Visionary and Outstanding Leadership Award to be Presented to Paula Cordeiro

Honorees to be Recognized at 11th Annual Innovation in Education Awards Program

The Classroom of the Future Foundation will honor University of San Diego (USD) Dean Paula Cordeiro, EdD, and other education leaders and initiatives that utilize the most forward-thinking uses of educational technology in San Diego County at the 11th Annual Innovation in Education Awards dinner, to be held May 21.

“Each year the foundation recognizes classroom leaders and programs that inspire students to achieve through the development of innovative learning programs,” said Bruce Braciszewski, Ph.D., executive director, Classroom of the Future Foundation. “This year’s honorees demonstrate a significant impact on learning in the region and are substantially improving student achievement.”

Dr. Paula Cordeiro, professor and dean at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at USD, will receive the Visionary and Outstanding Leadership Award. Cordeiro is a former teacher, principal and school head in international, bilingual schools in Venezuela and Spain. She is a past president of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), and in 1998 was awarded a fellowship by the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management (FCCEAM). In 2006 she was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to serve a three-year term on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Cordeiro is a past board member of the International Council for the Education of Teachers (ICET), the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE), and past board chair of the San Diego Council on Literacy. In 2007, Cordeiro was appointed to the board of The James Irvine Foundation in San Francisco and also serves on the boards of San Diego Grantmakers, the international micro-lender Edify, and the Boston-based nonprofit Community Technical Assistance Center (CTAC). She is the author of three books and in 2012 completed, with co-author Bill Cunningham, the 5th edition of her textbook Educational Leadership: A Bridge to Improved Practice.

Additional individual education leaders to be honored at the Innovation in Education Awards event, which is sponsored by SDG&E and held at the University of San Diego, include:

  • Kathy Shirley will receive the Innovative Educator Award as director of technology and innovation for Escondido School District/Bear Valley Middle School. Shirley played a leading role in developing the district’s one-to-one learning program based on mobile-device technology.
  • Dr. Devin Vodicka will receive the Innovative Superintendent Award for his work in the Vista Unified School District. Dr. Vodicka has held several school district leadership positions in the North County and is a former teacher.
  • Matt Baier will receive the Innovation in Technology Award for his work as director of the Center for Innovation at Cathedral Catholic High School. Baier trains teachers how to integrate technology in their classes, he creates and manages the online course program, and facilitates technology training for parents. He also leads outreach and training initiatives for parochial schools in the San Diego area and runs “iPads in the Classroom: A Conference for Educators."

Education programs to be honored include:

  • The San Diego Unified School District’s iHigh Virtual Academy will receive the Achieve Award for its online, college-prep high school program. It not only serves its student body, but students from 18 school districts are enrolled online. The dual enrollment model enables military transfer students, students with medical issues, and students with flexible schedules to participate. Graduating students have completed close to 1,500 online course credits over the past four years. A major advantage of the program is that students have expanded choices beyond what their district offers and can craft coursework schedules to meet their individual circumstances.
  • The Escondido Union School District’s Bear Valley Middle School will receive the Innovate Award for its STEM/robotics program. Students collaboratively use science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) principles online with business community mentors to develop innovative projects. One project developed through the program is an award-winning drone designed and built to fly into earthquake-damaged buildings to detect gas leaks.
  • Cajon Valley Middle School’s Learning Through Production, Not Consumption program will receive the Inspire Award. The program is transforming student assessment from paper-based exercises to creative problem-solving multi-media projects online in which students collaborate. Since 2011, students receiving “A” grades have increased 31 percent while failing grades have decreased 47 percent. The emphasis of a digital-based learning environment also has led to significant increases in student involvement and notable decreases in student behavior issues.
  • The Encinitas Union School District will receive the Impact Award for its commitment to providing all 5,500 students with iPads for greater access to digital curriculum. The program emphasizes making a wide range of creative apps available to students. More than 70 percent of all students learn how to use the apps on their own time, making the time spent on class work far more productive. Similarly, 72 percent of students’ parents report their children are more engaged when they have their own digital learning device.

In addition to the individual awards, $40,000 in scholarships provided by USS Midway Museum and the Jack in the Box Foundation will be distributed among 20 AVID students. AVID, founded in San Diego in 1980, is the country’s most successful college prep program.

For more information call (858) 292-3685 or visit

About Classroom of the Future Foundation
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. Winners are chosen by a jury of local business and education leaders.


Devon Foster
(619) 260-4283


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