November 12, 2007 15:53 ET

SETDA Honors State & Federal Policy Makers for Outstanding Leadership in Educational Reform

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Superintendent Michael Flanagan (MI), and Assistant Superintendent Lan Neugent (VA) "Get It" -- Recognizing the Critical Role Technology Plays in Ensuring Our Students Are Competitive in the 21st Century

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 12, 2007) - During the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)'s Education Forum: What It Takes to Compete event, SETDA honored three individuals with outstanding leadership in educational technology.

SETDA State Policy Maker Award: Mike Flanagan, Michigan's State Superintendent of Public Instruction, was presented with SETDA's State Policy Maker Award for his leadership in education policy and for re-inventing Michigan's schools through effective uses of technology.

"It is no secret that the glory days of the auto industry are in the rear view mirror. For decades, Michigan students could achieve a cozy middle-class existence, despite the lack of a thorough education," said Bruce Umpstead, SETDA's Michigan representative. "Recognizing that Michigan cannot compete in our new global economy with this outdated philosophy, Superintendent Flanagan, Governor Jennifer Granholm, the Michigan State Board of Education, and the Michigan Legislature crafted a rigorous new curriculum that would give students the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and in the 21st century workplace."

"Mike Flanagan understands that rigorous instruction is critical to developing a strong and competitive workforce," said Mary Ann Wolf, PhD, SETDA's Executive Director. "Mr. Flanagan has made education technology a priority that supports increased interest in Math & Science, training and retention of high quality teachers, and the engagement of Michigan's students in life-long learning that will serve them well in the global marketplace."

SETDA Leader of the Year Award (SLY): During the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)'s Education Forum: What It Takes to Compete event, Lan Neugent, Assistant Superintendent for Technology at the Virginia Department of Education, was presented with the SETDA Leader of the Year Award -- a peer recognition award presented to an outstanding leader in education.

"Neugent is well respected both in Virginia and around the nation as a technology expert and he provides an exemplary model of effective leadership," said Melinda Maddox (AL), the 2006 SLY Award winner who presented the 2007 award. "Neugent's leadership has catapulted Virginia to a model state in many areas, including the use of data and its impact on student achievement and online testing."

"As a former Chair and a current member of the SETDA Board of Directors, Neugent is an active and involved champion for the work of the organization through strong, effective mentoring of board members, new SETDA members and SETDA's corporate partners," said Mary Ann Wolf, PhD, SETDA's Executive Director. "SETDA made great strides during his leadership term. Because of his work in Virginia, he has made a difference nationally through his work on eRate, internet safety, and educational technology advocacy, and internet safety."

SETDA Federal Policy Maker Award: Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) was honored for his leadership in supporting innovative and systemic approaches to learning in NCLB with students, teachers and administrators from NC present. Senator Burr partnered with Senators Bingaman (D-NM), and Murray (D-WA) to co-sponsor the ATTAIN Act, which was included as Title II, Part D of the Senate's ESEA/NCLB discussion draft. Building upon data from several research studies, the bill focuses on the integral role of educational technology in systemic school redesign and professional development for core curricular areas. Senator Burr and his staff understand the issues and collaborated with both Democrats and Republicans to build upon past federal technology programs and expand them to provide systemic educational change that assures our nation's global competitiveness.

"SETDA was thrilled to award the Federal Policy Maker Award to Senator Burr," said Wolf. "His comments during SETDA's Ed Forum Luncheon demonstrated his understanding of the role technology has played in North Carolina schools and the potential for the ATTAIN act to improve education by support for innovative models with proven results that act as a catalyst for states to leverage local resources to address local needs."


1. To ensure that through technology every student has access to
   individualized, rigorous, and relevant learning to meet the goals
   of NCLB and to prepare all students and America for the 21st
2. To increase on-going, meaningful professional development around
   technology that leads to changes in teaching and curriculum, and
   which improves student achievement, including but not limited to
   core academic subjects, and student technology literacy.
3. To evaluate, build upon and increase the use of research-based
   and innovative systemic school reforms that center on the use of
   technology and lead to school improvement and increase student


The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal association for state directors of technology and their staff members providing professional development and leadership around the effective use to technology in education to enhance competitiveness in the global workforce.

Contact Information

    Mary Ann Wolf, Ph.D
    Executive Director
    Email Contact