Listen to each award winner describe what it means to be a “tech savvy” leader. Click on the videos below for more.
Although Eric Conti has been the superintendent of Burlington Public Schools (BPS) for only a year and a half, in this short period of time the district has progressed from not having a clear plan for using technology to among the ed-tech leaders in Massachusetts.
Jan Harris has overseen a nationally recognized one-to-one laptop program in Cullman City high schools since 2005, and officials have tracked a 13-percent increase in test scores in recent years. She has introduced new forms of online communication, and in a recent state survey, 95 percent of the district’s teachers said they have sufficient access to technology and training.
Manuel L. Isquierdo joined the Sunnyside Unified School District in July 2007, and four months into his tenure there he launched Project Graduation, aimed at reducing the district’s dropout rate. Technology is a key component of this plan, serving as both an incentive for students to succeed and as a means of intervention for at-risk youth.
As the former chief technology officer for the sixth largest school district in Washington, and as an advocate for instructional technology at both the state and national levels, Chip Kimball’s commitment to ed-tech integration is obvious. A highly respected consultant and keynote speaker on school improvement, innovation, governance, and the systemic use of technology, Kimball stays current on the latest ed-tech research and best practices, and he models the use of technology in everything he does.
Pamela Moran is an active Twitterer, blogger, and innovator who advocates the use of technology to help drive continuous school improvement. She has provided a Flip video camera to all principals and members of the district’s leadership team, which they use to record and discuss professional learning communities at work.
Initiatives such as paperless school board meetings and access to online courses are no longer unusual in K-12 education, but Carolyn Ross was out in front on these efforts long before they became commonplace.
Kim Ross is a pioneer for virtual learning in his state. Using a non-traditional approach to solving a traditional problem (declining student enrollment), he has taken a small, rural district of about 450 K-12 students tucked away in the southeastern corner of Minnesota and transformed it into a vibrant, financially sound school system now serving nearly 2,500 pupils from around the state, thanks to his creation of the Minnesota Virtual Academy.
As superintendent of Abington School District, a diverse suburban district of about 7,000 students just outside Philadelphia, Amy Sichel has fostered an environment of innovation that is directly responsible for landing several highly coveted ed-tech grants.
Gary Smuts has served as superintendent of California’s ABC Unified School District since 2005. During that time, he has implemented a technology-based high school graduation requirement that has received national recognition. This “TechGradRequirement” builds on the International Society for Technology in Education’s National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) to create lessons and projects focused on effective technology integration.
Edgecombe County is a rural North Carolina district of 7,300 students, about 65 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. But Craig Witherspoon hasn’t let this economic challenge stand in the way of delivering 21st-century tools and resources to prepare the district’s students for success in a global economy.