National Ed Tech Star

Hemlock, MI - The Hemlock Public School District superintendent, Dr. Don Killingbeck, is a finalist for the National Ed Tech Star award, which is given to select leaders in the industry that have demonstrated superlative care and dedication to helping students and educators succeed. Many worthwhile members of the education community work hard to improve their organizations and continue their professional development. All-Stars go further. All-Stars selflessly contribute to the ongoing improvement of the education industry. They help make a difference in schools everywhere. 

Killingbeck is the first to say, “this honor is not my own but a reflection of teamwork and the dedication and passion of teachers in the trenches working day in and day out to engage students in meaningful learning.” He also noted, “it’s working with building leaders that are caring and support student success and the leadership in our technology department over the last decade that helps make where we are today all possible.”  

Dr. Don Killingbeck is superintendent of Hemlock Public School District with almost 30 years as an educator. He has made a career in knowing what to do next with instructional technology, championing student experience and learning, focusing on what is best for students, and supporting educators. Killingbeck often deploys an internal proposal system to gather ideas from classroom teachers in the trenches to promote innovative ideas and determine what is scalable across buildings and the district. 

Forethought, capacity building, and a fantastic team of educators led his district to go remote the first day after being sent home during the pandemic. Don is a servant leader focused on making the most of each opportunity. In addition, to being an educational leader, he and his wife of 25+ years are parents to four children; he is a beard judge, a world-class jump roper, and a public speaker. Killingbeck has advanced degrees in educational technology and leadership along with a C.D.L. endorsement.

President Matt Wesener said, “Hemlock continues to be recognized as a leader in educational opportunities.  What a great reflection of our district, employees, and of course well-deserved honor for Don to be a finalist for this award!”

The Board of Education approved a bold new initiative ten years ago to place a mobile computing device in the hands of every student. The leadership team studied best practices and models. It developed a long-term implementation plan that has become the road map for many other schools. Even pre-pandemic others followed the trail that Hemlock Public School District was blazing with 1:1 technology. What now seems like a no-brainer was a big, calculated risk at that time, and it has paid dividends to our students, families, and staff over the years.

 Hemlock Public School District is far from done in the area of technology as they focus on providing the best experience possible to students and staff with thoughtful use of instructional technology. If you should have any questions regarding this or other positive matters, feel free to check out the district website at or give us a call at (989) 642-5282.