The Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET) and Bluum were proud to surprise Longfellow Elementary School Principal Derek Anderson today as its 2021-2022 Outstanding Leader Using Technology Award Winner. A dynamic Howard County Public Schools educator, Anderson embodies the epitome of leadership towards educational technology and exemplifies the MSET mission of advancing excellence in teaching and leading with technology.
Anderson’s leadership was tirelessly on display as he led Longfellow Elementary students and staff with great pride and exemption during virtual learning. He was quick to serve as a guest teacher in virtual classrooms to “model the way” and implement virtual staff meetings with engaging examples as his staff learned to navigate virtual learning as well as hybrid instruction. He believed virtual learning challenged himself to learn first-hand what his teachers were going through daily to better serve their needs.
“Mr. Anderson has been deliberate and systematic in implementing technology to enhance and support instruction and school effectiveness that supports the processes and structures of Longfellow Elementary School,” Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Coordinator of Instructional Technology Julie Wray shared in Anderson’s nomination. “Mr. Anderson is deeply committed to equity in access to technology, as evidenced by his willingness to equip and coach families in using technology personally.”
In his 17 years in HCPSS had been an advocate for instructional technology and supporting the equity of technology within his school community. His conscious effort to develop community partnerships and collaboration to support the use of technology has greatly benefited Longfellow Elementary. He believes removing barriers to overcome the digital divide through internal and external resources available in the school system as well as community resources is of the upmost importance. He is a true champion for digital equity.
“So often MSET finds these amazing educational leaders who are so quiet and humble about their work because they are so focused on the children and families in front of them. They often don’t even realize the impact and the longevity of that impact in their school community and that is no different with Derek Anderson,” MSET Awards Co-Chair Chris Cuppett shared. “We are truly blessed to get the opportunity to learn about the work of so many high-level leaders throughout the awards program.”
Anderson will be honored throughout the upcoming year by receiving opportunities to participate in MSET business meetings, serve as featured speakers, and have his work highlighted. Plus, Anderson received a banner to display at Longfellow Elementary, a complimentary registration for the upcoming Common Ground Conference, and a one-year paid MSET Membership.
“MSET wants to give a special thank you our team who scored each of the entries,” Tracy Schoene, MSET’s Awards co-chair, shared about the team who works tirelessly behind the scenes to make these awards happen. “We are very fortunate to have dedicated members who are willing to volunteer their time in the Organization.”
About Outstanding Leader Award
In partnership with Bluum, The Outstanding Educator Award is given annually to an outstanding educator supports MSET’s mission of advancing excellence in teaching and leading with technology. Any educator in a Maryland public or private school whose primary job responsibility is the direct instruction of students in an Early Childhood through Grade 12 or Higher Education classroom may be nominated. The educator must be currently responsible for the day-to-day instruction of PK-18 students. A nominee for this award may include a library media specialist and/or technology integration specialist, if at least seventy-five percent of his or her responsibilities include the direct instruction of PK-18 age students.