Follett Challenge Announces 2015 Winners

Follett Drives Education Innovation with $200,000 in Awards to K-12 Schools; Recognizes Illinois Middle School with Grand Prize


CHICAGO (April 30, 2015) – Follett Corporation today announced the winners of the fourth annual  Follett Challenge, which empowers innovation and rewards ground-breaking educational programs. O’Neill Middle School in Downers Grove School District #58 in Downers Grove, Illinois, has been awarded the Grand Prize for its inventive multimedia program, Conquest of the Realm. The school will receive a $60,000 prize in Follett products and services.


Watch as the O’Neill team learns they are the Grand Prize Winners of this year’s Follett Challenge:


“Participating in the Follett Challenge solidified in my mind the significance of Conquest of the Realm – we’ve seen incredible results among students and it’s evolved me into a better teacher and learner,” said Tasha Squires, librarian/media specialist at O’Neill. “The kids play the game with such enthusiasm and it has notably enhanced our efforts to create a culture of reading and writing.”


Using the idea of gamification and a mythical-inspired theme, Conquest of the Realm divides students into one of four “houses,” which compete against each other in challenges that focus on helping students improve literacy and develop 21st-century skills. Students must work together to create their own works of literature, write reviews of books from Follett’s online catalogue, Destiny Library Manager, and work with new technologies, among other tasks.


“O’Neill has found a way to engage students and inspire a lifelong love of learning, and that is what Follett is all about and was a driving force for implementing the Challenge,” said Tom Schenck, president of Follett School Solutions. “The game encourages new ways of teaching and helps kids develop critical skills for the Digital Age. Its success is supported not only by hard data, but by the passionate response it has garnered from students and teachers alike.”


In addition to the Grand Prize, Follett Challenge recognized two semifinalists – each will receive a $30,000 prize in Follett products and services. The semifinalists include –

  • Bluebonnet Elementary/Park Glen Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas, for the Tech Ninja initiative.
  • The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria/Queens in Astoria, New York, for the Intensives program.


The winning schools each submitted a written entry and video, and were selected based on a combined score of their written entry and the number of votes their video received. More than 243,000 votes were cast this year, an 800 percent increase from the Challenge’s inaugural year in 2011.


Follett also awarded $8,000 in prizes each to 10 “People’s Choice Winners” – schools whose videos received the most votes.


“It’s inspiring to see the level of involvement and enthusiasm that the Challenge generated this year,” said Sue Adelmann, a Follett Challenge judge and VP of market intelligence at Follett School Solutions.  “It’s a real testament to the great work that schools across the country are doing to drive education forward, improve outcomes and engage both students and teachers.”


For more information, visit


About Follett’s PreK-12 Business
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.

About Follett Corporation

Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today Follett delivers physical and digital learning materials, retail services, school content and management systems to more than 70,000 early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and on more than 1,000 college campuses. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately-held company.


Texas Education Agency Adds iCEV to State-Approved Curricula

Online course from CEV Multimedia provides high-quality career training in floral design and agriculture science

LUBBOCK, Texas (PRWEB) April 30, 2015

CEV Multimedia, a leading producer of Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum resources, announced today that the Texas Education Agency has added the Principles & Elements of Floral Design course to its state-approved curriculum. The course will be offered through iCEV, an online platform that produces and delivers comprehensive educational content to students and teachers.

As part of the Proclamation 2015–Fine Arts Instructional Materials review, school districts in Texas can now choose to integrate Principles & Elements of Floral Design into their curriculum. The course fully correlates to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) while counting as a fine arts credit. Additionally, users will have access to 18 agricultural science courses, all aligned to state standards.

Students enrolled in the course also have the opportunity to earn the Principles of Floral Design Certification, endorsed by the Benz School of Floral Design at Texas A&M University. The certification is comprised of 13 lessons that address key components of the floral design, including the history of floral design, flower identification, principles and elements of design, and flower business management.

“We’re pleased to provide quality CTE resources and training opportunities to school districts in Texas,” said Dusty Moore, iCEV President. “By adding the Principles & Elements of Floral Design coursework and certification into the Texas state-approved curriculum, we’re ensuring students have access to solutions that align to their career goals and personal interests.”

Developed by CEV Multimedia, iCEV offers in-depth, interactive learning with professional demonstrations to prepare students for postsecondary education and high-skill, high-demand careers. Educators can quickly monitor, track and engage students directly through the platform’s interactive lessons. Through iCEV, students can also enhance their career training with industry-backed certifications, such as the Plant Science Certification endorsed by Bayer CropScience, by completing regular coursework.

For more information, please visit

About CEV Multimedia
With 30 years of experience, CEV specializes in providing quality Career & Technical Education (CTE) curriculum and education resources for several major subject areas: Agricultural Science and Technology, Family & Consumer Sciences, Business Education, Marketing Education, Trade and Industrial Education and Career Exploration. CEV received the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Blue Ribbon Small Business Award in 2012 and has been honored numerous times for its excellence in content creation and exemplary business practices. In 2012, CEV introduced iCEV, an online platform revolutionizing the way CEV produces and delivers educational content. iCEV is the most comprehensive online resource for CTE educators and students. With iCEV’s learning-on-demand capabilities, video clips stream instantly to any device with Internet capabilities. Through iCEV, students can earn industry-backed certifications across multiple areas of CTE that prepare them for college and beyond. For more information,visit


SIIA Honors Industry Veterans with Lifetime Achievement Award and Ed Tech Impact Award

 Founder of Tom Snyder Productions, senior vice president for strategy and alliances of Copia Interactive to be honored with prestigious industry awards at premiere education industry event


Washington, D.C. (April 30, 2015) – The Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) announces that it will honor Tom Snyder, founder of Tom Snyder Productions, with its prestigious Education Lifetime Achievement Award. SIIA will also present its Ed Tech Impact Award to Farimah Schuerman, senior vice president for strategy and alliances of Copia Interactive, during the upcoming Education Industry Summit held in San Francisco May 3-5.

During a special awards ceremony, David ‘Dock’ Dockterman, chief architect, learning sciences at Scholastic, will present Tom Snyder the award as SIIA highlights Snyder’s accomplishments and contributions to the education technology industry. Before Tom Snyder founded Tom Snyder Productions, he attended Swarthmore College and signed as a recording artist with Capitol Records and played professionally after college. After retiring from late night bar gigs, Snyder became an elementary school teacher in science and music. It was there that he developed his first whole-class computer simulations which led to the creation of Tom Snyder Productions at the back of his classroom.

The company grew to 170 employees, winning many awards for educational software that always put the teacher in a central and rewarding role. The company motto was “We Never Forget Our Favorite Teachers.” Tom Snyder’s cutting edge vision has been to design educational software that would enhance the teaching process, not dominate it.

Snyder started a second division that created and produced animated television comedies and educational shows which won Emmy and Peabody awards on 5 major networks. Ultimately, his company was sold to Scholastic Corporation. Tom Snyder Productions continues this mission of creating software for teachers who love to teach. Today, Tom Snyder is working in Cambridge on a musical comedy for the stage about a young teacher who works to understand his obsessions.

“Tom’s early work in the educational technology space highlighted the central and important role of the teacher in the classroom,” said Karen Billings, vice president and managing director of the ETIN-SIIA. “While he was a visionary with a deep appreciation for technology, he developed software that supported the teacher, and as a result, helped students learn.”

In addition, SIIA will present the Ed Tech Impact Award to Farimah Schuerman for her accomplishments and contributions to the education technology industry, as well as to ETIN of SIIA. Schuerman began her career in the education industry at CEL Communications, formerly the Corporation for Entertainment and Learning. In 1996 she joined Simon and Schuster’s Higher Ed division, brought on to introduce their first internet offering, College NewsLink. That role transitioned to heading up marketing for Pearson’s newly formed Distance and Distributed Education Learning Group. In 1999 she began her consulting efforts as a solo practitioner, until she and business partner, Mitch Weisburgh, formed the education consultancy business, Academic Business Advisors (ABA). From that year through 2014, ABA helped dozens of companies plan and grow their businesses.

In late 2014, Schuerman pivoted back to the corporate side, joining Copia Interactive as the senior vice president for strategy and alliances. She made that move because she believes that she has the opportunity to build something that can have significant impact in areas about which she has personal passion: addressing the distribution challenge that has limited the opportunity for success for so many wonderful products while eliminating the limitations of any one hardware platform.

As an active member of SIIA, SETDA, CoSN and other industry associations, Schuerman is often called upon to develop or moderate conference sessions. She co-chairs the Postsecondary Sector Board within the ETIN of the SIIA, as well as being a past chair of the SIIA Education Board.

“During Farimah’s years of service, she has made outstanding achievements that benefit the entire education industry,” said Billings. “Her many years of leadership within ETIN has produced great results for the division, as well as in the broader education and technology community, making her an excellent recipient of the Ed Tech Impact Award.”


About SIIA
SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to the leading companies that are setting the pace for the digital age. For more information, visit

About ETIN
The Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of SIIA serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide educational software applications, digital content, online learning services and related technologies across the K-20 sector. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities and critical market information. For more information on ETIN of SIIA, visit