For Immediate Release: March 26, 2014
Contact: Mary Anne Ostrom, Director of Communications, Cell: 510-381-3070 firstname.lastname@example.org
California Emerging Technology Fund Names Southern California School Leaders 2014 Broadband Champions Santa Ana Unified Superintendent Rick Miller and Fullerton CTO Jay McPhail Act to Close the Digital Divide
Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA – March 26, 2014 – The California Emerging Technology Fund is pleased to announce Santa Ana Unified School District Superintendent Rick Miller and Fullerton School District Chief Technology Officer Jay McPhail are 2014 Broadband Champions. Fifteen individuals are being recognized for their groundbreaking work and strong commitment to close the Digital Divide. (They are primarily being honored for their work while Dr. Miller served as Superintendent of the Riverside Unified School District and Mr. McPhail was the district’s Director of Innovation and Learner Engagement.)
The Champions were selected in consultation with dozens of broadband leaders, community advocates and state and local policymakers. The 15 individuals are featured in the California Emerging Technology Fund 2013-2014 Annual Report and will be recognized at events in San Francisco on March 27 and in Pasadena on May 19.
“We congratulate Superintendent Miller, Jay and all of the Broadband Champions. From Riverside to Humboldt, from El Centro to Oakland, they are representatives of trailblazers who work throughout California and beyond to point the way for policymakers to understand the opportunities afforded by information technology and high-speed Internet access,” said CETF President and CEO Sunne Wright McPeak. “The Champions also share the moral imperative not to leave anyone behind or offline. Each of these individuals inspires us to renew the call to close the Digital Divide,” she said. Photos and a full list of the champions is available on request.
Rick Miller and Jay McPhail: Pioneering Computers in the Classroom
When the Superintendent of Riverside Unified School District put computers in the classroom, he didn’t imagine this: Online poetry slams; guest lecturers from Turkey via Skype; and dyslexic students achieving “As” for the first time. But in 2009, then-Superintendent Rick Miller and his innovation director, Jay McPhail, did have a vision. They knew that with support, students and teachers would amaze them. Rick’s vision and persistence, including seeking a waiver from the State Board of Education to provide electronic textbooks, led Central Middle School to become one of two CETF-sponsored School2Home beta sites. Jay stepped forward to provide critical support to Central and other participating schools, building a robust network and implementing teacher and parent training. Rick and Jay have moved on to other Southern California school districts, but Riverside schools continue to benefit from their push for innovation.