Outstanding Instructional Leader Award
Every year California ASCD selects an Outstanding Instructional Leader (OIL) who has significantly impacted/influenced public education in California. Individuals, who influence, advocate for and support professional growth and instructional leadership to ensure success for each learner are nominated by their CASCD peers. The award is given in recognition of Helen Heffernan who provided California with outstanding service, keen insight, vision and leadership. This year CASCD is pleased to recognize two outstanding California instructional leaders who have made significant contributions to the education of California's K-12 students. This year we selected two award winners and they are:
California ASCD proudly announces two 2019 CASCD OIL Award Winners
California ASCD is proud to announce Dr. Tom Adams, Deputy Superintendent, California Department of Education and Mr. Michael McCormick, Superintendent of Val Verde Unified School District, as our two winners of the 2019 Outstanding Instructional Leader Award. They are both equally outstanding instructional leaders, therefore we have awarded two winners this year.
Dr. Thomas "Tom" Adams, Deputy Superintendent, CDE:
Dr. Thomas "Tom" Adams, has served as the Deputy Superintendent of the Performance, Planning and Technology Branch and the Deputy Superintendent of the Teaching and Learning Support Branch. In his 22 years at the California Department of Education (CDE), Tom mainly worked in the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division and served as the Executive Director of the Instructional Quality Commission. Some of his professional accomplishments include the English Language Arts/English Language Development Curriculum Framework for Public Schools (2014) and the History-Social Science Curriculum Framework for Public Schools (2016). He received his doctorate in modern European history from University of California, Davis, and earned his BA in history from California State University, Chico. Tom is also a member of the Board of Education for the Davis Joint Unified School District, was elected initially in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. Tom is married to Jan Uriu-Adams, an emeritus professor of nutrition for the University of California, Davis. Tom's daughter, Michiko Adams, attends San Diego State University and is majoring in molecular biology. Tom will be retiring from the CDE on June 28, 2019.
Michael R. McCormick, Superintendent of the Val Verde Unified School District:
Michael R. McCormick is the Superintendent of the Val Verde Unified School District. He is known for his passion for innovation and helping students acquire their higher education aspirations. Before becoming Superintendent, Michael served for six years as the Assistant Superintendent for Education Services for Val Verde USD. Under his leadership, VVUSD has been recognized by the Leadership Policy Institute (2019) as a California school district that is “Beating the Odds” for African American and Hispanic students and Education Trust West named Val Verde USD as, “tops among California districts Closing the Achievement Gap.” He participated as a member of the Riverside County contingent of educators summoned by the White House to a meeting at the U.S. Department of Education to create the Riverside County Education Collaborative and connect with the College Day of Opportunity.
Through his involvement with the Riverside County Education Collaborative, Michael has been instrumental in helping trail blaze effective FAFSA/California Dream Act Application completion strategies. Under Michael’s leadership, the Val Verde Unified School District has emphasized the importance of FAFSA completion by participating in the countywide FAFSA completion initiative “Race to Submit.” This work led to hosting the statewide kickoff event for “Race to Submit” in Val Verde for the California Student Aid Commission. Over the last three years, Val Verde USD has been recognized as having some of the highest FAFSA/CADAA completion rates in the state of California.
Michael frequently gives presentations statewide, nationally, and internationally, where he offers audience members effective strategies and inspiration to create Future Ready organizations focused on STEAM and the 4Cs: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. The Val Verde Unified School District is known for its emphasis on technology integration and Michael has presented multiple keynotes at Google Symposiums focusing on the successful implementation of instructional technology in a K-12 school district.
Michael was named Administrator of the Year by the Riverside County Office of Education in 2012, and by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) in 2015. He was named Superintendent of the Year in 2018 for Riverside County by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) and Instructional Leader of the Year in 2019 by the California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
Michael regularly provides testimony on assessment and accountability items to the State Board of Education. In May of 2019, Mr. McCormick provided expert testimony as a panelist on the use of high school assessments to predict post-secondary student success hosted by State Superintendent, Tony Thurmond.
Michael is also active on numerous boards, including Google K12 Advisory Board Member, Operation New Hope Chairman of the Board, EDleader21 Advisory Board Member, University of California Riverside, School of Education, Advisory Board Member, University of Redlands, School of Education, Advisory Board Member, Brandman University, School of Education, Advisory Board Member, Science Technology Education Partnership (STEP) Board Member, and member of the Academic Assembly of the Western Regional Council for the College Board. He is a State Board member and former Region XIX President for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). Michael is also a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee for the California School Boards Association (CSBA).
Charlene Stringham supports educators in Tulare County in their work with students to meet the challenges of the 21st century. As a leader in Tulare County, she is a strong advocate for all students and has garnered partnerships with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Stanford University to improve elementary math instruction. In addition to her work in instructional services for Tulare County, she has presented on topics related to policy analysis, curriculum and instruction, and instructional leadership.
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