Return to Headlines

Falcon Zone Wins Awards at National Conference

Educators in the Falcon Zone wrapped up the National Conference on Digital Convergence (NCDC) in grand style on Feb. 7. At the event’s closing awards ceremony, zone team members brought home awards in almost every category, validating their exceptional work.

MRES Principal Sheehan Freeman-Todd receives an award at NCDC 2023.

“I am so proud of the recognition of our national finalists and overall award winners,” said Brian Smith, Falcon Zone leader. “Each teacher, instructional coach, and principal has demonstrated excellence and commitment to making learning better for our students. To receive recognition at this level shows our caliber of educators in the Falcon Zone.”

Nearly 70 staff members from the Falcon Zone attended the awards gala at The Broadmoor to celebrate their successes with the nationally-known Modern Teacher Framework that promotes personalized learning for students.

Congratulations to the following individual award winners:

  • Personalized Learning Classroom (primary elementary grades): Melissa Armstrong from Meridian Ranch Elementary
  • Personalized Learning Classroom (intermediate elementary grades): Laura Anderson from Meridian Ranch Elementary
  • Personalized Learning Classroom (high school level): Brooke Neilson from Falcon High School
  • Change Management Principal of the Year: Sheehan Freeman-Todd from Meridian Ranch Elementary

School District 49’s Falcon Zone was also recognized as the first district in the country to reach the highest level of implementation of the Modern Teacher Framework, Stage 7, along with receiving accolades as the Modern Curriculum of the Year Award Winner.

The hallmark of the Falcon Zone—maximizing personalized learning to empower students—has earned them national attention, which led to the zone hosting NCDC 2023 in Colorado Springs.


Melissa Armstrong, educator at MRES, is honored as an award winner at NCDC 2023.. Laura Anderson from MRES is honored for her exceptional classroom for personalized learning.. Brooke Neilson from FHS receives an award for her teaching style at NCDC 2023.

Amy Matisek