Inspiration for Leaders

Enjoy this news and reflection blog brought to you from the LHRIC Technology Leadership Institute!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

LHRIC’s Pioneer Awards Celebrate Region’s Innovative Educators

An innovative community gardening project, a trailblazing group of instructional technology leaders and a hardworking director of technology were among the winners of the 2014 Annual Pioneer Awards handed out May 16.

The ceremony, held at the Edith Macy Conference Center in Briarcliff Manor, is a chance for the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center to recognize the advances that teachers and others are making with technology in the region’s school districts.

The half-day event also included a keynote presentation from George Couras, a division principal for the Parkland School Division located in Alberta, Canada.

Mr. Couras, who is also an innovative teaching, learning and leadership consultant, travels the country and the world inspiring teachers and others to make effective leadership changes and to create more transparent environments within schools.

Before deciding on the winners, a group of judges review each candidate’s application, including information on their innovative use of technology among colleagues as well as in the classroom.

Port Chester's Pioneer Award Winners
This year’s winners included Adam Schoenbart, a high school English teacher in the Ossining School District, who was celebrated for his innovative use of Google Apps for Education, and Craig Mantin, an instructional technology specialist in the North Rockland School District, for his professional development efforts with teachers and as the district’s resident expert in technology matters.

Two new Pioneer Awards were handed out this year for collaborative efforts in technology. The recipients included a team of fourth-grade teachers from JFK Elementary School in the Port Chester School District (Kate Albero, Jenn Curti and Kara Purcell), who helped spearhead a community garden project that involved the use of digital technology.

The “Special Recognition for Collaboration and Innovation Initiatives” was also presented to Jennifer Cronk, an instructional facilitator for the Clarkstown Schools; Jesse Lubinsky, chief information officer and technology coordinator for the Irvington Schools; and Sabrina Rich, director of instructional technology for the Ardsley Schools, all in honor of their trailblazing leadership efforts.

Jennifer Cronk, Sabrina Rich and Jesse Lubinsky
This year’s Director of Technology Pioneer Award was given to George Brady of the South Orangetown Schools for providing leadership and vision in relation to the district’s server and desktop virtualization platforms as well as its mobile learning offerings, among other accomplishments.

The Yorktown School District was chosen for its ability to connect students, staff and community through what Superintendent Dr. Ralph Napolitano referred to as “this one YCSD digital world,” making reference to the 3,600 students in kindergarten through 12th grade along with the 500 staffers who connect and collaborate through the Google Apps for Education platform.

The district integrates various technology tools into daily learning, including interactive Whiteboards, Smart responses, iPads, Chromebooks, Google Apps for Education, in addition to other smart devices, part of its Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) initiative.