The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is recognizing about 2,400 key education technology staff from Kentucky’s K-12 school districts and KDE’s Office of Education Technology (OET) for their dedication and support of education technology during the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020 to March 2022 by selecting them as recipients of the 2020-2022 Stilwell Award.
The announcement for the awards was made at the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education (KySTE) conference on March 11, during an Office of Education Technology (OET) Team Huddle in April, and during the May virtual meeting for all Kentucky K-12 Education Technology leaders.
This award’s two-year time frame recognizes the unique circumstances that came from the pandemic and the crucial role technology staff and faculty played in supporting the Kentucky educational system.
“During those 24 months, Kentucky K-12 education technology staff not only survived but thrived in providing quality EdTech enabled products and services to Kentucky K-12 students, teachers and staff, across this entire state, amongst all the sudden demands, uncertainty and intensity going on during that timeframe,” said David Couch, associate commissioner in KDE’s Office of Education Technology.
The Stilwell Award is named after the late William “Bill” 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.
“The Bill Stilwell ‘red suspenders’ award is the highest honor that KDE provides in K-12 EdTech, which goes to an individual, group of individuals or organization that goes above and beyond the call of duty,” said Couch.
This year’s recipients will accept a “special version” of the award. In previous years, a wooden plaque has been given to the Stilwell Award winner. However, this year, each EdTech leader will receive a commemorative coin with Bill Stilwell’s famous red suspenders engraved on the front. KDE hopes to have the commemorative coins to present to the winners in August.