Diana Laufenberg, Executive Director and Lead Teacher, Inquiry Schools
A farm kid from Alma Center, Wisconsin, Diana Laufenberg has taught all grade levels from 7-12 in Social Studies. For the past two decades Diana has been a secondary social studies teacher in Wisconsin, Kansas, Arizona and Pennsylvania. She most recently taught at the Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia, an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on modern learning. Her practice has deep roots in experiential education, taking students from the classroom to the real world and back again. Prior to her work in Philadelphia, she was an active member of the teaching community in Flagstaff, AZ where she was named Technology Teacher of the Year for Arizona and a member of the Governor’s Master Teacher Corps. Diana was featured on TED.com for her “How to Learn? From Mistakes” and recognized for earning National Board Certification. To learn more about her work: New York Times Learning blog, Inquiry Based Classrooms, Covid School Transitions, Change Management and School Change and Sustaining Momentum for School Change.
In 2013, Laufenberg partnered with Chris Lehmann to start Inquiry Schools, a non-profit working to create and support learning environments that are inquiry-driven and project-based and which utilize modern technology. She currently serves as the Executive Director and Lead Teacher for Inquiry Schools.
Presenters, Moderators, and Staff
Julia Fallon, Executive Director, SETDA
Julia Fallon is the Executive Director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), where she works with U.S. state and territorial digital learning leaders to empower the education community to leverage technology for learning, teaching, and school operations.
Involved with learning technologies since 1989, her professional interest lies in making the case for public school systems wherein educators are able to optimize technology-rich learning environments to equitably engage the learners who fill their classrooms.
Prior to joining SETDA as the executive director in 2021, Julia worked for Washington’s K-12 education agency, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) as the Title II, Part A Program Lead, where she provided operational leadership and oversight of the federal program designed to improve the quality of instruction and administration.
Melissa Greene, Director, Strategic Partnerships, SETDA
Melissa is SETDA’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and brings over 20 years of experience in education, including eight years of experience working as a sales consultant and representative in educational publishing. While at both Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Teacher Created Materials, Inc., Melissa was known for her excellent customer service and relationship building skills, as well as her creative and customized marketing strategies for all of the New York school districts that she served. Ms. Greene’s career has focused on increasing the quality of education for all students as an educator, in the private sector and most recently via New York’s state education agency. Prior to joining SETDA, Melissa was a project coordinator in the Higher Education Office of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness at the New York State Education Department. From 2013 through 2015, Melissa coordinated grants, teacher and leadership events and meetings, professional development projects, created presentations for the Board of Regents meetings, and participated in policy-making groups and conferences in order to improve teacher and leader quality in New York State.
Eric Hileman, Executive Director of IT Services, Oklahoma City Public Schools, SETDA Chair
Eric is the Executive Director of IT Services for Oklahoma City Public Schools, Oklahoma’s largest and most diverse school district with approximately 45 thousand students and 4700 teachers. Prior to joining OKCPS, Eric served as the Director of Instructional Technology for the Oklahoma State Department of Education where he held that post for 14 years. Additionally, he conducts a church choir for an Episcopal parish in Oklahoma City. Eric holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Oklahoma City University, Master of Education in Instructional Psychology and Technology from the University of Oklahoma, and currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Teaching and Learning.
Reg Leichty, Founder and Partner, FLP Advisors
With over two decades of legal, policy, and lobbying experience, Reg advises education leaders, national associations, and other stakeholders about the federal laws, regulations, and programs that directly impact and support efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities. Among other laws, he counsels clients about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and the Universal Service provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. His recent work has included a specific focus on federal requirements and programs related to education technology, early learning, accountability and assessment, data use, and educator professional development and preparation.