Felipe Orozco 2021 TELL Award Recipient
Congratulations to Felipe Orozco, recipient of the TELL Award: Outstanding Innovative Leader
Felipe Orozco, Director of ELL and Bilingual Services in the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District, is in charge of bilingual education in the district. However, his passion for technology often influences the work he does.
“For me, it is an honor to make sure our most needed students have what they need in terms of access to technology,” Mr. Orozco said. “I see this as the only way for them to have the tools — not only the gadgets but also the know-how — to compete in today's interconnected world.”
To that end, Mr. Orozco has been contributing to the district’s use and access to technology throughout his four years in the district.
“Technology is part of today's educational fabric, and it has been for a long time now. It has allowed our students to become more independent, inquisitive, creative, and collaborative than ever,” he said. “Our responsibility as educational leaders is to ensure access is available for all, including our students with the least resources.”
His commitment to both bilingual education and technology is one of the many attributes that led him to receive the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center’s TELL Award as an Outstanding Innovative Leader.
The TELL Awards (Transforming Education Through Leading and Learning) are awarded annually by the LHRIC and celebrates teachers and administrators’ innovation and passion throughout the region. Each year recipients are nominated by their peers.
Nominated for the award by K-5 Educational Technology Specialist Jessica Kingsbury, she documented the many achievements of her colleague in detail before summarizing it this way:
“Honestly Felipe is just the jack of all trades, he wears a lot of hats around here,” Dr. Kingsbury said. “And he really does his best to stay on top of everything to best support our teachers, and more importantly, our students.”
Mr. Orozco’s commitment to supporting culturally diverse students and their families includes initiatives such as professional development training in Spanish for all dual language teachers, the district’s instructional rounds initiative and expanding the Dual Language programs to all elementary schools. He was the first district administrator to hold online professional development while exploring new technologies to bring the school community together.
Mr. Orozco is a leader in educational technology and the impact its use can have on students, teachers and the community. He has been an enormous influence in moving innovative and instructional software and other forms of technology forward. Mr. Orozco has used his talent to lead and inspire his educational community. He has spearheaded numerous family initiatives, including an ongoing parent technology workshop series, efforts to revolutionize virtual professional development, and embedding teacher-choice and even providing “flipped learning” for educators.
Before joining Port Chester, Mr. Orozco was a supervisor for New York City’s Department of ELLs. He helped create the city’s compliance guide at the time. A long-time bilingual educator, he has taught in different grades, including graduate classes as an adjunct professor at Bank Street College.
Mr. Orozco will be joining fellow recipients at a virtual TELL Awards Ceremony on March 16. The event will include a keynote address with Janell Burley Hofmann, an international author, speaker and consultant specializing on the topics of technology, media, health, relationships and well-being.