2019 Communication Technology Award for Superintendents

The Communication Technology Award for Superintendents recognizes a superintendent of a K-12 school system, intermediate unit, BOCES, or County Education Office for leadership in redefining, upgrading, and integrating cutting-edge communication technology to improve and expand outreach and engagement with education stakeholders — both internal and external.

Download the Nomination Form.

This award is offered in partnership with Blackboard. Visit Blackboard to learn more.


2019 Communication Technology Award for Superintendents Recipient

Matthew Miller
Superintendent
Lakota Local School District 
Liberty Township, Ohio

Since his arrival at Lakota Local School District in 2017, Superintendent Matthew Miller’s leadership style has inspired staff and students in his district to use new forms of technology, including multiple social media platforms, a monthly video update, a district mobile app and their Lakota Learning Blog. He leverages digital platforms to make connections, build relationships, support 24/7 professional development and provide an inside look at what is happening inside Lakota schools. In a short time, his efforts in a district of more than 16,000 students has made it much more unified.

In the spirit of the unity, Miller worked with local businesses in a “WE Are Connected” initiative, where local companies set up hot-spot hubs for students, so they would have free Wi-Fi. A needs-based, at-home internet access program was also established for students, so they can communicate with teachers, their peers and complete homework without worrying about the lack of technology access. 

Additionally, during the 2018-19 school year, secondary schools rolled out 1:1 devices for junior high and high school students. Students are now better able to connect with their peers on collaborative assignments and reach out to teachers for support on online portals.

Creating a district hashtag was one of Miller’s first steps in helping establish a unified message and stream of content on social media, as shared by many voices. The district developed a week-long community twitter poll for students, staff, parents and community partners to help decide the hashtag, a pivotal move in establishing community buy-in and support of it. Since then, #WEareLakota has become so much more than a hashtag for their community. It represents the district’s West and East sides coming together for a common cause, since the district is in the unique position of feeding into two separate high schools.

Miller also began a weekly Twitter EdChat, utilizing the hashtag #LakotaEdChat, where students and staff are given a voice to interact on topics of common interest. He regularly follows up on the Twitter Edchats via conversations in person. The district’s students and staff members have been given the opportunity to host national Twitter EdChats, facilitating in-depth conversations on a larger platform.

Miller hosts Facebook Live sessions and developed the Lakota Learning Blog. Both mediums are opportunities where staff and other stakeholders can share their areas of expertise and provide relevant content to parents and others in the community. Not only are they a convenient way to dig into helpful tips, but they also increase engagement for families who are not always able to get out to a location for in-person programming.

NSPRA and Blackboard are proud to recognize Lakota LSD Superintendent Matthew Miller with the 2019 Communication Technology Award for Superintendents.