2010 Withrow Award bestowed on Florida CTO

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) today announced that Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Instructional Technology Director Dr. Jeanine Gendron is the winner of its 2010 Withrow Award. Dr. Gendron has actively led district-wide efforts to integrate various education technology resources into classrooms and curriculum for more than 20 years. Named for Frank Withrow, a visionary in field of education technology who served for many years as a member of the CoSN Board, the Withrow Award celebrates the achievements of chief technology officers (CTOs) who elevate the profession by providing exemplary leadership.

“Jeanine believes today’s students must have technology literacy skills, be able to communicate and collaborate effectively, work on project teams, understand what it means to be global citizens and be critical information seekers,” said Alice Ray-Overstreet, Executive Director of the Florida Council of Instructional Technology Leaders. “She knows that educating students with these skills requires a re-thinking of education practice and a transformation of what it means to ‘teach and learn.’”

Within the BCPS system, Dr. Gendron is a leading player in developing and updating the Strategic Plan for Technology, the BCPS plan that sets the vision for and develops projects aimed at effectuating educational change through technology. In this capacity she leads four interconnected projects designed to increase opportunities for students and prepare them with 21st century skills for lifelong learning. These projects continue to change the way BCPS acquires instructional content, provides professional development and educates its students.

One such BCPS technology currently in operation is the Broward Enterprise Education Portal (BEEP). Through her work with the various BCPS initiatives, Dr. Gendron helped manage the implementation of this secure gateway to digital curriculum, content standards and resources for teaching and learning. Digital Education Teacher Academy (DETA) is another way in which BCPS works to effectively use technology in education. This innovative partnership between BCPS and Florida Atlantic University is designed to help teachers develop skills necessary to integrate technology into the curriculum.

Throughout the process of helping to implement these and other useful initiatives, Dr. Gendron has worked to involve and inform other invested parties. She has been instrumental in using online surveys and wikis as communication tools, allowing parents, teachers and other members of the community to provide input and see the desired changes in action.

Outside of the school system Dr. Gendron has acted as a spokesperson and advocate for BCPS and its mission to improve student learning. She currently serves on various education committees where she is called upon to offer insight and guidance on incorporating technology to meet committee goals.

In addition to honoring Dr. Gendron’s leadership, CoSN also announced two Honorable Mentions to recognize additional outstanding individuals who have proven to be innovative leaders in their own districts: Jim Klein, Director of Information Services and Technology of Saugus Union School District in Santa Clarita, CA, and John David Son, Chief Information Officer for Marshall County Public Schools in Benton, KY. Klein has led the Saugus Union School District in a number of cutting-edge technology initiatives and helped the district become a leader in open-source and Web 2.0 technologies. Son is currently in his sixth year as CIO for Marshall County Public Schools (MCPS), where he has helped transform the MCPS Technology Department into one of the most respected in the state while implementing tools to increase student engagement and learning.

Additional information about the CoSN awards program, including past honorees, can be found here.