Prior to her role as Edsurge’s CEO, Betsy served as the Executive Editor for technology coverage at Forbes Media. Earlier she was an award-winning staff writer for the Washington Post and Scientific American. She has led professional development workshops on using IT in a public elementary school, where she also learned the fine art of coaxing incompatible systems to talk with one another.
Speakers, Moderators and Discussants
Kathleen Barnhart, Principal Education Consultant for the Illinois Department of Education
Kathleen Barnhart is an eLearning principal consultant in the Curriculum and Instruction Division of the Illinois State Board of Education. Some of her lead projects include the state’s regional Learning Technology Centers and the Illinois Virtual School. Prior to her current position, she taught pre-service educators at the community college and university level. Her majors were in instructional design with an emphasis in user navigation.
John Bailey, Executive Director, Digital Learning Now!
John Bailey currently serves as the Executive Director of Digital Learning Now! He is the co-founder of Whiteboard Advisors, which provides strategic consulting for investors, philanthropies, and entrepreneurs. John previously served at the White House as Special
Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy during the Bush administration where he coordinated education and labor policy. John also has worked at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as serving as a top technology and innovation advisor to the Secretary of Commerce. He was the nation’s second Director of Educational Technology, where he oversaw more than $1 billion in annual grants and research projects.
Wes Bruce, Chief Assessment Officer, Indiana Department of Education
Wes is the Chief Assessment Officer for the Assessment Office at the Indiana Department of Education. Wes also currently chairs the PARCC Technology committee and served on the US Department of Education’s technical advisory committee. He was the 2006-07 Chair of the Education Information Management Advisory Consortium (EIMAC) for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). He chaired the NCES Forum task force on accounting for student exits, dropout and mobility. Wes previously served as an administrator with South Bend Community School Corporation, and also served 11 years in the Kanawha County Schools of Charleston, West Virginia. He has a B.A. in psychology from Rice University and a M.S. in computer science from the University of Charleston, West Virginia.
Thomas G. Carroll, President, National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future
Tom Carroll leads the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) in its mission to empower educators who are transforming their schools from teaching organizations into learning organizations. Mr. Carroll founded the Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (“PT3”) program and created the Technology Innovation Challenge Grants Program at the U.S. Department of Education. He was the first Director of Technology Planning and Evaluation for the E-Rate program. He served as the U.S. Secretary of Education’s liaison to the Corporation for National Service during the launch of AmeriCorps. He was Deputy Director of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, prior to which he was Director of the National Research Centers and Regional Laboratories at the National Institute of Education.
Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education
Karen Cator is the Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. She has devoted her career to creating the best possible learning environments for this generation of students. Prior to joining the department, Cator directed Apple’s leadership and advocacy efforts in education. In this role, she focused on the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies, and the reality faced by teachers, students and administrators. Ms. Cator joined Apple in 1997 from the public education sector, most recently leading technology planning and implementation in Juneau, Alaska. She also served as Special Assistant for Telecommunications for the Lieutenant Governor of Alaska.
Jennifer Childress, Senior Advisor, Achieve
Jennifer Childress joined Achieve in 2011 as Senior Adviser for Science, focusing on the development of Next Generation Science Standards and employing OER Evaluation tools. Jennifer joined Achieve from the National Science Resources Center (NSRC), an organization of the Smithsonian Institution. She worked with the NSRC as an education fellow before serving as the Director of the Center for Building Awareness of Science Education (BASE) from 2007 to 2011. Jennifer earned her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her doctorate of philosophy in Biomedical Science from the University of Texas-Houston.
Stuart Ciske, Education Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Stuart Ciske currently works as an Educational Consultant focusing on Instructional Media & Technology. He has been invited to present at national, regional and state educational conferences on technology planning, professional development and program evaluation.
Previously, he spent 12 years as a high school English & journalism teacher, district technology coordinator, and high school principal in Wisconsin, Illinois and Kansas. Ciske earned is Master’s Degree (1995) and his Ph.D. (1999) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison focusing on the professional development of school administrators.
Laurence Cocco, Director of Educational Technology, New Jersey Department of Education & Member, SETDA Board of Directors
As the Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the New Jersey Department of Education, Laurence Cocco supervises educational technology initiatives. He is the NJ PARCC State Readiness Coordinator, serves on the national PARCC Technology Committee and chairs the Technology Readiness Operational Working Group. He conducts webinars for G.A.M.E. (Gamers Advancing Meaningful Education). Laurence is Chairman of Thirteen/WNET’s Educational Services Advisory Committee and is on the Board of Directors for SETDA. Past experience includes Deputy Executive Director for New Jersey Network; PBS television producer; Senior Audiovisual Designer at a New York City IT design firm and Media Integration Project Director at Jersey City Public Schools. Laurence has a M.A. in Educational Communication & Technology from NYU.
Richard Culatta, Deputy Director, US Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology
Richard Culatta is a leader in the field of educational innovation. He has worked in K-12, higher education, corporate, and government training environments. His current focus as Deputy Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the US Department of Education is on using data and learning analytics to create customized learning experiences for all students. Prior to joining the Department of Education, he served as an education policy advisor to US Senator Patty Murray. Culatta is a certified Spanish teacher and active in promoting bilingual and arts education in public schools.
Don Davis, Principal, Spring Meadow Early Childhood Center and Old State Elementary School, Delaware
Don Davis is the principal of two new schools, sharing the responsibility for the educational leadership of the Spring Meadow Early Childhood Center (PK-K) and Old State Elementary School (Grades 1-5). Prior to this new assignment, Davis served as the principal of Brick Mill Elementary, a Title I school that served 825 students and consistently earned “superior” ratings from the State of Delaware. His responsibilities included the introduction of online standardized testing, Common Core State Standards, and professional learning communities that employed learning-focused strategies.
Candice Dodson, Director of eLearning, Indiana Department of Education
Candice Dodson is the Director of eLearning where she is focusing on advancing and expanding Indiana’s efforts to take advantage of technology to improve student outcomes. Candice comes to the IDOE from Evansville Vanderburgh Community Schools (EVSC) with over 20 years of experience in a variety of roles from elementary teacher, media specialist to curriculum and technology integration specialist, central office administrator, and assistant principal. Ms. Dodson’s most recent work in Evansville centered on the implementation of EVSC’s 1-to-1 initiative, the development of leadership programs for district administrators, and expansion of professional development programs and evaluation systems.
Peter Drescher, Education Technology Coordinator, Vermont Department of Education, and Member, SETDA Board of Directors
Peter Drescher has been involved in education technology for nearly 20 years. He began his career in education as a social studies/technology teacher at a middle school in New Mexico. Soon he held the technology coordinator position, where he worked to develop a robust technology program in the 1990’s. He has spent much of his career focused on the classroom level, providing professional development and leadership for teachers and staff around technology planning and integration. His most recent position, in January of 2008, as the Education Technology Coordinator for Vermont allows him the opportunity to move this work to a new level and hopefully impact the learning for all students in Vermont.
Kim Ehrhardt, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, School District of Janesville, Wisconsin
Dr. Kim Ehrhardt is currently the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the School District of Janesville. Previously, Dr. Ehrhardt taught music and social studies at the elementary, middle and high school levels. He was a building principal for over twenty-five years. Dr. Ehrhardt also serves as an adjunct professor in the College of Education and Site Coordinator for the Master’s in Educational Leadership program. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, earning a Master’s of Educational Administration, an Educational Specialist Degree and a Doctorate in Educational Psychology.
Karen Fasimpaur, Founder and President, K12 Handhelds and K12 Open Ed
Karen Fasimpaur works with schools to integrate mobile technology and open content into the curriculum to enhance learning by facilitating professional learning opportunities and innovative curriculum planning and development. She is an evangelist for open education, an award-winning author, a blogger, a social media consultant, a community organizer, and an aspiring carpenter.
Geoffrey H. Fletcher, Deputy Executive Director, SETDA
Dr. Geoffrey H. Fletcher serves as SETDA’s Deputy Executive Director. Prior to joining SETDA, Dr. Fletcher was Editorial Director for the Education Group of 1105 Media, Inc. with responsibility for all content of the Education Group, including T.H.E. Journal, Campus Technology and their web sites and e-newsletters. He also served with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for 11 years in various positions including Assistant Commissioner with responsibility for standards and curriculum, the statewide assessment program, educational technology initiatives, textbooks and professional development. For two years he was responsible for TEA’s information system, including the Public Education Information Management System.
Rick Gaisford, Educational Technology Specialist, Utah State Office of Education and Secretary, SETDA Board of Directors
Rick Gaisford has 23 years in education at the classroom, school, district and state levels. Currently, Rick is the Educational Technology Specialist for the Utah State Office of Education. His current state responsibilities include teacher professional development on integrating technology, the educational technology core curriculum for K-12 students, and consulting with districts on how to effectively integrate technology tools and resources into teaching and learning. Previously he was an elementary school teacher, school technology specialist, district technology trainer and technology specialist. He is Secretary of the SETDA Board of Directors and previously served as the Board Chair. He has also served on the state ASCD and ISTE affiliate boards of directors.
Steve Garton, Coordinator of Educational Technology, Maine Department of Education
Steve Garton is the Coordinator of Educational Technology for the Maine Department of Education. He provides oversight and logistical support for Maine’s education technology programs with a primary focus on the Maine Learning Technology Initiative providing 1-to-1 computing for the students in Maine. He sits on the board of the Maine School and Library Network, which provides bandwidth for most of Maine’s schools and libraries. Steve is co-chair of the Technology Approach subcommittee on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. He has been a presenter at several national conferences. He received his bachelor’s degrees in Math from Slippery Rock University and Piano Performance from Eastern Illinois University. His Masters is in Educational Technology from Youngstown State University.
Robert Getka, Student, George S. Parker High School, Janesville, Wisconsin
Robert Getka is a junior at George S. Parker High School. This year he is President of the FIRST (For the Inspiration of Science and Technology) Robotics Club and is a member of the Parker High School Zero Robotics Team. As a sophomore, Robert passed the AP Computer Science Exam with a high score of five. Robert is involved with Boy Scouts, working toward his Eagle Scout rank. Last summer, he went to Mississippi, where he worked with others to rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Robert intends to study Computer Engineering at a four year university.
Jim Goodell, Senior Education Analyst at Quality Information Partners
Jim Goodell facilitates the K-12 Stakeholders Group for the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) as Senior Education Analyst at Quality Information Partners (QIP). His work with interactive learning technologies began in 1983. From 1999 to 2011 he was Executive Vice President at CELT working with SEAs, LEAs, and other Learning organizations on projects including state longitudinal data systems, data warehouse architecture, and learning management systems. He was the lead architect for CELT’s school improvement planning and performance management systems. Prior to CELT, Mr. Goodell developed interactive kiosks, trade show exhibits, point-of-purchase, and Internet marketing campaigns, and multimedia training for clients including Fidelity Investments and Lotus/IBM, as Founder/President of Sound Image, Inc. and lead technologist at PixelDance Communications, Inc. As director and founder of Project BODYWORKS he oversaw the development of an interactive video program for hospitalized adolescents. Mr. Goodell is a frequent speaker on topics including education data standards, educational technology, school improvement, and change management.
Tiffany Hamilton Hall, K-12 Literacy Coordinator, Utah State Office of Education
Tiffany Hamilton Hall is the K-12 Literacy Coordinator for the Utah State Office of Education. In her position, Tiffany coordinates the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, including a state-wide Core Academy that provides professional learning opportunities for more than 4,000 educators during the summer; online courses and district-level professional learning to support CCSS integration; and coordination of the state’s Open Source Textbook program. She has assisted with the development of new Early Childhood Standards, standards for administrator evaluation, and Utah’s new Effective Teaching Standards. Prior to her work at the state office, Tiffany was the Associate Director of the Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (CITES) at Brigham Young University, where she was involved with teacher, teacher-leader, and principal development. Tiffany has been an administrator and teacher in public schools in Utah and California for 20 years.
Henry Hipps, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Henry Hipps is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he leverages his extensive experience working at the intersection of strategy, operations and technology. His current focus is the launch of the Shared Learning Infrastructure project, designed to provide more powerful tools to teachers and personalized learning experiences for students by integrating the highly fragmented education technology landscape. Previously, Henry was Senior Director at the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, Mayor Villaraigosa’s school turn-around organization. Henry was founder and CEO of Trajectory Learning, which designed and delivered web-based K-12 projects. At IBM Business Consulting, he led global teams on business transformation engagements.
Michael L. Hock, Director of Educational Assessment, Vermont Department of Education
Michael L. Hock is the Director of Educational Assessment at the Vermont Department of Education. Over the past nine years he has shared leadership responsibilities for the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) with the test directors from Maine, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. NECAP was one of the first successful multi-state assessment consortia in the country and served as a proving ground for innovative on-line test administration and reporting technologies, as well as digital accessibility tools for students with special assessment needs. NECAP was a model for the PARCC and SMARTER Balanced assessment consortia that are currently developing the next generation of educational tests using state of the art digital tools and technologies. Michael is a member of the SMARTER Executive Committee and liaison to the Accessibility and Accommodations Workgroup.
Neill Kimrey, Director, Instructional Technology, North Carolina Department of Education
A life-long learner and educator, Neill is in his twentieth year in educational technology. He currently serves as the Director of Instructional Technology at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and has been with the NCDPI since October 2008. Prior to this, Neill was involved in technology in Stanly County Schools, North Carolina. He began his career as a computer lab assistant in 1991 and was the district’s Chief Technology Officer when he left in October 2008. Since beginning his employment at NC DPI, Neill has reached out to build partnerships with many agency and groups to assist in the advocacy of instructional technology, including the Southern Regional Education Board, LEARN NC, the North Carolina Virtual Public School, MCNC, and the William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. Neill has been active in educational technology at the district, regional, state, and national levels, and currently serves on various state and agency leadership committees. His current leadership roles include North Carolina educational technology leadership initiatives, including the NCDPI Race to the Top initiative, the NC Instructional Improvement System initiative, and the NC K12 Education Cloud initiative.
Jim Kohlmoos, Executive Director National Association of State Boards of Education
Jim Kohlmoos is the CEO of National Association of State Boards of Education, a non-partisan non-profit membership association in Washington DC dedicated to serving and strengthening State Boards of Education in their pursuit of high levels of academic achievement for all students. With almost four decades of experience in education leadership, Kohlmoos is leading a national effort to promote informed and active lay citizen participation in state level education policy making. Prior to joining NASBE in 2012, Kohlmoos served as the president and CEO of the Knowledge Alliance for over a decade. Kohlmoos led an advocacy program to expand support for evidence-based education and knowledge-based solutions in school improvement.
Christopher Laue, Principal, George S. Parker High School, Janesville, Wisconsin
Christopher Laue is the Principal of Parker High School in Janesville, Wisconsin. Laue taught agriculture in the Geneseo, Illinois Schools for one year and in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin for six years before becoming associate principal at Fort Atkinson Middle School in 2000. He then became Assistant Principal at JA Craig High School, in Janesville Wisconsin for two years before starting his current position at Parker High School. Laue holds a bachelor’s degree from UW-Platteville and a master’s degree in educational administration from Marian College, which he earned in 2000.
Mike Leadingham, Director, Kentucky Department of Education
Of his 25 years working within the technology field , Mike has dedicated 22 with an emphasis in education. Currently Mike is in his 12th year serving as the Director of Engineering & Management Services within the Ky. Dept. of Education’s Office of Knowledge, Information, and Data Services. In this role he provides leadership for these areas within education technology: project management & support services, state and federal technology funding programs, research and solution engineering, creation and management of the state Master Plan for Technology, state product and technical standards, state technology contracts & partner relations, security and disaster recovery programs, and program management of the Kentucky Education Network which provides connectivity to all schools throughout Kentucky. Mike has been instrumental and a witness to tremendous advancement in the utilization of technology to improve education for our nation’s kids and young adults throughout his career. Mike has been a longtime advocate for the on-going responsible adoption of technology enabled advancement in education empowering our students to adequately compete in today’s global economy. While Mike spent a brief amount of time in Columbus, OH, as a graduate of DeVry Institute of Technology, he is a lifelong Kentuckian. Mike grew up in northeastern Kentucky and enjoys time now on his small horse farm just outside of Frankfort.
Douglas Levin, Executive Director, SETDA
Named by Tech & Learning as one of the top 10 most influential people in EdTech in 2011, Mr. Douglas Levin leads SETDA with 20 years of Washington, DC-based education policy and research experience. A passionate advocate on behalf of state educational technology leaders, Mr. Levin has served in prominent roles in the private and non-profit sectors, including in senior leadership positions with the National Association of State Boards of Education, the American Institutes for Research, and Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry’s national education foundation. Mr. Levin played key roles in developing the nation’s first three national education technology plans and in conducting research and evaluations of major educational technology programs and initiatives, including as primary author of the Pew Internet study of internet-savvy students, The Digital Disconnect.
Alex Macdonald, Director of Instructional Technology, Idaho State Department of Education
Alex Macdonald is currently serving educators across Idaho as the Director of Instructional Technology at the Idaho State Department of Education, where he was previously the Education Technology Coordinator. Having started out as a Mathematics and computer applications teacher, he quickly recognized the benefit of effective technology integration, and worked diligently to research best practices to meet the needs of students. His past experience also includes being an online teacher, technology coordinator, and administrator, where he implemented and conducted professional development opportunities in technology integration for teachers. Parts of his exciting current responsibilities include implementation the Students Come First Education Reforms in Idaho. Alex holds a B.S. in Mathematics Education from Boise State University, a M.A. Ed. in Curriculum & Technology from the University of Phoenix, and a M.A. Ed. in Educational Leadership from Northwest Nazarene University.
Jeff Mao, Learning Technology Policy Director, Maine Department of Education and Chair, SETDA Board of Directors
Jeff Mao is the Learning Technology Policy Director for the State of Maine, Department of Education. He provides vision and oversight to Maine’s education technology programs, including the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). Jeff has represented the state of Maine at numerous conferences throughout the United States as well as in Australia, China, Denmark, Paraguay, Philippine Islands, South Korea, and Sweden. He has testified in support of education technology to the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and has published articles in the Principal Leadership journal, One-to-One Institute Newsletter, T.H.E. Journal, and online for MacWorld.com. Jeff is Chair of the Board of Directors for the State Educational Technology Directors’ Association. Jeff is the 2012 Common Sense Media Educator of the Year awardee. Jeff began his career in the classroom at the Brewster Academy where he helped develop its pioneering 1:1 program in 1993. He spent 7 years teaching and coaching in a Rochester, NY before returning to Maine. Jeff then held a technology director position in one of Maine’s larger school districts, and subsequently joined the Maine Department of Education.
Steve Midgley, Deputy Director, Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education
Steve Midgley is the Deputy Director of Education Technology at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). His principal areas of focus are data transparency, digital interoperability and online learning. Prior to arriving at ED, he was the Director of Education at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where he headed the team responsible for developing the education chapter of the National Broadband Plan. Prior to government service he was the principal of Mixrun, a CTO consultancy for a number of for-profit and education sector organizations. Steve also served as a Program Manager for the Stupski Foundation for six years, designing and implementing grants for technology in K-12 education.
Bailey Mitchell, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia
Bailey Mitchell brings twenty five years of experience as an educator and has worked for the past fifteen years as the Chief Technology and Information Officer for Forsyth County Schools. He is responsible for both the educational and administrative technology enterprise with a focus on online learning, collaborative classrooms, parent communication and teacher support. Forsyth’s technology enterprise is nationally recognized as a leader in educational technology. Bailey serves on the board and is chair of Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), a professional association for school district technology leaders. Prior to working for Forsyth County Schools, Bailey served as the Director of Instructional Technology at the Georgia Department of Education. Bailey has a B.S. degree in Career and Technology Education and a Masters and Specialist Degree from The University of Georgia in Educational Administration and Curriculum and Supervision.
Carol Mosley, State Education Technology & E-Rate Director, Louisiana Department of Education
Carol Mosley an innovative leader in K-12 education technology with over 20 years of experience in corporate and educational technology solutions, design, implementation and integration. Ms. Mosley currently serves as the State Education Technology & E-Rate Director for the State of Louisiana Department of Education and provides vision and oversight to Louisiana’s education technology programs. Ms. Mosley is also currently sprearheading Louisiana’s new Digital and Technology Readiness Initiatives (DTRI) in support of Louisiana’s commitment to teachers and students entitled Louisiana Believes. Ms. Mosley serves as a board member for the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators (LaCUE) and represents Louisiana as a member in State E-Rate Coordinator’s Alliance (SECA) and on various Partnership for Assessment of Readiness For College and Careers (PARCC) work groups. Ms. Mosley has presented at various conferences on topics involving technology integration, best practices, and technology infrastructure.
Colin Murdy, Student, George S. Parker High School, Janesville, Wisconsin
Colin Murdy is a senior at George S. Parker High School. He enjoys writing and participating in drama activities. Colin is a member of the International Thespian Society and a member of the National Honor Society. Colin has completed several Computer classes and has taken the AP Computer Programming exam. He has held a 3.9 GPA or higher all four years of his high school career. Along with his high GPA, Colin had the honor of being recognized and awarded Academic High Honors. He is part of the local Rotary Leadership training that emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth. He was recognized for his leadership skills for rendering service to his community with the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. Colin plans on seeking a University degree.
Lan Neugent, Assistant Superintendent for Technology, Career, and Adult Education and Chief Information Officer, Virginia Department of Education
Lan W. Neugent is currently Assistant Superintendent for Technology at the Virginia Department of Education. Mr. Neugent is a recognized expert in education technology and a professional educator with over 32 years experience at the classroom, district, and state level. He is frequently asked to present his perspective on educational technology issues to both state and national groups. As assistant superintendent for technology, Lan is responsible for establishing direction for state educational technology policy and for carrying out both Governor and General Assembly initiatives. In the seven years he has been in this position, he has been responsible for administering approximately $526 million in state initiative funding (including $240 for the Web-based SOL Technology Initiative) and $163 million in Federal funds. Under his direction, Technology Division units (Teleproduction Services, Information Technology and Educational Technology) provide support for other department of education divisions as well as technical assistance, leadership training and advisement for school divisions in educational technology matters.
Jose Ortega, Administrator, Education Technology Office, California Department of Education
Jose Ortega has over 26 years of experience in the field of education and has worked at the California Department of Education since 2002. He is the administrator of the Education Technology Office and serves as the state director of educational technology for the California Department of Education as well as SBAC State Readiness Coordinator. In the past, he has served as the Executive Director of the California P-16 Council charged with implementation of strategies and initiatives for closing the achievement gap and served as the administrator of the Curriculum Frameworks Office. Jose has taught at multiple grade levels including elementary, high school, adult education programs, and postsecondary education. He has worked in numerous educational settings including urban schools, alternative education, educational programs for incarcerated youth and adults, mandated court programs, county offices of education, and unified school districts. Jose has held several administrative positions including migrant education program manager, elementary school principal, and high school dean of students. Jose holds a Master’s Degree in Education Administration, a Juris Doctor Degree in Law. He possesses a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, an Administrative Services Credential, and a Bilingual Crosscultural Language and Academic Development credential. Jose and his wife Mary, who also works at the California Department of Education call Sacramento home. They have two grown children and six grandchildren.
Shannon Parks, Ph.D. State Administrator, Technology Initiatives, Alabama Department of Education
Shannon Parks is the State Administrator for the Alabama Learning Exchange [ALEX], whose team received several prestigious “Best of the Web” awards from the Center for Digital Education.Some projects the ALEX Team is leading include: Girls Engaged in Math & Science University, GEMS-U; the Alabama Insight Curriculum Tool; Digital Textbooks and Content, and; the A.C.E. Professional Learning Program. A particular area of focus is creating, implementing, and evaluating digital tools and programs that effectively prepare students for the real world of work and college. Dr. Parks’ forte is working collaboratively on multi-faceted P-20 projects, while building creative statewide support infrastructures that grow and sustain positive change.
Lyndsay Pinkus, Director, National and Federal Policy Initiatives
Lyndsay Pinkus, Director of National and Federal Policy Initiatives, leads the Data Quality Campaign’s (DQC) work at the national and federal levels to support the effective use of longitudinal data to improve student achievement. Lyndsay serves as DQC’s liaison to the legislative and executive branches, manages strategic relationships with national organizations, and leads DQC’s efforts on specific initiatives, including the privacy and security of data and common education data standards. Lyndsay joined DQC from the Alliance for Excellent Education, where she most recently served as Director of Strategic Initiatives. Currently she is a member of several advisory groups, guest lecturer at local universities, and frequent presenter on a variety of issues related to education and federal policy.
Linda Pittenger, Strategic Initiative Director, Council of Chief State School Officers
Linda Pittenger serves on the executive leadership team of the Council of Chief State School Officers as Director of the Innovation Lab Network. The Innovation Lab Network is a group of states designing and testing innovations to transform our education systems so that more students are graduating, are able to transition successfully to college and career through pathways of their choosing, and can continue to advance as learners, workers and citizens. Linda retired from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), as Director of Secondary and Virtual Learning, in May 2008. During her career at KDE, she started the Kentucky Virtual Schools, coordinated Kentucky’s Refocusing Secondary Education initiative, and worked closely with the Statewide P16 Council.
Cathy Poplin, Deputy Associate Superintendent for Educational Technology, Arizona Department of Education and Treasurer, SETDA Board of Directors
Cathy Poplin, the SETDA Treasurer, came to the Arizona Department of Education with more than thirty years of experience in educational technology. She has spent a total of over twenty years in three public school districts in Phoenix, AZ and a dozen years in higher education prior to coming to the state department of education. She has written, received and administered numerous state and federal technology grants. Active in Arizona’s ISTE affiliate – AzTEA (Arizona Technology in Education Alliance) – since 1998, Cathy also was recently elected AzTEA Treasurer and served as President during 2003-04.
Kayla Siler, Policy and Planning Analyst, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Kayla Siler is a Policy and Planning Analyst with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). Since beginning at NCDPI in December 2007, Kayla has worked in data research, policy and strategic planning, and project management. Most recently her work has been directly connected to the reform in standards, assessments, and accountability, as well as within various projects in NC’s Race to the Top initiative. Her key area of focus has been in supporting the transition to online assessments through collaboration and communication efforts across curriculum, testing, and technology areas. Kayla completed the Education Policy Fellowship Program and received her B.A. in Political Science from Meredith College and an MPA from North Carolina State University.
Melinda Stanley, State Education Technology Coordinator for the Kansas State Department of Education and Member, SETDA Board of Directors
Melinda Stanley is the State Education Technology Coordinator for the Kansas State Department of Education. Her responsibilities include leading, directing, planning and implementing a number of learning with technology initiatives including the Enhancing Education Through Technology Federal Grant, Technology Rich Classroom Program, Technology Planning, E-rate, the Kansas 21st Century Skills. She has presented at a variety of national, state and local conferences and is currently involved with the SETDA, the State E-Rate Coordinators Alliance, the Partnership of 21st Century Skills, the International Society for Technology in Education, and the Kansas MACE Board.
Nicole Steele, Director of Educational Technology, Florence Unified School District #1
Nicole Steele is the Director of Educational Technology for the Florence Unified School District in Arizona. She is the President of the Board of Directors for the Pinal County Interactive Television Consortium, and serves on the Board for the Arizona Technology in Education Association (AZTEA), which is the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) affiliate. She was the recipient of the AzTEA 2012 Technology Director of the Year award, and is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences, speaking on the topics of classroom technology, digital content and 1:1 computing benefits and implementation. Ms. Steele has a MA in Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University and a BS in Elementary and Kindergarten Education from the Pennsylvania State University.
Bill Tucker, Deputy Director, Policy Development, for US Policy & Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill Tucker is Deputy Director, Policy Development, for US Policy & Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill recently joined the Foundation after serving seven years as Managing Director at Education Sector, a prominent education policy think tank working on both K-12 and post-secondary issues. He was part of the startup leadership team at Education Sector and a nationally recognized policy expert, writer, speaker, and source on a wide-range of educational issues including technology, innovation, and student assessment. In addition to his education policy work, Bill also brings a strong record of leadership and management, spending his years prior to Education Sector as a social entrepreneur in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Bill is a graduate of Duke University and holds both an MBA and a Master’s of Education from Stanford University.
Bruce Umpstead, State Director, Michigan Department of Education
As State Director of Educational Technology and Data Coordination at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Bruce is responsible for implementing Michigan’s online learning graduation requirement and the State Educational Technology Plan. His formal education includes B.A. in Public Administration, M.B.A. in Finance and General Management, and professional certifications in management accounting, project management, and online instruction. Before joining MDE, Bruce served as operations director for an eLearning company, project operations director for a Math/Science Partnership, and online learning faculty for a local community college.
David Walddon, Consultant, SETDA Emeritus
David is an education technology consultant focusing on next practice in education. He has a passion for helping administrators, educators and students make the connection between learning, teaching, technology and life. Before focusing on his consulting services David worked for the Microsoft Corporation where he was part of the Partners in Learning Worldwide team that delivered education technology solutions to students, teachers and administrators around the globe. Previously David spent 12 years with the State of Washington at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Department of Information Services (DIS). David is also involved in education technology policy at a national level and regional level. He is the President of the Board of Directors for the Northwest Council of Computer Educators (NCCE) and is the emeritus member for the Board of Directors of The State Educational Technology Director’s Association (SETDA).
Kathy S. White has taught for the Janesville School District for 24 years. Mrs. White was a classroom teacher for 8 years working with students with cognitive and physical disabilities. Upon completing her assistive technology certification, she became the Janesville School District Assistive Technology Specialist. Mrs. White leads and trains a team of professionals that help to support the needs of students with disabilities in the school system. Mrs. White is a well know speaker, having spoken at International Reading Association, Closing the Gap, Technology Reading Learning Difficulties, Assistive Technology Across the Life Span Conferences. She teaches graduate level courses in technology. Mrs. White received her bachelors’ degree from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater and her masters from St. Norbert College. Mrs. White has led the school system in using technology to support and enhance the learning of all students’stressing Universal Design for Learning.
Correy Winke, Student, George S. Parker High School, Janesville, Wisconsin
Correy is a junior at Parker High School. He enjoys music, gaming and playing guitar. He is a member of his school’s bowling, Y2Y (anti-drugs and alcohol) and Key (service) clubs. He volunteers through his Y2Y and Key club activities and also with the local Optimists. Correy has met criteria and received academic achievement awards for the last two years. He currently has a 3.6 GPA. This is all a great achievement considering Correy has been receiving additional educational services since he was one year old. He is diagnosed as being dyslexic. In sixth grade Correy began using technology to help him with his reading and writing disability. He currently uses a netbook with software that assists him with spelling and editing of written work. He also uses an IPad to assist with reading his textbooks as well as keeping him organized. With the support of technology Correy has and is presently taking advanced placement courses.
Peter Zamora, Director of Federal Relations, Council of Chief State School Officers
Peter Zamora is the Director of Government Relations at the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). He previously served as Senior Education Counsel for Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Prior to joining Senator Bingaman’s staff, Zamora served as Washington, D.C. Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Zamora is a former bilingual-credentialed public high school teacher who holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, the University of San Francisco, and the Georgetown University Law Center.