At the Monday October 17, 2022 meeting of the Russell County Board of Education, members of the Information Technology (IT) department, as well as a mechanical engineering instructor at RCHS, were recognized for their technical support efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic from March 2020 - March 2022. The Board awarded these individuals with the Stilwell Honorary Meritorious Service Medal: RCHS teacher Carol Ackerman (evening help desk support during the virtual school time period), Chris Bell (District Director of Technology), Chris Godby (District Digital Learning Coach and evening help desk support during virtual school), Donnie Jones (IT Technician), and Richard Stephens (IT Technician).
Named after the late William E. Stilwell, Ph.D., the Stilwell Award is presented to the unsung heroes that have gone above and beyond the call of duty in education technology; they devote their efforts entirely to our K-12 students, teachers, and administrators. The annual Stilwell Award winners represent the best-of-the-best, who show up daily in their tireless service to Kentucky schools and the high-quality education technology services and supports that are required.
One of the US Army's most prestigious awards is the Meritorious Service Medal; the 2022 Bill Stilwell Award is just as distinctive. For 2022, a unique version of the "red suspenders" award, a meritorious medal in the form of a celebratory coin, has been commissioned for presentation to critical K-12 Education Technology staff in all Kentucky K-12 school districts and the KDE Office of Education Technology (OET). This distinctive coin signifies the individual's successful and meritorious tour of duty from March 2020 to March 2022, providing quality education technology service on and beyond the school campus for Kentucky K-12 students, teachers, staff, and families throughout the 24-month core of the pandemic. This service provided the connection with students and families to their schools for the continuation of learning and student health supports.
Since 1992, Kentucky Education Technology System (KETS) has been the pioneer and national leader in most aspects of educational technology investment, infrastructure, and support for public school districts. A vital part of this effort has been strong partnerships with individuals and entities that continue to assist the Kentucky Department of Education in fulfilling its mission to students and citizens of the Commonwealth.