Houston ISD Receives Super-Hero Award from Learning Counsel

Industry News
A first-of-its-kind award for a district who has multiple “firsts” in innovation

The Learning Counsel Awards a single “Super-Hero Award” per year for nationally significant achievements in transition to digital curriculum and technology. The Award signifies a special long-term management of numerous details all orchestrated together to arrive at new points of teaching and learning using a lot of technology and design--very different than the bygone days of chalkboards, textbooks and wooden student desks.  Beatriz Arnillas, Director – IT, Education Technology, at Houston Independent School District received the Award this year on behalf of the entire HISD team. 

LeiLani Cauthen, CEO and Publisher at the Learning Counsel, a California-based news media organization focused on research and context around the K12 transition to digital curriculum with over 170,000 K-12 executive subscribers, said she had been aware of HISD’s uniquely diligent transition to digital work for many years.   

“This Award is for across-the-board leadership by multiple individuals at HISD. It is for always being first in so many ways. First to take a digital curriculum inventory, which took several years and many hands to do. First to plunge into the technical standards issue with IMS Global, led by Beatriz herself. First to plunge into digital object definition standards and run a whole committee on those with the Learning Counsel.  First to start to turn one of the super-large districts into a super-central LMS (Learning Management System) with now two million digital learning objects for teachers and students to use. First to turn towards expositional learning with the ongoing project to redesign the entire district’s physical spaces, removing walls and bringing in non-traditional furnishings,” said LeiLani during the Awards ceremony.

As she smiled at Beatriz, who accepted the special gold statue Award, LeiLani further said, “The people there at HISD, and I have met many of them, the IT and curriculum leaders, deliver on real change. For that, we want to give them the Super-Hero Award.  They lead the nation in positive forward motion, in action that matters.” 

The Awards ceremony, held at the Walt Disney World Hotel Coronado with a room full of executives representing twenty-three other states and the District of Columbia, with numerous other schools and districts both public and private.