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November 5, 2021 — Killington Grand Resort Hotel — The Board of Directors and membership of Vita-Learn honored educator Jeff Renard at the annual Vermont Fest Conference.

Renard, the Director and Principal of the Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative, was named the 2021 ISTE Making IT Happen Award honoree. The ISTE Making IT Happen Award (MIH) is an internationally recognized awards program for educators and leaders in the field of educational technology integration in K–12 schools. It identifies and rewards educational technology leaders around the world for their commitment and innovation. The International Society for Technology in Education, ISTE, and its affiliates have presented this award to more than 700 worthy leaders since the program began in 1995.

Renard was nominated not once, not twice, but nine times by Vita-Learn members. His leadership brought support and online learning opportunities to literally thousands of Vermont students since the start of the pandemic. Enrollments at VTVLC have grown from 800 to over 7000. The nominators all share a common description of Renard.

Jeff started the Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative over 10 years ago essentially by himself to be able to offer online classes for Vermont high school students…After the pandemic hit, Jeff as the head of VTVLC, worked tirelessly in order to help Vermont schools offer quality remote work. Quality online education for Vermont students is always at the forefront of Jeff's mind.

“This is a well-deserved recognition of the vision and leadership that Jeff brings to Vermont. When he created the Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative in 2009, I was the State of Maine’s Education Technology Director, and I called Jeff for advice on how to bring educational opportunity to Maine students as he had here in Vermont,” remembers Jeff Mao, Vita-Learn Executive Director.

Vita-Learn Member