ISTE Distinguished Districts are moving the needle in big ways. Winners of this award:

  • Demonstrate effectiveness and innovation in the application of educational technology.
  • Ensure equitable, accessible and appropriate technology use for all students, aimed at improving learner outcomes and increasing learning opportunities.
  • Exhibit a progressive mindset when it comes to challenges in education and embrace new ideas and act on them.

Nominations for Impact and Distinguished District awards are closed.

Award Timeline

December 2020: Nominations begin
January 31, 2021: Nominations end
February - March, 2021: Nominations reviewed
May 2021: Winners notified

ISTE Distinguished District Award Winners receive:

  • An engraved award acknowledging the recipient’s outstanding achievement
  • Up to four one-year basic individual ISTE memberships
  • Up to four complimentary registrations to the ISTE Conference & Expo
  • Recognition in ISTE publications and on the website
  • Recognition at the ISTE Conference & Expo
  • Opportunities to contribute to the field (blog, magazine, other volunteer opportunity)

ISTE Distinguished Districts

Meriden Public Schools

Group photo of Lakota Local School District staff

2021 Distinguished District
Meriden, CT

Located in central Connecticut, Meriden Public Schools serves over 8,000 students, 70% of whom are racial and ethnic minorities, in a suburban setting. Its mission is to provide all students with educational opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to lead productive and self-sustaining lives in a democratic, multicultural society.


Orange County Public Schools

Group photo of Moreno Valley Unified School District staff

2021 Distinguished District
Orlando, FL

Orange County Public Schools is the ninth largest school district in the United States and the fourth largest in Florida. The district serves more than 206,000 students at 202 schools and is one of the largest employers in Central Florida with more than 25,000 team members. The district strives to create enriching and diverse pathways, with the support of families and the community to lead its students to a promising and successful future.


San Francisco Unified School District

Group photo of Prince William County Schools staff

2021 Distinguished District
San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Unified School District enrolls over 57,000 students. The district aims to have every student discover their spark, along with a strong sense of self and purpose. Each and every student will graduate from high school ready for college and career and equipped with the skills, capacities and dispositions outlined in SFUSD’s Graduate Profile. The district goals of access and equity, student achievement, and accountability align to this vision.


Previous winners

Lakota Local Schools

Group photo of Lakota Local School District staff

2020 Distinguished District
Liberty & West Chester Township, OH

Located in southwestern Ohio, Lakota Local Schools is the largest suburban public school district in southwest Ohio. Lakota has shown enormous positive movement in the areas of instructional innovation, personalized learning through expanded modern approaches, and the expansion of technology resources. Lakota Local Schools continues to  develop new learning spaces for students to grow, explore, create and reflect with new technologies and learning opportunities.


Moreno Valley Unified School District

Group photo of Moreno Valley Unified School District staff

2020 Distinguished District
Moreno Valley, CA

Moreno Valley Unified School District is the 23rd largest in California, educating more than 34,000 students in 40 schools. The district has demonstrated excellence, committing to providing students with the instruction they need to excel in college and attain a high-level position in STEAM-related fields. MVUSD is extremely passionate about ensuring ALL students have equal access to 21st century learning so they can succeed in the real world. In order to reach that goal, the district is in full support of empowering educators through training and professional development opportunities, specifically in STEAM.


Prince William County Schools

Group photo of Prince William County Schools staff

2020 Distinguished District
Manassas, VA

Serving over 90,000 students in 100 schools and centers, Prince William County Schools has exemplified commitment in pushing the boundaries of what is possible in education. The school division has assembled a variety of cohort programs to support its teachers. Aligned to the ISTE Standards, their curriculum provides high-quality, hands-on professional learning experiences that focus on developing students’ creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking.

Flagler County Public Schools

Group photo of Flagler County Public Schools district staff

2019 Distinguished District
Palm Coast, FL

Flagler County Public Schools provides tremendous support for technology at the district and school level, creates exceptional opportunities for students and empowers both teachers and students to make positive changes in their schools and community. Serving nearly 13,000 students across 10 schools, Flagler County Public Schools has pledged to ensure education success through high expectations and innovative thinking to empower students to reach their full potential as responsible, ethical and productive citizens in a diverse and changing world.


Middletown City School District

Group photo of Middletown City School District staff

2019 Distinguished District
Middletown, OH

Middletown City School District is committed to providing equity and access for all students. Their technology plan was developed in partnership with ISTE, utilizing the ISTE Essential Conditions as a framework for goals and action steps. This infusion of the ISTE Standards into the district’s daily work is evident through new initiatives and changes in teacher’s instructional practice. Serving 6,500 students across 11 schools, Middletown City School District is clearly committed to meeting the needs of all learners with innovative experiences and a supportive environment.


St Vrain Valley School District

Group photo of St Vrain Valley School District staff

2019 Distinguished District
Longmont, CO

St Vrain Valley School District holds technology as a vital part of the district’s vision for advancing the success of students, and it is an integral part of their strategic priorities. Evidence of impact and innovations at the teacher and student levels are apparent through the provision, support and sustainability of technology deeply aligned with their Learning Technology Plan. Serving more than 32,000 students across 57 schools, St Vrain Valley School District provides opportunities for students to investigate, communicate, collaborate, create, model and explore concepts and content in authentic contexts.


Pickerington Local School District

Group photo of Pickerington Local School District staff

2018 Distinguished District
Pickerington, OH

Pickerington Local School District has made great strides toward implementing technology to improve instructional practice by developing a blended learning strategy that transforms pedagogy and creates professional development opportunities for staff to expand its technology knowledge and practice. They have implemented an impressive ten year technology master plan that included moving the entire preK-12 district to a 1:1 model with support for staff to learn new strategies and transform their classrooms.


Gurnee School District 56

2017 Distinguished District
Gurnee, IL



Mountain Brook School System

2016 Distinguished District
Mountain Brook, AL


Surrey School District

2015 Distinguished District
Surrey, BC, Canada


Richland School District Two

2014 Distinguished District
Columbia, SC


Rowan-Salisbury School System

2013 Distinguished District
Rowan County, NC


Mooresville Graded School District

2012 Distinguished District
Mooresville, NC