Alabama is making great strides in education! Through the Alabama ACCESS Distance Learning Initiative, all high schoolers are able to access courses via video conferencing that were once not available. In the recent press release, Mr. Reggie Smith III, President, USDLA Board of Directors and chair of the awards committee, noted that, “The work of Governor Bob Riley and his Alabama ACCESS Distance Learning Initiative team demonstrates and confirms the transformative power of distance learning”.” In addition to accolades Governor Riley was honored with the nation’s highest distance learning award for 2010, by the United States Distance Learning Association. Governor Riley is expected to be recognized with his award at the upcoming USDLA 2010 National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on May 4, 2010. He commented “I’m truly honored to receive this award. In my state, every high school now offers distance learning classes. That has leveled the playing field for our students in a way no other education program ever has before. Now, no matter if they live in an urban, suburban or rural community, our students have access to classes they otherwise would not. It’s broadened their horizons and opened up a whole new world of learning opportunity for our students in Alabama”. That’s what distance learning is all about – availability and accessibility. What an outstanding example!