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Press Coverage of Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards
For Immediate Release
June 7, 2007

Jo Scott (703) 276-2772 ext. 14
Robin Scullin (202) 222-2345

Nation's Most Innovative Education Leaders Honored For Creative Contributions to K-12 Teaching and Learning
15 Cable's Leaders in Learning Award Honorees include Teachers, Principals, Administrators, Elected Officials

Washington, DC - Some of the most innovative educational leaders in the nation will be honored with Cable's 2007 Leaders in Learning Awards at a ceremony Wednesday, June 6th at the Library of Congress. This year's winners include teachers who have helped students organize and televise political debates, created a program for 8th-12th grade students to live with, learn from, and teach Panama's Ngobe Bugle Indians, and collaborated with the local community to showcase a student-produced documentary about local U.S. service members and veterans that raised funds to build a local memorial. The winners also include administrators and state and federal policymakers.

An initiative created and administered by Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry's education foundation, Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards recognize highly inventive classroom educators, administrators, community leaders, and policymakers who are transforming education from kindergarten through high school (K-12).

Among the honorees are:

Rockland, Maine entrepreneur Erin Reilly was honored in the General Excellence category for co-creating "Zoey's Room," a national online community that encourages girls (ages 10-14) to expand their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STem) and 21st Century Skills. is the only character-driven Web site that provides girls with one-on-one access to Zoey, a friend and mentor, who chats online with girls every day and encourages them to try online challenges.

Waseca, Minn. high school teacher John Hanson was recognized in the Pushing the Envelope with Cable's Technology and Content category. Hanson won for creating The Coffee Break Debates, a series of debates hosted by the Waseca High Senior American Government classes that are broadcast on cable television. Students send invitations to candidates, research the issues, conduct and tape a live debate, summarize what they have learned and then deliver the debates to the cable company for multiple broadcasts.

West Chester, Penn.-based teacher Lisa Quinn also won in the Pushing the Envelope with Cable's Technology and Content category. Quinn is being recognized for creating the Millennium Ambassadors Program, a one-month program that invites eighth- through twelfth-grade students from Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School to travel to Panama. Her students, who attend a cyber school, live among the indigenous Indians teaching them English and computers skills for a month.

"Education is one of the most important investments the cable industry makes in communities across the country. Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards honor these special citizens who bring a pioneering spirit to education," said Helen Soulé, Ph.D., executive director of Cable in the Classroom. "We are inspired by their successes and hope that by shining a light on their accomplishments, we can encourage others to follow in these honorees' footsteps."

Twelve of the 15 winners were in Washington, DC this week to attend a gala awards ceremony. Many met with Members of Congress and education leaders and participated in a series of professional development events. Educator honorees receive a cash prize from Cable in the Classroom, in addition to their trip to Washington.

The honorees in each category are:
  • Cable Partnerships for Learning - for leaders who are working in partnership with the cable industry to expand and enhance learning opportunities for children and youth in or out of the classroom:
  • General Excellence - for leaders who have demonstrated excellence in expanding and enhancing learning opportunities by employing a diversity of traditional and non-traditional approaches to producing measurable improvements in education outcomes in formal or informal settings:
  • Media Literacy Education - awarded in partnership with National PTA to a leader who has advanced the teaching and learning of media literacy concepts and skills to children and youth. Media literacy is defined as the ability to access, understand, analyze, evaluate, and create media messages on television, the Internet, and other outlets:
  • Pushing the Envelope with Cable Technology and Programming - for leaders who push the envelope and/or redefine the education frontier through the use of cable technology and/or cable content:
  • Policymaker Excellence - for elected officials whose exceptional vision and/or action has dramatically expanded or enhanced learning opportunities for children and youth in their local community, state or nationwide:
Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry's education foundation, works to expand and enhance learning for children and youth. Created in 1989 to help schools take advantage of educational cable programming and technology, CIC has become a leading national advocate for media literacy education and for the use of technology and media for learning, as well as a valuable resource of educational cable content and services for policymakers, educators and industry leaders. For more information about Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards, please visit or