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News Release

Abilene's Region 14 Receives First "Point with Pride" Award from Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander

Dillon Cobb, a Stamford High School senior, told Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander on Thursday that he would have 24 college-level credits when he graduates this spring. Dillon, at school in Stamford, was linked via videoconference with the Comptroller at the Region 14 Education Service Center in Abilene, 40 miles away.

Comptroller Rylander was in Abilene to present her first Point with Pride Award recognizing Region 14 and its 43 school districts for their innovative use of technology to deliver education. Rylander made the presentation to Dr. Terry Harlowe, the region's executive director.

She established the Point with Pride Award to recognize people, projects and ideas that are exemplary best practices as part of e-Texas, her citizen commission charged with developing recommendations to help Texas state government meet the challenges of the Internet Age.

"When I became Comptroller, I established 10 Principles for Texas in the New Century. The first three deal with education: develop a better-educated workforce, direct more of every education dollar into the classroom and raise the bar on student performance," she said. "I can think of no better program to honor with the first Point with Pride Award than Region 14 and its school districts that are using technology to better their education services."

Students and administrators in Stamford and Anson were linked to the Region 14 center via video-conference. All 50,400 students and 4,700 district staff are licensed to use the Internet and the interactive software that allows distance learning as a part of $1.7 million grant from the Texas Education Agency.

Elizabeth Shokoui and Lauren Gilbert, both juniors at Anson High School, told Comptroller Rylander they were taking college algebra through distance learning classes offered by Western Texas College. As a result, they were receiving dual credit for completion of their high school math requirements, as well. Buffi Baker, a Stamford High junior, also visited with Comptroller Rylander.

Robert Damron, superintendent of SCISD, and Stan Fogerson, superintendent of AISD, emphasized that the distance learning technology was a big boon for rural West Texas school districts, saying it was virtually impossible for their students to travel to the home campuses of the colleges to take college-level classes.

"We must view education as a seamless system that goes from K to 16, and beyond," Comptroller Rylander said. "We can't boost the number and quality of college graduates until we insure that elementary and secondary schools can produce students who are ready to do college work.

"I applaud Western Texas College and Texas State Technical Institute for recognizing the need to become involved in education at the high school level."

Rylander also boasted that Region 14 has no low-performing districts in the 13 rural counties it serves.

"And we never have," Harlowe told her.

Region 14 covers school districts in Callahan, Comanche, Eastland, Fisher, Haskell, Jones, Mitchell, Nolan, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall and Taylor counties.


e-Texas is an initiative of Carole Keeton Rylander, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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Austin, Texas

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