Dr. Gregory Brown, regional coordinator of social studies and blended learning at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Leader in Digital Education Award by the School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS). This award recognizes a SAANYS member who has demonstrated exceptional, creative leadership in harnessing the potential of technology to further teaching and student achievement. The candidate will have demonstrated excellent organizational and communication skills in supporting and promoting such innovative digital practices for his/her learning community.
Recognized as a statewide leader with excellent collaborative skills, Brown has worked tirelessly to bring blended and digital learning through the Online Courses for the 21st Century (OC21) consortium and the Integrated Social Studies/ELA Curriculum to schools across the state. Through his efforts and collaborative skills, he has formed partnerships with 13 other regional BOCES and more than 230 school districts. Colleague Diane Cunningham noted, "Not only does he coordinate a complex, blended high school with teachers and students from multiple districts, his leadership focuses on best practices for learning, including project-based learning opportunities, authentic field experiences, feedback for learning, student-centered instruction, and standards-based grading. He also provides supportive and honest feedback to faculty to help them adjust to the demands of blended teaching and uses their feedback to adjust and make improvements to the schools' practices."
Ardsley UFSD Assistant Superintendent Layne Hughes said, "Dr. Brown's capacity to innovate is demonstrated in a variety of ways. The reach of OC21 ensures a diversity of learners that is not always present in small districts like ours. One of our teachers remarked that the range of lived experiences that her students brought to her 'classroom' created a vibrancy that she had not experienced before." Commented PNW BOCES Educational Technology Coordinator Jennifer Harriton-Wilson, "The most significant accomplishment I have observed is Greg's ability to shift the culture of those with which he works. He is able to show teachers and students the potential of how the use of technology can impact an individual's ability to further pedagogical practices and provide additional avenues for learning." PNW BOCES colleague Renee Gargano noted, "Beyond Dr. Brown's outstanding achievements in digital practices, I would describe him as a bright, thoughtful, knowledgeable, and compassionate school leader who continues to garner the admiration of those who are most fortunate to work with him."
Yorktown CSD Superintendent of Schools Ronald Hattar commented, "From my perspective, I never had any question as to whether the SS/ELA initiative would be successful. Aside from being confident in our wonderful faculty and students, I knew that with Dr. Brown assisting us in implementing the program, our district would be successful. As every great leader knows, teaching and learning is about people, not programs. For me, the deciding factor in adopting the OC21 and SS/ELA programs was about Dr. Brown overseeing the programs."
Brown received his bachelor of science from SUNY Oneonta, master of arts from Marist College, master of science in education from Iona College, and his doctor of education from Manhattanville College.
Brown will be honored for his accomplishments at an awards ceremony on May 3 at the Century House in Latham, New York.
SAANYS represents nearly 7,200 school administrators, supervisors, and coordinators. As a professional association, SAANYS is committed to providing direction, service, and support to the membership in their efforts to improve the quality of education and leadership in New York State schools. SAANYS is affiliated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).