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Candice Dodson
Executive Director
202-715-6636 x700
[email protected]

Students from Mineola, New York
Honored Before an Audience of National Education Leaders
at SETDA Event in Washington, D.C.

November 4, 2019 (Washington, D.C.) – SETDA, the principal membership association representing U.S. state and territorial digital learning leaders, honored Mineola Middle School in Mineola, New York as the winner of the 2019 Student Voices Award. Students presented to 250 education leaders during the Education Forum breakfast 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.

For over 10 years, SETDA has honored one school across the United States with the Student Voices Award; this is the first time a New York school has received the award. Mineola Middle School students presented to an audience of state and regional education leaders, guests from national education organizations, U.S. Department of Education, policy makers and corporate leaders.

In their keynote presentation, Mineola Middle School students communicated the fundamental belief that all students learn in different ways and that it is the responsibility of the school to craft lessons that afford each student varied, creative and application-based opportunities to demonstrate their learning. Examples of student engagement and the emphasis on the learning process were evident through the student-led discussion. Students highlighted how design thinking, computational thinking and the integration of technology in personalized learning pathways contribute to their development as well-rounded learners and contributing members of their community.

“We are #MineolaProud that Mineola MS has been recognized as the recipient of the SETDA Student Voices Award. Student voice must be the core of everything we do in education. Mineola’s focus on student choice and computational thinking has empowered our students to take ownership of their learning while simultaneously enjoying school,” shared Dr. Michael Nagler, Superintendent of Schools, Mineola Public Schools.

“The Mineola district has embraced technology as a part of its foundation in order to create a dynamic learning space for all students,” said Stan Silverman, Professor and Director of the Technology Based Learning Systems, New York Institute of Technology. “Through inspired leadership and a fully engaged staff, the district has woven a tapestry of technology incorporated seamlessly into the entire school experience. The students exemplify what happens when you empower students with the appropriate tools and strategies,” Silverman continued.

“As a modern media company, AT&T recognizes that skills gaps are not unique to one industry or one area of expertise. Knowing that, we’re committed to investing in programs – such as SETDA – that address the multi-dimensional nature of today’s skills gaps by intertwining hard skill and soft skill development,” said Mylayna Albright, Assistant Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at AT&T. “SETDA embodies that principle, providing students the kind of transformational academic experience that we are thrilled to support and look forward to continuing to support in the future.”

“It is always inspiring to hear from students and teachers who are thoughtfully using technology to transform their learning. This year’s student voice winners from Mineola Middle School exemplify the best ways technology can personalize and empower today’s students to change our world,” stated Candice Dodson, Executive Director, SETDA.

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

Thank you to AT&T Aspire for supporting Student Voices 2019. 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 $500 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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