Frank Erazo named 2017 Innovator of the Year

Frank Erazo, an instructional technologist in Organizational and Staff Development (OSD), was busy making sure that everyone received credit for attending the opening session of Leadership Institute and getting ready for the next session when it dawned on him that his name was being announced and people were applauding for him.

“I was so surprised and am truly honored,” Erazo said. “I enjoy working at Northside. The people I work with are an amazing group of professionals and it is a pleasure to be part of such an outstanding organization.”

Pictured (from left to right) Ed Rawlinson, former NISD Superintendent and award namesake; Frank Erazo, 2017 Innovator of the Year; Cathy Naiser, Northside Education Foundation Board President; and Dr. Brian Woods, NISD Superintendent.

Adding to the surprise announcement was the attendance of his family. His wife, Yvette, Katarina, a 7th grader at Jordan Middle School, and Xavier, a 5th grader at Myers Elementary School all expressed their excitement as he was led off stage for pictures and further congratulations.

“You looked like you had some tears in your eyes when they announced your name,” said Katarina with a huge smile and hug for her dad. “Congratulations.”

Pictured are (left to right) Yvette Erazo, Frank Erazo, Xavier Erazo, and Katarina Erazo.

The Innovator of the Year award is named for former Northside Superintendent Ed Rawlinson, and is presented annually by the Northside Education Foundation (NEF) to a Northside employee whose creative idea improves his or her school or the district, and is ground-breaking, efficient, cost-effective, and timely.

As the Instructional Technologist of OSD, Erazo is responsible for the development, implementation, and support of online training and development services for campus and district staff. The district currently uses The Electronic Registrar Online System (ERO) to track the attendance of NISD employee professional development (PD).  Seeing a need for change in efficiency and to expedite the process of tracking attendance within ERO as well as reduce costs for required materials, Erazo developed the Session Registration System (SRS). SRS is a fully-functional system that consists of a website and database, which exports current sessions from ERO into the SRS website and imports scanned attendance from the SRS database into ERO.

Taking into consideration the time it takes to verify attendance and the errors that occur during the process, Erazo decided that scanning employee badges for attendance would be more efficient.  He was innovative in the discovery of technology readily available on various campuses that would be adapted to be used in the scanning process.

He was able to code library scanners to enable them to scan employee badges for identification purposes. The process of scanning employee badges for attendance instead of using scantrons or sign-in sheets would not only save the district money on purchasing scantrons, but it would also cut out the chance of mistakes being made due to human error, as well as reduce manpower hours needed to input the data.

 “In any given year, we offer more than 5,000 PD sessions to employees and each session’s attendance must be verified which can be a lengthy process” says Diana Ely, director of Organizational and Staff Development. “The system that Frank developed has saved the OSD Department hundreds of hours in manpower on processing and verifying attendance.

“Frank’s has an uncanny ability to look at a situation and come up with a process that not only can save the district money but also reduce man hours currently required for verifications,” she added. “His steady vision combined with his creative nature and problem-solving abilities has created this new system to save time, money, and aide in the accuracy of tracking each of our employees’ training.”

The Innovator of the Year award is administered annually by the Northside Education Foundation (NEF) to one of NISD’s 14,000 employees whose creative idea is successfully implemented and can be easily adopted by other schools or for wider use. Nominations are submitted from throughout the District, and a committee from NEF selects a winner from those nominations.

Past winners have included Kelly Garcia, 2016; Jay Sumpter, 2015; Anthony Jarrett, 2014; Landa Rodgers, 2013; Linda Zarakas, 2012; Kerry Haupert, 2011; Robert Harris, 2010; Jonathan Dale, 2009; Dr. Phil Linerode, 2008; Windy Barker, 2007, Debbie Merritt, 2006; Millie Linares, 2005; Jack Funkhouser, 2004; Math Department and Tim Boezinger, 2003; and Irene Alvarez, 2002.