School system honored with national technology award

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 2, 2013

SALISBURY — The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has announced that the Rowan-Salisbury School System will be honored as an outstanding educational leader at the world’s premier educational technology event, ISTE 2013, to be held in San Antonio, Texas, later this month.
Rowan-Salisbury School System is the winner of the “2013 Sylvia Charp Award for District Innovation in Technology.” This award is presented by ISTE and T.H.E. Journal, which stands for Technological Horizons in Education. It goes to a school system that exhibits effectiveness and innovation in the application of technology. It honors the equitable and appropriate technology use for all students in a school system with the goal of increasing learning opportunities and improving achievement.
“Rowan-Salisbury is a standout district whose work truly deserves honor,” said T.H.E. Journal Editorial Director Theresa Mageau, who served as a judge for the award. “The district has made an exemplary commitment to using technology to promote 21st century teaching and learning systemwide. Their initiatives—from model classrooms to WiFi buses, to their expert use of data and their community outreach programs—can truly serve as beacons of best practices for other districts seeking the same goals.”
Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom, Board of Education Chair Dr. Richard Miller and Executive Director of Technology Phil Hardin will accept the award at the ISTE conference.
“I continue to be proud of the accumulating recognitions that our school district is receiving nationwide for our leadership in bringing exemplary educational programs to our students,” Miller said. “This most recent award speaks loudly to the high quality instruction through technology that our children receive in our classrooms on a daily basis. We have an excellent technology program in place that serves as a model for others to follow. I look forward to proudly representing our school system in receiving the recognition at the national conference in just a few weeks.”
The award is named for Dr. Sylvia Charp, the founding editor of T.H.E Journal, for her groundbreaking contributions and extended service to the education technology community.
“With many thanks to the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation for being a key supporter in our district’s creative, and in many cases ‘first’ of a kind technology programs for our teachers and students,” Grissom said. “One of my goals as superintendent was to put into the hands of our students the tools that would engage their interest in learning and the training programs that would teach our teachers how to implement the curriculum through technology. I am proud of our 21st century model classrooms, our wireless activity buses, our 1:1 mobile device programs, and our amazing STEM Exploratory Mobile Classroom. As we share our successes and grow our programs, we — our teachers, students and staff — can proudly stand as proven leaders and innovators in technology for instructional classroom programs that have won us the highest honors across the nation.”
The Rowan-Salisbury School System met the following criteria for the honor:
• Consistent district effectiveness
• Established standards and conditions for students
• Effective and innovative technology implementation
• Commitment to participate in dissemination to and support of other districts
Phil Hardin, the district’s executive director of technology, said, “This award exemplifies the excellent work that has been done by our teachers to create engaging classrooms where our students can use technology in innovative ways to support their various learning styles. One of the key components to the ongoing success of the technology program has been the strength of the professional development that has been implemented to support the teachers’ transformation of learning through the effective use of technology in the classroom. Our 21st Century Model Classroom teachers have served as great ambassadors for our technology program and are to be commended for the work they have done teaching others to infuse technology into the classroom. We are also very appreciative of the ongoing technology grant funding that we have received from the Robertson Foundation that has allowed us to provide many students with access to 21st century learning tools on a daily basis.”
Rowan-Salisbury teachers and administrators continue to lead local and national conferences demonstrating how to effectively use state-of-the-art technology to innovate teaching and learning. Four teachers along with Phil Hardin will be leading six sessions at the ISTE Conference this month.
The Rowan-Salisbury School System also:
• Ranked sixth in the nation in the 2013 Digital School Districts Survey. The district rose in ranking from ninth to sixth place in the “Large-Sized Student Population District Category.” This recognition program is sponsored by the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association. Rowan-Salisbury Schools was the only district in North Carolina listed as a top-ranked school district.
• Won an Apple Distinguished Program Award. In February, the district announced that for the third consecutive year, the Rowan-Salisbury School System received the award for programs that demonstrate a consistent vision for enhancing and extending teaching and learning through thoughtful and innovative implementations of technology.
• Won a grand prize when the Board of Education was honored by the N.C. School Boards Association as top “overall” in Excellence In Educational Programs. This award recognizes school boards across the state for demonstrating outstanding exemplary educational programs that maximize student achievement.
For more information about ISTE, visit and for more information on T.H.E. Journal, visit their website at: