Ten superintendents who are among the nation’s most successful in leading their schools into the 21st century were honored in a ceremony Feb. 15.

The occasion was eSchool News’ Eighth Annual Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards, sponsored by Promethean and eCollege. This year’s award winners were honored in Tampa, Fla., in a ceremony held during—but not affiliated with—the American Association of School Administrators’ 2008 National Conference on Education.

(Editor’s note: For coverage of AASA’s 2008 conference, see our Conference Information Center.)

“Using technology as a tool for real school reform, you’re advancing an idea of education that leaves behind the old factory model of instruction and embraces new tools and techniques that engage children fully, personalize their instruction, and empower them to take control of their own learning,” eSchool News Managing Editor Dennis Pierce told honorees. “And your students are the better for it.”

Now in its eighth year, the Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards are intended to recognize excellence in ed-tech leadership from the very top level of school district administration, and hold these exemplary leaders up as models for others to follow.

Among other criteria, “tech-savvy” superintendents must model the effective use of technology in their day-to-day execution of the superintendency; ensure that technology resources are distributed equitably among students and staff; insist that adequate professional development is a component of every school technology initiative; demonstrate exceptional vision in leading the development and implementation of district-wide technology plans; and think creatively and strategically about the long-term challenges and opportunities that technology provides in their districts and in education at large.

Winners were nominated by the school field and then chosen by the editors of eSchool News with the help of Tech-Savvy Superintendent laureates from prior years.

Here are this year’s winners:

Randy Acevedo, Monroe County Schools, Fla.;
Ron Barlow, Tintic School District, Utah;
John Barry, Aurora Public Schools, Colo.;
Deborah Delisle, Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, Ohio;
William Hamilton, Walled Lake School District, Mich.;
Abelardo Saavedra, Houston Independent School District, Texas;
Ron Saunders, Barrow County Schools, Ga.;
Jerry Vaughn, Floydada Independent School District, Texas;
Sue Walker, Shoreline School District, Wash.; and
Jerry Weast, Montgomery County Public Schools, Md.

“Many of you have led the implementation of one-to-one computing projects—often having found creative ways to fund and sustain these programs—to ensure equitable access to technology for all students, both at school and at home,” Pierce told honorees.

“You’ve reformed financial procedures and district-wide communications using technology, opening up the flow of information to stakeholders and making parents true partners in the educational system. And, you’ve explored the use of innovative and emerging technologies as tools for instruction, where appropriate—such as the use of Second Life as a platform for staff development and academic intervention.

“And it’s this kind of exemplary vision and skilled leadership our schools vitally need as we enter a critical period in our nation’s history,” Pierce added. “We’ll do all we can to help promote the vision of 21st-century education that you’ve embraced, and I’d ask that you, too, continue to help share that vision with your colleagues and your stakeholders.”

Jim Barnes, of eCollege, and Sonny Magana, of Promethean USA, brought greetings from their respective school technology providers and congratulated the 2008 laureates on their achievements and exemplary leadership.

(To read more about our 2008 Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award winners and their accomplishments, click here.)