Fifth Annual Community Awards Honors Top Leaders in Education Data

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2021 – 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 fifth annual Community Awards, designed to recognize exemplary effort by leaders in K-12 and higher education. The announcement was made live this morning at the Ed-Fi Alliance’s annual user conference, the Ed-Fi Summit.

First introduced in 2017, the Ed-Fi Community Awards recognize, highlight and reward individuals and organizations going above and beyond to promote and share the vision of data interoperability and its transformative effects within the education sector. Award winners are nominated from an open nomination process directly from the Ed-Fi Community and voted on by the Ed-Fi Governance Advisory Team.

The Ed-Fi Community nominated leaders in six categories and this year’s award winners are:

2021 Partner of the Year
Jean-Francois Guertin, Edwire, Inc.
This award recognizes a leader that is a champion for data standards, a thoughtful partner for education agencies and a visionary in the use of data to improve outcomes for learners. Jean-Francios (JF) Guertin was widely nominated across the Ed-Fi Community for his willingness to help anyone interested in learning more about interoperability. JF truly believes in the Ed-Fi standard and its power to transform the way education is delivered. JF goes above and beyond to help districts and consortia implement and improve their use of data.  He’s always willing to share his knowledge and help anyone in the Community. JF has been a supportive and helpful partner and assists many organizations in reaching their Ed-Fi connection goals.

2021 Technical Contributor of the Year
Marcos Gallo, Crocus, LLC
Nominees in this category will have contributed to the technical work of the Ed-Fi Alliance, demonstrated commitment to the Ed-Fi Data Standards and have demonstrated collaborative efforts to help others within the Community.

Marcos Gallo of Crocus has been a major contributor in the evolution of the Educator Preparation Data Model (EPDM). He has an impressive technical skill set and can bring the business use case and the technical solution together to ensure models improve with each iteration. He has first-hand implementation experience and brings considerable expertise to the table. Marcos can expertly articulate the pros and cons of the current data structure as well as introduce ideas for long-term improvement and effectiveness.

2021 Ambassadors of the Year
Molly Stewart & Rosh Dhanawade, INsite – Indiana University
Ambassadors of the Year must have demonstrated commitment to the Ed-Fi Community and sharing the benefits of interoperability with others outside the Community. Nominees in this category consistently advocate for the education technology sector and the usage of data to impact teaching and learning.

Rosh Dhanawade and Molly Stewart have been instrumental in helping many education agencies in Indiana and New Mexico to begin the journey of interoperability. Both Molly and Rosh work tirelessly to ensure successful implementations and have been open and willing to share everything that they have learned with the Indiana Department of Education. They are tireless advocates for Ed-Fi, in some instances traveling on behalf of Ed-Fi and volunteering their time and talent to share the benefits of Ed-Fi with others. They are leaders within the Ed-Fi Community and have proactively taken on many responsibilities of advocates.

2021 Educator Interoperability Leader of the Year
James O’Meara, Texas A&M International University, College of Education
A new category for 2021 recognizes educators, instructional leaders and program personnel leading interoperability efforts within their organization. Working across several initiatives, Professor James O’Meara has the ability to turn his vision into reality and to explore what is possible with data. He led his team at TAMIU to successfully stand-up the Clinical Experience and Performance Starter Kit, which gave his program the ability to accurately identify areas for program improvements and investment; diagnose and intervene to address candidate needs; and adjust curriculum, course offerings, and field experiences. Professor O’Meara’s efforts enable access to timely data to inform the support needed for teacher candidates to be ready for the classroom.

2021 Solution of the Year
Indash Dashboard solution for INSITE at Clear Launch by Bak Zoumanigi, Arturo Hernandez, and Ryan English
Another new award category, nominations are open to any education agency or vendor. This award recognizes teams who have successfully solved big education challenges with data and can demonstrate how they used the data to support students. Recipients 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.

Clear Launch collaboratively created a new dashboard for INsite (INdash) which leverages the latest technologies (React, REST API, .NET Core) as a Single Page Application. This allows for a more user-friendly interface, a seamless integration with ADFS authentication, the Ed-Fi Analytics Middle Tier, and pre-built third-party libraries such FusionCharts and AG grid. The new dashboard eliminates the need for an ETL process. Users have more transparency on educational data as it is available in the ODS databases. INdash is a developer-friendly solution that facilitates code maintenance, shortens feedback cycles, and simplifies new feature development.

2021 Rookie of the Year
Dan Ralyea, South Carolina Department of Education
This award is open to any individual or entity engaged in the Ed-Fi Alliance Community for two years or less. Designed to recognize our newest participants that have demonstrated their commitment to data interoperability by quickly ramping up on the technology and diving into their Ed-Fi implementation and engagement with the broader Community.

Dan Ralyea was nominated several times for this award with overwhelming support from the Ed-Fi Community. Over a very brief eperiod, Dan jumped in with both feet and brought a strong and passionate data vision to his organization. He spearheaded a movement within the South Carolina Department of Education to adopt interoperability standards in state reporting. He may be newer to the Ed-Fi Community, but he fully understands the importance of interoperability and works to ensure its benefits are communicated to multiple levels of state stakeholders, bringing effective data use to South Carolina.

Congratulations to all of our 2021 Ed-Fi Community Award Winners!


Next Up: