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ASCD Names Recipients of Its Impact Award, Distinguished District Award at the 2024 ASCD Annual Conference

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March 26, 2024

ARLINGTON, VA—ASCD announced the recipients of its Impact Award and Distinguished District Award at its flagship annual conference last weekend in Washington, D.C.

The ASCD Impact Award celebrates exceptional individuals who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to enhancing learning opportunities and driving innovation in education. Recipients have made significant contributions to narrowing opportunity gaps and fostering a more equitable education system. This year's recipients are Denise Forte, president and CEO of The Education Trust, and Nathan Monell, CAE,executive director of the National PTA.

The ASCD Distinguished District Award honors U.S. school districts that are leading the way in education. These districts actively seek and embrace change to elevate teaching and learning, extending their efforts to serve the whole child, while serving as exemplary models for other educational institutions. This year's recipients include Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Annapolis, Maryland, and Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Cypress, Texas.

About the 2024 Impact Award Recipients

Denise Forte is a prominent advocate for education equity. With a focus on evidence-based strategies, she leads efforts to create high-achieving learning environments, bridging gaps for students of color and those from low-income backgrounds. She joined The Education Trust in 2019 as senior vice president for partnerships and engagement, expanding the organization's reach. In January 2023, she assumed the role of president and CEO. Her extensive public service includes 20 years on Capitol Hill and tenure in the Obama administration's Department of Education. She has also been named among Washingtonian's 500 Most Influential People for two consecutive years.

Nathan Monell has been the executive director of the National PTA since 2015, overseeing the oldest and largest child advocacy association in the nation. Monell's leadership at PTA involves advancing family engagement and public policy to enhance the educational success and well-being of children nationwide. His extensive career includes strategic advocacy for youth and families, fostering care, mental health, and education at thelocal, state, and federal government levels. He is also actively involved in the Prometheus Consortium and the Learning First Alliance. Monell previously worked for the National Council of Community and Education Partnerships and Foster Care Alumni of America.

About the 2024 Distinguished District Award Recipients

Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Annapolis, Maryland: Mark Bedell, Ed.D., superintendent; Heidi O'Gilvie, Ph.D., assistant superintendent, professional growth and development

Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) is the vibrant educational hub for Anne Arundel County, Maryland, serving over 80,000 students. As the fourth largest school system in Maryland and the 39th largest in the United States, AACPS is a dynamic force in shaping the academic landscape. AACPS aims to equip students not only for academic success, but also for active community engagement, seamless career entry, and higher education, fostering a generation capable of crafting a better quality of life for themselves and the communities they serve.

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, Cypress, Texas: Douglas Killian, Ph.D., superintendent; Linda Macias, Ed.D., chief academic officer/associate superintendent

The Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD) is a powerhouse of education. With its headquarters in the heart of innovation, CFISD is not only a school district, but a dynamic hub that caters to the aspirations of over 114,000 students. The driving force behind CFISD is a bold mission to propel each student toward their maximum potential. Through cutting-edge and meaningful learning experiences, CFISD is not just preparing students for the future, it's shaping them into 21st century global leaders, ready to conquer challenges and redefine the educational landscape.

Learn more about ASCD Awards.

About ASCD

ASCD is where educators come to learn about new instructional strategies, grow as individuals and thrive as professionals. We are the preeminent global leader of professional learning resources for all classroom teachers, instructional leaders, principals, and superintendents. For over 80 years, educators and instructional leaders have used ASCD’s educator-generated, evidence-based resources, digital tools, and solutions to build teaching and learning environments to elevate education and boost student achievement.

About ISTE

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a nonprofit organization that works with the global education community to accelerate innovation in education through the smart use of technology. ISTE sets a bold vision for education transformation through the ISTE Standards, a framework for rethinking education and creating innovative learning experiences. ISTE hosts ISTELive, one of the world’s most influential education events, and offers a wealth of professional learning opportunities focused on technology in education. For more information or to become an ISTE member, visit