For Immediate Release
Tracy S. Weeks, Ph.D.
SETDA Honors Jillian Balow,
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Wyoming
with 2017 State Policy Maker of the Year Award
October 25, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) SETDA, the principal membership association of the U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders today announced Jillian Balow, Superintendent of Public Instruction in Wyoming as the recipient of the 2017 SETDA State Policy Maker of the Year Award. Ms. Balow was honored for her vision and leadership in support for the effective use of technology in Wyoming at SETDA’s 2017 Leadership Summit: Leveraging Technology to Personalize Student Learning in National Harbor, Maryland.
“While it can be easy to focus on the technology challenges created by living in a rural and remote state, we have chosen to embrace the opportunities technology gives us. We are connected and providing quality learning experiences to students,” noted Superintendent Balow. “This is a good start and I am honored to be a pioneer on this trail.”
Since taking office in January, 2015, Balow chaired the Distance Education Task Force which made recommendations that led to state legislation to remove many barriers to the facilitation of online courses in Wyoming school districts. She also established a K-20 common statewide learning management system which coordinates online course offerings for K-12 and post-secondary, as well as professional development opportunities from the Wyoming Department of Education and postsecondary institutions. In 2016, with Superintendent Balow’s leadership and support, Wyoming held its first ever Computer Science Education Week and signed the state Future Ready Pledge. She partnered with the Governor’s Office, Department of Enterprise Technology Services, State Library, Wyoming school districts, and National Governor’s Association for the Wyoming Classroom Connectivity Initiative which focused on increasing connectivity to school districts by utilizing federal E-rate funds and building WiFi capacity in schools to enhance student learning. Wyoming will host its first K-20 statewide digital learning conference in November 2017 where it will recognize innovative leaders throughout the state.
“The ability for a state to transform teaching and learning starts with a leader who understands how to leverage technology all areas of education,” said Tracy Weeks, Executive Director, SETDA.
Laurel Ballard, Student and Teacher Resources Team Supervisor for the Wyoming Department of Education shared, “Superintendent Balow, with her unwavering focus on education, ensures every student in every corner of the state has access to the same high quality educational resources and opportunities. Her visionary leadership has made Wyoming a place where students and educators have the foundations to be successful.”
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