Administrator of the Year
Administrator of the Year: It is the intent of the ASTE Administrator of the Year Award to recognize Alaskans who lead schools/organizations in the innovative use of technology to support academic goals. Nominees may include PK-12 school principals or district administrators, as well as directors or department heads of colleges or universities. To be eligible for this award, the nominee must be a full or part-time supervisor of educators who are working to implement innovative or transformational technology-infused instructional practices.
Administrator of the Year
Winner: Jason Fastenau
Nominated by: Krysta Williams
Jason Fastenau is a valued member of not only Cordova’s school community, but that of Alaska. Mr. Fastenau works tirelessly to ensure students throughout the Cordova school district, pre-school and even beyond high school graduation, whether on campus or homeschooling, have the network access and technological equipment they need to enrich their education in a safe cyber environment.
Mr. Fastenau recognizes the important role STEM education plays in providing equitable educational opportunities, and the importance of providing access to STEM strategies and resources to ensure an equitable education. Mr. Fastenau has successfully administered grants to ensure a population with a high proportion of migrant students can access technology, concepts, a fully furnished computer science STEM lab, and equipment that enriches education and enhances the culture of the entire school. Because of Mr. Fastenau’s efforts, school sporting events, concerts, and award ceremonies can be streamed and watched asynchronously, increasing the opportunity for the greater community to share in the proud moments of Cordova students.
Mr. Fastenau is responsible for the 2020-2021 USDA Rural utility Services Distance Delivery and Telemedicine Grant Award in the amount of $597,954.00, providing districtwide equipment upgrades and purchases. Because of Jason’s diligent efforts, Cordova School District provided new student Chromebooks for every kindergarten through twelfth-grade student. Teachers throughout the district can thank Mr. Fastenau for making the transition to distance-delivered instruction smoother through access to equipment like document cameras, Promethean Boards, wireless access point upgrades, and portable routers students can use while traveling.
Understanding that equitable instruction and education are interdisciplinary concerns, Mr. Fastenau secured the 2022-2023 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Federal Programs Grant in the amount of $242, 983.00 for Cordova School District. The resulting purchases and program support have included paraprofessional staffing support, supplies for the school’s PE general program and musical instruments for the district’s migrant student population, and materials to expand the grades 7-12 art program.
Familiar with ASTE long before moving to Cordova, Jason has worked to ensure that as many of Cordova’s teachers as possible have the opportunity to attend and learn from the myriad of opportunities the annual ASTE Conference presents. By encouraging ASTE participation and sharing strategies and new technologies directly with teachers in his district, Jason Fastenau ensures ALL of Cordova’s students are poised to lead in a future increasingly impacted by quickly-evolving technologies. Mr. Fastenau’s work with ASTE allows that same ingenuity to be shared with teachers and students across the entire state of Alaska.
Teacher / Faculty of the Year
It is the intent of the ASTE Teacher/Faculty of the Year Award to recognize Alaskan educators currently responsible for the day-to-day instruction of PK-20 students, either building-based or classroom-based, regardless of subject matter. Nominees may include innovative classroom teachers, library media specialists, technology integration specialists, or others whose primary work with students is promoting deeper learning of academic content through the wise use of technology. To be eligible for this award, the nominee must spend at least 75% of his/her day in direct instruction.
Teacher / Faculty of the Year
Winner: Emily Smith
Nominated by: Adam Mokelke
Emily Smith is a teacher and tech leader at STrEaM Academy Charter in Anchorage, a STEM-focused program. On her grade-level projects team, she is the ELA/SS teacher but leads the way in developing projects that integrate STEM and utilize technology. She manages Chromebook use for the 6th grade team as well. Emily is a teacher leader in technology integration. Emily leads professional development for our staff, and is leading a district PD as well. She is our “Canvas Champion,” teaching staff how to best utilize the platform, supporting them and providing ongoing professional development. Emily models effective use of technology: her communication with parents by email and on Canvas is comprehensive and exemplary. She is a leader in integrating new, innovative tools to engage students and enhance learning, including nearpod, quizz, google slides, canvas, video, canvas studio, kahoot, socrative, and more. She has effectively utilized google forms to assess students and gather parent and staff feedback, and google slides to present lessons each day. As a busy mom, full time teacher, educational leadership grad student, it is amazing that Emily can also be the leader in technology at our school.
Tech Support of the Year
It is the intent of the ASTE Tech Support of the Year Award to recognize Alaskans who help teachers/faculty find and use technology to support academic goals, which may include helping with hardware. Nominees may include technology integration specialist, instructional web support, database integration support, or others who work behind the scenes to support educators who work directly with students. To be eligible for this award, the nominee must spend less than 75% of his/her day in direct instruction.
Tech Support of the Year
Winner: Cynthia Duncan
Nominated by: Jacklynn Horton
Cynthia was hired as our new Technology Coach two years ago. Unbeknownst to her we would soon lose our head technology technician and although she didn’t think she was qualified, everything landed on her shoulders and she’s been crushing it ever since. This was during a huge transition with devices and services. Alone she services 1,950 teacher and student devices. This an astronomical task.
She has rolled out many innovative programs such as help desk tickets to keep momentum and communication flowing. She has introduced programs like Teams, Clever, and the largest change of all, our new LMS, Canvas. All of which have made teachers workload feel a little lighter and students to have access to these important tools.
Cynthia advocates for teachers and students. She knows that for teachers to provide experiences to their students, they need to have a voice. As teachers we know this often falls through the cracks and lands on deaf ears. She makes sure our needs and voices are heard all the way to the top of administration.
As an MIEE she provides the entire district with free programs offered from her awarded membership. Students have benefited and enjoyed many including Minecraft Education, Canva, and many others.
As a lead chair in our district Technology Committee, she introduced the new Alaska computer science standards which led to our school board officially adopting them. She makes staff step by step how-to videos for questions I didn’t even know I’d need answers to, but when I look, they’re there! And even though she should, she never says no and giving up is never an option. If she doesn’t know how to help or fix something she’s definitely going to figure it out.
She works so many hours out of contract so that teachers can be successful and help reach her ultimate goal, which is support for technology in education. She fully believes with all her heart in a culture where technology aids learning and how important it is for students to be submerged in this culture to be successful in a technology predominate future.
Student of the Year
It is the intent of the ASTE High School Student of the Year Awards to recognize Alaskan 9-12 students who are using technology in unique or significant ways to enhance their understanding of academic content, and to honor students who demonstrate leadership in initiatives that meaningfully use technology to achieve the desired goal. To be eligible for this award, the nominee must be a student in an Alaskan school recognized by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.
Student of the Year 2022
Nominees: Owen Jennings, Thorne Bay School
Nominated by: Matt Gore
Owen Jennings is an integral part of Thorne Bay School. He heats the school, works to support all students in tech as the only student Tech Assistant for the district. But most importantly he works to have a fair welcoming school.
This year is the second year Thorne Bay School has had E-Sports and it is mainly due to his efforts. Without his leadership the team would have died this year and it is with great respect for his dedication that I nominate him for the ASTE Student Leadership Award.