Inc.

Recognized as the leader in visual thinking and learning, Inspiration Software, Inc. develops and publishes innovative software tools that inspire learners of all ages to brainstorm, organize, plan and create. With more than 15 million users worldwide, the company´s award-winning software is revolutionizing visual learning in education–inspiring students to develop strong thinking and organizational skills and improve their academic performance. Founded by Donald Helfgott and Mona Westhaver, the company´s mission is to support improvements in education and make a positive difference in students´ lives by providing software tools that help students learn to think. www.inspiration.com

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