SETDA Recognizes Tech Leaders for Education
- By Dian Schaffhauser
a membership association of U.S. state and territorial educational
technology leaders, honored three individuals for their contributions
to the use and support of technology in K-12 education.
was named the 2021 recipient of the SETDA State Policy Maker of the
Julia Legg was
named the 2021 recipient of the SETDA State Leader of the Year
Peters (MI), was named the 2021 recipient of the SETDA Federal
Policy Maker of the Year Award.
The honors were
given during the organization's latest annual leadership
summit, which was held virtually.
Dickson has served
as the Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction since June
2016. She has nearly 10 years of experience working in the office of
State Board of Education (USBE).
Dickson is truly an exemplary leader of technology in education and
exemplifies the best of how to effectively lead change," said
colleagues in the nomination. "She continues to lead, guide and
share her vision of the positive impact technology can have to
improve teaching and learning. She is the ultimate advocate for the
equity of access to home technology connections including digital
tools and resources."
provides an exemplary model of effective state leadership, turning
vision into action by surrounding herself with dedicated and
experienced staff to support Utah schools in both rural and urban
districts across the state," said Julia Fallon, SETDA's
executive director. "Her leadership to quickly meet the needs of
the K-12 school system related to technology resources to provide
blended and digital learning became even more important in the wake
of the COVID-19 pandemic has made a long-term difference for students
in Utah and serves as a model for schools around the nation."
serves as the state E-rate coordinator in the Office
of Data Analysis & Research at the West
Virginia Department of Education. In her 16 years with
WVDE, she has provided professional development as a technology
integration specialist coordinator and served in other roles,
including supporting school library media specialists across the
state. In her current role, she supports broadband initiatives as a
member of the state Broadband
Enhancement Council Education Committee, administers
the statewide strategic technology planning initiative, manages state
master contracts for school networking and internet access, and
provides technical support to school districts, along with providing
assistance with application filing to her districts for E-rate and
the Emergency Connectivity Fund.
tirelessly to advocate for students and does everything in her power
to make sure they have the best technological experience to enhance
learning. She takes on this goal both in her state but also at the
national level, participating in multiple national associations,"
stated the nomination for Legg, which came from Mindy Fiscus, digital
access coordinator for the Learning
Technology Center of Illinois. "Her actions bring
millions of dollars into the state of West Virginia with her
continuous support through webinars, email and phone calls. She also
prepares consortium applications for the state for both categories of
E-Rate and the Emergency Connectivity Fund. Without her efforts, many
students across West Virginia would have been without access to
learning, especially in this new post-pandemic environment."
Senator Peters has
represented Michigan in the Senate since 2015. He serves as chairman
of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and as a
member of the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee.
Peters introduced and recently secured passage of the K-12
Cybersecurity Act of 2021 (S.1917), which was signed by President
Biden in October 2021. The new law directs the Cybersecurity
and Infrastructure Security Agency to examine the
risks and challenges that schools face in securing their networks.
The legislation also charges CISA with creating cybersecurity
recommendations and other voluntary resources for schools to use when
implementing their cybersecurity solutions. Peters is also a
cosponsor of legislation to restore federal Net Neutrality
requirements, and he strongly supported creation of the Emergency
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.