School Superintendent Mark Benigni was recently recognized by a national education consortium for enhancing student learning through technology.
The Consortium for School Networking gave Benigni its first annual “EmpowerED Superintendent Award” at its annual conference earlier this month in Portland, Oregon.
The award “recognizes an exceptional district superintendent who serves as a true empowered leader, leveraging and championing technologies in the classroom and throughout the district to transform their school district,” according to the consortium’s website.
Benigni over recent years has led a push in Meriden to embed more technology and digital content into the curriculum. Meriden is now considered a “one-to-one” district, meaning each student has their own computer device with which to access digital content. The district also allows students to check-out Wi-Fi hot spots to use if they don’t have internet connectivity at home.
“Obviously, we're all very proud of Dr. Benigni for all he does in our district on a day to day basis, his belief in technology and his ability to place the right people in positions throughout our district that champion technology as an exceptional educational resource,” Board of Education Secretary Robert E. Kosienski, Jr. wrote in an email to fellow board members.
Benigni said the award is a credit to Meriden’s teachers and students.
“While I’m proud to receive it and honored, it really has less to do with me and more to do with the great work that our students and teachers are doing every day,” Benigni said. “...This award belongs to them.”
Benigni believes the district’s integration of technology has helped engage students, personalize learning and created a more level playing field.
Meriden was also recognized for its digital transformation earlier this year when The Learning Counsel, selected the school system as one of 10 districts "recognized for their transformational work in creating digital ecosystems that catalyze the learning experience and offer increased opportunities for both students and educators.”
The award from CoSN came with a $2,500 gift card that the district can use on education initiatives. Benigni said the money will be used for technology initiatives that have yet to be determined.
By Matthew Zabierek, Record-Journal staff