After seven years serving on the Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) Executive Board, I am delighted to pass the torch to ENA’s very own Monica Cougan. Monica is a senior product marketing professional with ENA and she was recently elected to the Executive Board of P21. Monica is a national thought leader on education and technology, especially focusing on communication and collaboration technologies such as video conferencing and Wi-Fi networks. Monica shares ENA’s passion about the mission of P21 and why it is so important to be engaged in the national conversation about 21st century learning. Over the years, we have been asked why companies like ENA, and many others, join P21 and our answer is simple—it is the right thing to do for our students and their future. Not only does Monica share that belief, but she is actively engaged in supporting the work of P21 and shining a light on their Exemplar Schools, the latest of which were announced on September 14, 2016.
The 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program is a unique P21 program that identifies and showcases schools and districts that are successfully implementing 21st century educational practices. Monica was on-site Wednesday, September 28, to award Bristol Tennessee Schools’ Vance Middle School their 21st Century Learning Exemplar School status. “It was an honor to announce to Vance Middle School’s teachers, students, board members, and community leaders that their school had been selected for this prestigious recognition,” Monica said. “This award is about the four Cs: critical thinking, collaboration with the students, creativity in the classroom, and promoting 21st century communication skills. The four Cs and Vance Middle School’s focus on college and career readiness skills equips these students for their continued education as well as the workforce. It’s a great achievement to be one of only 16 schools in the nation to win the award this year. I loved seeing the excitement and pride on the students’ faces as they absorbed the meaning of this honor. It was a very special moment and exemplifies why all of us at ENA do what we do—we all have a shared passion for providing today’s educational and library communities the resources and services they need to enable learning and produce positive outcomes.”
Receiving exemplar status is no easy feat and it requires the engagement of the full community—administrators, teachers, students, parents, and business and civic leaders—to achieve. You can see more about the Exemplar Program and the Vance Middle School award on the P21 website.
Over my seven years of service with P21, I have seen firsthand the growth of the organization and its impact on education throughout the U.S. as well as globally. I have also witnessed its unwavering commitment to the vision of ensuring all learners acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a world where change is constant and learning never stops. Having visited several Exemplar Schools, I can tell you that the moment you enter the school you sense the energy and enthusiasm for learning and exploration. There is something special in the air that points to expanded opportunities and future potential for all students. That is why ENA and Monica Cougan are so engaged in the wonderful work of P21.