Presenters, Moderators and Discussants
Leadership Summit presenters include a cross section of education leaders from across the country. Each year SETDA strives to include a variety of speakers including representatives from the White House, U.S. Department of Education, a variety of State Departments of Education, national education organizations, school administrators, teachers and students.
Jon Landis, Education Development Executive, Apple Education, @apple
Dr. Jon Landis is part of Apple’s International Education team, working with school leaders to leverage technology to transform learning. Prior to Apple, Dr. Landis served as a college of education professor, chemistry teacher, school principal, curriculum director and information technology director. He holds a Ph.D in Sociology, a Masters in Education Leadership, and a BS in Chemistry.
Jennifer Barbaree, Ed.S., Superintendent, Armorel School District, @suptbarbaree
Jennifer Barbaree is the Superintendent of Armorel School District located in Blytheville, Arkansas. Armorel Elementary School has been recognized as a top 5% performing school in the state, and Armorel High School’s EAST (Education Accelerated by Service and Technology) program earned the EAST Initiatives highest honor and was named the 2017-2018 EAST Founder’s Award Winners. Jennifer holds a BSE in Early Childhood Education form the University of Central Arkansas, a MS in Educational Leadership, and an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from Harding University. Jennifer has served as a special education teacher, elementary teacher, elementary principal, and assistant superintendent throughout the state of Arkansas. Jennifer is an advocate of creating a fun, inviting, innovative educational environment for all students, parents, and teachers.
Geoff Belleau, Consultant, California Department of Education, @gbelleau
Geoff Belleau is an education program consultant at the California Department of Education. He has 25 years of experience as a highschool, middle-school, and elementary-school educator. Before joining the Department of Education, he was a county office administrator, serving as program manager for instructional technology. In this role, he coordinated instructional technology projects along with district IT administrators and worked with schools and districts on technology integration and professional development. He has presented at several state and national education technology conferences and is a member of the TICAL cadre. As a semi active blogger he has also published several articles to help educators and administrators implement technology in the schools.
Jennifer Bergland, Director of Governmental Relations, TCEA, @jbergland
Jennifer Bergland has long been an advocate for the use of technology to transform teaching and learning. Prior to working at TCEA, Jennifer was the Chief Technology Officer of Bryan Independent School District in Bryan, Texas. She is currently the Director of Government Relations for TCEA. Jennifer was awarded the Bryan ISD District Administrator award in 2003, the Advocate Trendsetter award from ISTE in 2009, and the Making it Happen award from ISTE in 2014.
Karen Cator, President and CEO, Digital Promise, @DigitalPromise
Karen Cator is President and CEO of Digital Promise and a leading voice for transforming American education through technology, innovation and research. From 2009-2013, Karen was Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, where she led the development of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan and focused the Office’s efforts on teacher and leader support. Prior to joining the department, Cator directed Apple’s leadership and advocacy efforts in education. Cator holds a master’s in school administration from the University of Oregon, and a bachelor’s in early childhood education from Springfield College.
Betsy Corcoran, CEO, EdSurge, @betsy_, @EdSurge
Elizabeth “Betsy” Corcoran is co-founder and CEO of EdSurge, an award-winning news and information site on educational technology. EdSurge delivers news for educators and entrepreneurs, maintains a detailed catalogue of edtech product, lists top edtech jobs and runs a national conference for administratorscalled Fusion. Betsy has received national recognition for her work as a journalist. She’s been a staff writer and editor for Scientific American magazine, the Washington Post and Forbes magazine. She has been a fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as a featured commentator on television programs including NBC’s “Press Here,” Forbes on Fox, CNBC and other programs. She is a member of the strategic advisory board for the CPRE Knowledge Hub, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Consortium for Policy Research and a Fellow with the Pahara Institute. She has a BA in economics and math from Georgetown University.
Cynthia Curry, Co-Director, National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning, @clcurry, @AEM_Center
Cynthia Curry is Co-Director of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning (AEM Center), a technical assistance center funded by the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education. In this capacity, she works with stakeholders across preK-12, higher education, and workforce development to ensure that all learners have the same access to high-quality accessible materials and technologies for learning. A significant area of the Center’s work is to build the capacity of a cohort of states to develop scalable expertise and replicable implementation approaches for the procurement and provision of accessible materials and technologies.
David Davis, M.Ed., Technology Coordinator, Problem Solving/Response to Intervention Project, University of South Florida
David Davis coordinates the Technology & Learning Connections (TLC) unit of the Problem Solving/Response to Intervention Project at the University of South Florida; providing statewide and regional support for assistive technology, accessible educational materials, instructional technology, universal design for learning, and virtual instruction within a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS). Funded by the FLDOE Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, the TLC Team works with FLDOE bureaus, school districts, and schools to affect systemic change and school reform within a problem-solving model. David’s prior experience includes being a music therapist, a Certified Behavior Analyst, academic diagnostician, and a technology specialist and manager with the Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System.
Candice Dodson, Director of eLearning, Indiana Department of Education, @candicedodson
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, State Director of Education Technology, Vermont Agency of Education, @VTAOE_EdTech
Peter Drescher has been involved in Education Technology since the early 1990’s. He began his career in education as a Middle School teacher and transitioned to a technology resource educator for many years until coming to the Vermont Agency of Education. His role as the State Director of Education Technology involves working with schools and education leaders around policies and practice related to digital learning, broadband and device acquisition, and as of late, open education resources, and student data privacy. Peter is an active member of SETDA, the State Education Technology Directors Association and has been a past SETDA Leader of the Year.
Daniela Fairchild, Director, RI Office of Innovation, @innovateRI, @eduvateRI
At the RI Office of Innovation, Daniela oversees a diverse and strategic portfolio of projects supporting impactful innovation in RI’s most complex bureaucracies and state systems, including K-12 and higher education, state agencies, public housing authorities, and public libraries. Daniela comes to the Office of Innovation with 10 years of education experience, as a teacher, policy researcher, and advocate. Daniela started her career as a high school special education teacher in Boston, MA and most recently served as RI-CAN’s director of strategy, creating and implementing community building efforts, campaign and organizational strategy, and other special-project initiatives. Prior to joining RI-CAN, Daniela has worked in leadership development for education advocates; for a national think tank as an education policy researcher and analyst; and for brief stints as an program evaluator in Burkina Faso and a janitor in France. She has also had the pleasure of serving as an urban public school rowing coach for six years. Daniela holds a BA from Tufts University in international relations and an MSEd from the University of Pennsylvania in international educational development, with a focus on educational access for marginalized youth.
Julia Fallon, Title II, Part A Program Supervisor, Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, @JuliaFallon
Julia is the Title II, Part A (Teacher and Principal Quality) Program Supervisor at the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Julia Fallon is also a technology and learning alchemist. She explores and interrogates the big ideas in K-12 education with tech integration – how to make sure all kids acquire the skills to participate in a digital society, and what is the collective and creative impact of thriving online communities. Involved with learning technologies since 1989, Julia is an avid proponent of dynamic 21st century learning experiences where highly effective instructional strategies integrate a wide range of digital technologies. As the state’s Technology Integration Program Manager, she streamlined strategic planning for districts moving large- and small-scale technology projects forward, championed robust PD programming for educators facing a brave new world of 1-to-1 initiatives, and spoken out for smart, flexible network policy that connects teachers and kids to a wider world of collaborative learning and dynamic scholarship.
Michael M. Flood, Vice President of Strategy, Kajeet
Michael focuses on technology’s transformative role in education. At Kajeet, Michael leads strategy addressing equity and scalability of mobile technology in the Education market. Kajeet’s portable SmartSpot and ruggedized SmartBus solutions, powered by the Kajeet Sentinel platform are connecting students across hundreds of districts to Education Broadband every day. Kajeet helps LEAs and SEAs to leverage LTE networks for failover and backup connections. Kajeet also provides solutions for mobile device management, content distribution and classroom management on student devices.
Michael serves on the Board of Directors for the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). Michael also serves on CoSN’s Emerging Technology Committee, Digital Equity Committee, Leadership for Digital Learning initiative and Independent, Charter and Parochial committee. Michael severs on the Leadership team for ISTE’s Digital Equity PLN and volunteers with many other non-profit and leadership organizations in the Education community. Michael has bachelors and masters degrees from Georgia Tech and Emory University, respectively.
Christine Fox, Deputy Executive Director, SETDA, @cafox
Christine is the Deputy Executive Director for SETDA. Christine’s tasks include member professional development planning and implementation, research, and report writing. She manages the development of the annual SETDA national educational technology trends report, other SETDA research products and white papers, association professional development programs, and oversees all conference and event content.
Christine Fox’s background includes experience in education and consulting. She worked as a 3rd grade teacher, ESOL coordinator, educational consultant and curriculum developer for a national whole school reform model. Christine has a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Florida International University and received her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida State University.
Melinda George, Director of Policy & Partnerships, Learning Forward, @MelindaGeorge2
Melinda George is Learning Forward’s Director of Policy and Partnerships. In this role, Melinda leads Learning Forward’s national and state policy agenda as well as building strategic partnerships to ensure collaboration, momentum and action to support great teaching and learning. Melinda leads Learning Forward’s policy work on critical programs such as Title IIA, including working with Learning Forward members to be strong advocates on behalf of professional learning. She also co-leads the What Matters Now Network, a tri-state network focused on increasing the frequency and equity with which teachers access and engage in effective job-embedded professional learning grounded in the use of high-quality curriculum and instructional materials.
Prior to joining Learning Forward, Melinda was the President of the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future (NCTAF) where she led NCTAF’s charge to build a research-based framework of policies and practices that ensure every child has access to a competent, caring teacher in a school organized for success. Under Melinda’s leadership, NCTAF worked to achieve the vision that all students will have equal access to effective teaching and opportunity that optimizes learning and realizes future success academically and economically. At NCTAF, Melinda oversaw policy, and implementation projects, developed and maintained strategic partnerships, and provided thought leadership about teaching for the 21st century. Melinda served as NCTAF’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 2011-2013.
From 2006-2011, Melinda served as the Senior Director of Education Strategic Relations at PBS, where she developed national partnerships and oversaw the development of PBS TeacherLine, an online professional development service. From 2002-2006, Melinda was the first Executive Director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). Melinda served as a national spokesperson on education technology and was instrumental in developing collaborative resources and opportunities for state educational technology leaders. Melinda began her career as a 4th and 5th grade teacher in D.C. Public Schools. Melinda holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from The American University and received her Bachelors in American Culture from Vassar College. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband and two teenage daughters.
Theresa Gibson, Associate Director of Strategic Development, The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University’s College of Education, @FridayInstitute
Theresa Gibson is the Associate Director for Strategic Development on the Professional Learning and Leading Collaborative Team at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University. Since 2014 she has managed the development, implementation, and facilitation of the Friday Institute’s vertically aligned professional learning programs to support the transition to personalized learning for Superintendents, District Teams, School Level Administrators, Instructional Coaches, Instructional Technology Facilitators, Media Coordinators, and Teacher Leaders. Theresa also supports the national Leadership in Personalized and Digital Learning Program which has been implemented in 15 states and 19 organizations. In North Carolina she supports the Friday Institute’s statewide programs as part of the implementation of the Digital Learning Initiative. Theresa plays a key role in the business development, sustainability, evaluation, and continuous improvement. Theresa earned her B.S. in Mathematics and in Mathematics Education at Buffalo State College and her MBA at NC State University.
Michael Golden, Executive Director and Senior Fellow at Catalyst @ Penn GSE
Dr. Michael Golden is the Executive Director and Senior Fellow at Catalyst @ Penn GSE. In this role, he directs a bold new endeavor at the University of Pennsylvania to design innovative education practices and to create and scale actionable solutions to pressing problems in education. Previously, Dr. Golden co-founded and served as CEO of Educurious, a non-profit corporation that provides problem-based courses and professional development services. Formerly Dr. Golden served as the Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, developing systems, programs and funding to make schools more effective and efficient including the formulation and implementation of statewide education technology policies and initiatives. He also served as Senior Vice President at Pearson’s U.S. education division and as Corporate Vice President of Education at Microsoft. In that role he directed Microsoft’s global efforts in education across the company. He was honored with the 2005-2006 SETDA SLY Award.
Melissa Greene, Director, Strategic Partnerships, SETDA, @marymelgreene
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.
Alan Griffin, Curriculum Content Specialist, Utah State Board of Education, @griffin5
Alan Griffin has been an educator in Utah for the past 38 years. He is currently the curriculum content specialist at the Utah State Office of Education (USOE). He has taught in many areas of social studies, as well as in computer applications and programming. Mr. Griffin has served on the executive boards of the Utah Commission of Volunteers, the Utah Coalition for Civic, Character, and Service Learning, and the Utah 3Rs organization. He has served as the State Education Agency coordinator for Learn and Serve grants awarded in the state. He has presented at numerous state and national conferences on service learning, life skills, and evaluating instructional materials. He has also been heavily involved in technology, serving as the technology coordinator in the Weber District for 11 years, and presently provides technology support for the teaching and learning staff at USOE. He is currently President of the State Instructional Materials Review Association (SIMRA), a national organization that collaborates regarding curriculum evaluation processes. He and his wife Billie are the parents of 11 children and live in West Haven, Utah.
Jonathan King, Chief Strategy Officer, ISAFE
As the Chief Strategy Officer, Jonathan King is responsible for the development of all technology and program materials at ISAFE. Mr. King has a diverse background. He has worked at the FBI as a special agent in the cyber-crimes division. Mr. King has also worked in the media as a Producer at ABCNews. And before his tenure at ISAFE Mr. King worked at Hasbro Toy Company as the Information Technology Director. Mr. King is passionate about communicating the need for e-safety education and student data privacy in schools. And through his work he is devoted to empowering the youth within our communities to be safe and responsible online.
Keith Krueger, CAE, CEO, CoSN – Consortium for School Networking, @cosn, @keithkrueger
Keith R. Krueger is CEO of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), a nonprofit organization that serves as the voice of K-12 school system technology leaders in North America. CoSN’s mission is empowering educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments.
In 2016 Technology & Learning selected him as one of the “big 10” most influential people in ed tech, and the Center for Digital Education identified him as a Top 30 Technologist/Transformer/Trailblazer. In 2008 he was selected by eSchool News as one of ten people who have had a profound impact on educational technology over the last decade. In 2016 he received a Special Recognition award from the Council of Great City Schools.
He has serves on many Advisory Boards including the Friday Institute at NC State University, the Public Policy Advisory Council for the American Library Association, previously the Education Committee of the National Park System and past Board Member/Treasurer of the National Coalition on Technology in Education & Training (NCTET). He has served as a co-principal investigator of the highly regarded Horizon K-12 emerging technologies report for many years.
Keith has a global reputation as a key thought leader and has organized senior level U.S. delegations to visit Australia, Asia, Europe and South America to examine best practice in ICT in education.
In fall of 2015, Keith conducted a Work Study on Digital Equity as an Associate in Practice at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. As a Certified Association Executive, he has extensive background in nonprofit management and has a Masters from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Rich Langford, Senior Education Solutions Specialist, Microsoft
Rich joined Microsoft in March 2008 and is currently working with the US Education Team as a Senior Education Strategist. In this role, Rich works with state and national education leaders to identify opportunities for Microsoft to support and advance their efforts to provide top quality instruction and education services for students. Microsoft is committed to empowering the students of today to create the world of tomorrow. Rich works to ensure a dialogue is maintained with education leaders so that goal can be realized.
Prior to coming to Microsoft, Rich was an Education Market Specialist for Verizon Business, however, most of his career has been spent in the public sector. In 2006, Rich retired from the New York City Department of Education after almost twenty years of service there in a variety of roles including Deputy Chief Information Officer.
Rich graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1982 and served as a surface warfare officer for five years before leaving the military and going to work for the NYC Schools.
Todd Lawrence, Educational Technology Coordinator, Idaho State Department of Education, @toddlawrence208
Todd Lawrence is the Educational Technology Coordinator for the Idaho State Department of Education. His focus is on building an effective online education portal for parents and high school students, managing state and federal grants, and facilitates the Idaho 1×1 Pilot Project that launched in August 2013. After spending more than 15 years in the technology industry with Micron and HP, he decided to make a change to the education field, specifically to become a teacher. After teaching for 4 years and earning his Masters in Education degree, he somehow found his way back into the technology field while still making a difference for the students and teachers of Idaho.
Mike Leadingham, Director, Kentucky Department of Education
Chief of Staff for the Office of the CIO in the Kentucky Department of Education, as well as the Director of the School Technology Planning & Project Mngt. Services Division. Have served in several roles since joining the Office of Education Technology in 1994. Have provided oversight for the implementation of many statewide technology initiatives and management of several programs, including; high speed Internet connectivity to all Ky. K-12 schools, statewide standard email system, statewide district financial mngt. system, statewide standard student financial mngt. system, management of state & federal K-12 funding programs, enterprise technology standards, and vendor partner engagement management. Previously to working within the Ky. Dept. of Education, was with an education cooperative for 3 years, a technology business solutions provider for 3 years, and obtained a degree as a graduate from the DeVry Institute of Technology in Columbus, Ohio.
Reg Leichty, Founder and Partner, FLP Advisors, @RegLeichty
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.
Reg not only helps education leaders understand and use existing federal law, he also helps them improve federal policies by working effectively with Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Federal Communications Commission. His extensive national education policy experience includes designing and executing successful lobbying campaigns, crafting effective public messaging, building and leading influential coalitions, and informing high stakes rulemaking. Recent examples include successful efforts to expand the Department of Education’s student data privacy technical assistance, promoting the availability of funding for open educational resources development and adoption, and championing expanded professional development opportunities for educators and school leaders.
He also frequently speaks at national conferences, moderates discussions among education leaders and experts, and writes about emerging education policy and legal issues. This work includes recently co-authoring papers that are focused on equipping school leaders to use the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to implement well-rounded educational models; understanding ESSA’s diverse needs assessment requirements; properly de-identifying student data; and balancing education accountability, reporting, and student data privacy requirements. Over the past year, he has addressed a number of national conferences, including events sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the Consortium for School Networking, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association.
Prior to co-founding Foresight Law + Policy, Reg practiced education and telecommunications law for over a decade with two national law firms. He also served for eight years on Capitol Hill, most recently as telecommunications, technology, and privacy counsel for U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson of Florida, and earlier as a telecommunications and technology advisor to former Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska.
Reg received his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. and his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He is a member of the Washington, D.C. and Virginia Bars, the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the Federal Communications Bar Association. He lives with his wife and two children in Arlington, Virginia.
Nancy Mangum, Associate Director of Digital Learning Programs at the William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University, @nmangum
Nancy Mangum is the Associate Director of Digital Learning Programs at the William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University. Nancy leads several projects at The Friday Institute that reach leaders from across the country including the Digital Leaders Coaching Network, the Leadership in Personalized and Digital Learning Program and the Leading Schools Project. Nancy is the co-author of the book Leading Personalized and Digital Learning: A Framework for School Change published by Harvard Educational Press. Nancy brings a depth of knowledge about curriculum, pedagogy and instructional technology, with past experiences as a classroom teacher, technology facilitator and district leader. Connect with Nancy on twitter @nmangum or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janice D. Mertes, Assistant Director of Digital Learning, WI Department of Public Instruction, @WisDPITech
Janice Mertes is the Assistant Director for Instructional Media and Technology/Digital Learning for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Janice comes to the Wisconsin DPI from the Sun Prairie School District with over 19 years of education experiences having served as a twice National Board certified secondary social studies educator, LMS administrator, professional learning facilitator, virtual learning integrator and technology coordinator.
Janice coordinated the district Morgridge Technology Grant project that included a student run SMART*ies tech squad to support model interactive classrooms. Janice has been recognized by Wisconsin and nationally as a Herb Kohl Fellowship recipient, Microsoft Innovative Educator, USA Today Teacher Team, James Madison Constitutional Fellow and a National Education I Can Learn award recipient. In addition, Janice brings national experience from her service on Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s ICivics educator gaming team, blogging on edtech topics and speaking at a variety of conferences. At the Wisconsin DPi, Janice is leading the statewide implementation of the Future Ready and #GoOpen programming initiatives connected to the refreshed Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan. In addition, Janice serves on internal work teams for ESSA, data privacy and digital citizenship, personalized learning and infrastructure. Janice coordinates partnership programming with the Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative virtual learning partners and numerous other professional organization efforts to impact personalized, innovative student learning opportunities.
Carissa Moffat Miller, Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), @CMoffatMiller
Carissa Moffat Miller was named the Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), effective March 19, 2018. Known for her deep understanding of education policy at the state and national levels, Carissa is committed to working with state chiefs to ensure all students have the opportunity to graduate from high school prepared for college, careers and life.
Carissa previously served as the Deputy Executive Director of Membership and Outreach at CCSSO where she oversaw all work of the membership services, leadership academy, advocacy, communications, and data and information services departments. Prior to joining CCSSO in 2013, Carissa served as a deputy superintendent at the Idaho State Department of Education and led the implementation of statewide online testing for the Idaho State Board of Education.
As a first-generation college graduate, Carissa understands the importance of education, and works every day to make sure every child has the same opportunity to succeed and thrive. She holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of Idaho, a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Wyoming, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently lives in in Bethesda, MD with her husband Clark and two daughters, Sydney and Kendley.
Erin Mote, Co-Founder and Executive Director, InnovateEDU, @erinmote, @projunicorn, @InnovateEDUNYC
Erin Mote is the Executive Director of InnovateEDU and Co-Founder of Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools (LAB). She leads InnovateEDU and its major projects including the development of Cortex, Project Unicorn, an urban education Fellowship to diversify the teacher pipeline, and supports for LAB’s growth. Erin served as the founding Chief of Party for the USAID Global Broadband and Innovations Alliance and has worked on numerous projects with the US Department of State and the White House.
Taunya Nesin, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Taunya Nesin is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior experience includes accountability work at the DC Public Charter School Board and research at The George Washington University. She was an editor at National Geographic School Publishing and Houghton Mifflin where she developed curricula for science and ELA. Taunya started her career as a teacher in Hoboken, Atlanta, and Boston.
Taunya earned her bachelor’s degree in English and American Language and Literature from Harvard University, her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Columbia University Teachers College, and her doctorate in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from The George Washington University.
Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission, @JRosenworcel
Jessica Rosenworcel returned as a Commissioner to the Federal Communications Commission on August 11, 2017 after being nominated by the President and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.
Previously, Commissioner Rosenworcel served as an FCC Commissioner from May 11, 2012 to January 3, 2017 following her nomination by President Obama and unanimous Senate confirmation.
Commissioner Rosenworcel brings a decade and a half of public sector and private sector communications law experience to her position at the FCC. This experience has shaped her belief that in the 21st century strong communications markets can foster economic growth and security, enhance digital age opportunity, and enrich our civic life.
Prior to joining the agency, Commissioner Rosenworcel served as Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV. She previously served in the same role on the Committee under the leadership of Senator Daniel K. Inouye. In this position, she was responsible for legislation, hearings, and policy development involving a wide range of communications issues, including spectrum auctions, public safety, broadband deployment and adoption, universal service, video programming, satellite television, local radio, and digital television transition.
Before joining the staff of the Committee, she served as Legal Advisor to former FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps. She also served at the agency as Legal Counsel to the Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau and as an Attorney-Advisor in the Wireline Competition Bureau.
Prior to entering public service, Commissioner Rosenworcel practiced communications law at Drinker Biddle and Reath.
Commissioner Rosenworcel is a native of Hartford, Connecticut. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and New York University School of Law. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband Mark, and children Caroline and Emmett.
Barbara Soots, Open Educational Resources Program Manager, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, @waOSPI_OER
In her role as Instructional Materials and Open Educational Resources (OER) Program Manager at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Washington, Barbara Soots implements state legislation directing collection of K–12 OER resources aligned to state learning standards and promotion of OER awareness and adoption throughout the state.
She has worked on model policy for instructional materials adoption that recognizes OER as an option for consideration. She has also led work on an OSPI Open Licensing Policy that requires open licensing for all educational materials created by OSPI staff, contractors, or grantees.
Having facilitated educator review of open resources, managed grants supporting districts using OER, and led events about their importance in the changing educational landscape, she is a national leader in the discussion about effective implementation of OER in K–12.
Katrina Stevens, Director of Learning Science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)
As Director of Learning Science at CZI, Katrina Stevens works on supporting the education ecosystem to collect and apply learning science evidence to support improvements in learning success, especially for subgroups that have had the most challenges.
Previous to CZI, Stevens brought her experience as a teacher, administrator, and startup cofounder to her role as the Deputy Director for the Office of Educational Technology where she oversaw Future Ready, education innovation clusters, rapid cycle evaluations, and developer outreach. She also helped launch the Jefferson Education Exchange and served as the first entrepreneur-in-residence for Jobs for the Future’s new JFF Labs.
Before working at the U.S. Department of Education, Stevens served as the EdSurge Summit Director, Founding Executive Director of EdTech Maryland, and worked in the central office in Baltimore County Public Schools. Stevens also spent three years working with the Ministry of Education in Bermuda for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth to launch a lab school and gifted program for students from across the island.
Stevens received an Honors BA in English and MA in English Literature and Composition from Temple University. She also holds an Advanced Teaching Certificate and Admin I certification.
Jason Strate, Director, CUES, @jasonstratecues
Jason Strate is the Executive Director at Central Utah Educational Services (CUES) which serves seven rural school districts with a student population of 13,700. CUES provides vital support in professional learning and technical support to assist districts in security and data privacy. He has 20 years of experience as a classroom teacher, school administrator, and rural service agency director. He earned his Bachelor and Master degrees from Utah State University in Industrial Technology and Engineering and his administrative license from Southern Utah university.
Shannon Glynn Thomas, Program Director, College-and Career-Readiness Standards, Council of Chief State School Officers
Shannon Glynn Thomas is the Director of College and Career Ready Standards at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). In this role, she leads the Council’s work to uphold the fidelity and intent of the Common Core State Standards and promote sharing and collaboration across states and national organizations with regard to college and career readiness. Shannon leads CCSSO’s work on high-quality instructional materials and aligned professional development, managing a network of seven states that are working to increase access and use of standards aligned, high-quality materials. She also manages a network of Chief Academic Officers and Chief Talent Officers and oversees work related to standards aligned instruction in the early grades.
Shannon has worked extensively in education policy at the federal, state and local level. Prior to joining CCSSO, Shannon worked for Congressman Ron Kind, serving as an education policy legislative assistant and as an associate at a small policy firm managing education non-profit clients.
Sara Trettin, Policy Advisor & Open Education, Digital Engagement & Libraries Lead, U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, @saratrettin
Sara leads the open education work for the Department, directs digital engagement for the Office of Educational Technology and leads the office’s efforts surrounding libraries and librarians. Sara joined the Department as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2014. While on rotation to the State Department, Sara supported the ECA Collaboratory’s work on open education, open government, and education diplomacy. Prior to joining the Department, she worked as a Learning Services Librarian and served as Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress. A former teacher, Sara holds a B.A. from Clemson University, a graduate certificate from Duke University, and a Master’s in Library Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sara enjoys making salsa, digging in her backyard, and packing a tent when she travels.
Carla Wade, Digital Learning Specialist, Oregon Department of Education, @wadec
Carla Wade is the Digital Learning Specialist for the Oregon Department of Education. Her experience in ranges from creating Zoo Education programs that grew 750% in the first year to managing curriculum and instruction (including Spaceflight Academy) at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry before getting into the formal education arena.Carla is committed to providing quality education for students in an environment where they have access to tools, effective teachers and processes for learning that inspire them to develop college and career ready skills and a desire for life-long learning. She has managed federal grant programs including Title I-A, Title II-A, Title IID and the Technology Literacy Fund. She has authored and/or implemented successful grants including grants from Intel Education Foundation, federal ESEA programs, Meyer Memorial Trust, and the National Science Foundation. Carla has served on the boards of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) and the Oregon Science Teachers Association (OSTA). She has received recognition for her work in educational technology from the George Lucas Education Foundation, ISTE and SETDA where she won the 2010 State Leader of the Year Award.
Dr. Tracy Weeks, Executive Director, SETDA, @tracyweeks
Dr. Tracy Weeks is the Executive Director for the State Education Technology Director’s Association (SETDA). Prior to joining the team at SETDA, she served as the Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the first senior state leadership position of its kind in the nation. In that role, Dr. Weeks oversaw the areas of: K-12 Curriculum and Instruction, Career and Technical Education, Exceptional Children, and the North Carolina Virtual Public School. She also served as the state agency lead on the development of the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan.
From 2008-2014, Tracy led the North Carolina Virtual Public School, the second largest state-led virtual school in the nation, as the Chief Academic Officer and subsequently the Executive Director. She holds a bachelors degree in Secondary Math Education from UNC-Chapel Hill, a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology with a Statistics minor and a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction from NC State University. She is a NC Teaching Fellow, NC Education Policy Fellow, and a member of Phi Kappa Phi.
Maureen Wentworth, Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Ed-Fi Alliance
Maureen Wentworth joined the Ed-Fi Alliance team in June of 2017 as a manager for strategic partnerships. In this role, she is responsible for driving measurable and meaningful adoption of the Ed-Fi standard, leading outreach and support for the Ed-Fi Alliance community, and helping to guide the direction by proving the “voice of the field”. Maureen has a demonstrated commitment to education and has spent her career working to improve systems so that all students have a chance to succeed.
Prior to joining the Ed-Fi Alliance, Maureen served as the director of education data and information systems at the Council of Chief State School Officers. While at CCSSO Maureen established the CIO Network and worked with state education agency leadership to leverage a collective influence throughout the education IT community. In her early career Maureen worked at a number of national and international organizations including Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Greenhill Centre for Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland, Project Vote, the American Youth Policy Forum, Every Child Matters, and Mentoring International. Maureen’s passion for serving kids drives everything she does. Maureen graduated from American University with a B.A. in political science and received her M.B.A. from the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University.
Mary Ann Wolf, Ph.D., Director of the Professional Learning and Leading Collaborative, The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, @maryannwolfed
Mary Ann Wolf is the the Professional Learning and Leading Collaborative for the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University. Mary Ann has worked closely with federal, state, and local education leaders; policy-makers; and organizations on connecting policy and practice for innovative education reform, digital learning, and instructional practices. Mary Ann played a lead role in developing and facilitating the Digital Learning Transition MOOC-Ed and in establishing the Friday Institute’s growing initiative on MOOCs for Educators.
She is also a part of the development and facilitation team for the Distinguished Leadership in Practice – Digital Learning for principals across the state in conjunction with NCPAPA. Mary Ann wrote Innovate to Educate: Education System [Re]Design for Personalized Learning, an influential report based upon a Symposium held by SIIA, ASCD, and CCSSO. She also co-authored Culture Shift: Teaching in a Learner-Centered Environment Powered by Digital Learning for the Alliance for Excellent Education and two reports on Mobile Learning in North America for UNESCO and CoSN. Previously, Mary Ann was the Executive Director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). In this position, she worked with education leaders and policymakers in all 50 states to share data and models of how to improve education to ensure America’s and our students’ competitiveness in the global economy.
Mary Ann served on the Congress on the Future of Content Task Force and was a member of the NAEP Technology Literacy Assessment steering committee. She testified before the US House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee; and SETDA hosted, with the National Science Foundation, Future of Learning educational technology showcases for members of Congress and staffers in the House and the Senate. Mary Ann taught fifth grade in Virginia and has three children – one each in elementary, middle, and high school.
Shawn Young, CEO & Co-Founder, Classcraft, @_shawnyoung_ @classcraftgame
Shawn Young is a co-founder and CEO of Classcraft, the Engagement Management System for schools. Since its launch, Classcraft has gained incredible traction with educators worldwide, providing tools to gamify their classrooms.
Shawn taught 11th grade physics for 9 years, holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and master’s in education from Université de Sherbrooke and is also a seasoned web developer. Shawn sits on the corporate advisory board for Future Ready Schools New Jersey and the Scientific Advisory Board for UNESCO’s MGIEP.
Shawn is interested in how we can create community in the classroom and how playful principles can help teach the whole child.