The 2016 Allen Distinguished Educators Awards Bestowed on Two Portland, Ore. Teachers

Paul G. Allen Encourages Excellence in Classroom Innovation with $25,000 Award

AUSTIN, Texas, March 9, 2016 – In the quest to ignite innovation in education, the Allen Distinguished Educators (ADE) program awarded $25,000 to two teachers from Portland, Oregon’s Wilson High School. Chris Bartlo and Nicholas Nohner were recognized as 2016 ADEs for their computer science program that demonstrated the best in classroom innovation from across the country. 

Bartlo and Nohner were one of seven awardee teaching teams or teachers selected from 81 initial applications representing 31 states. From the 16 finalists, seven winning projects were chosen.

“A national search for innovation in education revealed a significant appetite for student-led education programs,” said Dave Ferrero, Senior Program Officer for Education at Vulcan Inc., a Paul G. Allen company. “We believe that recognizing and supporting innovative teachers and their programs will create hands-on, real-world opportunities for student that are replicable models of success.”

The ADE program was established in 2014 with an inaugural class of seven ADEs who continue to support the program as ambassadors, sharing their experience to inspire experiential learning in classrooms across the country. Founded by Seattle-based philanthropist Paul G. Allen, the program focuses on the integration of computer science, engineering and entrepreneurship into engaging, student-led learning. This type of curriculum can help students build skills, habits and dispositions that can transform their lives and lead them to success in the 21st century.

Bartlo and Nohner believe in the power of encouragement. Rather than lecturing students on courses and assigning exercises, they facilitate student access to the information they need to complete projects through online videos and artifacts. Progress is made at the student’s pace, and is comparable to the type of process-based learning found in a computer programming lab. Students develop apps, which have been put to use by local businesses, and games, which they have used to enter national competitions.

“It takes support from a tremendous variety of people to create a successful program and this award acknowledges all of that effort,” said Bartlo. “Energizing the community is the key to building and supporting more programs. We hope that we can use the goodwill this award generates to create more opportunities for all students to engage in computer science.”

At a SXSWedu reception, awards were also given to the following teachers:   To see more about each winner’s project and the resources available through the ADE program, visit our website.
About Vulcan, Inc.
Vulcan Inc. creates and advances a variety of world-class endeavors and high-impact initiatives that change and improve the way people live, learn, do business and experience the world. Founded in 1986 by investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, Vulcan oversees various business and charitable projects including real estate holdings, investments in dozens of companies, including the Seattle Seahawks NFL, Seattle Sounders FC Major League Soccer, and Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchises, First & Goal Inc., the Seattle Cinerama theatre, Experience Music Project, the Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Allen Institute for Cell Science and The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. For more information, visit
For more information, contact Janet Greenlee, director of philanthropic communications;; 206-342-2352