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Press Coverage of Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards

Cable in the Classroom. Kids. Cable. Learning.

For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2009

Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards
Tiffany Reedy (703) 276-2772 ext. 14
Pam Ford (202) 222-2356

Nation’s Most Innovative Educators Honored For Contributions to Education

Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award Winners Include
Teachers, Administrators and Community Leaders

Washington, D.C. – In a small town in the Midwest, students create movies for a film festival that brings industry executives from Los Angeles and Chicago and draws 1,600 attendees. Through community support and business partnerships, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) charter school opened its doors in the Jefferson Parish region of New Orleans and now thrives academically. Through local cablecasting, students become reality TV stars as the trials and tribulations of planting and harvesting their own organic garden are played out on a reality show.

These are among the examples of visionary education approaches utilized by the winners of the prestigious 2009 Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards from Cable in the Classroom (CIC), the cable industry’s national education foundation. Winners were chosen from 47 finalist applications submitted from across the country. Applicants consisted of educators, school administrators, college faculty, volunteers and community leaders.

“For 20 years, Cable in the Classroom has encouraged educators to use technology as a tool for learning, allowing students to grow and develop as responsible and productive citizens, prepared to compete and thrive in the global economy,” said Frank Gallagher, director of education and media literacy at Cable in the Classroom. “This year’s Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award winners have implemented creative and technology-rich programs that we are proud to recognize and honor.”

The national Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award honorees will each receive a $3,000 prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. where they will be honored at an awards ceremony and luncheon on June 10th hosted by Food Network Chef Alton Brown.

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:

    • Jacalyn Leavitt – Salt Lake City, UT – Founder of the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), an organization that gives parents, educators and policymakers the information and tools that empower them to teach children the safe and healthy use of technology and the Internet. Honored in partnership with Comcast.

    • Ray Lund – Saco, ME – Founder of Thornton Academy TV (TATV), a student-run television station. Honored in partnership with Time Warner Cable.

    • Gary Olsen – Dubuque, IA – Creator of “The Garden Organic,” a cable television reality show that teaches young students how to grow and prepare their own food. Honored in partnership with Mediacom.

  • 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:

    • Tony Alteparmakian – Bakersfield, CA – Classroom teacher at Foothill High School who has incorporated technology to develop an innovative method of documenting classroom lectures. Honored in partnership with Bright House Networks.

    • Joe Hall – the Bronx, NY – Founder and president of The Ghetto Film School, an organization that provides students with the technology, resources, relationships and training they need to make outstanding film, video and multimedia projects. Honored in partnership with Cablevision.

    • Jay Hoffman – South Burlington, VT – Co-Founder of South Burlington News Network (SBNN), a student-led news network composed of 12 students who deliver the news on a weekly basis. Honored in partnership with Comcast.

    • Craig Lindvahl and Joe Fatheree – Effingham, IL – Creators of the Aha Film Festival, an annual event designed to showcase the work of students in multimedia classes from Teutopolis and Effingham high schools. Honored in partnership with Mediacom.

    • Kristy Philippi – New Orleans, LA – Founder and principal of Taylor Academy, a charter school in the Jefferson Parish School System (New Orleans) that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Honored in partnership with Cox Communications.

  • Media Literacy Education – awarded in partnership with the 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:

    • Dr. Lynda Bergsma, Tucson, AZ – University of Arizona professor honored for her 17-year body of work in which she uses media literacy education as a health promotion strategy for children, youth and families. Honored in partnership with Cox Communications.

    • Elana Rosen, San Francisco, CA – Founder of the Just Think Foundation, an organization that provides students with the skills they need to become critical thinkers and creative producers on important issues they see in the media. Honored in partnership with Comcast.
For more information on the awards and the 2009 winners, please visit:

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