“We received nearly 400 nominations from districts from coast to coast, and nearly all of those nominated were worthy of inclusion. That’s a good sign for the nation’s schools, I think,” he said.

“For all the talk about how our schools are failing to meet the needs of today’s students, there are many hundreds of school systems whose leaders understand the evolving nature of 21st-century teaching and learning. It seems that being a ‘tech savvy’ K-12 education leader is no longer an exception—and that’s a clear change from when we launched our awards program a decade ago.”

As each winner’s name was called, a short video clip of the honoree describing his or her ed-tech accomplishments played. These accomplishments included one-to-one computing programs that are turning classrooms into student-centered learning labs and boosting achievement; a technology incentive program that is raising the graduation rate and closing the digital divide; and the creation of an online-learning program that has solved the challenge of declining student enrollment in a rural school system. (For more information about this year’s award winners, click here.)

The Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards are intended to recognize excellence in ed-tech leadership from the very top level of school district administration, and to 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 a district-wide technology plan; and think creatively and strategically about the long-term challenges and opportunities that technology provides in their district and in education at large. (For a full list of criteria, click here.)

(Editor’s note: For more coverage of AASA’s 2010 National Conference on Education—including what Education Secretary Arne Duncan had to say about NCLB reauthorization and superintendent training programs—see our AASA conference page at eSN Online.)