Herkimer tech coordinator wins Genesis Award

Two men pose in front of a backdrop that reads First Source Credit Union

Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School technology coordinator Ryan Orilio was honored by the Genesis Group at its “Celebration of Education” event on Nov. 16.

The not-for-profit organization, which was founded in 2000, aims to unite business and community leaders to advance regional economic, social and cultural interests throughout the Mohawk Valley region, according to its website.

Mr. Orilio, who joined the district in 2014, has “evolved into a technical, instructional, and administrative leader of technology” since coming to the district, high school Principal Mary Tomaso wrote in her nomination.

Orilio, who is also the high school yearbook advisor, said his focus has been on making technology more accessible to students and teachers, and making technology more of an everyday part of how students learn. In addition, he has worked to support the infrastructure of the district’s two school buildings to ensure that systems operate properly.

But a lot of Orilio’s work, he explained, is making sure teachers feel confident and empowered to use technology in the classroom.

“Having something work is only a small part of it. Being able to do something meaningful with technology is what it’s really about.”

“By pushing technological novices to relinquish their classroom reins in pursuit of learning through seamless technology integration, Ryan has positively impacted the education of all our students,” high school Principal Mary Tomaso wrote in her nomination.

Held each year during American Education Week, the Celebration of Education recognizes individual educators and programs that are making a positive impact with students.

Orilio was one of 25 “Outstanding Educators K-12” recognized at the awards presentation. Herkimer Elementary School social worker Kathy Orts, art teacher Heather McCutcheon and Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School vocal music teacher John Krause have previously been honored by the Genesis Group.