Author Christine Olmstead with CUE CEO Mike Lawrence receiving a Gold Disc in 2013

Author Christine Olmstead with CUE CEO Mike Lawrence receiving a Gold Disc in 2013

The mission of CUE is to inspire innovative learners by fostering community, personalizing learning, infusing technology, developing leadership, and advocating educational opportunities for all. Becoming an active member of CUE  was easy for me twenty years ago, early on in my educational career, because when I was infusing technology into my classroom, there were not a lot of others around me doing the same. As time went on, I found myself presenting at the CUE National conference, becoming involved in my local CUE affiliate board, and eventually becoming involved in various CUE committees. I built my network of like-minded people through active involvement, never imaging that I would receive an award for doing something I loved.

One of the immediate benefits I encountered by being a Gold Disk winner was the amount of pride people have not only in you, but also themselves for contributing to your journey. Although I received the recognition, without my network, I would never be able to contribute to CUE the way I can. An added benefit of being an award winner is that it makes you stop for a minute and think about the contributions you make.

Author Christine Olmstead recieving the Making IT Happen Award from CUE CEO Mike Lawrence in 2016 Photo by Danny Silva -

Author Christine Olmstead receiving the Making IT Happen Award from CUE CEO Mike Lawrence in 2016
Photo by Danny Silva –

Then I surprisingly received The Making IT Happen award last year. The award reads that it “honors outstanding educators and leaders who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students.”

“Award recipients are educators who:
Apply available technology now.
Move forward and don’t look back.
See students as real people.
Teach through relationships, inspiring, encouraging and nurturing.
Recognize that further change is necessary, but understand that it is a process.
Realize that teacher empowerment is the key element to technology integration.
Expect success.
Motivate through awareness and access to information.
Nominees must be CUE members in good standing.”

As I read each of these statements I did have to admit to myself that this has been my modus operandi for the past twenty years. Being a member of CUE and an award winner provides me the network and platform to advocate for the best learning environments for our students.

I am so proud to be counted among Gold Disc and Making IT Happen award winners, and can’t wait to find out who will join me this year.

CUE Award Nominations are open now through December 8 at

5997christine-4x5Dr. Christine Olmstead currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services for the Orange County Department of Education. She oversees a team that provides high quality and sustainable professional learning with a focus on academic, behavioral, and social success for all learners, through a multi-tiered system of support. She has served in a variety of education roles including classroom teacher, district level educational services specialist, principal and county office administrator. Her areas of expertise include curriculum and instruction, family involvement, data analysis, assessment and accountability, school plan development, educational technology, Professional Learning Communities, Response to Intervention, Positive Behavior Intervention Supports, Multi-Tiered System of Support, and Local Control Accountability Plans. Christine has a strong desire to help all students be college and career ready.

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