Many distance learning practitioners are working diligently to grow programs and to utilize distance learning in exemplary ways. A great way to showcase why Texas is becoming a leader in distance learning is through the annual TxDLA Awards program. Awards are given to honor outstanding teachers, TxDLA members, individuals and organizations and were presented this year at the 15th Annual TxDLA Conference, April 15th-18th in Dallas.
The Don Foshee Memorial Grant recognizes exceptional ideas and talents that can be applied in a thoughtful, fun and creative manner, and delivered through distance learning. Grant recipients receive $2,000 directed toward finding “backyard treasures”, and will present their project at the following year’s TxDLA Conference.
Margo Hernandez of Northside ISD was the winner of this year’s Don Foshee Memorial Grant. Northside ISD will utilize the grant funds to present technology as a new and exciting avenue to learning in their DL Summertime Fun with Technology Program which will be held June through August 2012. The DL Summer program will provide a safe and dependable environment during the summer months for DL families to have fun while becoming technologically savvy and work together in the academic arena. Ms. Hernandez will present a summary of the program during a breakout session at next year's TxDLA conference.
TxDLA established the John A. Baker Memorial Award in May 1998 to recognize K-12 teachers for their work in the distance learning arena. Teachers are also given more opportunities to reach students through the use of education telecommunications and distance learning technologies.
The winner of this award was Pamela Dooley from Northside ISD. Dooley is an advocate of online learning environments and helps teachers reach their students 24/7. Using Moodle to create online classrooms, Dooley enables teachers to post lessons, extension activities, tutorials and more to reach homebound students and those in the classroom.
The Outstanding Commitment to Excellence and Innovation in Distance Education Award is presented to the person and institution that has done the most to benefit and advance the applied practice of distance education, in the opinion of TxDLA members, during the past year. The winners of this award were Carrie McFerron of Tyler Junior College in the individual category, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) – Distance Learning and Instructional Technology in the institutional category.
The Outstanding Commitment to Texas Distance Learning Association Award went to Michelle Durán for individual, South Texas College for institution, and Blackboard, Inc. for corporate. All of these winners go above and beyond in their support of TxDLA.
The Don Foshee Award for Outstanding Leadership is named in honor of our founding President, and is presented to a TxDLA Board Member, Officer, or Committee Chair who has shown a strong personal commitment, given generously of his/her time, and provided vigorous support for other TxDLA members to become leaders in the Association.
Brenda Quintanilla was the winner of this year’s Don Foshee Award for Outstanding Leadership. Quintanilla, the immediate past president of TxDLA, has supported the organization for several years. From serving on just about every committee to crafting beautiful displays honoring award nominees, she has spent countless hours serving the organization.
Awards are given to individuals who go above and beyond in their dedication and commitment to distance education. Nominations for the Hall of Fame and Awards can be made throughout the year by going to the Awards page of our website.
The following TxDLA members served on the Hall of Fame and Awards Committees for the 2011-2012 year: Mike Ayala, Rhonda Blackburn, Caroline Crawford, Ken Conn, Michelle Durán, Oscar Hernandez, Brenda Quintanilla and Richard Smith.