Seven KDE employees named recipients of the 2019-2020 Stilwell Award

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The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recognized seven employees from the Office of Education Technology for their dedication and support of education technology by selecting them as recipients of the 2019-2020 Stilwell Award.
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recognized seven employees from the Office of Education Technology for their dedication and support of education technology by selecting them as recipients of the 2019-2020 Stilwell Award. Winners include, front row, second from left, Phil Coleman, Bob Hackworth, DeDe Conner; back row, from left, Lisa Moore, Mike Leadingham and John Logan. Terry Orr was recognized posthumously. David Couch, front right, received the Transforming Lives Award. Also attending the ceremony Jan. 21 was Interim Commissioner Kevin C. Brown, front left.
Submitted photo
  • The Stilwell Award is named after the late William E. Stilwell, a longtime faculty member of the University of Kentucky’s College of Education who worked diligently throughout his career to improve Kentucky K-12 educators’ access to modern technology.
  • At the ceremony, Chief Information Officer for OET David Couch was surprised with the Transforming Lives Award from Frankfort Independent Schools Superintendent Houston Barber.

By Jacob Perkins
Jacob.perkins@education.ky.gov

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recognized seven employees from the Office of Education Technology (OET) for their dedication and support of education technology by selecting them as recipients of the 2019-2020 Stilwell Award.

The award honorees include:

  • Terry Orr was given the Stilwell Award posthumously. Orr joined OET as the project manager for the initial Active Directory implementation in 2002. He passed away in July of 2019.
  • Phil Coleman was the original engineer in 1993 when OET first deployed the Kentucky Education Technology Service (KETS). He came to KDE in 1998 and took on the role as chief technology officer running all services that are deployed to school districts.
  • DeDe Conner established KDE’s first data division, set up data governance within the agency and established the statewide eTranscripts initiative.
  • Bob Hackworth, a former Kentucky teacher, was an original leader of KDE’s longitudinal data system and now serves as chief security officer.
  • Mike Leadingham was the first project manager for OET’s district administrative system implementation in 1993-1994. Leadingham was a KETS engineer and now serves as director of school technology planning and project management.
  • John Logan started out scanning tests scores for KDE as a seasonal employee and later became the first policy adviser for the department. Logan worked alongside Orr on major projects.
  • Lisa Moore has served as an assistant director and is now OET’s policy adviser.

“The Stilwell Award is the equivalent of being selected to go into the Kentucky Education Technology System Hall of Fame,” Chief Information Officer for OET David Couch said.

The honorees were recognized on Jan. 21 during an EdTech webcast held at Second Street School in Frankfort.

The Stilwell Award is named after the late William E. Stilwell, a longtime faculty member of the University of Kentucky’s College of Education who worked diligently throughout his career to improve Kentucky K-12 educators’ access to modern technology.

Stilwell managed numerous LISTSERVs for all 172 school districts and provided technology support for all of them from his college office. The award incorporates a pair of red suspenders like those Stilwell was known for wearing.

At the ceremony, Couch was surprised with the Transforming Lives Award from Frankfort Independent Schools (FIS) Superintendent Houston Barber. The award is presented to an individual who has made an impact – directly or indirectly – by influencing the transformation of student lives.

“David was awarded the Transforming Lives Award based on the impact he has had on technology infusion that supports teaching and learning in FIS,” Barber said. “It has transformed many of our student’s lives to be able to go after their passions.”

Couch became the third recipient of the Transforming Lives Award.

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