The CONI Awards

As you may know, Discovery Education employees tasked with creating local communities within the Discovery Educator Network (your local Field Managers) are located throughout the country.  Unlike many jobs in which employees travel to an office every day, these dedicated educators work tireless hours from their homes.  While this can certainly have its benefits, it can also, at times, make one feel a bit disconnected.

A few weeks ago, while I was out to dinner with Katherine Aiken, the Midwest Regional Manager, and Michelle Weeks, the Field Manager for North Texas and Oklahoma, we discussed being part of a remote team.  We talked about how, when working in an office, every month or so we would get together after work for dinner, drinks, etc.  After finishing my buffalo steak (a first for me), Michelle had a brainstorm, a virtual gathering attempting to create this social experience in a dispersed environment.  Therefore, last Friday we held our first DEN Mocktail Hour.

For our first DEN Mocktail Hour, I had the honor of hosting the first ever…drumroll please…

Capturing Our Networks Imagination Awards (AKA the CONI Awards)

To enter, each Field Manager sent me their best DEN-related photos to share with the group.  As a group, we viewed and selected winners in the following categories.

  • Picture that best exemplifies the DEN ~ Happy Kids submitted by Kristin Furdak
  • Best picture of a DEN employee ~ Weight of the World submitted by Steve Dembo
  • The funniest photograph that includes an animal, puppet or other crazy prop ~ Are you My Mommy submitted Lance Rougeux
  • The most embarrassing photograph of a DEN employee or DEN member ~ Whalen Close-up submitted by Jannita Demian

We had a great time and I am pleased to share with you the winners for which we have photo releases.Are_you_my_mommy Weight_of_the_world Whalen_closeup


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  1. Betsy Whalen said:

    ohhh – you know me…how I love to push the teachers out of the way to make sure I get my close up;)

    Charming picture, isn’t it?!

  2. Carrie Strasburger said:

    DEN VA/WVA; MD; PA; DC recently were together at the Orioles and Nationals Baseball game and what a HOME RUN EVENT IT WAS!!!! Many of us from Arlington, VA joined DEN friends from Harrisonburg, VA; Fredericksburg, VA and places further north! We are counting down the days to we are together again at Valley Forge!! Lance assures us there will be AIR CONDITIONING!!! Watch out Valley Forge–these DEN teachers are ready to charge!!!!!!

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