Grants and Awards



Each year, the Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF) presents awards to innovative educators and programs in San Diego. As part of the CFF awards, SDCUE is proud to sponsor the Innovative Educator award to recognize excellence in innovation to an SDCUE member. Winners receive a $1,000 stipend,registration for 5 to the SDCUE Tech Fair, and are honored at the annual Classroom of the Future Foundation dinner and awards event in May.

This year we had so many applicants for our SDCUE Innovative Educator Award that we decided to split the award in to two categories: Classroom Teacher and TOSA. 
Tom Nusser - "Innovation in Technology" Classroom Teacher Award
JoAnn Fox - "Innovation in Technology" TOSA Award
Both will be honored at the Classroom of the Future Foundation Awards on May 25th at University of San Diego. 

We are so incredibly proud of both of this year's winners!

Tom Nusser
"2016 Innovation in Technology" Classroom Teacher Award

Tom Nusser is a rocket launching, balloon car racing, mixing it up science teacher at Innovation Middle School, a neighborhood school in San Diego Unified School District. Tom holds a Bachelors of Earth Science Chemistry as well as a Masters in Educational Technology. He has taught science for 18 years in both middle school and high school and currently teaches in a 1:1 iPad environment where he enjoys working with amazing and dedicated teachers. Teaching and working with middle school students in the process of investigating science is Tom’s life. He strives to share his passion for engineering and robotics through his science curriculum as well as school wide STEM projects he designs, develops, and disseminates school wide. Tom prides himself in providing a blended, inquiry based, student-centered curriculum geared toward Next Generation Science Standards.

Watch Tom's Science Students Innovate


Jo-Ann Fox
"2016 Innovation in Technology" TOSA Award

Jo-Ann Fox has been an elementary teacher in the Escondido Union School District since 2000. She spent over a decade teaching in the primary grades and the last several years working with upper elementary students. She is currently working as an Instructional Coach at a new innovative upper elementary and middle school called Quantum Academy, which she helped to design. Jo-Ann is a Google Certified Teacher, 2012 San Diego County Teacher of the Year, 2012 Semi-finalist for California Teacher of the Year, a CUE Lead Learner, and CUE Rockstar Faculty. In addition, Jo-Ann served on the California Education Technology Task Force with State Superintendent Tom Torlakson. Jo-Ann is a co-founder and moderator of California Edchat (#caedchat), which is a popular Twitter chat where teachers from all over California collaborate and discuss educational issues. She is a co-planner for Edcamp San Diego which for the past three years has provided free professional development for educators from all over Southern California. Jo-Ann shares her experiences in integrating educational technology, STEAM learning, and design thinking at conferences such as National CUE, San Diego CUE, South By Southwest Education, and GAFE Summits. Jo-Ann holds a Masters in Literacy Education from California State University San Marcos and is a member of the San Marcos Writing Project. Jo-Ann also runs her own website www.AppEducation.com where she blogs about the innovative use of iOS apps and Google Apps for Education. Jo-Ann’s passion as an educator comes from inspiring children to have a love for learning, a thirst for creativity, and a desire to watch students make a positive impact on the world around them.

Learn About JoAnn's Career Changing Opportunity




Congratulations to

SDCUE's Spring 2015 Mini Grant Award Winners:

More info and project descriptions.


“Probes make chemistry come alive!”

Joshua Hill

Mar Vista High School

Sweetwater Union High School District


“Minecraft Educator”

Danny Manalo

Design39Campus

Poway Unified School District


“Video Resume Studio”

Matt Norris

West Hills High School

Grossmont Union High School District


“Flight School” Thomas Nusser Innovation Middle School San Diego City Schools


“Robots and Grit”

Shelly Moses

San Diego Jewish Academy




Congratulations to Kathy Hayden, 

CUE's 2015 TILL Award Recipient!

Congratulations to longtime San Diego CUE member, Kathy Hayden, who was nominated by SDCUE, and was awarded the Technology in Learning Leadership Award (TILL) (past recipients) at the Annual CUE Conference in Palm Springs.


Throughout her career, as teacher, professor, President of SDCUE, President of CUE, ISTE Board Member, author, consultant, grant writer, and evaluator, Dr. Katherine Hayden has distinguished herself as a leader and advocate for effective use of technology for teaching, learning, and research.






In December 2015, the Board of San Diego CUE nominated Kim
Buhler for CUE’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Kim is a fourth grade teacher at L. R. Green Elementary School. She has been teaching for over 25 years and has never allowed being a veteran teacher be an excuse for not continuing to hone her craft and add to the tools in her teacher toolbox. She believes that the integration of technology not only can motivate students, but provide them the transformative environment. Kim prepares her students with projects for iREAD, Project LIVE, iVIE, EYMF, and California Student Media Festival. She has taken groups of students to CUE for many years to present at the CUE Student Technology Showcase.  She prepares her students as presenters, empowering them while affecting a broad range of educators.  Kim even raises money to be able to send other teachers to SDCUE’s Tech Fair when their school cannot pay!


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