WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2022 – AUSTIN, Texas – The Ed-Fi Alliance, a nonprofit organization and community of educators, technologists, and advocates solving the data challenge in education, today announced the recipients of its sixth annual Community Awards. These awards recognize leaders in K-12 and higher education going above and beyond to impact student outcomes and success using data. Winners were announced live during Summit 2022, Ed-Fi’s annual user conference. 

Since 2017, Community Awards have highlighted individuals and organizations advocating for Ed-Fi’s mission to change the way education is delivered and support learners everywhere with connected data and interoperability. Winners are chosen from an open nomination process from the Ed-Fi Community and voted on by Ed-Fi’s Governance Advisory Team.

Awards are given in seven categories: Lifetime Achievement, Partner, Technical Contributor, Ambassador, Instructional Leader, Solution, and Rookie of the Year. The 2022 winners are: 

2022 Ed-Fi Lifetime Achievement Award 

Ed Comer, President and Founder, Student1

This award is given in recognition of outstanding and sustained contributions since the formation of the Ed-Fi Alliance, and represents an appreciation and acknowledgement of years of work towards growing the Ed-Fi Community. This winner advocates for education data standards, works towards better student outcomes leveraging data, and serves others with their expertise and knowledge. 

Ed Comer is a tireless advocate for the work of the Ed-Fi Alliance. Ed architected the first data model and left a lasting signature on the future of data use in K-12.  


2022 Partner of the Year

Ana Quintana, President and CEO, Crocus, LLC

This award recognizes a leader, technology provider, edtech company, or system integrator that has demonstrated a commitment to interoperability and the Ed-Fi Community by being a champion for data standards, a thoughtful partner for education agencies and a visionary in the use of data to improve outcomes for learners. 

Ana Quintana is dedicated to elevating the value proposition of Ed-Fi to education organizations and is a tireless supporter of interoperability in the K-12 and educator prep space. Ana and the Crocus team worked with users to implement the Educator Preparation Data Model (EPDM) at the state and local levels and create end-to-end solutions that help the community make use of the growing data model. Ana’s leadership, vision, and client-oriented disposition helps SEAs and EPPs achieve the results they need to improve their work.

In addition, as a Latina female executive, Ana is a dedicated advocate for advancing justice and equity with ethical data. Ana steers Crocus to be a force for good in the Ed-Fi community while leading every day with passion, humor, competence, and skill.

2022 Technical Contributor of the Year

Erik Joranlien, Data Engineer, Education Analytics

Nominees in this category have contributed to the technical work of the Ed-Fi Alliance, exhibited commitment to the Ed-Fi Data Standards, and  demonstrated collaborative efforts to help others within the Community.  

Erik Joranlien led the technical vision and implementation of Enable Data Union and Education Analytics’ Stadium product offering for Ed-Fi-based data warehousing. Erik has been involved with Ed-Fi for five years and continually seeks to understand the issues with existing analytics solutions while proposing visions for the future. In addition, he’s contributed to evolving tooling for importing data into Ed-Fi and the success of Ed-Fi implementations across partner districts, consortiums, and states.


2022 Ambassador of the Year

Debbie Dailey, Director of Strategic Projects, Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) 

This award spotlights a leader with a demonstrated commitment to the Ed-Fi Community who shares the benefits of interoperability with others outside the community. Nominees in this category are consistent advocates for the education technology sector, especially for non-technical audiences and for using data to impact teaching and learning. 

Debbie Dailey has been instrumental in Indiana’s Ed-Fi implementation and in shaping the broader state vision for ensuring data interoperability is achieved across K-12 and beyond. Debbie advocates for efficiency by working to minimize duplicate collections and processing while promoting maximum utilization of available resources. She oversaw a successful implementation and production run of Ed-Fi ODS/API at IDOE and led the effort with other state agencies on how they can use the ODS/API to streamline data collection from LEAs. 


2022 Educator Interoperability Leader of the Year

Dr. Alisa Taliaferro, Associate Dean of Quality Assurance and Graduate Programs, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University 

The Educator Interoperability Leader of the Year is an educator, instructional leader, or program personnel leading interoperability efforts within their organization. 

Dr. Alisa Taliaferro is the associate dean for quality assurance and graduate programs in the College of Education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She’s an educational assessment expert and has served as a national program evaluator to secure over 10.2 million dollars in sponsored funding to support graduate and undergraduate programs at the university. Dr. Taliaferro’s leadership and coordination with her central IT team continue to create opportunities to utilize the educator prep program (EPP) starter kit and plan for the future.


2022 Solution of the Year

Stadium, Education Analytics 

This award recognizes teams who have successfully solved significant education challenges with data and can demonstrate how they used it to support students. Nominees must have demonstrated they used an Ed-Fi Starter Kit or Solution Guide to solve an entrenched problem in education using data through the Ed-Fi Technology Suite. 

This year, Education Analytics launched Stadium, its analytics data warehouse product, in tandem with an open software community around the product offering called Enable Data Union. Stadium allows education agencies to share code, manage costs, and collaborate on ideas to develop further data warehousing and analytics solutions. The product also addresses a need that many education agencies have for an Ed-Fi API-powered, non-proprietary data warehouse solution that seamlessly integrates with other tools. Stadium has received the Ed-Fi API consumer badge and is part of the emerging solution stack for Boston, Denver, and South Carolina public schools. The Texas Education Exchange will pilot the solution during the 22-23 school year. 

2022 Rookie of the Year

Nandu Nair, Data Engineer, Walla Walla Public Schools

Rookie of the Year recognizes our newest participants that have demonstrated their commitment to data standards and interoperability by quickly ramping up on the technology and diving into their Ed-Fi implementation and engagement.  

Nandu Nair is a data engineer at Walla Walla Public Schools in Washington State. Nandu oversaw a fast and successful Ed-Fi ODS deployment and has an ongoing commitment to building out Ed-Fi’s presence in the Pacific Northwest. 

Congratulations to all of our 2022 Ed-Fi Community Award Winners, and thank you for all your meaningful work!


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