The Lighting of A Candle: SETDA Announces the Candice Dodson Influencer Award
Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg has said, “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” Candice Dodson was that leader. Sadly, we lost Candice’s bright light in July but we are here to affirm that her impact and her influence continues to be felt in her absence. As the former Executive Directors of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), we feel pride in all that Candice accomplished at SETDA, for Indiana, and for students and educators across this country.
Candice was a leader who had a uniquely positive impact on elected officials, education leaders, parents, partners, co-workers, and stakeholders from across the education community. She had a contagious joy and a generous spirit in interacting with others – and this made her influence even more profound. She had an uncanny ability to connect with everyone she met and to include them, build them up, and celebrate their successes. She was a talented consensus builder and true collaborator, a champion for innovation and creativity, an advocate for educators, and a believer in what students could accomplish. She contributed her voice regularly through social media and was highly engaged with the field, serving on panels and podcasts, contributing to articles, and organizing and participating in high-impact events.
Candice’s leadership was just what SETDA needed to move the organization and its members to the next level. Those of us who have worked in or with state government know that there are never enough people or dollars to roll out a new initiative and the red tape is never in short supply. To be effective, state leaders have to get creative, build a network of champions across the state, and partner with outside organizations in order to innovate, to shift mindsets, and to enact real and lasting change. Successful state leaders – like Candice – find ways to exert a positive influence not only in their state, but well beyond.
When we lost Candice, we lost an amazing champion for educational technology and a close friend. For that reason, we are grateful that the SETDA Board of Directors has announced the Candice Dodson Influencer Award to commemorate the values, professional influence and personal contributions to the field of educational technology that Candice championed every day, and to recognize similar qualities in present and future leaders who carry on this important work. We think it fitting to honor her memory by building up others and celebrating the influencers who follow in her footsteps.
We know that Candice’s legacy will inspire greatness in others and that her impact will always be a part of SETDA and its members.
About the Authors of this Guest Blog Post
This post was a collaboration among a group of SETDA’s Former Executive Directors including:
- Melinda George, Chief Policy Officer – Learning Forward
- Doug Levin, Founder & President – EdTech Strategies
- Lan Neugent, Retired SETDA Emeritus
- Tracy Weeks, Executive Director K12 Statewide Partnerships – Canvas
- Mary Ann Wolf, President & Executive Director – Public School Forum of NC