Central Valley Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rich Hughes is the 2017 NYSCATE (New York State Association for Computing and Technologies in Education) Outstanding Superintendent of the Year. The award recognizes Dr. Hughes for his vision, leadership and commitment to providing Central Valley students and staff with technology and providing teachers with the support needed to fully integrate that technology into the classroom.
“Through his innovation and direction, our students have 1:1 access to Chromebooks and other technology that allows our students the ability to access more resources than ever before,” said Central Valley Board of Education President Kelly Rowland.
“Our teachers are enhancing their instruction and are able to reach more students through a personalized approach. Using technology blended with best teaching practices has been an integral part of our success in improving State and Regents tests scores. We look forward to the continuation of preparing our students to be college and career ready with the necessary 21st Century skills.”
According to NYSCATE staff, superintendents are nominated for the award by a coworker and each nomination must include at least three letters of support. Dr. Hughes faced strong competition from other education leaders who are equally committed to broadening students’ horizons by giving them the technology skills to use technology in their educations and careers. One thing that set Dr. Hughes’ nomination apart was that he received two separate nominations and ten letters of support, each lauding his efforts as a technology and education advocate at Central Valley. Support came from fellow superintendents, BOCES staff, and administrators and staff at Central Valley.
Among his accomplishments are upgrading the district’s technology infrastructure, providing students and teachers with devices and software, providing professional development for teachers to make full use of the technology, ensuring adequate finances to purchase and fully support devices and software, and leading the way to establish district-wide policies and procedures to encourage the rapid acceptance and use of technology.
“The capstone of Dr. Hughes’ vision for student engagement and academic success is in the implementation of Personalized Learning opportunities for our students,” said Central Valley Director of Curriculum and Instruction Debora Van Slyke.
The technology and professional development paved the way for student-centered learning, in which the teacher is supported by instructional technology. Together these have afforded students choice and opportunities for an individualized learning experience. The result, said Mrs. Van Slyke, is a tremendous gain in proficiency levels on the NYS assessments in ELA, Math, i-Ready diagnostics and Regents exams.
Although Dr. Hughes acknowledged the award, he said the real honor belongs to those who built and implemented the systems, designed the curriculum that makes full use of the technology, and embraced the opportunities the technology offers.
“Although I am the person named by the award, this belongs to our administrators, teachers and staff,” he said.
“We have so many great and dedicated people at Central Valley along with our partners at Herkimer BOCES and MORIC. Everyone has been hard at work to empowering our students and change the trajectory of our district.”