Virginia Ed Tech Chief Karen Richardson Wins SETDA Award

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) recently named Karen Richardson, executive director of the Virginia Society for Technology in Education, as the winner of its inaugural Candice Dodson Influencer Award for her digital equity advocacy and ed-tech outreach efforts, the organization announced last week.

Richardson was selected at the 2021 SETDA Emerging Trends Forum for “changing the landscape of education in Virginia” by championing digital learning collaboration and innovation throughout the state. The award was established to commemorate the life and work of Candice Dodson, SETDA’s former executive director who passed away last year.

Richardson helped form Virginia’s first K-12 Instructional Technology Advisory Team composed of state-level school technology leaders who provide outreach and support to IT staff, as well as newsletters for educators and ed-tech leaders throughout the state. The team also assists schools with network infrastructure and provides technical assistance and training on information security and student data privacy issues, among other services.


A SETDA announcement called Richardson “a consensus builder, fostering collaboration at the state level, as well as connecting with national organizations like SETDA, Consortium for School Networking and International Society for Technology in Education to support shared advocacy efforts.” It credited her as an inspiration in the field who helped develop Virginia’s Open Educational Resources project.

Susan Clair, IT coordinator for the Virginia Department of Education, said Richardson was nominated due to her commitment to digital equity.

“Karen championed an innovative digital equity project in Virginia that culminated in the first-ever Digital Equity Summit in 2019,” she said in a statement.

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