(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Dr. Pamela Moran, Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools, is one of 20 school superintendents across the nation being recognized for innovative leadership by Project Tomorrow, a national non-profit education organization.
Project Tomorrow’s vision is to ensure that students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders, and engaged citizens of the world. The organization says that by “supporting the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in our K-12 schools and communities, students will develop the critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills needed to compete and thrive in the 21st century.”
“More than 2,600 districts participated in Speak Up 2015, but these 20 stood out to us for their commitment to raising the voices of their stakeholders, notably students, community members, and educators, at all levels,” said Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow’s Chief Executive Officer.
Each year, the Speak Up Research Project polls K-12 students, parents and educators about the role of technology for learning in and out of school. Since 2003, more than four million K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians, principals, technology leaders, district administrators, and members of the community have shared their views and ideas through Speak Up. Speak Up data is used to shape federal, state and local education programs.
Last fall, Project Tomorrow surveyed students, parents, educators, technology leaders, and community members from nearly 8,000 public and private schools. The survey’s findings are available at: www.tomorrow.org/speakup/SU15AnnualReport.html
“Superintendents across the country are dealing with an array of educational technology opportunities, and Speak Up offers a platform so they can learn directly from their stakeholders about what students, parents and teachers are looking for now and in the future,” said Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director of the American Association of School Administrators. “The superintendents being recognized by Project Tomorrow are leaders in the effective use of technology for learning.”
In her funding request to the School Board in January, Dr. Moran noted, “Exceed is becoming a much more challenging goal in education because of the pace of technological change, a more complex and volatile global economy, resources that are far from unlimited, a broader and more exacting competitive environment, and an increasingly diverse community, state and nation.”
“While we are not sure what the world will look like in ten years or even five, we can be sure that education, as it has for more than 350 years in America, will remain the bedrock upon which rests the future prosperity of our communities,” she added.
Earlier this year, in an application for funding from a private foundation to design the “high school of the future,” the school division underscored the importance of student voice in making decisions about the future of learning.
“We believe we have developed both the expertise and access to student voice that are necessary to create a reimagined secondary education experience,” the division wrote. “To align with our emphasis on authentic learning, assessments will be based upon what students can do rather than (solely) on grades and tests. As students work through apprenticeships and other community-embedded learning opportunities, they will exhibit the product of their learning in spaces across the community,” the division added.
In its application, the division said that “students are the most important and least consulted stakeholders in the education process … they have made it clear they need more flexible scheduling, a more integrated and open curriculum and real-life learning experiences … we want students to actively help design our school …”
Dr. Moran was one of three superintendents in Virginia to be recognized, joining Karen Garza of Fairfax County and David Sovine of Frederick County. Dr. Moran is the Virginia 2016
Superintendent of the Year and was one of four finalists for the national designation.