8 Winners and Honorees Announced for the 2014 Innovation in Education Awards

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CFF 11th year logoThe Classroom of the Future Foundation will honor University of San Diego Dean Dr.Paula Cordeiro and other education leaders and initiatives that utilize the most forward-thinking uses of educational technology in San Diego County at the 11th annual Innovation in Education Awards dinner, to be held May 21.

“Each year the foundation recognizes classroom leaders and programs that inspire students to achieve through the development of innovative learning programs,” said Bruce Braciszewski, Ph.D., executive director, Classroom of the Future Foundation. “This year’s honorees demonstrate a significant impact on learning in the region and are substantially improving student achievement.”

Education programs to be honored at the Innovation in Education Awards event, which is sponsored by SDG&E and held at the University of San Diego, include:

  • The San Diego Unified School District’s iHigh Virtual Academy will receive the Achieve Award for its online, college-prep high school program. It not only serves its student body, but students from 18 school districts are enrolled online. The dual enrollment model enables military transfer students, students with medical issues, and students with flexible schedules to participate. Graduating students have completed close to 1,500 online course credits over the past four years. A major advantage of the program is that students have expanded choices beyond what their district offers and can craft coursework schedules to meet their individual circumstances. The school will receive a $5,000 award from Mission Federal Credit Union.
  • The Escondido Union School District’s Bear Valley Middle School will receive the Innovate Award for its STEM/robotics program. Students collaboratively use science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) principles online with business community mentors to develop innovative projects. One project developed through the program is an award-winning drone designed and built to fly into earthquake-damaged buildings to detect gas leaks. The school will receive a $5,000 cash award from EDmin.
  • Cajon Valley Middle School’s Learning Through Production, Not Consumption program will receive the Inspire Award. The program is transforming student assessment from paper-based exercises to creative problem-solving multi-media projects online in which students collaborate. Since 2011, students  receiving “A” grades have increased 31 percent while failing grades have decreased 47 percent. The emphasis of a digital-based learning environment also has led to significant increases in student involvement and notable decreases in student behavior issues. The school will receive a $5,000 cash award from Qualcomm.
  • The Encinitas Union School District will receive the Impact Award for its commitment to providing all 5,500 students with iPads for greater access to digital curriculum.  The program emphasizes making a wide range of creative apps available to students. More than 70 percent of all students learn how to use the apps on their own time, making the time spent on class work far more productive. Similarly, 72 percent of students’ parents report their children are more engaged when they have their own digital learning device. This is the third year of the program and Encinitas will receive a $10,000 cash award from SDG&E.


The 2014 individual education leader honorees include:

  • Dr. Paula Cordeiro will receive the Visionary and Outstanding Leadership Award.  She is dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego. She has held leadership positions on several leading education-community boards of directors and has authored three books, including the textbook Educational Leadership: A Bridge to Improved Practice, now in its fifth edition.
  • Kathy Shirley will receive the Innovative Educator Award as director of technology and innovation for Escondido School District. Shirley played a leading role in developing the district’s one-to-one learning program based on mobile-device technology.  The award is sponsored by Peterson Hill Marketing.
  • Dr. Devin Vodicka will receive the Innovative Superintendent Award for his work in the Vista Unified School District. Dr. Vodicka has held several leadership school district leaderships positions in the North County and is a former teacher.  The award is sponsored by SDG&E.
  • Matt Baier will receive the Innovation in Technology Award for his work as  director of the Center for Innovation at Cathedral Catholic High School. Baier trains teachers how to integrate technology in their classes, he creates and manages the online course program, and facilitates technology training for parents. He also leads outreach and training initiatives for parochial schools in the San Diego area and runs “iPads in the Classroom: A Conference for Educators.”

In addition to the individual awards, $40,000 in scholarships provided by USS Midway Museum and the Jack in the Box Foundation will be distributed among 20 AVID students. AVID, founded in San Diego in 1980, is the country’s  most successful college prep program.

For more information call 858/292-3685 or visit www.classroomofthefuture.org.


About Classroom of the Future Foundation

 The San Diego-based Classroom of the Future Foundation brings San Diego County’s education and business communities together to facilitate partnerships, which create innovative learning environments that prepare students to thrive in a competitive global society. Each year, the foundation asks educators and school district leaders throughout the county to submit their respective learning programs for Innovation in Education Awards consideration. Winners are chosen by a jury of local business and education leaders. 

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