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The vision of Project Tomorrow is to ensure that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world.  We believe that by supporting the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in our K-12 schools and communities, students will develop the critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills needed to compete and thrive in the 21st century.

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For Immediate Release:
October 18, 2017
Download PDF of Press Release

CONTACT:
Amber Taylor
703-201-4893
ataylor@tomorrow.org

12 Superintendents Recognized for Including Student, Parent, Educator, Community Voices in Future Plans

Irvine, Calif –A dozen school district superintendents from across the country received Speak Up Shout Out Awards as 2017 Outstanding Superintendents for their districts’ exceptional participation in the Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning.

“As Speak Up 2017 gets underway, we wanted to take the time to shine a spotlight on the contributions of these superintendents both to their communities and to our national research effort,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. “By taking part in Speak Up, these leaders are showing a commitment to including their most important stakeholders in their annual and long-term planning and are taking advantage of a free service to do so.”

“Project Tomorrow is committed to offering the Speak Up survey process to all schools and districts as a no-cost service so that precious instructional dollars can remain dedicated to the classroom, and every school and district has the opportunity to benefit from this research regardless of community resources or funding available for survey work,” Evans added. “We are proud that Speak Up can be part of the larger efforts supported by AASA and others to bring greater educational equity to K-12 education.”

Speak Up 2017 opened this week for participation. Thousands of school districts will use the free Speak Up tools to gather feedback from their students, parents, teachers and community members. Districts and schools can participate anytime between now and January 19, 2018. Data will be delivered to all registered contacts in February.

“Superintendents across the country are dealing with an array of educational technology opportunities. Speak Up and its rich, longitudinal data bring these trends to life, highlighting additional opportunities and room to grow, so they can learn directly from their stakeholders about what students, parents and teachers are looking for now and in the future,” said Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association. “The superintendents being recognized by Project Tomorrow are leaders in the effective use of technology for learning.”

The Speak Up Shout Out Awards for 2017 Outstanding Superintendents (by state):

  • Dr. Suzanne Lacey, Talladega County School District, AL
  • Dr. Holly McClurg, Del Mar Union Elementary School District, CA
  • Dr. Gregory A. Franklin, Tustin Unified School District, CA
  • Amanda Alaniz, Portage Township Schools, IN
  • Dr. Walter Watkins, School City of Hammond, IN
  • Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, Prince George's County Public Schools, MD
  • Dr. Monica Smith-Woofter, Northampton County Schools, NC
  • Dr. Rick Smith, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, OH
  • Paul Caputo, Southern Columbia Area School District, PA
  • Dr. Bret A. Champion, Klein Independent School District, TX
  • Dr. Priscilla Canales, Weslaco Independent School District, TX
  • Laura Myrah, Arrowhead Union High School District, WI

Quotes from some of our 2017 Outstanding Superintendents:

“Talladega County Schools value the data acquired through the Speak Up surveys. This information continues to guide the work of district leaders, teachers, and students in our quest to maximize the integration of technology to support student learning. Plus, the survey tool is an efficient and effective way for stakeholders to have their voice heard and to impact decisions for future growth.” - Dr. Suzanne Lacey, Talladega County School District (AL)

"Del Mar Union School District is on a mission to revolutionize the traditional school experience to better prepare today’s students.  The voices of our community as told through the Speak Up Survey, served to inform the recent development of our Del Mar Union School District’s bold new strategic plan, called District Design 2022.  The Speak Up trend data, both locally and nationally, continues to give us insight through the lens of our learners as we realize our vision in our unrelenting pursuit of the extraordinary school experience.”  - Dr. Holly McClurg, Superintendent, Del Mar Union School District (CA)

"Ohio Hi-Point Career Center continues to find the Speak Up Survey to be a valuable tool when planning for new technology initiatives and measures within the district. By participating, we continue to challenge and cultivate responsible digital citizens. The Speak Up survey also allows our staff to understand the changing landscape of technology and how they can utilize technology to create a 21st century education to prepare students for 21st century jobs." - Dr. Rick Smith, Superintendent, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center (OH)

“I have been using Speak Up Annual survey data since 2006 in a variety of ways, including to help prepare the District’s strategic plan, to plan professional development, to secure competitive grants and to prepare the District's budget, including prioritizing technology infrastructure and instructional technology investments. Our school district’s stakeholders have used survey data as a vehicle to craft a shared vision of how technology and core curriculum should be delivered, moving from a teacher centered classroom pedagogy, to one that is best described as teacher-facilitated and project-based. Besides the data it generates, participation in the annual Speak Up Survey is our opportunity as a district to convey to our stakeholders that they have a voice in decision-making and that their opinion and feedback is welcomed and valued. It is also an opportunity for all to engage in reflection and introspection about a variety of issues ranging from learning styles, to the relevance of certain curricula, to ensuring our students are best-prepared for their intended career path.” - Paul R. Caputo, Superintendent, Southern Columbia Area School District (PA)

“The data we gather from Speak Up informs next steps for digital learning in Klein ISD, as we work with all stakeholders to reimagine learning and make our shared Promise2Purpose vision a reality for EVERY student.” - Dr. Bret Champion, Klein Independent School District (TX)

About the Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning
Speak Up is an initiative of Project Tomorrow®, the leading global education nonprofit organization dedicated to the empowerment of student voices in education. Each year, the Speak Up Research Project polls K-12 students, parents and educators about the role of technology for learning in and out of school.  This survey represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder voices on digital learning. Since fall 2003, more than 4 million K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians, principals, technology leaders, district administrators and members of the community have shared their views and ideas through Speak Up.  K-12 educators, higher education faculty, business, and policy leaders report that they regularly use the Speak Up data to inform federal, state and local education programs.

In fall 2016, Project Tomorrow surveyed 435,510 K-12 students, 38,512 teachers and librarians, 4,592 administrators, 29,670 parents and 5,846 community members representing more than 7,000 public and private schools and 2,400 districts.  Schools from urban (26%), suburban (38%), and rural (36%) communities are represented. Just over one-half of the schools (57%) that participated in Speak Up 2016 are Title I eligible schools (an indicator of student population poverty).  The Speak Up 2016 surveys were available online for input between October 2016 and January 2017.