Yakima Faculty District Expertise Director Andy Gonzalez was named Regional Categorised Faculty Worker of the 12 months on Wednesday for his management in increasing web and know-how entry for college students.
“There’s hundreds and hundreds of fabulous categorized workers throughout our area … Andy is a implausible categorized worker and what a fantastic consultant of our group,” stated Kevin Chase, superintendent of Academic Service District 105 — a regional company that helps all faculty districts in Yakima and Kittitas counties and elements of Grant and Klickitat — as he introduced the award.
Gonzalez helped arrange Mission Gemini, which allowed “many, many youngsters within the Yakima Faculty District to get web entry that they might have by no means had,” Chase stated. Mission Gemini is a crowdsourced web system that made the district connection accessible to college students from residence.
The plan got here because the district’s almost 16,000 college students have been getting ready to return to highschool within the fall just about due to the pandemic. Many lacked web entry. He noticed a chance to fill these gaps.
Via the hassle, group companions like native church buildings allowed the district to wire web via their buildings, increasing the attain of personal web connections. College students and employees have been capable of robotically hook up with the district’s protected web connection from residence, permitting college students to be taught on-line fairly than depend on paper packets.
Gonzalez, a district worker for greater than 30 years, additionally led the method of buying and distributing laptops so that every scholar within the district had entry to a district system from residence, an effort Eisenhower Excessive Faculty Assistant Principal Gané Bourgeois known as “Herculean” in recommending Gonzalez for the regional award, in keeping with a information launch.
Gonzalez and his crew skilled employees and households so they may navigate digital platforms, equipping them for the training course of. A assist desk for workers, college students and fogeys was created below his management.
Throughout the occasion, Yakima Faculty District Superintendent Trevor Greene added that Gonzalez leads these efforts with the assistance of a know-how crew, to serve college students and guarantee digital fairness via applications that may outlast his profession.
“Every thing he has executed in his place has been to supply for our group, and to give you methods of getting techniques that may final and be sustainable, and never one thing that may merely exist throughout his time right here on this place,” Greene stated.
In accepting the award, Gonzalez credited his crew members for implementing the imaginative and prescient.
“The concepts of 1 turn into potential by the efforts of many,” Gonzalez stated as he accepted his award. “I’ve an incredible crew. I actually am proud to be a part of the Yakima Faculty District, the place we don’t simply discuss options, we invent options. And so day by day, management – the folks that I’m concerned with – proceed to serve this group in wonderful methods. So, I’m only one.”
Gonzalez joined the district as a classroom paraprofessional in 1991 earlier than changing into a district pc providers supervisor in 2002. He later moved into interim and assistant know-how director positions starting in 2012 earlier than taking to the helm of know-how work within the district in 2015.
Along with increasing equitable web entry, faculty employees credit score him with selling on-line scholar security, digital safety, humanizing technical assist help, and interesting dad and mom and college students in applications.
Regional Categorised Faculty Worker of the 12 months is awarded by ESD 105. Gonzalez was chosen from 5 nominees, in keeping with an ESD 105 press launch. They have been Sunnyside Faculty District’s Chief Kamiakin Elementary Faculty nurse Rebecca Norem, Toppenish Excessive Faculty paraprofessional and music program accompanist Katherine Rodriguez, West Valley Faculty District’s Ahtanum Elementary Faculty paraprofessional Gerilee VanDeVenter, and Zillah Faculty District’s Valley View Elementary paraeducator Manuel Mares.