FAIRMONT — In mid-November, John Trout traveled to Washington, D.C., where he was one of 100 school superintendents honored at a White House ceremony for his leadership in advancing digital leadership.

It's an event he'll never forget.

"I was about 4 feet from the president of the United States that day," Trout recalled in recent interviews. "It was pretty incredible."

The event was organized as part of the Obama Administration's ConnectED Initiative, a plan unveiled in June 2013 to connect 99 percent of America's students to the Internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless service with five years.

“We are living in a digital age, and to help our students get ahead, we must make sure they have access to cutting-edge technology,” President Barack Obama said at the time.

The federal program was announced about the time Madison-Grant school officials were laying the groundwork for the district's advanced digital learning initiative.

Trout was one of seven Indiana school superintendents who traveled to Washington in November.

"The entire state has been viewed favorably as far as digital learning is concerned," Trout said. "To be selected was humbling. It was just an incredible moment."

Trout said he was thrilled about having the opportunity to represent Madison-Grant students, teachers and technology staff.

"I find it really difficult to put words around the entire experience," he said.

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Native of Maryland who moved to Indiana 20 years ago. I've covered every news beat imaginable over a long career as an editor and reporter. I am currently the courts reporter for The Herald Bulletin.