SunGard K-12 Education Announces Lead without Limits Awards Recipients
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June 17, 2015

SunGard K-12 Education Announces Lead without Limits Awards Recipients

Lead without Limits AwardsSunGard K-12 Education today announced the latest recipients of its Lead without Limits Award program, which celebrates the excellence of its customers’ ed-tech initiatives. The Lead without Limits Awards Program recognizes school districts, schools, departments, administrators, and educators that leverage technology to improve student achievement and/or school or district efficiency.

According to Joel Hames, SunGard K-12 Education’s vice president of product, the Lead without Limits Award recipients are making a difference for students. “It’s an honor to serve these administrators as they support students in realizing the greatest possibilities for their lives,” says Hames. “This month, we celebrate the innovative thinking and determination of Ric Cargas of Council Rock School District, Pa.; Phyllis Grice of Parkland School District, Pa.; and Vince Julian, Sharon Thierfelder, and Amy Tomney of West Aurora School District 129, Ill., with our Lead without Limits Awards.”

Lead without Limits Operational Efficiency Pacesetter:
Ric Cargas, Database and Information Systems Manager
Council Rock School District, Newtown, Pa.
As database and information systems manager for Council Rock School District, Ric Cargas manages the process of evaluating and implementing technological tools for the district. In his nomination of Cargas, Barry Desko, Council Rock’s director of secondary education, said, “Ric Cargas has put in place all of the necessary tools to allow our district, schools, teachers, parents, and students to be more effective and efficient in their work. In so doing, we have moved our district forward in its use of technologies to better serve all of our stakeholder groups.” Among his notable accomplishments, Cargas recently led an effort to implement a new elementary standards-based student report card and an ancillary report that supports administrators in developing a better understanding of student achievement and identifying opportunities for growth. Cargas also implemented student active directory authentication, which has increased student use of Home Access Center, the family portal for access to grades and assignments. “Ric is a pacesetter in our district, facilitating our use of technology to improve all aspects of our district, helping make our practices better, cheaper, quicker, and more effective,” said Desko.

Lead without Limits Information Technology Innovator:
Vince Julian, Sharon Thierfelder, and Amy Tomney
Learning Management System/Website Team
West Aurora School District 129, Aurora, Ill.
In his nomination of this team of technology innovators, Don Ringelestein, West Aurora’s director of technology, said, “Vince Julian, Sharon Thierfelder, and Amy Tomney have been relentless in their pursuit of ways in which student information and achievement data can be easily leveraged by teachers, students, administrators, and, most importantly, parents in driving student achievement in District 129.” According to Ringelestein, Julian and Thierfelder were pioneers in the district’s adoption of the eSchoolPLUS student information system and both are widely regarded as experts in using data to support student achievement and training staff. Tomney was integral to an effort to make student information readily available to parents in an easily accessible, yet secure way. And, all three West Aurora innovators are collaborating on the selection and implementation of a new learning management system for the district. “I believe this will have a significant impact on student achievement, and these three individuals are at the vanguard of making it happen,” said Ringelestein.

Lead without Limits Data All-Star:
Phyllis Grice, Assistant Director of Technology
Parkland School District, Allentown, Pa.
Phyllis Grice has long been recognized as a data all-star in Parkland School District and across the state of Pennsylvania, according to Tracy Smith, assistant superintendent for operations. “Phyllis Grice has shown tremendous leadership, at the district, regional, and state level in the area of data integrity. Her dedication to excellence and ensuring the accuracy of our data is unparalleled in my experience,” said Smith. “She is well-respected by her peers and networks well with her colleagues in surrounding districts to help work through issues. When I know Phyllis is working on a project, regardless how time-consuming or complex, I never have to worry that it will be implemented with anything less than perfection.”

The Lead without Limits Awards recipients received a statuette. They are now in the running for the annual awards that will be presented at SunGard K-12 Education’s National User Group Conference in Palm Springs, Calif. SunGard K-12 Education will select the three annual award winners from all the monthly recipients during the year. For these three annual winners, SunGard K-12 will pay the conference fee for one individual to represent them at the conference and hear best practices shared by districts across the country.

Nominations for the Lead without Limits Awards are accepted through an application form available on SunGard K-12 Education’s website. For guidelines and selection process, please see the Lead without Limits Awards Program information online.

About SunGard K-12 Education
SunGard K-12 Education offers software solutions designed to help teachers, administrators, and parents support student achievement. The PLUS 360 products are a single integrated suite of software solutions for the management of student information, assessment and curriculum, special education, and financial and human resources. The suite—which provides district staff with anytime, anywhere access to important district information—can be deployed to work together or implemented as stand-alone systems to help meet educational goals and requirements. For more information, visit SunGard K-12 Education at

About SunGard
SunGard is one of the world’s leading financial software companies, with annual revenue of $2.8 billion. We provide solutions for financial services, the public sector, and education. Our software is delivered via Software as a Service (“SaaS”), in the cloud and on premises, surrounded by an extensive suite of service offerings. Through the depth and breadth of our solution portfolio, global capabilities, and domain expertise, we are uniquely capable of supporting virtually every type of financial organization, including the largest and most complex institutions in the world. SunGard’s approximately 13,000 employees proudly serve over 15,000 customers in more than 100 countries, bringing fresh ideas and inventive solutions to help our customers adapt and thrive. For more information, please visit

Trademark Information: SunGard, the SunGard logo, PLUS 360, and eFinancePLUS are trademarks or registered trademarks of SunGard Data Systems Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

© SunGard K-12 Education 2015. All rights reserved.

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SunGard K-12 Education Media Contact:   
Lori F. Hixon
Public Relations Specialist
610-849-7274 (office)

Release Number: 2015-0020



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