SETDA Header Press Releases

Julia Fallon
Executive Director
[email protected] 


Press Release: SETDA Honors U.S. Senator Gary Peters with 2021 Federal Policy Maker of the Year Award


November 9, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – SETDA, the principal membership association of U.S. state and territorial educational technology and digital learning leaders, announced at their recent Leadership Summit, Senator Gary Peters (MI), as the 2021 recipient of the SETDA Federal Policy Maker of the Year Award. Senator Peters accepted the award via video at the 2021 SETDA Leadership Summit: Envisioning a New Era of State Leadership.

The Policy Maker Award honors elected and appointed policymakers at state and federal levels who have championed access to and effective use of technology in K-12 education. 

The award is rooted in SETDA’s long tradition of seeking out exemplary leadership. It honors a recognized policymaker who actively supports digital learning opportunities for all students and engages with the broader education and policymaking communities to advocate for the role of technology in advancing education.

Senator Peters has represented Michigan in the U.S. Senate since 2015. He is the chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and serves as a Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee member. Senator Peters introduced and recently secured passage of the K-12 Cybersecurity Act of 2021 (S.1917), signed by President Biden in October 2021. The new law directs the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to examine the risks and challenges schools face in securing their networks. The new law also charges CISA with creating cybersecurity recommendations and other voluntary resources for schools to use when implementing their cybersecurity solutions. Senator Peters is also a co-sponsor of legislation to restore federal Net Neutrality requirements, and he strongly supported the creation of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF). 

“I’m honored to be chosen by SETDA to receive this year’s Policymaker Award. I’m committed to working with groups like yours to make sure that national and local officials can improve education by giving every student and teacher equal access to technology.” Peters added, “All the hard work you do through your educational programs and advocacy efforts in all 50 states will ensure that we’re leveraging technology and education to keep protecting our children and defending our school IT systems for generations to come. Thank you for all the work you do every single day to help students safely and securely use technology to learn, to dream, and to achieve their goals. I look forward to working with each and every one of you to ensure that every school has access to the tools needed to protect their networks and enhance the education of their students.”

“SETDA is dedicated to working with local, state, and federal policymakers like Senator Peters, to ensure that students and their data are protected from cybercriminals. Senator Peters’ leadership on the K-12 Cybersecurity Act of 2021 is a significant step forward towards securing our nation’s school IT systems,” shared Julia Fallon, Executive Director of SETDA. “His thought leadership on school cybersecurity, and his ongoing commitment to support the creation of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), has resulted in a significant improvement in the lives of American children, educators, and school IT professionals. SETDA is proud to name him as the recipient of the 2021 SETDA Federal Policy Maker of the Year Award.”


The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology and digital learning leaders. Through a broad array of programs and advocacy, SETDA builds member capacity and engages partners to empower the education community in leveraging technology for learning, teaching, and school operations.

For more information, please visit our website or Twitter @setda

© 2024 SETDA, All Rights Reserved