Tina Barrios, Ph.D., Assistant Superintendent of Information Systems and Technology, School Board of Polk County
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.
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, Duncanville ISD, Texas
Returning to his hometown, Kyle Berger was named the Chief Technology Officer for Duncanville ISD in January 2014. Kyle, a 1995 graduate of Duncanville High School, is excited to be able to give back to the students who sit where he once sat. “This is home, and coming back to help make an impact on the education of those in this community is very special to me. Walking these same halls and giving the students of Duncanville the opportunities I had, and the access to technology to lead them to a future of endless possibilities, is what drives me each day. I am proud to be back in the City of Champions, and more importantly, to be a Panther once again.”
Under Kyle’s leadership, Duncanville ISD and the technology department are preparing for new and exciting projects. “I am working on a lot of plans for ways to bridge the gap between the way our students live and the way they learn each day. Our plan is to increase technology integration into all our classrooms and empower our teachers with tools for expanding instruction with purposeful engagement. We also want to branch out to our community to broaden our connections and expand learning beyond the walls of our schools. This would bring increased quality of life and future economic growth possibilities to everyone in DISD.”
Kyle has wasted no time in his first month with the district, visiting each of the 18 campuses to see if the current technology at each school is fulfilling the needs of the students and staff. In the coming months, he will also be meeting with student groups to learn more about the challenges they face and how technology can impact them in different ways. “With our focus in technology, we can continue to bring in quality educators and make a more collaborative environment of continuous improvement and learning.”
Kyle earned his Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from University of Texas-Arlington in 2001. He has over 15 years in K12 technology leadership spread across districts of various sizes and demographics. Awarded as, Technology Director of the Year by TCEA in 2009, he has also featured in several educational technology magazines as well as other published books on Ed Tech. Kyle is a transformer of educational technology. His 15 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. He 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.
Lloyd Brown, Executive Director of Information Technology, Baltimore County Public Schools
Lloyd Brown is currently the Executive Director of the Department of Information Technology for Baltimore County Public Schools, the 25th largest school district in the United States. He is leading a team of professionals in the field of networking, technical support, network security, student data, project management, and special projects. The Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (S.T.A.T) initiative will be completed by 2017 when all 111,000 students will receive a device for digital instruction and educational-related activities. Mr. Brown’s knowledge, experience, and dedication have been instrumental in developing the district wide S.T.A.T. initiative program to meet Baltimore County Public Schools’ goals for all students.
Mr. Brown was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Teaching and Learning Initiative at Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS). In the 2001-2002 school year, HCPS was the first public school system in the nation to deploy wireless laptops to students and teachers.
With over twenty years of experience in technology education, Lloyd Brown possesses an in-depth understanding of emerging technologies and their instructional applications. His goal is to continue using technology resources to enhance student learning experience, including interoperability across multiple digital resources.
Mellisa Carr, Ed.D., Director of Technology & Innovation, Volusia County Schools, Florida
Currently serving as the Director of Technology & Innovation for Volusia County Schools, Florida, USA. Educated at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, University of Central Florida and Nova Southeastern University, I have served public school students and their families residing in greater Daytona Beach, FL area for 27 years. I have developed my expertise and vision for meaningful instructional technology pedagogy through experiences as a teacher leader developing an Academy of Communications & Multimedia Technology and implementing a Career Connections to Teaching with Technology (C2T2) national technology grant at historic Mainland High School (Daytona Beach). I have led the expansion of virtual instruction programs and developed the processes for teacher-authored virtual course content provided by Volusia Virtual School which was recognized as a Blackboard Catalyst Award Winner in 2014 for virtual course creation. My pursuit of "leveraging technology to elevate teaching and learning" has crystallized to form the unified mission for instruction, technology and operations within Volusia County Schools as we work to provide personalized learning pathways through a superior 21st century education.
Rich Contartesi, Ph.D., Assistant Superintendent, Department of Technology Services, Loudoun County Public Schools
Dr. Rich Contartesi is the Assistant Superintendent of Technology Services for the Loudoun County Public School System located in Ashburn, Virginia. He has over 30 years of K-12 experience previously serving as Chief Information and Accountability Officer for the School District of the City of Erie, Pennsylvania; Associate Superintendent of Technology and Chief Technology Officer for the Kansas City Missouri Schools; and as Director of Instructional Technology, Director of Information Technology and Business Systems Analyst for the Palm Beach County Florida Schools. His experience provides a unique strategic and operational perspective to lead and integrate business operations, technology and instruction. He has developed and implemented enterprise financial systems, student information systems, data warehouse systems, security, and instructional learning systems. Dr. Contartesi holds Bachelor’s degree in Education, a Master of Business Administration and a Doctorate in Management and Organizational Leadership. Dr. Contartesi is an active participant in numerous technology and educational organizations.
Maurice Draggon, Director of the Instructional Management System, Orange County Public Schools
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
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.
Joe 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.
Scott Gutowski, Chief Information and Technology Officer, Pittsburgh Public Schools
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.
D. 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.
Tony Hunter, Chief Information Officer, Broward County Schools
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, 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).
Tricia Kennedy, Chair K-12 Institutional Leadership Board and Director of eCLASS Transformation, Gwinnett County Public Schools, GA
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
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
Janelle McClure, Director of Digital and Multimedia Learning, Cobb County School District
In August 2015, Janell was named Director of Digital and Multimedia Learning for the Cobb County School District in Marietta, Georgia. An educator for over 22 years, Janell has worked as a 6-12 English Language Arts teacher in Florida and Georgia, spent over eight years as a middle school media specialist, and for the last three years, served as the Library Media Education Supervisor for Cobb. In her current role, she oversees Library Media, Learning Resources, Online Professional Learning, and the Digital Transformation Team. This work includes redesigning the content acquisition process to include more digital materials, launching the Learning Commons model in school libraries, and leading the transformation of teaching and learning into a digital environment. The challenges associated with this work inspire her vision for personalized learning and ignite her passion for authentic learning experiences
Barbara Nesbitt, Ph.D., Vice Chair K-12 Institutional Leadership Board and Executive Director of Technology, Pickens County School District
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.
Jack Polnar, IT Services Manager, Newton Public Schools, MA
Jack is the IT Services Manager for the Newton Public Schools, Massachusetts. He is responsible for overseeing the operation of information services, network/data systems, end-user services, including help desk and technical support services. Previously Jack was an Information Systems Specialist in Newton Public Schools overseeing data systems, integration and reporting. Additionally Jack is currently part time faculty at Boston University Metropolitan Collage Computer Science Department, concentrating in courses including Systems Analysis and Design as well as Database Design, Implementation and Management. Jack has an B.S in Computer Science and M.S in Computer Information Systems from Boston University.
Brenda Quintanilla, Ph.D., Senior Education Technology Specialist, Houston Independent School District
Brenda Quintanilla is a Senior Education Technology Specialist for Houston Independent School District. She is responsible for leading the process of content interoperability into Houston ISD’s learning management system. She has a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a doctorate in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas. She is past-president of Texas Distance Learning Association (TxDLA), with expertise in instructional design, instructional technology, and personal device deployment. Dr. Quintanilla has more than 16 years combined experience working in K-12 and Higher Education. Her passion is emerging technology with the goal of productively contributing to the field of education and education technology.
Darlene Rankin, Instructional Technology Director, Katy Independent School District
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.
Serena Sacks, Chief Information Officer, Fulton County Schools
Serena Sacks has been a leader for over 25 years at IBM, Walt Disney World, Florida Virtual School and others. She is passionate about leveraging technology to transform education through personalized learning. She has PMP, Six Sigma and Enterprise Governance certifications. Ms. Sacks earned her B.A. and M.S. in an accelerated program at SUNY Stony Brook, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude and was recently named the Woman of the Year by the Technology Association of GA.
John Simon, Director of Technology and Information Services, Pasco County Schools, FL
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, Executive Director of Technology, Clayton County Public Schools
Rod Smith brings a unique blend of experience and skills, both technical and instructional. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Technology 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.
Storie Walsh, VP of Technology, The Virtual High School
Storie Walsh is the VP of Technology for VHS. She has overall responsibility for the technology infrastructure at The Virtual High School including technology staffing, systems support, the learning management system, and the VHS website. She considers technology options as means to solving educational challenges and provides consultation on the integration of technology into VHS instruction. She is responsible for evaluating and implementing new technology for use in VHS courses and coordinates the required professional development. She is a strong advocate with educational technology vendors for tools that support solid online pedagogy, with secure, accessible, and streamlined UX for teachers, students, administrators, and parents. Prior to joining VHS, Storie was a Web Developer/Database Designer for the Concord Consortium and was a Senior Application Analyst for R.R. Donnelley & Sons' integrated media lab division. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Plastics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts with a minor in Music and her Master of Arts in Public Administration at Framingham State College.
Jennifer Whiting, Sr. Manager Product Development, FLVS - Florida Virtual School
Jennifer Whiting has been with FLVS - Florida Virtual School since 1997. She has served in multiple capacities for FLVS including curriculum development, online teaching, project management, learning management system oversight, and information technology. Her broad experience in e-learning has led her to currently focusing on innovating customer support for schools and districts using FLVS content for their own virtual and blended programs.
Ms. Whiting earned her Masters of Science degree in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University. Her Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Physics Education was awarded by the Florida Institute of Technology. Jennifer has worked with IMS Global Learning for many years, lending her secondary school knowledge to several work groups. She served as the co-chair for the Technical Advisory Board for 2 years.