Instructional Innovation through Interoperability Leadership Advisory Council (I3LC)


Mission: The mission of the IMS Instructional Innovation through Interoperability Leadership Council (I3LC) is to enable effective collaboration among school district and state leaders who are creating and implementing technology integration strategies that enable continuous improvement in instruction and personalized learning.  The I3LC will lead the adoption of open instructional technology interoperability standards for curriculum, assessment, and all aspects of instructional improvement for the benefit of school districts & states working to put in place a new generation of IT infrastructure.

I3LC Organization & Process: The I3LC are led by an Advisory Board of 10-20 district or state officials who set the agenda for the council. The I3LC Advisory Board members meet four times a year, including at least one face-to-face meeting. The advisory board provides leadership in terms of outreach to the wider I3LC. Participants in the advisory board are appointed by IMS based upon their interest and commitment in leading the I3LC. Members will rotate off the advisory board periodically. For more information on the I3LC, please visit:

Members of the I3LC Advisory Council

Marty Bray, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Forsyth County School System, GA
Leo Brehm, Chief Information Officer, Newton Public Schools, MA
Steve Buettner, Director of Media and Technology, Edina Public Schools, MN
John Connolly, Technology Education Director, Chicago Public Schools, IL
Hal Friedlander, Chief Information Officer, Academic Solutions, New York City Public Schools, NY
Robert J. Gravina, Chief Information Officer, Poway Unified School District, CA
Joe Griffin, Chief Technology Officer, Keller ISD, TX
D. Patches Hill, Technology Systems Manager, Indian River School District, DE
Tom Ingram, Director of Information Technology, Escambia County School District
Tricia Kennedy, Executive Director of eCLASS Transformation, Gwinnett County Public Schools, GA
Kurt Kiefer, Assistant State Superintendent for the Division of Libraries and Technology, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Barbara Nesbitt, Early Childhood, Elementary, and Instructional Technology Coordinator, School District of Pickens County, SC
George Perreault, Director, Instructional Technology & Library Media, Orange County Public Schools, FL
Serena Sacks, CIO, Fulton County Schools, GA
Lenny Schad, Chief Technology Information Officer, Houston Independent School District

Leo BrehmMarty Bray, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Forsyth County School System, GA

Dr. Lessell Martiny (Marty) Bray is the Chief Technology and Information Officer for the Forsyth County School System.  Prior to his work in Forsyth County, Dr. Bray was a professor at the University of West Georgia, California State University Fullerton, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.   Combined with his experience in North Carolina, he has a total of 25 years of experience in a number of educational settings.  He has a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University and educational degrees from Appalachian State University.  Dr. Bray is the author/co-author of several books, book chapters, and journal articles on the uses of technology in education especially as it relates to issues of diversity.

Leo BrehmLeo Brehm, Chief Information Officer, Newton Public Schools, MA

Leo currently is the Chief Information Officer for the Newton Public Schools in Newton, Massachusetts. He is responsible for district-wide technology operations, instructional technology and library media. He is past president and current treasurer of the Massachusetts Computer Using Educators (MassCUE). He has a B.A. in Media and Public Relations and an Ed.M. in Instructional Technology. He is currently working on a Ed.D in Education Leadership from Northeastern University. His current passions include the interoperability of educational resources that will allow technology to more effectively empower learning for the entire learning community.


Steve BuettnerSteve Buettner, Director of Media and Technology, Edina Public Schools, MN

Steve is the Director of Media and Technology, Edina Public Schools.  In this position he is responsible for the application of technology to achieve the organizations larger mission and vision.

Prior to coming to Edina Public schools he has held various technology related positions in educational organizations.

Steve began working with education and technology when he co created the award winning online Internet project called MayaQuest. MayaQuest used technology to communicate with over 26,000 classroom around the world on the subject of the ancient Maya civilization.

Steve has a Masters degree in Educational Leadership as well as a degree in Economics and Spanish from the University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul MN.

Steve is married and has one daughter and lives in Saint Paul Minnesota.  He still enjoys biking and getting out in nature.


John Connolly, Technology Education Director, Chicago Public Schools, IL

John Connolly serves as the Technology Education Director for the Chicago Public Schools.  In his role, he manages and coordinates the instructional technology initiatives for the third largest district in the US. This includes technology integration programs such as the nationally known iPad implementation, innovative technologies, digital media, video conferencing, professional development, online learning, Internet safety, and grant opportunities.  His passion and innovation for using technology to transform teaching and learning has been recognized by the US DOE.

He has 11 years experience with enterprise wide technology solutions and served as a consultant for Cleveland, Columbus, and Wichita school districts prior to joining CPS.  John has played a key role for CPS in the roll out of the Curriculum & Instructional Management system and the use of data to inform instruction.  He has been instrumental with the loading of digital reading content for all teachers at CPS.  His innovations and organization of the digital content have proved to be major achievements for the development of 21st century skills in the district.   John is an avid sports fan and enjoys outdoor activities.


Robert J. GravinaRobert J. Gravina, Chief Information Officer, Poway Unified School District, CA

Robert J. Gravina serves as the Chief Information and Technology Officer for the Poway Unified School District, a nationally acclaimed technology leader in the education field, located 20 miles north of San Diego; Ca. The Poway School District encompasses 35,000 students covering 41 sites, over a hundred square mile radius. Mr. Gravina is responsible for 12,000 computers, a server farm with over 250 servers and a user base in excess of 100,000.  Prior to becoming the CITO Mr. Gravina was the Director of Technology for Poway. Before that he was an educational leader at the middle and high school level and has taught several university graduate level courses. He holds a bachelors degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from the University of San Diego. Mr. Gravina is a published author, including articles on new wireless technologies for school districts and implementing a sustainable refresh plan. He is a well known speaker and presenter at several state and national conferences. He created the first Home Computer distribution program for low income students in California and one of the first computer refresh programs in the Nation. In 2010 he was awarded, the IT Executive of the Year for San Diego County by the San Diego Business Journal and recently was named one of the top 50 Innovators in Education by the Center for Digital Education. Mr. Gravina is a member of the state’s Emerging Technologies Council and is an appointee to the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access. He is also a member of the San Diego County Superintendent’s Technology Advisory Committee, the Cisco Executive Advisory Council and serves on various other State and National committees and advisory groups.


Joe GriffinJoe Griffin, Chief Technology Officer, Keller ISD, TX

Joe Griffin is the Chief Technology Officer for the Keller Independent School District, Keller TX.   Joe began his career as a classroom teacher and has also served as a campus and district administrator. In his role, Joe is responsible for the instructional and administrative technologies in the district with an emphasis on mobile technologies and personalized learning. He has been involved in piloting various one-to one- initiatives, including the use of hand-held and mobile technologies to increase student engagement and learning.  Mr. Griffin is a member in the Texas Computer Education Association and Consortium of School Networking.  


Patches HIllD. Patches Hill, Technology Systems Manager, Indian River School District, DE

Patches came to K12 from the private sector having been a Senior Level IT Consultant with one of the worlds largest consulting companies for the first part of his career.  Patches' past experiences range from IT performance testing to an in depth knowledge of performance analysis, capacity planning and IT financial management.  Most recently his interest and experiences have taking him toward enterprise IT architecture and its support of mobile and virtual learning as he has been focused on helping prepare one of Delaware's largest school districts for 21st Century learning.  

Patches holds a BS in Business Administration (Management Information Systems) and an MBA from East Carolina University.  While not at work Patches enjoys spending time with his family and volunteering for his church. 


Tom IngramTom Ingram, Director Information Technology, Escambia County Schools, FL

Tom Ingram is the Director of Information Technology for the Escambia County School District in Pensacola, Florida. He has experience as a classroom teacher, a technology professional developer, and an educational administrator. Tom is responsible for instructional and administrative technology in a district serving approximately 40,000 students and 6,000 employees. His current professional interests include implementation of a local instructional improvement system as a tool for teachers to plan and deliver instruction, for students to use digital resources and technology tools, and for parents to support their students in the learning process.

Tom is currently the President Elect of the Florida Association of Educational Data Systems and a member of the Florida Council of Instructional Technology Leaders and the Consortium of School Networking. Tom has a B.A. in Latin from Florida State University, a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of West Florida, and is a Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL).


Kurt KieferKurt Kiefer, Assistant State Superintendent for the Division of Libraries and Technology, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Kiefer has served as the Assistant State Superintendent for the Division of Libraries and Technology at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction since September 2010.  The Division oversees all information technology efforts for DPI, provides oversight for instructional technology and library media programs across Wisconsin, and serves as the state library agency.  At DPI, Kiefer serves as the Wisconsin state librarian and the DPI’s Chief Information Officer.  Prior to joining DPI, Kiefer was employed at Madison Metropolitan School District for 16 years where he served as CIO, research and program evaluation coordinator, testing and assessment director, registrar, and student information and data warehouse systems manager. Before joining Madison Schools, Kiefer served as a program evaluation manager and research analyst at Wisconsin Power & Light Company.



Tricia KennedyTricia Kennedy, Executive Director of eCLASS Transformation
Gwinnett County Public Schools, Suwanee, Georgia

Tricia Kennedy is executive director for eCLASS Transformation for Gwinnett County Public Schools.  In this role she facilitates the cross divisional development and implementation of eCLASS, a digital content, learning assessment and support system.  The objective of the eCLASS initiative is to provide all Gwinnett teachers and students with access to digital content and resources that expand the walls of the classroom and engage students in meaningful learning experiences, anytime, anywhere.  Prior to launching eCLASS for the district, Ms. Kennedy served for several years as Gwinnett’s executive director of curriculum and instruction, overseeing the district’s curriculum development and instructional programming.


Barbara NesbittDr. Barbara Nesbitt, Early Childhood, Elementary, and Instructional Technology Coordinator, School District of Pickens County, SC

Dr. Barbara Nesbitt is an educator with 27 years of experience in public school education. Barbara has been a teacher, instructional coach, technology coach, independent consultant and district-level coordinator.  Currently she is the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Instructional Technology Coordinator for the School District of Pickens County in upstate South Carolina.  She earned a B.S. degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, a Masters of Education degree in School Policy Studies at the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership at Clemson University.  Barbara’s passion is to help teachers learn to engage students in critical thinking skills through the use of engaging technologies. 

Barbara has been married for 27 years to Tom Nesbitt, Senior Editor/Producer for TVP Studios in Greenville, South Carolina.  They have three teen-age sons and enjoying reading, hiking, and traveling.


Bailey MitchellGeorge Perreault, Director, Instructional Technology & Library Media, Orange County Public Schools, FL

George Perreault is the Director of Instructional Technology and Library Media for Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida.  He is responsible for managing all of the instructional technology initiatives, Library activities, and instructional materials for the nation's 10th largest school district.  He has served in this capacity for the past 11 years, having been a teacher and a school administrator for the 25 years prior to his current position.  In his role he has worked as an advisor to principals and curriculum staff, and has brought standardization of resources, both hardware and software to the district.

Working closely with professional development staff, he has implemented a school-based technology mentor program, training and equipping school based staff to assist teachers  with effective technology integration strategies.  The district has also implemented a "Cybrarian" program to educate media specialists on the latest digital technologies and web 2.0 resources.  In his role managing instructional materials, he is guiding the district towards the implementation of digital curriculum and its integration with the new Instructional Management System.



Serena SacksSerena Sacks, Chief Information Officer, Fulton County Schools

Serena Sacks has been a leader in IT for more than 25 years. Working for world renowned organizations, such as IBM, Walt Disney World, and Wyndham Worldwide, she is an experienced technology executive consistently successful at IT/Business alignment, strategy execution, and customer service.

Some of Ms. Sacks’ accomplishments include becoming one of the first Certified Solutions Managers, during her tenure with IBM; holding prestigious positions, such as Manager of Financial Systems and IT Strategy Manager, within Walt Disney World; and dramatically improving project delivery, financial benefits, and customer satisfaction within each organization. Ms. Sacks is appreciated for both her strategic vision and concurrent operational excellence and project portfolio delivery.  

After her return to consulting within a boutique firm in 2009, Ms. Sacks accepted the position as Florida Virtual School CIO, where she found her passion for educational technology and transforming education through personalized learning.  Within her three year tenure at FLVS, Ms. Sacks implemented a number of innovative initiatives, while simultaneously saving the institution millions of dollars.

Ms. Sacks recently became the CIO at Fulton County Schools, in Atlanta, where a world-class leadership team has assembled for true educational transformation and personalized learning across one of the country’s largest and most diverse populations.

She holds certifications in Enterprise IT Governance from ISACA, Six Sigma/LEAN Process Excellence, and Professional Project Management and has extensive training in Strategic Execution through the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative. Serena earned her B.A. and M.S. in an accelerated program at SUNY Stony Brook, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.



Lenny SchadLenny Schad, Chief Technology Information Officer, Houston Independent School District

Lenny Schad has been in the technology field for 25 years.  During that time period, his career has taken him into many business sectors where he has established a very successful leadership and management track record.   His range of business sector experience includes hospitality, government, oil & gas, investment banking, and education.  Highlights of his career include managing and leading technology departments for the 1991 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations and the 1992 Republican National Convention, as well as creating and managing technology departments for joint ventures and global organizations.   He is a recognized leader whose innovative and process oriented management styles have led to highly effective Information Technology departments.
For the past 11 years, Mr. Schad has worked in the K-12 Education space and is currently CTIO for the nation’s 7th largest school district, Houston ISD.  His recognitions include:

  • National School Board Association's "20 to Watch" educators for 2008
  • The Consortium of School Networking (CoSN) Volunteer Hall of Fame
  • CoSN 2011 National School District Team Award
  • CIO Leadership Forum “2011 Next Level Leadership Award”
  • CoSN 2013 Withrow Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Award Honorable Mention

Mr. Schad’s first book, Bring Your Own Learning: Transform Instruction with any Device, is scheduled to be published in February.