In our ninth annual Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards, sponsored by Promethean, the Pearson Foundation, and K12 Inc., eSchool News recognizes 10 of the nation’s top K-12 executives for their outstanding ed-tech leadership and vision. Chosen by the editors of eSchool News with help from last year’s winners, these 10 exemplary leaders will be honored in a private ceremony held on Feb. 20 in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Century Club 100, an honorary organization of superintendents, during the American Association of School Administrators’ annual conference in San Francisco.
Knob Noster R-VIII School District, Missouri
Under Anderson’s leadership, the Knob Noster School District invested more than half a million dollars to provide its high school students with laptops through a one-to-one computing initiative that is reportedly one of the first in the state.
Since Anderson became superintendent in 2004, all of the district’s schools have interactive whiteboards, and all high school teachers use tablet computers. The district’s schools also have wireless internet capabilities, and district officials are in the process of buying an online public access catalog (OPAC) so students can tap into its list of library resources from wherever they have an internet connection.
Anderson chairs the district-wide technology committee and expects technology to be used in every classroom. She has devoted professional development days to technology training and has paid teachers to attend training during the summer. She also has the district’s technology team working on a way to open up access to some blocked web sites after school hours, so students can access online games and music in a way that won’t interfere with their schoolwork.
Community Unit School District 201, Illinois
When Baule came to CUSD 201 in 2005, one of the key complaints he heard from teachers was that the technology resources in the district didn’t work. Technology was a hindrance to instruction and not a support. Under Baule’s four years of leadership, that has changed.
CUSD 201 has streamlined its network processes, developed new school and district web pages, implemented online surveys to track stakeholders’ needs, hired two additional media specialists, broadened its technology team with an additional three support staff members, purchased a district-wide data management system, and added new instructional tools such as interactive whiteboards, digital document cameras, and more. The district also has implemented new student, financial, and human-resource software packages to bring it into the 21st century–and it has been one of the state’s largest users of virtual high school courses to expand its high school offerings.
New initiatives this year include blogs for teachers and administrators and computer-based adaptive testing to help measure student growth.
Baule’s background as a director of technology and a school library media specialist has provided a framework for smart technology integration and growth. Baule also is an author who has published a variety of resources related to technology.