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"THE ARCHDIOCESE OF Los Angeles is moving rapidly with its technology plan and exciting things are about to happen soon that will allow a majority of its schools to be wired to the Internet through subsidized funding. I am very excited to be a part of this educational revolution which will ameliorate the digital divide among our schools," shares the Educational Technology Director for the Archdiocese, Grace Llana Walker.
Walker was recently named 1999 National Distinguished Principal by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) for being one of the three Catholic principals in the country. She also received the prestigious National Distinguished Principal award given by the National Association of Elementary Principals (NAESP) and the U.S. Department of Education for being one of the top four private school administrators in the country. "Walker was chosen after a detailed search and selection process conducted by NCEA," said Dr. Kealey, executive director of the Elementary Department of NCEA.
A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, CalState L.A. and Ateneo de Manila University, Walker previously held the position of high school teacher and junior high teacher in St. Matthias High School in Huntington Park and Holy Redeemer School in Montrose. She has served as principal of St. Therese in Alhambra from 1993 to December 1999.
Apart from her work at the archdiocese, she also does consulting for the largest school district in the Philippines, her native country. She wrote a six-year strategic technology plan for them, trained 500 teachers lost year, wired and equipped schools with computers and Internet access. Additionally, through school and corporate donations here, she filled a 20-foot container van with collected donations of textbooks, office equipment, computers and other school resources for indigent schools in the Philippines.
Walker has formed a very strong technology committee for the archdiocese that advises her on educational and technological issues. This group is developing technology competency standards for principals, teachers and students. They are also working on a technology scope and sequence along with a standardization plan for computers and connectivity among schools. She has convinced one of the biggest Internet filtering-companies in the U.S., N2H2, to provide free Internet filtering to all our schools.
"There are a lot of resources out there to help our schools, especially our inner city schools. We just need to harness these resources to be of service to all our schools to potentially benefit our students, the greatest investment of all who will be the future of our society. With God's help, things are looking pretty rosy," says an optimistic Walker.
"There are a lot of resources out there to help our schools, especially our inner city schools. We just need to harness these resources to be of service."
Grace Walker is scheduled to appear at the Tech Center on April 7 at the Religious Education Congress.