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Pasco eSchool leader named top national ‘digital principal’

JoAnne Glenn helped spearhead Pasco County’s distance learning initiative as schools closed for COVID-19.
JoAnne Glenn is cheered by her staff as deputy superintendent Ray Gadd and other district officials surprise her with the announcement that she is Pasco County's 2020 Principal of the Year.
JoAnne Glenn is cheered by her staff as deputy superintendent Ray Gadd and other district officials surprise her with the announcement that she is Pasco County's 2020 Principal of the Year. [ JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK | Times Staff ]
Published Jun. 3, 2020

Accolades keep rolling in for Pasco eSchool principal JoAnne Glenn.

Glenn, the Pasco County district’s 2020 principal of the year, on Wednesday was recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals at one of three Digital Principals of the Year. The award focuses on school leaders’ creativity in using new technology to advance learning.

Glenn helped establish the district’s virtual education program, growing it from nothing into one of the state’s largest. She also helped design and implement the district’s remote learning system this spring, as campuses closed in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s how the association described Glenn’s record:

“Beyond the use of digital content and learning management systems, Principal JoAnne Glenn has made it her mission to select, develop, and refine a suite of technology tools to improve communication with students, parents, and teacher teams, affording stakeholders the opportunity to communicate in a variety of formats within and outside the learning platform. Her staff collaborates to devise innovative strategies to build digital content, learning experiences, and tailored instructional resources that provide students access to supplemental coursework and lessons — regardless of when they need support. These shared tools, practices, and experiences have now gelled into a cohesive instructional model that defines the school’s way of working.

"Students and parents share common touch points in their daily educational experiences that include student choice, flexible scheduling, and mastery-based learning supported by a team of talented teachers. Glenn led the selection and adoption of a new web-conferencing platform for hosting synchronous lessons. Once a tool was selected, a series of tiered trainings was created for teachers to build their proficiency with the new platform. This transition provided an opportunity to familiarize both teachers and students with a new method of collaboration, with a focus on leveraging features that required a more active approach to student participation.”

NASSP executive director JoAnn Bartoletti called Glenn and co-winners Robert Eichorn of Virginia and Kathryn Procope of Washington D.C. “exceptional examples” of school leaders who have reshaped education to help more children succeed.

Glenn said she was honored by the award. But she said it didn’t belong to her alone.

“This is actually a really nice piece of recognition for the work our team did in setting up our distance learning plan and my team at eSchool for assembling the tools and resources our district was able to leverage to make our COVID response as seamless as possible,” Glenn said. “Any success I have is because of the hard work of my people.”

As a winner, Glenn receives a trip to the organization’s annual national conference. She will have an opportunity to speak at the National Principals Conference, and will be featured on the cover of Principal Leadership magazine.