Scottsdale Unified School District
A superintendent with “laser-like focus,” Peterson quickly instated technology as a key component of the district’s strategic plan, with a stated goal that focuses on increasing student access to digital learning resources.
For example, Peterson provided greater access to computers in the community through TekLink—a program that connects families, schools, and communities through the use of refurbished technology. Peterson initiated this program to help bridge the gap for families in the community with limited or no at-home access to a growing number of digital resources provided by the district. Through TekLink, families receive computers donated by the community and refurbished by high school students. The computers are paired with low-cost internet access provided through CenturyLink.
Peterson also developed an online learning program, which has grown from zero enrollments in 2010 to more than 1,500 concurrent enrollments today. Additionally, the district started a program to provide online courses to students in rural Arizona using Scottsdale’s eLearning teaching staff. The program continues to expand, serving additional middle and high school students in a blended learning environment.
In developing a technology plan, Peterson has effectively woven technology into the teaching and learning fabric in 31 schools. The heart of the plan has placed modern technology resources in some 1,700 classrooms, providing interactive technologies and professional development across the district. He also played a key role in obtaining the funding resources needed to meet this need.
Peterson leads by example, conducting principals’ meetings online, embracing new technologies, and providing an environment that encourages all staff to explore how new technologies can be tools to improve learning.
Hamilton Community Schools
Tebo is not only a leader of a highly successful school district; he also is a leader among his administrative peers because of his ability to look at education differently.
Tebo encourages his staff to be active in social media, and he regularly uses Twitter (@tebotweets) to share and discuss educational issues. Through his personal learning network (PLN), Tebo brings ideas from all over the world to a sprawling district of cornfields and pig farms. Since his arrival two years ago, more and more teachers are following his example and expanding their own PLNs to gain access to 21st-century teaching resources.
Tebo helped lead a creative shift in how the elementary-level technology teachers were scheduled. Technology teachers became integration coaches and have made a significant impact on the amount of daily, side-by-side, just-in-time training they have been able to provide to classroom teachers.
Tebo continually identifies ways to increase district efficiency. Since he has taken the reins, a number of burdensome paper trails have been re-imagined into an easy-to-track electronic method. These little efficiencies have freed up more staff time and energy to focus on teaching and learning.