Meet the winners of our 2009 Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards

Lorraine Lange
Roanoke County Schools, Virginia

In her nearly 40 years with Roanoke County Schools, Lange has pushed for all courses to embrace technology. When she became superintendent in 2006, she created seven goals for the county’s schools, with one focusing on using technology to improve the student learning environment and to facilitate effective communication.

As an assistant superintendent for instruction from 2000 to 2005, Lange began work to create a specialty school that provides advanced instruction in career and technical education. Her work led to the formation of the Arnold R. Burton Technology Center, and when Lange became superintendent she helped evolve the center’s focus to include arts-related instruction integrated with technology. The Burton Center for Arts and Technology sprang from this effort.

Lange also led the creation of a Virtual High School, allowing students to use two-way audio and video communication to complete course requirements and earn credit in specified subjects. In addition, she has overseen the coordination of a district-wide system of effective communication with parents, students, staff, and the community by using the Roanoke County Schools web site and a computer-driven communications program that calls parents with important information.

Larry Price
Wilson County Schools, North Carolina

Over the past decade, Price has rejuvenated Wilson County Schools, lobbying school system leaders to invest in instructional technology that has steadily raised student performance.

Since Price took the reins in 1998, the district has instituted a Summer Technology Academy, a weeklong seminar that gives educators a thorough look at what’s new in educational technology. Price also has allocated more district resources to technology, convincing officials to invest $250,000 annually in instructional technology, and he headed an effort to track student discipline infractions–an initiative that cut infractions by more than one-third over two years. He also pushed for a one-to-one laptop program at Hunt High School last year and has led the purchase of LCD projectors and interactive whiteboards for about half of all district classrooms.

Price’s record of community leadership is lengthy. He served as president of the North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association, chairman of the North Carolina Network, and chairman of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators Legislative Committee. He also was recognized as the best superintendent in North Carolina in 2006.

Tom Shelton
Daviess County Public Schools, Kentucky

Shelton has served as superintendent of Daviess County since July 2004, after nine years of service as the district’s assistant superintendent for operations. His experience in business and finance has been a tremendous asset to the district, allowing him to take a long-term view of technology investments.

Shelton believes in the seamless integration of technology in his district. All classrooms are equipped with a ceiling-mounted projector, document camera, voice amplification system, TV tuner, and VCR/DVD player. All elementary and middle schools throughout the district have the same ratio of students to computers, and high school students are involved in a one-to-one laptop computing program he has spearheaded. A portion of the professional development plan for each of the district’s 21 schools must relate to technology integration and fostering critical thinking skills among students.

Shelton keeps a blog to record his visits to schools, and he also maintains a social-networking web site to chronicle the service projects of his “Tom Squad”–a group of student leaders who meet monthly. He pioneered the use of a personnel and money-management software program that the entire state now mandates. He is fond of saying that technology should not drive instruction; instead, it’s the other way around.

eSchool News Staff

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