For Immediate Release

Tracy S. Weeks, Ph.D.
Executive Director
202-715-6636 x700
[email protected]

Students from St. Albans City School, Vermont
Honored by SETDA Before an Audience of National Education Leaders

November 14, 2018 (Washington, D.C.) – SETDA, the principal membership association representing U.S. state and territorial digital learning leaders, honored St. Albans City School, Vermont as the winner of the 2018 Student Voices Award. U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, introduced the school’s students and provided remarks for an audience of 250 education leaders during the Education Forum awards luncheon at SETDA’s Leadership Summit in Arlington, Virginia. The Education Forum is an annual event that shines a spotlight on the full scope of digital transformation of policies and practices currently underway to empower learners in K-12 education.

Each year for the past decade, SETDA has honored one school across the United States with the Student Voices Award; this is the first time a Vermont school has received the award, and the first PreK-8 school ever to be recognized. St. Albans City School students presented to an audience of state leaders and guests from national education organizations, the U.S. Department of Education, policy makers and corporate partners. The students highlighted specific examples of how technology tools and resources provided them with personalized learning opportunities infused with innovative, project-based learning. Students led a presentation about their projects, demonstrating pride and caring for their school community and environment, while emphasizing the role technology had in making those projects possible. They also shared the e-portfolio system that captures the many dimensions of each child’s learning pathway through their years from pre k-12.

During her opening remarks, Secretary DeVos shared the following hopes for transformed learning experiences with the St. Albans students, “Learning is fun, and it can be interesting and exciting. School should be too. We want to empower you to make it so. You are 100 percent of our future; you deserve 100 percent of our effort.”

“Technology is such a big part of our school that we often forget it is there, until the network goes down and we have to use the backup link. It is just the way we do things. It doesn’t replace other ways of working, it enhances them. It is an honor and privilege for our school and our students to be at the conference sharing our story,” said Joan Cavallo, Principal St. Albans City School.

“I am pleased and proud that St. Albans City School has been recognized as both the first Vermont school and the first PreK-8 school nationwide to receive the SETDA Student Voices Award,” said Vermont Secretary of Education, Dan French. “It’s a testament to the innovative spirit of #vted educators, who are constantly finding new ways to integrate technology into the classroom at every level. It’s just one of the many ways we are building a world-class education system that guarantees quality and equity for all Vermont learners. St. Albans’ method, incorporating technology at the core of the student experience, is outstanding and worthy of emulation,” French continued.

“Today, technology is making it easier for everyone – regardless of age, gender, income or geography – to learn anytime, anywhere,” said Mylayna Albright, assistant vice president, AT&T Corporate Social Responsibility.“The conversations and collaboration happening at SETDA are critically important for ensuring that technology can continue to remove barriers to learning, by connecting students and teachers with educational content wherever they are.”

“It has been so inspiring to hear from these students at the elementary and middle school levels about the ways students and teachers are leveraging technology to innovate and collaborate,” stated Dr. Tracy Weeks, Executive Director, SETDA.

Learn more about the Student Voices award and past winners here:

Thank you to AT&T Aspire for supporting the Student Voices 2018. AT&T invests in education and job training to create a skilled and diverse workforce that powers our country for the future. Technology is making it easier for everyone – regardless of age, gender, income or geography – to learn anytime, anywhere. Through the AT&T Aspire initiative, AT&T brings together the power of its network – its employees, its technology and organizations – to connect people to opportunities through education and job training. Since 2008, AT&T has committed $450 million to programs to help millions of students in all 50 states and around the world. Learn more at


The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), founded in 2001, is the national non-profit association representing the interests of U.S. state and territorial educational technology leadership. SETDA’s mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. For more information about SETDA, visit

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