The winners were announced Aug. 10 during the awards luncheon at the Statewide Technology Conference at the Charleston Civic Center.
Established by former Gov. Gaston Caperton in 2002, the awards recognize and honor those who have used technology to make a difference in K-12 schools. The awards are given to a student or a team of students and an educator or a team of teachers and administrators. The recipients receive $5,000 from the grant award program established by Caperton and administered by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.
James Eschenmann, a technology coordinator from Harrison County, is the recipient of this year’s educator award. Eschenmann was selected to receive the award for his role as the driving force behind the Harrison County’s technology success. Harrison County is the first county in the state to use technology to connect all of its schools to the central county office. He also has integrated technology into the learning environment and understands how that advancement supports teachers and student achievement.
The student award goes to the Students Helping All Reach Excellence (SHARE) program from Chapmanville Middle School in Logan County. The SHARE program allows students to provide technical assistance to peers, teachers, parents and the community. The students share their knowledge of technology tools, including software and hardware.
As West Virginia’s 31st governor, Caperton helped develop one of the nation’s first most comprehensive approaches to put technology in public schools. His long-range initiative to place computers in every elementary classroom in the state and to provide educators with appropriate training to successfully utilize the computers to enhance student achievement is still considered the country’s first successful statewide technology learning program.
Caperton continues his commitment to education by serving as president of The College Board, a national nonprofit association whose mission is to prepare, inspire and connect students to college and opportunity. The College Board’s best-known programs are the Advanced Placement Program and the SAT college entrance exam.