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Press Coverage of Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards
For Immediate Release:
May 7, 2008

Alexander Krughoff (703) 276-2772 ext. 13
Robin Scullin, (202) 222-2345

Nation's Most Innovative Education Leaders Honored For Creative Contributions to K-12 Teaching and Learning

Cable's Leaders in Learning Award Winners Include Teachers and Administrators

Washington, D.C. - Sharing effective teaching methods with educators across the world via blogs and streaming videos, connecting students to their communities while raising money for orphans in South Africa, producing a student-led documentary on the fabled Bronx borough of New York City, or providing parents a way to connect with their children's teachers through ATM-like kiosks in grocery stores. These are just some of the remarkable ways in which the winners of Cable's 2008 Leaders in Learning Awards are expanding and enhancing learning.

An awards program created and administered by Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry's education foundation, Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards recognize highly inventive classroom educators, administrators, community leaders, and policymakers who are transforming education.

"Investment in education is one of the most important commitments the cable industry makes to its communities across the country. Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards honor these special citizens who bring a pioneering spirit to education," said Doug Levin, Senior Education Policy Director for Cable in the Classroom. "We are inspired by these educators and leaders who are bringing technology, creativity and innovation successfully into the classroom and hope that by shining a light on their accomplishments, we can encourage others to follow in their footsteps."

Among the 2008 honorees:
  • Donna Bownds, a former U.S. Army soldier turned Fort Hood, Tex., school teacher, is being honored for "Take a Veteran to School Day." Local veterans visited her school and shared stories about their service, while linking their work in the military and in their current jobs with what students are learning in the classroom.

  • Okaloosa County, Fla., School District Administrator Cheryl Seals is being honored for creating the "Academic Excellence Society" (AES), a collaborative effort among members of her school district, local churches, parents, and community and civic leaders to create and realize a vision for educational excellence for at-risk youth.

  • Mount Hermon, Calif., teacher Dan Meyer is being honored for improving algebra instruction by creating and posting online a video lesson on a challenging algebra concept that was watched by other educators and downloaded more than 6,000 times in two weeks.

The winners will be in Washington, D.C., June 16-19, to attend a gala awards ceremony, learn from fellow awardees and meet with members of Congress and cable and education leaders. Honorees receive a $3,000 cash stipend from Cable in the Classroom, in addition to the three-day trip to Washington, D.C.

The honorees in each education category are:
  • Cable Partnerships for Learning - for leaders who are working in partnership with the cable industry to expand and enhance learning opportunities for children and youth in or out of the classroom:
    • Raedell Coogler and Jessica Fredricks, Haines City, Fla. (honored in partnership with Bright House Networks)
    • Donna Bownds, Fort Hood, Tex. (honored in partnership with Time Warner Cable)
    • Don Cerrone, New York, N.Y. (honored in partnership with Cablevision Systems Corp.)
    • Jenann Wakefield, Grand Junction, Colo. (honored in partnership with Bresnan Communications)

  • General Excellence - for leaders who have demonstrated excellence in expanding and enhancing learning opportunities by employing a diversity of traditional and non-traditional approaches to producing measurable improvements in education outcomes in formal or informal settings:
    • Diane Downs, Louisville, Ky. (honored in partnership with Insight Communications)
    • Chuck Estep, Monroe, Mich. (honored in partnership with Charter Communications)
    • Dr. Cheryl Seals, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (honored in partnership with Cox Communications)
    • RaSheda Workman, Newbern, Ala. (honored in partnership with Charter Communications)

  • Media Literacy Education - awarded in partnership with the National PTA to a leader who has advanced the teaching and learning of media literacy concepts and skills to children and youth. Media literacy is defined as the ability to access, understand, analyze, evaluate and create media messages on television, the Internet and other outlets:
    • Dr. David Considine, Boone, N.C. (honored in partnership with Charter Communications)

  • Pushing the Envelope with Cable Technology and Programming - for leaders who push the envelope and/or redefine the education frontier through the use of cable technology and content:
    • Dan Meyer, Mount Hermon, Calif. (honored in partnership with Comcast)

In addition, state and federal policymaker awards will be announced later this month.

Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry's education foundation, works to expand and enhance learning for children and youth. Created in 1989 to help schools take advantage of educational cable programming and technology, CIC has become a leading national advocate for media literacy education and for the use of technology and media for learning, as well as a valuable resource of educational cable content and services for policymakers, educators and industry leaders. For more information about Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards, please visit or