Cheryl Alcaya, Minnesota Department of Education, Division of Research & Assessment
Cheryl Alcaya is a member of the Minnesota Department of Education, Division of Research & Assessment. The Statewide Testing division is responsible for: 1) measuring student performance on Minnesota’s Academic Standards and the WIDA English language development standards; 2) measuring the academic progress of students over time; and 3) providing Minnesota graduates a score related to career and college readiness.
Dwayne Alton, Director of Infrastructure Services, School District of Lee County, Florida
Dwayne Alton is the Executive Director of Infrastructure Services / Information Systems for Lee County Public Schools, currently the 37th largest school district in the US. He holds over twenty years of experience in K-12 IT, with expertise in infrastructure management, technical support service management, instructional technology, and multi-vendor system integration. Dwayne also currently serves on technology advisory boards for Dell and Google.
Tina Barrios, Ph.D., Assistant Superintendent of Information Systems and Technology, School Board of Polk County, Florida
Dr. Tina Barrios is Assistant Superintendent of Information Systems and Technology at Polk County School District in Florida. She is responsible for long-term planning and directing of all technological services and activities for the school district. Dr. Barrios spent 17 years as a district administrator and 18 years as a high school science teacher and Instructional Technology Specialist. Earning her Masters in Computer Applications and PhD in Instructional technology while being a classroom teacher affords her a unique perspective on supporting technology for teaching and learning. She has implemented a highly successful 1-2-1 laptop program in addition to bringing in over 8 million dollars in grant funds to support innovative teaching and learning.
Dr. Barrios was recognized as the Tandy Teacher of the Year nominee for Manatee High in 1993 and 1997. In 1996, she was selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator. The 1996, 1998, 2005, 2006 editions of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers counted her among those best representing the field of education. In 2001, she received the Computer World Honors Laureate for her role in creating and directing the “Manatee Life and Times” project. In addition to serving as president of the Florida Council of Instructional Technology Leaders in 2003/04, she also chaired the “Laptops for Learning Task Force” for the state of Florida. In 2004, she was selected as a recipient of the “Making it Happen Award” and has presented at numerous state and national conferences including FETC, NECC, T+L and CoSN.
Emily Bell, Director of Enterprise Applications, Fulton County Schools, Georgia
Emily Bell is the Director of Enterprise Applications for Fulton County Schools in Georgia. Emily is a 20+ year educator who seeks to understand, to plan, and to develop innovative technology strategies for optimal productivity within the district. Emily holds degrees in English Education from Florida State University and Instructional Technology and Education Leadership from Valdosta State University provide the foundation for authentic work experiences in classrooms, online learning environments, and business operations. She is currently working with Fulton County Schools as the Director of Enterprise Applications.
G. Anthony Benners, Ph.D., Senior Director of Assessment Design and Senior Psychometrician, New York City Department of Education
Dr. George Anthony Benners is Senior Director of Assessment Design and Evaluation at the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), where he leads a team of educators and assessment professionals advising on quality of content, psychometrics, and technology supporting new and existing educational assessment programs in New York City public schools. He also serves as Senior Psychometrician for the department where had leads research and adoption of assessment innovations such as engaging scenario-based performance tasks in technology enhanced, computer adaptive, and cognitive diagnostic assessments. Anthony is an active member of the a number of professional associations and participates in regional, state, and national conversations on best practices and latest innovations in educational assessment so that the NYCDOE has the opportunity to design and implement high quality formative and summative assessment systems to support effective teaching and learning, provide NYC educational leaders and teachers actionable information to individualize, differentiate, and personalize classroom instruction and prepare our students for college and careers in the 21st century.
Dr. Benners received his Ph.D. in Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology from Fordham University. Before embarking on a path to higher education, he served in the US Army.
Kyle Berger, Chief Technology Officer, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, Texas
Kyle Berger has over 18 years in K-12 technology leadership spread across districts of various sizes and demographics. Awarded Technology Director of the Year by TCEA in 2009, he has also been featured in several educational technology magazines as well as other published books on Ed Tech. Kyle is known as a transformer of educational technology. His more than 18 years of service is full of vast experiences in one to one deployment, complete district revitalization and overseeing of bond programs, redefining technology in several districts. Currently, he serves as the Chief Technology Officer for Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, a school district of 13,500 students located in North Texas.
Kyle's work in the K-12 standardization process began with then SIF integrations where he oversaw several buildouts of standardized solutions to achieve near seamless data exchange. His work in identity management processing led Kyle to be featured in various publications for decreasing operational overhead while increasing performance. Kyle has been involved with the IMS standards movement since 2016 when the growing need for streamlined digital content integration was crippling his district. With a Digital Day One initiative in place to provide all students in his districts 1 to 1 with access to resources, the commitment to industry standards is a must. Kyle currently is a member of several corporate advisory boards, as well as, a guest speaker for educational technology transformation to corporations and school systems around the country.
Brian Bissell, Board Chair, Colorado Virtual Academy
Colorado Virtual Academy (COVA) is a tuition-free, online public charter school focused on helping students reach their full potential. COVA dedicated to the proposition that all students are created equal and that every student should have the opportunity for a bright future. The school is governed by a nonprofit board of directors.
Brian Blanton, Ph.D., Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services, Henry County Schools, Georgia
Dr. Brian Blanton, is Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services at Henry County Schools in Georgia. Prior to that, Dr. Blanton has served as the Instructional Technology Coordinator. Brian is the president of the board of directors of the Georgia Educational Technology Consortium.The Consortium sponsors the annual Georgia Educational Technology Conference and the Technology Fair, an annual technology competition for students. Each year, the Consortium awards several Innovation Grants to teachers.
Leo Brehm, Learning Evolution Officer, Central Mass Collaborative, Massachusetts
A career school CIO for public schools within Massachusetts, throughout his 21 year career, Leo has supported education in a variety of roles, including a technology support specialist, instructional technology specialist, network administrator, director of technology, and adjunct professor in four districts and a higher education institution. Currently he serves as the Learning Evolution Officer for Central Mass Collaborative providing innovative solutions to forty plus districts and 80-100k students and as the Director of Digital Learning for the Massachusetts Virtual Academy focused on reinventing the virtual program into a personalized experience. In addition he sits on the K12-CTO advisory committee for the IMS Global Learning Consortium, the Board of Directors for The Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning and Creativity, and the Board of Directors for SustainEd. For several years, he served on the MassCUE Board of Directors also serving as president and treasurer. He has a B.A. in Media and Public Relations, an Ed.M. in Instructional Technology and is working on an Ed.D in Education Leadership from Northeastern University. He is passionate and dedicated to the advancement of learning through a schooling model that is both student-centered and personalized.
Billy Buchanan, Director of Data, Research & Accountability, Fayette County Public Schools, Kentucky
Dr. William Buchanan is the Director of the Office of Data, Research, and Accountability at Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS), the second largest school district in the Commonwealth of Kentucky (approximately 42,000 students and growing). He and his team lead the district's on-going efforts to integrate data assets across the enterprise into a robust enterprise class data warehouse and integrated business intelligence solution, provide psychometric support to the district, and lead the district's program evaluation, machine learning, and predictive analytics efforts. Prior to FCPS, Dr Buchanan worked as a Data Scientist at Minneapolis Public Schools, a Strategic Data Project Data Fellow at the Mississippi Department of Education (where he programmed the state's school and district accountability system), and statistical methodology consultant.
Dr Buchanan is also a regular presenter at the North American Stata User's Group annual conferences, an avid open-source contributor, and a regular presenter on topics related to data visualization, programming practies, and data analysis at workshops and annual convenings of the Strategic Data Project, part of the Center for Education Policy Research at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr Buchanan holds a PhD in K-12 Educational Leadership from TUI University, an AM in Urban Education Policy from Brown University, an MAEd in Teaching and Instruction from TUI University, and a BM in Jazz Composition from the Berklee College of Music. Dr Buchanan is also a combat veteran who served in the 1st Armored Division Band and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he premiered original compositions for the first lady of Iraq.
Steve Buettner, Director of Media and Technology, Edina Public Schools, Minnesota
Steve Buettner is the Director of Media and Technology for Edina Public Schools (MN). His department supports school, District Office and Community Education staff in the operation and use of technology. The department works closely with staff development and the Teaching and Learning staff to provide the hardware and software needed to implement the K-12 curriculum.
Michael Cicchetti, Director of Technology Services & Innovation, Volusia County Schools, Florida
A graduate of both the University of Hartford and Stetson University, my path to being appointed Director of Technology Services & Innovation for Volusia County Schools has been unique. My ten years with Volusia County Schools began as an Art instructor, quickly transitioning to teaching in the Career and Technical Education field, and lastly joining the district in the Learning Technologies division of TS&I. Though my path would appear to be haphazard, it was in fact necessary in developing my conceptual approach to the academic value technology offers. A continued goal of my department is to provide insight into the importance of standardization around digital tools marketed for academic value. In 2015, Volusia County Schools signed the Future Ready Pledge and has continued to move towards purposeful technology integration to benefit both academic and business functionality. With the plethora of hardware devices and software solutions available within VCS, Technology Services & Innovation designs, delivers, and sustains professional learning opportunities for all VCS staff and students.
Dale Cornelius, Program Manager, Online Testing, Maryland State Department of Education
James “Dale” Cornelius chairs a number of national assessment technology groups, most recently IMS Global’s State Assessment Innovation Leadership Network. In Maryland, he oversees an online testing ecosystem that supports five online testing platforms. Before Maryland, at Oakland Unified in California, he developed the district's first web-based diagnostic and summative assessment system. Previous to Oakland, at Edusoft, an assessment startup in San Francisco acquired by Houghton Mifflin, he oversaw data integration efforts for school districts across the United States. Earlier in his career, at McKinsey & Company, he supported management consulting efforts in the areas of corporate communications and technology. Dale began his career teaching in San Francisco, first middle school English and, later, high school technology. He holds two degrees in English, a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a master’s degree from Middlebury College, in Vermont.
Jason Corosanite, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, String Theory Schools, Pennsylvania
String Theory Schools offer a comprehensive educational program that emphasizes equally academic and artistic excellence. Utilizing the arts as a catalyst, String Theory Schools harness the most innovative teaching and learning techniques, to serve as a model for education and to prepare students for success.
Maurice Draggon, Director of the Instructional Management System, Orange County Public Schools , Florida
Maurice Draggon is Director of the Instructional Management System for Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) in Orlando, Florida. Maurice's role includes coordinating the preparation and delivery of unit plans and accompanying digital objects to all teachers. Maurice also facilitates the ingesting and vetting of Learning Tools Interoperability cartridges between publishers and the district's digital learning platform. Before becoming a Director, Maurice served for three years as an Administrator of Instructional Design, helping to plan and launch the Digital One to One Initiative in the district. Maurice also taught first grade sheltered instruction for eight years at a local elementary school.
Mike Evans, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia
Mike Evans has served in a variety of areas within the Forsyth County School System to help prepare him for his current role of Chief Technology and Information Officer. As CTIO, Mike’s role is to work closely with the Teaching and Learning department as well as the schools to ensure the district can meet the needs of every student. Mike’s department consists of Instructional Technology, Technology Services, and Student Information Systems. The collaboration between these areas along with others in the district allows for the emphasis to be on instruction, rather than technology.
Mike’s previous experience in Forsyth County Schools includes several years as Director of Information Systems, Project Director for the five year Investing in Innovation (i3) federal grant awarded to Forsyth County Schools by the US Department of Education, district level Instructional Technology Specialist, school Instructional Technology Specialist and classroom teacher. Prior to his move to Georgia, Mike worked in Orlando, FL as a school-based Technology Coordinator and taught at the elementary school level.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida in Hospitality Management, a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida in Elementary Education, and a master’s degree in Educational Technology from Lesley University.
Jim Farmer, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Fayette County Public Schools, Georgia
Jim Farmer is the Chief Technology and Information Officer for Fayette County Public Schools in Georgia. His department's strategic direction is to apply information technology in each school and county office department, to improve the effectiveness and quality of instruction as well as increase the efficiency of administrative operations.
Mike Flanagan, Chief Product Officer, Mastery Transcript Consortium
As Chief Product Officer, Mike leads design and development efforts for the Mastery Transcript Consortium. Prior to MTC, he was CEO of School and Student Services by NAIS—a cloud-based financial aid management solution used by over 2,000 K-12 schools and non profits to assess aid applications from 150,000+ families every year. He was also co-founder and EVP of Client Services at Intrepid Learning Solutions, a provider of corporate learning technology services to global 2000 clients. Mike has a BA in English from Yale University, and an MA in English from the University of Washington, and early in his career taught high school English.
Ryan Gravette, Director of Information and Technology, Idaho Digital Learning Academy
Ryan Gravette is the Director of Information and Technology at the Idaho Digital Learning Academy. Ryan has been with Idaho Digital Learning Academy for six years and has worked to develop the systems and support infrastructure that make online learning possible. Prior to his work at Idaho Digital Learning Academy, Ryan worked in Idaho and California school districts supporting and leading Information Technology in brick and mortar classrooms. Ryan received the 2011 Presidential Award for outstanding support for technology from the Idaho Educational Technology Association and takes pride in supporting students across the state. Besides a passion for technology and programming, Ryan has a BS in Psychology from Westmont College and loves telling bad Technology/Psychology jokes about his motherboard.
Joe Griffin, Chief Technology Officer, Keller ISD, Texas
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.
Scott Gutowski, Chief Information and Technology Officer, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pennsylvania
Scott provides strategic and tactical direction to Pittsburgh Public Schools in the areas of Technology, Infrastructure and Innovation Developments, Strategic Planning, Data/Analytics Capabilities and Information Governance. His team focuses on ensuring that all IT investments, capabilities and evolving opportunities support the District's mission and strategic plan. As a direct report to the Superintendent of schools, Scott leads the information technology management team – overseeing staff responsible for Application Support and Operations, Analytic/Reporting Development, Network Operations, Web and Media Production, Field Support and Project Implementation. He is also responsible for working closely with the strong technology community within the Pittsburgh region as an active member of the Pittsburgh Technology Council and Remake Learning regional networks.
Scott began his career working as an elementary school teacher with teaching experiences in Ireland, Poland, and Arizona where he worked for several years as a technical coordinator where he secured significant technical funding to help build their technical programs throughout the reservation. Scott left education to pursue an opportunity in technical training and corporate consulting - working for Apple and through the Apple Consultants Network in New York, Baltimore and Washington DC. After 6 years of private sector work, Scott felt his calling of education drawing him back. Having worked alongside Apple for many years, Scott helped build a one-to-one laptop school in the Bahamas. There he spent 3 years starting a technical program from scratch in an International Baccalaureate program (PYP, MYP and IB). After completing his visa-sponsored work there, his move back to the United States brought him back to Pennsylvania and into Pittsburgh Public Schools where he has been since 2009. Scott holds a B.S in Elementary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has worked on a Masters in Educational Technology from the Northern Arizona University and holds a certificate of completion from Boston University’s Chief Information Officer Pocket MBA program.
Erik Hanson, Dean of Digital Learning, Wisconsin eSchool Network
Erik is now in his 19th year as an educator & is in his 3rd year as the Dean of Digital Learning after being the Program Leader for online learning the past 7 years. Prior to working in Appleton, Erik was one of the 1st math teachers to write digital curriculum & teach math online at Edina Public Schools, MN.
In addition to being the Dean of Digital Learning for the Appleton Area School District, Erik is a Board Member of the Wisconsin eSchool Network, Inc. In that role, Erik is the Chair of the Emerging Technologies Committee, and President of the Wisconsin eSchool Network, Inc.
Along with being involved on many committees throughout Appleton & Wisconsin, Erik has presented at and attended numerous conferences and symposiums focused around online, digital and blended learning. Some of the notable conferences/venues include: iNACOL Online and Blended Learning Symposium, Blended Learning Live!, The Learning Counsel, IMS Global Learning Impact Leadership Institute, UW-Madison Distance Learning, WI Charter School Conference, DPI Mandatory Reporting, Evergreen Consulting/Gates Foundation, Innovative Schools Network and Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative.
Erik holds an AA Degree, BA in Education, Masters in Teaching & Learning and a Specialist degree in Education Administration.
Scott Harris, Director of Technology, Neosho School District, Missouri
Scott Harris has been a technology director for the last 21 years which, oddly enough, mirrors the eRate program. He served in the Miami, OK Independent School District for the first 13 years where he was responsible for building out their entire network from scratch and helping them to automate and improve their systems including adopting PowerSchool SIS back in 2002. He currently is serving the Neosho, MO School District where they have been aggressively pursuing "1 to 1" for the past 4 years and hope to have that established K-12 by the end of next year. The district's next 'large goal' is to unify and fully embrace electronic curriculum, open electronic resources, SSO and OneRoster. It's always an adventure and NEVER boring!
D. Patches Hill, Director & CIO, Delaware Department of Education
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. His interest and experiences took him toward enterprise IT architecture and its support of mobile and virtual learning as he served as Technology Systems Manager for a Delaware school district. Most recently he has moved into the role of Director and Chief Information Officer for the Delaware Department of Education where he looks forward to being able to build an interoperable digital ecosystem for the entire state.
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.
Tony Hunter, Chief Information Officer, Broward County Schools, Florida
Mr. Hunter has more than thirty years of experience in Information & Technology. During his career, he has served in State Government as the Information System’s Chief for the Florida Legislature; in the private sector as the Director, Data Communications North America for Eka Chemicals and in education as the Executive Director, Information Technology for DeKalb County Public Schools just prior to joining Broward County Schools where he currently serves at the Chief Information Officer for the sixth largest school district in the country. Mr. Hunter holds a B.S. Degree in Information & Technology with a concentration in Data Communications as well as multiple industry certifications.
Tom Ingram, Director Information Technology, Escambia County Schools, Florida
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).
Tricia Kennedy, Executive Director of Instructional Development and Support, Gwinnett County Public Schools, 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.
Kurt 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.
Gordon Knopp, Director of Technology (CIO), Laramie County School District, Wyoming
Gordon Knopp, Director of Technology (CIO) in Laramie County School District 1 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Gordon, as a member of the District ‘Senior Leadership Team’, leads technology services such as voice, video, and data infrastructure, devices, and networking; instructional technology, and staff development. Our most recent success in the integration of technology into the classroom via an “observational” or “lab classroom” approach.Current projects include: moving from Windows 7 & 8.1 to Windows 10, enhancing our Office 365 implementation, and adding more tablets for student use on one note with digital ink. During 15 plus years in IT Gordon is experienced in implementing and upgrading solutions for ITIL based service management, ERP, SIS, website, LMS, and OS, infrastructure, devices, networks, school facility construction and renovation, and related practices, policies, and procedures. As an educator, Gordon has taught at the High School and College levels, developed local and State curricula and assessments. Developing an honors sequence program
John Krull, Chief Information Officer, Seattle Public Schools
John Krull is Chief Information Officer at Seattle Public Schools in Washington. He joined SPS with a powerful technology, business and teaching foundation. He began as a teacher and has 13 years of classroom experience. John then moved to being an adjunct professor of education technology and then to Microsoft in systems engineering and enterprise data work. He then went on to increasingly challenging leadership roles including his most recent experience as chief technology officer for the Oakland Unified School District.
Raymundo Lopez, Manager of Applications, Spring Branch Independent School District, Texas
Raymundo Lopez worked for YES Prep Schools as the director of software development prior to becoming the Manager of Applications for Spring Branch ISD and he has over 10 years experience as a software developer and technical consultant.
LaTanya McDade, Chief Officer for Teaching and Learning, Chicago Public Schools, Illinois
Since assuming the role of CPS' Chief Officer for Teaching and Learning (T&L) in 2016, LaTanya D. McDade has prioritized instructional equity and excellence for all CPS students. Mrs. McDade has streamlined work and reduced waste by aligning T&L's programs to district priorities and advocating for the consistent, formal evaluation/ROI assessment of services and supports provided by central office departments. As a veteran educator, she also challenged the efficacy of traditional education models and initiated the PK-12 Curriculum System Project to modernize instructional practices across the district. Mrs. McDade is currently a doctoral candidate at Lewis University. She holds a M.A. in School Leadership and Administration from Loyola University and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Chicago State University. Additionally, Mrs. McDade holds an Illinois Type 75/General Administrative Certificate and a Type 3/K-9 Elementary Certificate. Mrs. McDade is an active member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the Illinois Principals Association (IPA), and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Andrew Moore, Director of Technology, Harford County Schools, Maryland
Andrew Moore is the Director of Technology at Harford County Schools in Maryland. The Technology Services Department focuses on creating an active and dynamic learning environment using cutting-edge, on-demand content and seamless access to digital tools that will inspire all learners.
Barbara Nesbitt, Ph.D., Chair K-12 Institutional Leadership Board and Executive Director of Technology, Pickens County School District, South Carolina
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 Director of Instructional Technology 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.
Wendy Oliver, Senior Learning Architect Officer, ASU Prep Digital, Arizona
ASU Prep Digital is a college prep option where online high school and university courses converge in a unique learning opportunity for all students. This rigorous virtual school program prepares students for acceptance at leading universities and encourages them to explore future college majors and careers in an increasingly interconnected environment.
Wendy started the first state-wide online school in Tennessee and is incredibly passionate about building tech tools that students actually enjoy. She is an avid reader and an even more avid mom to her 5-year-old.
Keith Osburn, Associate Superintendent, Georgia Department of Education - Georgia Virtual School
Keith Osburn, Ed.D., serves as the Associate Superintendent for Georgia Virtual Learning at the Georgia Department of Education. Prior to his appointment Dr. Osburn served as the Chief Information Officer for a small, rural school district in south Georgia. While in that position he led the district's technology integration plan to acquire learning technologies to help usher in digital learning in the district. Specifically, he worked to implement many of the IMS Global standards, especially the OneRoster standard to streamline rostering of applications for student and staff use. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Association of Managers of Educational Information Systems (GAMEIS). Keith received his doctorate and undergraduate degrees from Valdosta State University and master's degree from Georgia Southern University.
Daniel Ralyea, Director of Research & Data Analysis, South Carolina Department of Education
Daniel Ralyea, Director of the Office of Research and Data Analysis at the South Carolina Department of Education, works with a broad network of decision makers to make the most of his state’s educational data. With nearly 750,000 K-12 students in the system, trying to deliver the best results for these students requires a strong team that can discover, share and make decisions from available data.
Darlene Rankin, Co-Chair K-12 Institutional Leadership Board and Instructional Technology Director, Katy Independent School District , Texas
Darlene Rankin has been an educator for the past 24 years and has been fortunate to take a lead in 2009 to provide a public, filtered Wi-Fi for Katy ISD students to bring their own device for learning. Other major initiatives include deploying Google Drive, Office 365, MyKaty Cloud, Student Learning Platform, Digital Divide Devices for check out and has devoted time and energy to ensure textbooks and all digital resources are integrated and accessed with ease for all learners within Katy ISD.
Darlene was named by NSBA “Top 20 to Watch Educators” in 2011. She is passionate about Digital Responsibility, the whole child, and ensuring students are connected outside of school.
Charles Ruggiero, Technology Systems Manager, Indian River School District, Delaware
Charles Ruggiero came into the role of Technology Systems Manager at Indian River School District in 2017 after working in the district for several years as a Systems Administrator. Having previously worked in the private sector as an application developer, Charley has created several open source and in-house software initiatives to cut costs and decrease dependence on outside contractors. When not at work he enjoys time with his family, hiking and travel.
Holly Sagues, Executive Director, Governmental Affairs and Strategic Solutions, Florida Virtual School
As the Executive Director, Governmental Affairs and Strategic Solutions, Holly Sagues collaborates with relevant internal and external stakeholders to help shape, manage, and lead advocacy strategies for influencing the policies of virtual learning and FLVS. She was imperative in reversing policies that restricted some Florida students access to virtual education during the 2017 Florida legislative session.
Holly began her career in Orange County Public Schools in 1990 as an instructor, teaching students in middle and high school. In 1998, Holly joined the FLVS team as an instructor and online course developer. She drew upon her extensive prior experience as a business and computer science instructor to develop and teach the first FLVS business course, which incorporated the most up-to-date technologies. From 2001-2008, Holly served as the FLVS CIO responsible for managing all FLVS communications and information systems, managing all technical aspects of course delivery, and directing the activities of the IT Department. During this period, she led the scalability of FLVS IT systems from 10,000 enrollments to more than 100,000 enrollments.
Holly earned her Master of Arts degree in Vocational Education and Technical Training, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Central Florida.
Kristy Sailors, Ph.D., Director of Education Technology, Houston Independent School District, Texas
Dr. Kristy Sailors is the Director of Education Technology at Houston Independent School District in Texas. In her current position as the Director of Educational Technology, a portion of Dr Sailors’ work focuses on evaluating technologies that support classroom instruction; designing, conducting and coordinating professional development, planning, budgeting, and organizing technology projects. She has experience with curriculum development, technology purchases, installations and project management. As the Director of Educational Technology, she is responsible for the district’s iPad initiative and technology strategic planning. She leads a team of educators to provide supports and resources for instructional implementation.
Vince Scheivert, Assistant Superintendent of Digital Innovation, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia
Vince Scheivert is the Assistant Superintendent of Digital Innovation for Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia. Loudoun County is in the greater Washington DC Metro area. The department Mr. Scheivert provides leadership for consists of three divisions with a staff of 130 members. The Department of Digital Innovation supports a school division of 90 schools, over 80,000 students and 11,000 plus employees. He provides leadership in the development and implementation of digital innovation initiatives to ensure a meaningful, effective and secure use of technology throughout Loudoun County Public Schools. One of those initiatives include the rollout of individual learning devices (1:1) for all students providing an individualized learning experience. Mr. Scheivert is also heading up a fiber optic construction project to increase connectivity between school sites within Loudoun County. This equips students and staff alike with the necessary tools to interact with each other, other school divisions, and the world at large.
An active participant at the national level, through such organizations as Digital Promise, the Alliance for Excellent Education, The Consortium of School Networking, The International Society for Technology and at the Virginia Society for Technology in Education. In 2015, CoSN recognized him with its National CTO of the Year award. Prior to joining Loudoun County Public Schools, Mr. Scheivert led school district technology implementation programs in Pennsylvania and Virginia. He is a graduate of Temple University and earned his master's degree from George Washington University.
Pietro Semifero, Online Assessment Manager, Michigan Department of Education
Pietro Semifero is the Online Assessment Manager for the Michigan Department of Education. This role focuses on building technical collaborations across organizational divisions and with external partners and vendors. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Michigan. His fifteen years of public service include traffic safety, criminal records, and academic assessment.
John Simon, Director of Technology and Information Services, Pasco County Schools, Florida
John Simon leads the Technology and Information Services team for Pasco County Schools in Florida. He is responsible for Management Information Systems, desktop hardware and software support, network services, including telecommunications, and support of all electronic devices. He is Co-leader of the Power On Pasco technology innovation team that drives technology in the classrooms. Mr. Simon has 24 years in K12 school business operations, including both Technology and Finance. His experience spans many K12 institutions of varying sizes, ranging from very small to Pasco County Schools which is currently the 50st largest school district in the United States by enrollment.
John has a B.S. in Computer Science from Penn State University and an MBA from Youngstown State University.
Rod Smith, Chief Technology Officer, Clayton County Public Schools, Georgia
Rod Smith brings a unique blend of experience and skills, both technical and instructional. He currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer for Clayton County Public Schools, the 5th largest school district in the Atlanta metro area which serves 54,000 students. Rod previously held positions as a Technology Teacher, Instructional Technology Trainer, and Instructional Technology Coordinator. He is a Cisco Certified Network Engineer. Rod holds a Bachelor's degree in Technology Education from Virginia State University and a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology from Georgia Southern University.
Derrick Unruh, Director of Technology, Park Hill School District, Missouri
Derrick Unruh is Director of Technology at Park Hill School District in Missouri. The Park Hill Department of Technology provides instructional and business technology resources and support to district students, staff and parents. The resources and support are provided to enhance student learning in a globally connected world, increase productivity through the use of innovative solutions, augment safety through the use of video and access security, and enhance communication through voice, email and other communication networks.
Robert Westall, Deputy Chief Information Officer, School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Robert Westall is Deputy Chief Information Officer at the School District of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. Bob has led the Technology Services Division to empower all students, teachers and administrators with the technological tools, infrastructure and services to facilitate 21st century learning through digitally-enhanced classrooms, electronic curriculum, worldwide information access, parental and community connectivity and efficient support operations. He believes a successful academic technology environment must be embedded, pervasive and transparent, enabling the educational process and redefining the paradigm for classroom instruction.