For Immediate Release: January 31, 2022
TETL Announces Dr. Holly Ferguson, Matt Flood, and Midlothian ISD are 2021-2022 TETL Award Winners
Austin, TX— Texas Education Technology Leaders (formerly Texas K-12 CTO Council) has announced that Dr. Holly Ferguson, Superintendent of Prosper Independent School District; Matt Flood, Chief Technology Officer at Goose Creek CISD; and Midlothian ISD, led by Leslie Garakani, Chief Technology Officer, are the winners of their annual awards.
Dr. Holly Ferguson, Superintendent of Prosper ISD, is the recipient of the Empowered Superintendent Award. Each year, the Council selects a superintendent who has promoted and supported innovative uses of technology in their district. The award considers categories of leadership, innovative projects, collaboration, and district awards and recognitions. Ferguson became superintendent in June 2020, shortly after the pandemic was declared. She immediately demonstrated tremendous resilience and flexibility, meeting ever-changing demands and requirements, while exhibiting profound grace and always making the safety and success of students the priority.
Dr. Ferguson has consistently focused on creating equity at all levels. She reformed the executive cabinet at the beginning of her tenure to include all high-level administrators, ensuring that all departments and schools were appropriately represented. After brainstorming with the Instructional Media department to find ways to equalize learning opportunities for high school students, Dr. Ferguson used the library space as a backdrop to reimagine the role of the librarian and what library and instructional technology services looked like. The campus librarian and instructional technology coach joined forces as newly branded Future Ready Designers—a naming convention created by Dr. Ferguson’s naming convention—and developed a lab that provides access to state-of-the-art fabrication tools and materials. Dr. Ferguson’s vision helped the district provide all students with opportunities to build and imagine using tools ranging from 3D printers to sewing machines to laser cutters, regardless of their educational backgrounds, schedule, or socioeconomic status. In addition, it brought the “maker movement” to all content areas, providing students with various ways to express their learning through voice and choice.
Matt Flood, Chief Technology Officer, Goose Creek CISD, is the recipient of the Grace Hopper Award. Matt has served as the Chief Technology Officer for Goose Creek CISD for 8 years. He is unique in that he started in the department as a junior in high school. He was recommended by his computer science teacher because he demonstrated great technical and leadership potential. As the years when by, he worked his way up in the organization, serving in every position in the department. He also completed his education while working, including an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree, a Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) designation, Cisco networking certifications, as well as a Texas Association for School Business Officials (TASBO) Registered Texas School Business Official (RTSBA).
Matt has worked with his team, along with campus leadership and teachers, to promote the power of technology in the classroom. In 2013, Matt successfully helped pass a 52-million-dollar bond. He has successfully standardized each classroom with technology as a focal point in day-to-day instruction. The 2013 program included student computers, teacher computer, Promethean Boards, Document Cameras, presentation carts and a presentation computer. With the 2019 Bond each classroom is being upgraded to have a new Promethean Panel, Document Camera, and AppleTV. Standardized classroom technology, along with the districts 1:1 iPad program, has revolutionized technology to be an integral part of daily instruction at Goose Creek CISD. Technology use has become an expectation at Goose Creek not just an add on. Matt is a truly an effective leader. He best represents a district CTO and is a model of leadership as set forward by Grace Hopper.
Midlothian ISD, led by Leslie Garakani, Chief Technology Officer, is the recipient of the CTO Council’s TEAM Award. The Midlothian ISD Technology Services Team has demonstrated effective leadership in various ways. Their Information Systems team supports teachers and campus teams on the use of the new Skyward SIS. This includes attendance, grade reporting, assessment, state reporting, and discipline. Reconfiguration of Midlothian’s Classlink platform with the new SIS brought more resources used by our teachers and students into a central location. The Technology Support team helps teachers and students in the daily use of the new Chromebooks and providing in-classroom support so teachers can be effective in lesson plan development and execution. Midlothian’s new "iTechs" (Instructional Technology Team) provides professional development, "just-in-time" training and support (Zoom & Google Meet), and they also develop online training curriculum and resources. Much of this has been built from the ground up this year with the new SIS and new 1:1 devices.
About Texas Education Technology Leaders
TETL (formerly Texas K-12 CTO Council) is a chapter of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and is the premier organization for technology leaders in Texas K-12 school districts. Being a leader in the field of education technology depends on having the right support and guidance to stay ahead of quickly changing technology trends. Your network is key to helping the school districts you serve implement the best systems and solutions possible. We understand the challenges you face today . . . and we help you look ahead to what’s on the horizon. We tailor our services to support you and to help you stay one step ahead of an ever-changing technology environment. We empower education technology leaders . . . for today and tomorrow.