State Leader of the Year Award

The State Leader of the Year (SLY) Award recognizes an active SETDA SEA member who has exhibited outstanding leadership by advancing educational technology in their state or collaborating with peers through SETDA initiatives. A SLY nominee creates positive change for SETDA and its members and furthers our mission by engaging with the broader education community at the regional, national, or international levels.



2023 Melinda (Mindy) Fiscus
Learning Technology Center of Illinois

Mindy Fiscus is the Director of Government Affairs for the Learning Technology Center. She has 20 years of educational technology experience in IL. In her current role, she also serves as one of the IL State E-rate Coordinators, board member, and Illinois representative to SETDA. She supports districts with the application process for E-Rate, a federal program focused on providing cost-effective internet access and network equipment for schools and libraries. She also supports state and federal initiatives related to implementing personalized, research-based digital learning strategies and identifying exemplary sources of digital content.

School leaders in Illinois benefit from Mindy’s expert knowledge of the federal E-Rate program to assist districts in maximizing the billions of dollars of funding that help connect schools and libraries, enabling them to leverage the power of technology for personalized learning.

Mindy has been actively involved in SETDA’s work for more than 10 years, leading its E-Rate Collaborative, participating in nearly every SETDA member committee, and serving on the Board of Directors since 2019 and the incoming Board Chair starting in January 2024.

Previous SLY award recipients at the 2022 Leadership Summit

SETDA State Leader of the Year Recipients 

2022 Doug Casey Connecticut State Commission for Educational Technology
2021 Julia Legg West Virginia Department of Education
2020 Sandy O’Neil New Jersey Department of Education
2019 Julia Fallon Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
2018 Jerome Browning Utah Education and Telehealth Network
2017 Stan Freeda New Hampshire Department of Education
2016 Candice Dodson Indiana Department of Education
2015 Peter Drescher Vermont Agency of Education
2014 Laurence (Larry) Cocco New Jersey Department of Education
2013 Jeff Mao Maine Department of Education
2012 Wayne Hartschuh Delaware Center of Educational Technology
2011 Stephen Sanders Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
2010 Carla Wade Oregon Department of Education
2009 Rick Gaisford Utah State Board of Education
2008 Jayne Moore Maryland State Department of Education
2007 Lan Neugent Virginia Department of Education
2006 Melinda Maddox Alabama State Department of Education
2005 Michael Golden Pennsylvania Department of Education
2004 Anita Givens Texas Education Agency
2003 Brenda Williams West Virginia Department of Education
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