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Two educators win Podolski leadership and innovation awards

Alison Chiquitucto and Christopher J. Pellettieri to be honored.

Two of Long Island education's top technology trailblazers will receive the Fred Podolski Leadership and Innovation Award. The winners – Rockville Centre Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Christopher J. Pellettieri and West Babylon UFSD kindergarten teacher Alison Chiquitucto – will be honored at the 2014 Long Island Technology and Education Summit on October 21.

The award is named in memory of Nassau BOCES' longtime director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology, Fred Podolski, who was a firm believer in the impact technology could have on student performance. The Visionary Award is given to an educational administrator who has demonstrated vision, leadership and support of technology initiatives, while the Most Innovative Use of Technology Award is for a teacher who has demonstrated a creative, unique and resourceful use of technology in the classroom.

Mr. Pellettieri joined the Rockville Centre school district six years ago. In that short time, he is credited with taking a leadership role in the use of new technology and providing professional development for staff. The district now has a ‘flipped class' model in the high school, a successful roll out of iPad use in the middle school and the replacement of textbooks with digital resources starting with a pilot of an Earth Science Portal. Mr. Pellettieri's nominator praised the success of his efforts, writing, “He has made the marriage of technology and instruction a priority in Rockville Centre.”

Mrs. Chiquitucto, who is a kindergarten teacher at South Bay School in the West Babylon School District, is known in her district as a pioneer and proponent of innovative instructional technology in the district. Being a member of the District Technology Committee allows her to bring her research-based expertise, excitement and creativity to the district. She uses tablets to help her students learn vocabulary, Xbox as a fitness break and Chromebooks to help increase reading and math skills through educational websites. Her nominator wrote that Mrs. Chiquitucto's tech vision is limitless.”

This year, the annual Technology and Education Summit – presented by the three Long Island BOCES along with lead sponsor Teq – will focus on the use of technology to advance student learning, creativity and innovative thinking using digital tools and resources.

It is being held at the Hilton Long Island in Melville. For more information or to register, please visit