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ISTE Recognizes Trailblazing Educators and Districts

Press release purple
June 18, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a nonprofit focused on accelerating innovation in education, announced the winners of the 2024 ISTE Impact Award, Distinguished District Award, Making It Happen Award, and 20 To Watch Awards. This year's recipients will be recognized during the 2024 ISTELive Conference, which will be held June 23-26 in Denver, Colorado.

“ISTE is thrilled to honor these individuals and districts as outstanding innovators in education,” said Richard Culatta, CEO of ISTE+ASCD. “It is incredible to witness the remarkable work being done by our awardees, representing all corners of the world from Canada, Spain, New York, and in between. Their dedication and creativity are shaping the future of education and inspire us all to be changemakers and make a lasting impact.”

ISTE Impact Award

This award recognizes individuals who do outstanding work to improve learning for all students and create system-wide change in the field of education. The 2024 awardees are:

  • Kara Bobroff, Executive Director, One Generation (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Tom Vander Ark, CEO, Getting Smart (Federal Way, WA)
  • Yong Zhao, Ph.D., Foundation Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS)

ISTE Distinguished District Award

The distinguished district award recognizes school districts that have demonstrated effectiveness and innovation through the use of technology. ISTE Distinguished Districts ensure equitable and accessible learning opportunities for all students, aimed at improving outcomes and increasing engagement, and embrace new ideas and act on them. The 2024 recipients of this award are:

  • Trinity Area School District, (Washington, PA): Michael P. Lucas, Ed.D., Superintendent; Donald Snoke, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent; Constance DeMore Savine, Ed.D., Director of Curriculum & Instruction; Samantha Shinsky, Director of Technology and Innovation

    Serving over 3,300 students across 6 schools, Trinity Area School District vision to ensure that each individual has purpose, respect for self and others, and confidence in their abilities to be critical thinkers, lifelong learners, and effective problem solvers and communicators.
  • New York City Public Schools, (New York City, NY): David C. Banks, Chancellor

    New York City Public Schools, the largest school district in the US, currently serves over one million students across 1,870 schools. Their mission is to ensure that each student graduates on a pathway to a rewarding career and long-term economic security, equipped to be a positive force for change.
  • Jordan School District, (West Jordan, UT): Anthony Godfrey, Ed.D., Superintendent; Darrell Robinson, Ed.S., Vice President Jordan District School Board; Carolyn Gough, Director of Teaching and Learning; Jared Covili, Administration of Digital Teaching and Learning

    The Jordan School District educates over 57,000 students in 67 schools. Their vision, "be curious, be intentional, be united," reflects their commitment to the values of opportunity, curiosity, connection, support, and growth.

ISTE Making It Happen Award

This award honors educators and leaders who demonstrate outstanding commitment, leadership, courage, and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students. Since its inception in 1995, more than 800 educators from around the world have received the award. The 2024 awardees are:

  • Andrés Guerrero, Corporate Director of Academic Consulting, Santillana (Madrid, Spain)
  • Kristen Mattson, Ed.D., University Supervisor & Adjunct Lecturer, University of Illinois (Champaign, IL)
  • Tim Needles, Art Educator and Technology Integration Specialist, Smithtown Central School District (Smithtown, NY)
  • Brandon Petersen, Elementary Educator, Cherry Creek Schools (Aurora, CO)

ISTE 20 To Watch Award

This award recognizes 20 up-and-coming individuals who are already making a difference through their work. Winners have exemplified excellence through projects or artifacts that others can replicate. The 2024 honorees are:

  • Delrose Adkinson, Assistant Principal, Newport News Public Schools (Newport News, VA)
  • Sean M. Arnold, Director of School Pathways, New York City Public Schools (New York, NY)
  • Nkiru Azza, Elementary Teacher, Digital Lead Learner, Toronto District School Board (Toronto, ON, Canada)
  • Ronda Blevins, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Education and Director of Job-Embedded Practitioner Program, Carson-Newman University (Jefferson City, TN)
  • Tommy Clay, Ed.S., Digital Learning Specialist, Atlanta Public Schools (Atlanta, GA)
  • Jeff Glade, Digital Learning Consultant, Heartland AEA (Johnston, IA)
  • Stacy Hawthorne, Ed.D., Chief Academic Officer, Learn21 (North Richland Hills, TX)
  • John Heffernan, Professional Development Coordinator, Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education & Training Board (Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland)
  • Sirhajwan Idek, Ph.D., Head of Research and Innovation, Keningau Vocational College (Keningau, Sabah, Malaysia)
  • Cammie Kannekens, District Instructional Lead, Prairie Rose Public Schools (Medicine Hat, AB, Canada)
  • Olga Kazarina, EdTech Specialist (Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Chile)
  • Ying-Chen Lin, Seventh Grade Science Teacher, Lexington County School District One - Lakeside Middle School (Lexington, SC)
  • Riya Nathrani, Ed.D., Instructional Technology Coach, Northern Mariana Islands Public School System (Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands)
  • Jackie Patanio, Executive Director of School Partnerships, Modernization and Planning-EdTech, New York City Public Schools (New York, NY)
  • Shane Saeed, Ed.D., Elementary ELA Curriculum Coordinator, St. Vrain Valley School District (Longmont, CO)
  • Allen Schagene, Director of Innovative Learning, The Shlenker School and Rice University Office of STEM Engagement (Houston, TX)
  • John Shoemaker, Educational Technology Specialist, School District of Palm Beach County (West Palm Beach, FL)
  • Debbie Tannenbaum, School Based Technology Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools (Fairfax, VA)
  • Perla Beatriz Zamora González, Education Consultant, Narrative 4 (Madero, Tamaulipas, Mexico)
  • Nicole M Zumpano, Director of Instructional Technology Coaching, Learning Technology Center of Illinois (Champaign, IL)

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. In 2023, ISTE merged with ASCD, combining expertise in technology and innovation with research-based professional learning for educators and education leaders, to advance student outcomes. For more information or to become an ISTE member, visit