Press Release

TCEA Announces 2020-21 Educator Awards and Scholarships Finalists

by Andrew Roush | February 1, 2020 | Press Release

TCEA is pleased to announce the finalists for the organization’s 2020-21 Educator Awards and Scholarships. These honors recognize excellence in the integration of technology in schools. Our awards awards, also known as Golden Apples, to some of the most innovative and engaging educators. Award recipients receive a $1,000 prize. Additionally, two finalists in each category receive $500 prizes.

Below are the finalists for each category.

Richard A Brown Student Scholarship
Christian David Floyd, Tarleton State University

Robert E. Knight Professional Scholarship
Laurie Thompson, Northern Lights Public Schools

Jeri Hodges Leadership Scholarship
Jessica Mays, Arlington ISD

Technical Support Person of the Year
Nicole Jeske, Technician at College Station ISD
Sean Jones, Applications Engineer at Northwest ISD
Rhonda Lediaev, Network Technician at Kennedale ISD

District or Campus Administrator of the Year
Dr. Mark Beehler, Deputy Superintendent at Salamanca City Central School District
Dr. Matthew Gutierrez, Superintendent at Seguin ISD
Eduardo Lopez, Principal at Mirabeau B. Lamar Middle School, Laredo ISD

High Impact Teacher of the Year
Heather Brantley, 5th Grade Teacher at White Oak ISD
Rebecca Hannon, Elementary Teacher at Kennedale ISD
Amanda Hawthorne, Elementary Teacher at Fort Sam Houston ISD

Librarian/Media Specialist of the Year
Tiffany Dudley, Media Resource Specialist at McKinney ISD
D’Anne Mosby, District Library Coordinator at Wylie ISD
Karina Quilantan-Garza, Library Media Specialist at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD

Instructional Technology Specialist of the Year
Natalie Arias, Blended Learning Specialist at Uvalde CISD
Tai Preuninger, Instructional Technology Coach at Mesquite ISD
Dr. Ashly Spencer, Instructional Technology Specialist at Kennedale ISD

Technology Administrator of the Year
Cara Carter, Executive Director of Technology at Northwest ISD
Kim Strauss, Director of Information Technology at Brenham ISD
Michelle Young, Director for Instructional Technology at Galena Park ISD

School Board of the Year
Pasadena ISD

ISTE Making IT Happen
Cody Holt, Royse City ISD
Darren Wilson, Wylie ISD

Lifetime Achievement for the Advancement of Technology in Education
Teela Watson, Director of Instructional Services from ESC Region 11

TCEA Executive Director Lori Gracey congratulated all of the 2020-2021 Educator Award and Scholarship finalists, saying: “Even in the most challenging of circumstances, these students, educators, and administrators have endeavored to create responsive, effective learning through the use of technology, an aspect that has been vital to teaching this year, and likely will impact education for years to come. We couldn’t be prouder of these incredible finalists.”

The 2021 Educator Awards Ceremony will take place Feb. 25, from 5:30– 7:00 p.m. To learn more about the Educator Awards, please visit:

TCEA ( is a nonprofit, member-based organization that has supported the use of technology in education for the last 40 years. Our primary focus is on integrating technology into the PreK-16 environment and providing our members with cutting-edge knowledge and resources through conferences, workshops, online publications, and collaborations with businesses and institutions of higher education.


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