CoSN, a association of K-12 education technology leaders, and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, this week named Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and Jeff Stephens, superintendent of Weber School District (WSD), the 2021 EmpowerED Digital Superintendents of the Year in recognition of their efforts to assist schools in making the digital leap during this particularly transformational year.
The EmpowerED Digital Superintendent of the Year Award, sponsored by ClassLink, is given annually to a district leader that has championed the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. This year, as superintendents across the country navigated massive shifts in the education landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CoSN & AASA are celebrating two impressive leaders.
In Texas, Hinojosa helped mastermind Operation Connectivity, which has expanded access to digital learning across the state by connecting more than half a million students to the internet. He has spent years fostering equity in Dallas schools by championing a two-way dual language program, ACE program and tech-focused Career Institute.
“No significant accomplishment is the effort of a single individual. That’s certainly the case with Operation Connectivity and the technology advanced that Dallas ISD has achieved during the pandemic,” Hinojosa said. “Thank you to the Consortium for School Networking for this recognition and thank you to a professional team that is second to none.”
“Over the past year, superintendents across the United States have played an even more critical role in establishing successful digital learning environments. We are honored to recognize and award Superintendents Hinojosa and Stephens for their important accomplishments,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “Learning in their districts and states would not be what it is today without their support and commitment to advancing education technology.”
“The cultural tipping point caused by the global pandemic and economic downturn has forced superintendents to be bold in their efforts to find winning solutions that will effectively address the needs of the students they serve. Superintendents Michael Hinojosa and Jeff Stephens have responded and continue to excel in building dynamic digital learning environments on behalf of their school districts,” said Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, AASA. “We congratulate these champions for children for the outstanding work they do in creating positive cultures of learning in their respective communities.”
“In a year filled with struggles and unknowns, Dr. Hinojosa and Dr. Stephens stayed focused on their students, putting forth incredible efforts to support equitable access and continued learning. Both are an example of what districts can achieve with the support and commitment of exceptional leaders,” said George Perreault, Chief Academic Officer, ClassLink.
Watch Hinojosa’s acceptance speech here and a related video highlighting Dallas ISD’s accomplishments here. Watch Stephens’ acceptance speech here and a related video highlighting Weber School District’s accomplishments here.