Distinguished K-12 Education Technology Leaders Honored

CoSN Awards Trailblazers for Advancing Bold, Innovative Visions
Washington, DC
Thursday, March 22, 2018
 
Last week, CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) honored education technology champions at the organization’s 2018 Annual Conference in Washington, DC. The individuals and teams were awarded for their efforts in advancing innovative, personalized learning settings in K-12 education technology.
 
Themed “Exponential Change,” the four-day global conference addressed how new, rapidly changing technologies are shaping education and society as a whole in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
 
The winners of CoSN’s awards were:
 
 
  • District Team Leadership Award: St. Vrain Valley School District (CO)
 
  • Community Leadership Award for Digital Equity: Beaverton School District (OR)
 
  • Excellence in Public Service Award: Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) and Governor Steve Bullock (D-MT)
 
  • Hurley Private Sector Champion Award: Michael (Gus) Schmedlen, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Hewlett-Packard
 
  • Volunteer of the Year Award: Frankie Jackson, CETL, Chief Technology Officer, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD (TX)
 
  • Partnerships that Matter Award: Alliance for Excellent Education
 
  • Seymour Papert Lifetime Achievement Award: Darryl LaGace (posthumous)
“The people recognized have demonstrated the bold and ambitious leadership needed to modernize learning settings nationwide,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “Through their leadership, 21st-century education strategies are taking root. We congratulate them for their accomplishments and for positively serving America’s school systems.”
 
 
CONTACT
Michael Kaplun, The Fratelli Group for CoSN, 202-822-9491, mkaplun@fratelli.com
 
Additional details about the winners follow:
 
District Team Leadership Award: St. Vrain Valley School District (CO)
 
The District Team Leadership Award recognizes an exceptional district team for leveraging technology and improving student learning, opportunities and access. This award dovetails closely with CoSN’s unique focus on the district leadership team as the key to education technology transformation. This year’s award was presented to St. Vrain Valley School District. The award’s recipients put student learning first using a variety of core components, including a district wide 1:1 program, STEM studies that start at pre-K and run into higher education, a “design thinking” mindset from administrators, public–private partnerships and effective professional learning that reinforces all these ideas. To learn about their results, watch a video of their accomplishments here.
 
Community Leadership Award for Digital Equity: Beaverton School District (Beaverton, CO)
 
CoSN created the Community Leadership Award for Digital Equity to encourage and recognize those districts that are working to narrow the digital access gap. The Beaverton School District developed several initiatives ranging from extended library hours to parent nights to hotspot projects in an effort to successfully minimize digital inequity. To learn about their results, watch a video of their accomplishments here.
 
Excellence in Public Service Award: Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) and Governor Steve Bullock (D-MT)
 
The award for Excellence in Public Service recognizes a national, state or local official for promoting the use of education technology to improve K-12 learning. The efforts of the award’s recipients help strengthen CoSN’s advocacy efforts nationwide. In 2016 Governor Doug Ducey established the Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative. This $11 million state match has brought approximately $100 million in federal E-Rate funds to Arizona to pay for special construction of broadband infrastructure for schools and libraries. The state match fund was authorized in record time to permit its use in the then current e-rate cycle. Because of this effort, 106 schools and libraries have been served with 67,000 students.
 
Likewise, Governor Steve Bullock in 2015 articulated his vision for ensuring every K-12 public school in Montana has the connectivity needed for teaching and learning, declaring that “in order to reach their full potential and enjoy equal opportunity in today's digital age, all K-12 students in Montana need access to high-speed Internet. We are committed to making sure each school - rural or urban, big or small - has equal access to the promise of digital learning.” This was a tall order, as Montana ranked 49th in the nation (after Alaska) for the percentage of schools connected to fiber. The Governor led efforts to create a statewide fiber match. As a result, in the last two years, the percentage of schools connected to fiber rose from 65 percent to 85 percent and the percentage of districts meeting the FCC's 100 Kbps/student goal increased from 78 percent to 94 percent.
 
Hurley Private Sector Champion Award: Michael (Gus) Schmedlen, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Hewlett-Packard (PA)
 
The Hurley Private Sector Champion honor annually recognizes one person who has had an outstanding impact on the education technology community outside of the confines of his or her job. Gus Schmedlen has been a long supporter of CoSN, both at his current employer and in his previous position. He is always supportive of CoSN’s thought leadership work on things like privacy of data. With his support, CoSN was able to undertake the annual International Delegation, and he has been a long-standing sponsor of the CoSN / UNESCO Global Symposiums.
 
Volunteer of the Year Award: Frankie Jackson, CETL, Chief Technology Officer, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD (TX)
 
The Volunteer of the Year award recognizes the achievements of one CoSN member who has provided exemplary support to the organization over the past year. This year’s award was presented to Frankie Johnson, a long-standing member and a leader in CoSN – both in her state and at the national level. She has been a strong advocate for broadband and CoSN’s smart education networks by design – or SEND – Initiative. She also serves on CoSN’s Policy Committee.
 
 
Partnerships that Matter Award: Alliance for Excellent Education (Washington, DC)
 
The Partnerships That Matter Award honors partner organizations who work with CoSN in making a difference in transforming learning with technology. From working together on E-rate modernization and increased funding to collaborating on Future Ready and building the Lifeline Toolkit, the Alliance for Excellent Education has seamlessly worked in partnership with CoSN to impact technology settings in schools.
 
Seymour Papert Lifetime Achievement Award: Darryl LaGace (posthumous)
 
The Seymour Papert Lifetime Achievement recognizes a CoSN member’s lifelong contribution to education and technology. First presented in 2006, the award was renamed in 2009 in honor of the late Dr. Papert’s early contribution and ongoing commitment to the education technology community. This year’s winner is Darryl LaGace. Darryl was one of the education technology community’s most visionary and passionate advocates for transforming teaching and learning through technology. Darryl worked as Director of Technology for LGSD, bringing Internet connectivity through microwave technology. With this framework in place, in 1997 Project LemonLINK was born – a project that linked every classroom to the Internet and put a computer device in the hands of every student. In 2008, Darryl moved to San Diego Unified to lead the district’s five-year i21 Initiative. In 2005, he won CoSN’s Withrow CTO of the Year Award. He also was a dedicated state and national education technology leader, including reconstituting CETPA state ed tech association and serving on CoSN’s national board of directors. Darryl joined Lightspeed Systems as Executive VP Global Business Development in 2012 and spread his vision of using technology in schools globally to over 55 countries.
 
Learn more about CoSN’s Awards Program at: cosn.org/awards.