Capital Region BOCES NERIC Educator Honored for Leader in Digital Education

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Michael Sylofski

ALBANY, NY (04/12/2017) (readMedia)-- Michael Sylofski, managing program coordinator - e-learning services for the Capital Region BOCES Northeastern Regional Information Center (NERIC), has been selected as the first recipient of the 2017 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.

Known as a leader in implementing e-learning opportunities, Sylofski and his team developed a successful regional interactive video distance learning program for high school students. This program has grown into its own virtual "mini-high school" and serves more than 2,500 participating students from 69 organizations with 150 daily courses. The program is considered a national model and was highlighted by Cisco Systems in 2014 as a case study for its Education Industry Solutions YouTube channel. Commented NERIC Director Dale Breault, "Mike's leadership has led to the creation of a system where any student, no matter where they go to school, can have access to a diverse and high quality curriculum taught by our region's best teachers."

Sylofski and his team were also instrumental in the growth of the Model Schools program, which now includes 44 districts across ten counties in northeastern New York. Noted Sylofski, "This program is geared towards helping teachers integrate the use of technology tools and resources to impact student learning." He continued, "and is having a meaningful impact in participating schools by supporting technology integration professional development, assisting districts with local technology planning, creating a regional community to share best practices in technology integration, and introducing new technology resources into schools including robotics, coding, makerspaces, and virtual learning environments."

In addition to these programs, Sylofski also serves on the board for the New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education (NYSCATE), currently as president-elect; and was a member of the NYS Education Department's Instructional Technology Plan Work Group. Commented NYSCATE CEO and Executive Director Dr. Amy Perry-DelCorvo, "I hold Mike in the highest regard as his professionalism and commitment extends well beyond our board room. Mike is a thought leader who knows how to ask the right question, in the right tone, at the right time. His role as a leader in the state with distance learning has allowed thousands of students and teachers to engage in classes and professional development that would not have been possible without his leadership and guidance."

Sylofski received his bachelor of arts in political science degree from Hofstra University and his master of business administration from the University at Albany.

Sylofski will be honored for his accomplishments at an awards ceremony on May 5 at the Century House in Latham, New York.