The Texas K-12 CTO Council announced today, in recognition of his efforts championing the state-wide Operation Connectivity initiative, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, is the winner of the Empowered Superintendent Award.
Each year, the Council selects a superintendent who has promoted and supported innovative uses of technology in their district. The award considers categories of leadership, innovative projects, collaboration, and district awards and recognitions. Thanks to Hinojosa, not only does Dallas ISD remain at the forefront of twenty-first-century education and the conversion to digital learning, but at a critical moment, he pushed for increased access to technology across Texas, to level the playing field for all students regardless of their economic status and to mitigate the consequences of the global health pandemic on student achievement.
After masterminding an initiative to keep Dallas ISD students learning remotely during the height of the pandemic last spring, Hinojosa was joined by state lawmakers and the Texas Education Agency in launching Operation Connectivity, which has now provided connectivity services for nearly a half-million students across the state. In so doing, he demonstrated exemplary leadership in recognizing an emerging and immediate student need and using his vast influence to convene a committee to chart a response. As a result of his creativity, consensus-building, and swift action, hundreds of thousands of students in Texas have been able to continue their educations during the pandemic via remote learning.
In addition, Hinojosa implemented a robust and comprehensive professional development program this summer for teachers at Dallas ISD focusing on its distance learning model. Nearly10,000 district teachers were trained in areas including curriculum resources, learning management system resources, synchronous and asynchronous learning models, instructional applications, simultaneous learning, video conferencing technologies, and culturally relevant instructional practices. Under his leadership, Dallas ISD’s technology initiatives better enhance students’ critical thinking skills, creativity, collaboration, and, ultimately, will better prepare all students to succeed in our ever-changing, technology-centered society.