Yakima College District Expertise Director Andy Gonzalez was named Regional Categorized College Worker of the 12 months on Wednesday for his management in increasing web and expertise entry for college kids.
“There’s 1000’s and 1000’s of fabulous labeled workers throughout our area … Andy is a incredible labeled worker and what a terrific consultant of our group,” stated Kevin Chase, superintendent of Instructional Service District 105 — a regional company that helps all faculty districts in Yakima and Kittitas counties and components of Grant and Klickitat — as he introduced the award.
Gonzalez helped arrange Venture Gemini, which allowed “many, many children within the Yakima College District to get web entry that they’d have by no means had,” Chase stated. Venture 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.
By means of the trouble, neighborhood 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 routinely hook up with the district’s protected web connection from residence, permitting college students to study 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 machine from residence, an effort Eisenhower Excessive College Assistant Principal Gané Bourgeois known as “Herculean” in recommending Gonzalez for the regional award, based on a information launch.
Gonzalez and his staff educated employees and households so they may navigate digital platforms, equipping them for the educational course of. A assist desk for workers, college students and fogeys was created below his management.
In the course of the occasion, Yakima College District Superintendent Trevor Greene added that Gonzalez leads these efforts with the assistance of a expertise staff, to serve college students and guarantee digital fairness via applications that may outlast his profession.
“Every thing he has finished in his place has been to offer for our neighborhood, 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 staff members for implementing the imaginative and prescient.
“The concepts of 1 turn into attainable by the efforts of many,” Gonzalez stated as he accepted his award. “I’ve an incredible staff. I actually am proud to be a part of the Yakima College District, the place we don’t simply speak about options, we invent options. And so day-after-day, management – the those that I’m concerned with – proceed to serve this neighborhood in glorious methods. So, I’m only one.”
Gonzalez joined the district as a classroom paraprofessional in 1991 earlier than changing into a district pc companies supervisor in 2002. He later moved into interim and assistant expertise director positions starting in 2012 earlier than taking to the helm of expertise 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 help help, and fascinating dad and mom and college students in applications.
Regional Categorized College Worker of the 12 months is awarded by ESD 105. Gonzalez was chosen from 5 nominees, based on an ESD 105 press launch. They have been Sunnyside College District’s Chief Kamiakin Elementary College nurse Rebecca Norem, Toppenish Excessive College paraprofessional and music program accompanist Katherine Rodriguez, West Valley College District’s Ahtanum Elementary College paraprofessional Gerilee VanDeVenter, and Zillah College District’s Valley View Elementary paraeducator Manuel Mares.