Feaster Charter Middle School Hydroponic Greenhouse

San Diego’s Classroom of the Future Foundation will honor the region’s most innovative educators and programs at the 14th Annual Innovation in Education Awards next week at SeaWorld.

The 14th awards program begins at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, at SeaWorld. Tickets to the event are still available.

“Each year, the foundation recognizes local classroom leaders and programs that expand student learning through innovative teaching techniques,” said James Wright, CEO of the foundation. “This year’s awardees exemplify the unique ways local students are learning to thrive in today’s competitive, global society.”

The following award recipients will be honored:

  • Feaster Charter Middle School in the Chula Vista Elementary School District will receive the Inspire Award for its Hydroponic Greenhouse Program. The program provides students with the opportunity to learn how to grow, manage, and market produce hydroponically. Students learn about science, technology, engineering and math through agriculture.
  • Sweetwater Union High School District will receive the Innovate Award for its Quadcopter Challenge program. This STEM program uses two technologies: unmanned airborne systems and 3D printers. Participating students design and construct quadcopters to compete against other high schools in the district.
  • Vista Unified School District will receive the Achieve Award for its Next Generation Science Core Leadership Team Program. The professional development program empowers every teacher to successfully implement the California Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Vista Unified & Design Academy in Vista Unified School District will receive the Impact Award for its dedication to a cross-curricular and integrated learning approach that focuses on igniting the creative genius of all students.
  • Superintendent of the Bonsall Unified School District, Dr. Justin Cunningham, will receive the Innovative Superintendent Award.  Cunningham is a sought-after speaker in the areas of brain research, technology and learning.
  • Innovative Principal Award recipient Maria Kehoe is the principal of Rios Elementary Computer Science Magnet School, within Cajon Valley Unified School District — the first computer science magnet school in the United States. Kehoe has inspired other schools and districts nationwide to provide computer science education for all students.
  • The Chief Innovation Officer of San Diego Unified School District, Dan Stoneman, will receive the Innovative Educator Award. Stoneman started a successful Division of Online Learning at the district, built Innovation Centers at three high schools to facilitate a high-touch blended learning model, and started a one-on-one, take-home computer program that impacted 16,000 students in its first year.
  • Career Pathways Educator of the Year Award will go to Keith Nuthall, principal of Del Lago Academy, Campus of Applied Science in Escondido Unified School District. The Career Pathways Award honors an education leader who is dedicated to developing programs that help students graduate with not just a diploma, but also with a greater understanding of the technical and essential skills needed to succeed in today’s workforce.
  • San Diego Computer Using Educators will present Heather Love-Fleck with the SDCUE Innovative Teacher on Special Assignment of the Year Award. In addition to supporting staff with technology, she also facilitates a STEM lab at Stuart Mesa Elementary School.
  • SDCUE Innovative Teacher of the Year Award will go to Allison Slattery, a 4th grade science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics teacher at Bonsall West Elementary School in Oceanside.

The San Diego-based Classroom of the Future Foundation brings San Diego County’s education and business communities together to facilitate partnerships, which create innovative learning environments that prepare students to thrive in a competitive global society. Each year, the foundation asks educators and school district leaders throughout the county to submit their respective learning programs for Innovation in Education Awards consideration. A jury of local business and education leaders chose the winners.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.