Interim Executive Director
SETDA Honors Sandy O’Neil, New Jersey Department of Education,
with 2020 State Leader of the Year Award
December 16, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – SETDA, the principal membership association of U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders announced Sandy O’Neil, Title II, Part A Program Lead, New Jersey Department of Education (retired), as the recipient of the SETDA State Leader of the Year (SLY) Award. O’Neil accepted the award surrounded by her colleagues during a virtual recognition ceremony at the 2020 SETDA Leadership Summit. The annual SLY Award honors an active SETDA member who has exhibited exemplary national and state leadership in educational technology. The award is rooted in SETDA’s long tradition of exemplary leadership and honors a recognized leader who actively supports districts in his or her state to improve digital learning opportunities for all students, collaborates with members and other peers nationally through SETDA initiatives and committees, and engages with the broader education and policymaking communities to advocate for the role of technology in advancing education. Sandy retired from the New Jersey Department of Education in September 2020.
Christine Fox, Interim Executive Director of SETDA shared, “Sandy has been a steadfast, tireless, SETDA leader for almost two decades. Initially as a Title IID program lead and later as the Title IVA and Title IIA program lead, she initiated new SETDA initiatives, connected partners, represented SETDA in national discussions and at national events. She constantly worked to engage members in collaborative efforts to advance teaching and learning. Her leadership included the launch and facilitation of SETDA’s Title IIA Collaborative group, chairing SETDA’s Professional Learning Committee for four years, helping to lead working groups, and volunteering at SETDA events. Her enthusiasm for connecting leaders and supporting quality, equitable learning opportunities is unmatched.”
“Sandy is highly regarded in the State of New Jersey as an expert in helping districts understand and efficiently implement professional learning opportunities under Title II, Part A. In her role as the Title II-A Coordinator, Sandy provided continuous technical assistance to districts throughout the year and was an advocate for nonpublic schools under the provisions of equitable service. As Sandy has recently retired from the New Jersey Department of Education, she will sorely be missed by all who had the opportunity and pleasure to work with her within the state and nation as a SETDA leader. Sandy’s willingness to share information and provide leadership across offices and divisions at the NJDOE was truly second to none.” stated David Greer, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Academics at the New Jersey Department of Education and current Supervisor of World Languages and English Language Learners, K-12, Livingston Public School District, New Jersey.
Founded in 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal non-profit membership association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders. Our mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. For more information, please visit https://www.setda.org.