November 20, 2008 13:00 ET

Susan Gendron, Commissioner of Education, Maine Department of Education, Receives SETDA's First Pushing the Envelope Award

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 20, 2008) - The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) at the Leadership Summit this week, presented their Pushing the Envelope award to Susan Gendron, Commissioner of Education, Maine Department of Education (MDE).

This award is given to an education leader who creates policy and funding to support school reform initiatives to transform teaching and learning. Commissioner Gendron understands that technology has transformed all other industries, and that we cannot afford to miss the potential for technology to transform teaching and learning in our education system. Mary Ann Wolf, Ph.D., Executive Director of SETDA, commented that Susan Gendron epitomizes the spirit of this award. Her vision toward fostering creativity and innovation led to reinvesting in technology and is proving to be an effective boost to the achievement gains of Maine's students.

Through Commissioner Gendron's leadership, Maine implemented the Maine Laptop Technology Initiative (MLTI) that provides teachers with curriculum, training, and leadership to improve instruction and increase student achievement. Maine was the first state to provide a modern laptop computer for each eighth grade student. With solid research proving the effectiveness of the MLTI, Commissioner Gendron is now focusing on high school reform, offering a laptop to each teacher, curriculum coordinator, principal, superintendent and other key administrators in every public high school in the state.

"It's less about the laptop and more about changing instructional practices to individualize instruction for each student," said Dr. Wolf. "Commissioner Gendron gets it... She provides the technology, the professional development, mentoring and leadership necessary to successfully increase student achievement."

Commissioner Gendron has created Maine's Statewide Integration Mentoring Program that utilizes experienced teachers to lead workshops supporting the effective use of technology in the classroom. Maine has also joined the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and administers the Maine School and Library Network (MSLN) that provides high-speed Internet connectivity to schools and libraries across the State. Last year's expansion to include high school educators was just another step in a bold and coordinated effort to bring 21st Century tools and resources to Maine's 21st Century classrooms.


The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal organization for state directors of technology and their staff that provides professional development and leadership in the effective use of technology in education to enhance competitiveness in the global workforce. More information about SETDA can be found on

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Mary Ann Wolf, Ph.D.
    SETDA Executive Director