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Montair principal named among nation's top '20 to Watch'

Welcome honored for commitment to digital citizenship, innovative learning

In his first year as principal of Danville's Montair Elementary School, Adam Welcome has been recognized on a national level for his dedication to using technology to educate and engage students, teachers and the community.

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) Technology Leadership Network named Welcome earlier this month as one of its "20 to Watch" education technology leaders in the United States. He joined two other California education professionals on the nationwide list and was the only principal in the state selected.

"I'm honored and humbled to be included with this amazing list of educators from around the country that are doing amazing work on a daily basis for teachers and kids," Welcome said in a statement this week.

Welcome started at Montair last summer, hired by the school board after three years as principal of John Swett Elementary in Martinez. A familiar face in the San Ramon Valley, Welcome started his career as a teacher at Greenbrook Elementary and worked for two years as assistant principal at Live Oak Elementary.

At Montair this year, Welcome is the leading the campus community through the integration of technology into teaching, learning and communication, according to school district officials.

The elementary school actively uses social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to promote its programs and activities, district officials said. Fifth-graders serve as social media interns who share campus stories to a broad audience by taking photos and preparing tweets and Facebook posts for publication -- all while building digital citizenship skills as well.

A proponent of utilizing social media to teach and engage, Welcome developed hashtags -- #KidsDeserveIt and #PrincipalsInAction -- so people can follow his work and his students' work.

The annual "20 to Watch" list, which is in its 10th year, aims to single out educators from across the country who inspire their colleagues to explore and embrace innovative technology solutions and instructional strategies that lead to high-quality learning opportunities for all students, according to NSBA officials.

"This year's '20 to Watch' honorees highlight how formal and informal professional networks help them identify and share the innovative approaches that are truly making a difference," NSBA executive director Thomas J. Gentzel said in a statement. "These teachers and administrators, with support from their school boards, share a vision for learning that will prepare students for future success."

The 20 recipients will be celebrated during the 2016 Consortium for School Networking Conference on April 4 in Washington, D.C., and at a luncheon during NSBA's 2016 Annual Conference in Boston on April 8.

Welcome wasn't the only Bay Area educator selected. Jon Corippo, director of academic innovation for Walnut Creek-based CUE, also made the "20 to Watch" list. CUE is a nonprofit educational corporation known in California for its CUE Conferences on educational technology events, among its other programs.

Montair Elementary School is located on Quinterra Lane just outside downtown Danville.

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