Superintendent of Schools Brian Hightower on Monday presented the first of his four top awards for instructional excellence.
Hightower surprised CCSD Supervisor of Digital Learning Joy Silk with his Superintendent’s 2019 Game Changer Award for Instructional Support during a meeting Monday with her Office of Curriculum & Instruction colleagues, who rose for a standing ovation.
“This award recognizes someone who is making a positive impact in instructional support for students, parents, and their fellow professionals… someone who is a professional educator and an inspiration to others,” Hightower said as he recognized Silk, a former CCSD Teacher of the Year, who now leads digital learning initiatives including the expanded use of the Canvas learning management system and establishment of Digital Learning Days. “She’s been responsible for a big lift that’s changing how we teach, and she’s making that lift with positive energy, a smiling face, and a go-get-’em attitude.”
The Instructional Support honor, which is awarded to an employee with a support role, is one of the four categories of the annual Game Changer Awards Hightower began two years ago and which he describes as CCSD’s “premier awards.”
Named to her current role last summer, Silk brought 19 years of experience — all with CCSD — to the leadership position, including teaching various grade levels and subjects at four elementary schools, and serving as an instructional technology specialist and as CCSD’s Coordinator of Curriculum for Digital Content.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Reinhardt University, and a master’s degree in early childhood education and an education specialist degree in curriculum and instruction, both from Piedmont College. Silk, who is married with two children, also is an active community volunteer for causes including MUST Ministries and Give a Kid a Chance.
The three other 2019 Game Changer Awards, which will be presented throughout the spring, are: Instructional Leadership, which recognizes a Principal or CCSD administrator; Instructional Advocacy, which recognizes an employee or community member; and Instructional Excellence, which recognizes a classroom teacher.
PHOTO 2: Ms. Silk, center, is surprised by the announcement, as her colleagues Lynda Wallace, left, and Dr. Catherine Head look on.