WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - October 25, 2016) - SETDA, the principal membership association of U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders announced today Dale Erquiaga, Chief Strategy Officer for the Office of the Governor in Nevada as the recipient of the SETDA State Policy Maker of the Year Award. Mr. Erquiaga was honored for his vision and leadership in support for the effective use of technology in Nevada during the 2016 Leadership Summit: Leading Innovation for All Learners.
"As a dad, and as a former superintendent and as someone who has advised the Governor, I know how important educational technology is for kids and for the future of our country" said Erquiaga. "As America grapples with issues like racial equity and children in poverty, educational technology closes that divide and really gets kids across the finish line."
Erquiaga was instrumental in getting legislation passed to fund Nevada Ready 21 (NR21), Nevada's state-run one-to-one program. As the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and member of the Nevada Commission on Educational Technology, he provided guidance and constant support to ensure the plan was approved by the Commission. Once approved, he promoted the plan to Nevada Governor Sandoval leading to its inclusion in the Governor's proposed budget for FY16-FY17, the first step in the legislative process. During Nevada's 120-day legislative session, Erquiaga met with legislators to ensure NR21's final passage.
"Equitable access to technology is critical when it comes to preparing all students to be college and career ready," said Tracy Weeks, Executive Director, SETDA.
Critical to the success of the initiative, he communicated to stakeholders and policy makers, reiterating the importance of developing students' 21st century skills and the individualized learning opportunities that technology brings to the classroom, as well as the economic progress and benefit to states that invest in classroom technology.
"Educational leadership like Dale's is rare," notes Dr. Kimberly Vidoni, Educational Technology Program Professional for the Nevada Department of Education. "He communicates the vital necessity for classroom technology to diverse stakeholders in a language that each group understands. In this way, he launched Nevada Ready 21, and gave tens of thousands of Nevada middle schoolers new access to a technology-rich education."
Founded in 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal non-profit membership association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders. Our mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. For more information, please visit http://www.setda.org.