Fred Podolski Leadership and Innovation in Technology Award
The three Long Island BOCES created the Podolski awards in 2011 after the passing of Fred Podolski, Executive Director at Nassau BOCES. This annual award honors one teacher and one administrator. Educators nominated teachers who demonstrate creative, resourceful uses of technology that significantly impact student achievement and administrators who have taken a visionary role in the implementation of technology, demonstrated a commitment to serve the educational needs of students and provided support to teachers.
Teacher of the Year
Kristina Holzweiss is the school library media specialist at Bay Shore Middle School, and a former 7th grade English teacher. Having been the first teacher to teach using PowerPoint and demonstrating how to cite sources using EasyBib through screenshots, Kristina has always enjoyed infusing technology into her lessons. An ambassador for many web tools such as Edmodo, Tackk, Glogster, Awesome Stories, and Blendspace she is an advocate of preparing all students to become technology literate so that they can active citizens of the global community. Technology, Kristina believes, is another tool for teachers to use and that low tech, hands-on learning activities are important for students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Kristina was recently honored to be chosen as the 2015 School Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal and Scholastic.
Administrator of the Year
Anthony J. Davidson, principal of Commack Middle School, has been recognized for instituting a variation of Google’s “20% time,” allowing building leaders time to delve in innovative work and his developing and drawing on the expertise of staff to turnkey their knowledge: both resulting in students and staff using technology to collaborate with schools throughout the world, screencast, create flipped learning and mastery instruction models, design a film studio, and much more. This summer, Anthony led over 20 educators through the process of garnering Google Educator Trainer Essentials Certification. In 2015, CMS will launch Chromebook and G.A.F.E. pilots and offer the entire 8th grade VEX Robotics by replacing the current technology curriculum; an innovation that derived from “20%” time and for which Anthony has supported and helped to secured funding. Previously, Anthony initiated an enrichment-by-choice program, which now includes the technology-intensive courses Digital Media, Gaming & Coding, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.).