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

Birdsall, the Director of Digital Learning & Communication for the Champlain Valley School District, was named the 2021 Frank Watson honoree. The award is presented annually to a person whose many years of devoted service, vision and leadership have significantly advanced Vermont educational technology at the local, regional and state level.

“Bonnie is highly-respected among her peers, and she has demonstrated leadership through her actions in her own district and statewide including championing the student data privacy work,” noted Robert Gervais, Technology Director of the Missisquoi Valley School District and Vita-Learn Board President.

Bonnie Birdsall-Frank Watson Award-2021

Bonnie Birdsall works tirelessly to support the staff and students in her district. She is a dedicated leader and an individual with impeccable integrity. She keeps her "eye on the ball" and continues to be a force for positive change in State matters as well. She was an instrumental leader in the Student Data Privacy work and with her team members put forth many good and strong presentations on why this work makes sense and works on behalf of students and families. She is a regular resource for many of us throughout the state with regards questions on practice and process and is always willing to help and support when these questions/issues arise. I believe Bonnie epitomizes what we seek in the Frank Watson Award candidates.

The award is named after Frank Watson, an educational technology advocate who has been involved in education for over 50 years. Frank served as Executive Director of the Vermont Institute for Science, Math, and Technology (VISMT), Executive Director of VITA-Learn, and directed the University of Vermont College of Education Information Technology Program. Now retired, he continues to advocate for the best in education practice.

This year’s award ceremony also recognized the 2020 awardee, Patricia Aigner. Aigner was presented the award via a Zoom session in the fall of 2020 since Vermont Fest was held as a virtual conference. View the virtual award ceremony on YouTube.

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