leadership summit 2019 banner updated

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.

Featured Speakers

Vince Bertram HeadshotDr. Vince Bertram, President and CEO, Project Lead The Way (PLTW), @VinceBertram

Dr. Vince Bertram is president and chief executive officer of Project Lead The Way (PLTW). Since joining the organization in June 2011, PLTW has grown to serve approximately 11,500 schools across the U.S., trained thousands of teachers, and received numerous national recognitions and awards. In 2014, he was appointed by the U.S. Department of State to serve as the education expert for its United States Speaker and Specialist Program. The National Science Foundation (NSF), in consultation with the Department of Education, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, appointed Vince to the congress-authorized STEM Education Advisory Panel in 2018. He serves on the Olin College of Engineering President’s Council. He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, is a frequent contributor to national publications, and is a New York Times bestselling author with his books Dream Differently: Candid Advice for America’s Students and One Nation Under-Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Crisis.

read more

Prior to joining PLTW, Dr. Bertram spent 20 years in education as a teacher, principal, and superintendent of Indiana’s third-largest urban school district.

Dr. Bertram holds an Ed.D, MS, Ed.S, and BS degrees from Ball State University, a master’s degree in education policy and management from Harvard University, and MBA degrees from Georgetown University and ESADE Business School. He also earned an executive certificate in strategy and innovation from the MIT Sloan School of Management and is an alumnus of the Chicago Management Institute at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. In 2018, he received the National Instruments Innovations in STEM Award, which celebrates an individual who is dedicated to equipping students for successful careers. Dr. Bertram received an honorary doctorate in engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, was named a “Distinguished Hoosier” by Governor Mitch Daniels, received the “Intellectual Contributions and Faculty Tribute” award for his contributions to the intellectual life at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and received the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from Ball State University.

Bernadette Adams headshotBernadette Adams, Senior Policy Advisor, White House Leadership Fellow, U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology

As Senior Policy Advisor, Bernadette has led projects to provide practitioners and policymakers with guidance on: research-based policies and practices implemented by successful Future Ready Leaders; new strategies for evaluating the effectiveness of learning technologies; the role of online communities of practice in enhancing educator performance; exemplary strategies for district leaders to design, acquire, and maintain technology infrastructure; exemplary strategies for developers to leverage technology to solve persistent problems in education; and key considerations for implementing personalized student learning in schools. Prior to joining OET, Bernadette worked to advance the use of technology for workforce development at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, and served as a consultant to design an innovative technology-based science curriculum for the Atlanta Public School District.

Jennifer Adams headshotDr. Jennifer Adams, CEO, Educating Leaders Consulting, @JenAdamsEd

Jennifer has recently completed an eight-year term as the Director of Education for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board in Ontario Canada, serving a diverse student population of 73,000 across 150 elementary and secondary schools. She is a former superintendent of curriculum, elementary school principal, and French teacher. Jennifer earned her doctorate in educational administration from the University of Toronto/OISE, Canada. Throughout her career, Jennifer has been recognized as a leader in curriculum planning and instructional practice. She is committed to working with communities to strengthen public education. She has been invited to speak at a variety of international conferences, sharing her experience of leading education system improvements by putting academic research into policy and practice. Jennifer has served as the Chair of the Advisory Committee for the OECD Study on Social and Emotional Skills and is on the Executive Committee for Karanga: The Global Alliance for Social Emotional Learning and Life Skills. She is the founder and CEO of Educating Leaders, a consulting company specializing in education, future skills, and leadership/talent development.

Laurel Ballard Resized HeadshotLaurel Ballard, Ph.D., Student and Teacher Resources Team Supervisor, Wyoming Department of Education, @laurel_ballard

Laurel Ballard, Ph.D. is the Student and Teacher Resources Team Supervisor for the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE). In this role she supervises staff and programs related to digital learning, virtual education, teacher and leader evaluation and accountability, educator equitable, at-risk students, computer science education. She is also the state lead for Wyoming’s Career Readiness Initiative.

read more

Dr. Ballard has extensive and varied experience in leading and moving the work of large multi-agency projects and steering teams forward. She is actively leading six prominent steering teams including: Educator Equity Steering Team, Certified Personnel Evaluation System and Leader Accountability Advisory Panel, Wyoming Career Readiness Council, Virtual Education Advisory Committee, Statewide Digital Learning Advisory Panel, and Computer Science Education Advisory Panel. Previously, Previously, Dr. Ballard has previously successfully led or facilitated the Distance Education Task Force, P20W Statewide Longitudinal Data System Governance, Wyoming Summer School Advisory Team, and Accountability Steering Team. These steering teams and advisory panels include a diverse set of stakeholders including state legislators, Governor’s Office, industry, multiple state agencies, school district superintendents, school district technology directors, and virtual education providers. Laurel also represents the Superintendent of Public Instruction on Wyoming’s Workforce Development Council.

Previous positions Dr. Ballard has held include Education IT Enterprise Architect – Department of Enterprise Technology Services, Manager of Information and Accountability – Natrona County School District #1, Chief Information and Data Officer, Supervisor for Accountability, and School Improvement Consultant – Wyoming Department of Education.

Giancarlo Brotton headshotGiancarlo Brotto, Global Education Strategist, @4GBrotto

Giancarlo Brotto is a Global Education Strategist.  He engages with government officials, policy-influencing organization, thought leaders, school system decision makers and researchers to gain insights and influence trends in the education sector.  With over 20 years’ experience, his areas of expertise include education policy, classroom practice, professional learning, education research and educational technology implementation.  He regularly shares his insight through Twitter, LinkedIn and his dynamic, audience engaging presentations has him regularly presenting to education stakeholders across the globe.  He is currently a founding member of Catalyst – international organization for education change agents.

Doug Casey BoardDoug Casey, Executive Director, Connecticut State Commission for Educational Technology (CET), @DougCasey

Doug Casey serves as the Executive Director for the Connecticut State Commission for Educational Technology (CET). In that role, he designs and manages strategic plans that help ensure the successful integration of technology in Connecticut’s schools, libraries, universities, and towns. The CET has direct oversight of statewide programs including the Connecticut Education Network (CEN, the state’s research and education network), its digital library (researchIT, formerly iCONN), and other initiatives. 

read more

Prior to joining the CET, Doug served for nearly 10 years as the Director of Technology for the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) in Hartford. There he oversaw and implemented significant improvements in business processes, digital security, and information management for the agency’s 25 schools, 36 districts in the Hartford area, and schools statewide.

Doug began his career as a middle school English teacher in Virginia after graduating from the College of William & Mary. He applied his classroom experience to educational publishing, managing communications for the Smithsonian Institution’s office of education. He later earned a master of arts degree in online communications from Georgetown University and a master of science in management information systems from George Washington University. His diverse background includes managing technology for marketing firms as well as security and systems engineering for national security agencies and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Outside of work, Doug enjoys time with family, serving through missions, and triathlon. 

susan clairSusan M. Clair, Ed.D., Learning Infrastructure Coordinator, Office of Technology, Virginia Department of Education, @VDOE_News

Dr. Susan M. Clair is the Learning Infrastructure Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). She has over a decade of experience as a former Director of Instructional Technology. Virginia does not view the E-rate program in isolation but rather has a larger vision of how infrastructure supports learning in schools. With that vision in mind, The K-12 Learning Infrastructure Program (KLIP was created. Susan’s role is to build this program into a major resource for educators. The KLIP is a partnership with the VDOE, the governor’s office, and the EducationSuperHighway. The goals of the program are to get fiber to schools that need it, ensure classrooms have updated and reliable Wi-Fi, help schools get more broadband for their budgets, and assist schools with the E-rate process. Since 2016, the KLIP has assisted school divisions with their infrastructure by developing state master contracts for broadband and network equipment, making state matching funds available for self-provisioning broadband networks, and providing the support, industry expertise, and information that schools need to make informed decisions.

Eliz Colbert PhotoDr. Eliz Colbert, Executive Director, North Carolina Virtual Public School, @E_Colbert

Dr. Eliz Colbert joined the team at NC Virtual Public School in 2013 and currently serves as the Executive Director. She has over twenty years in service to NC public schools including twelve years as a school administrator and six years leading professional learning initiatives at the state and local level. These roles have allowed Eliz the opportunity to study and deploy best practices in learning for students of all ages through the online classroom. She is a graduate of the The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and received a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the proud mother of two children who attend NC public schools.

Cynthia CurryCynthia Curry, Director, AEM Center, @clcurry

Cynthia Curry is Director of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM Center). She works with stakeholders across preK-12, postsecondary education and workforce development to ensure that all learners have the same access to high quality accessible educational materials and technologies for learning. Through resource development, technical assistance and training, she leads stakeholders in building capacity to implement AEM.

read more

Cynthia was a practicing engineer for five years before pursuing her interest in science teaching, which sparked a passion for access to learning through technology. During her two-decade career in education, she has worked across K-12 schools, universities, non-profit organizations, and state agencies to improve outcomes for learners with disabilities. At the University of Southern Maine, she was a leader in three U.S. Department of Education funded projects to better prepare teachers to use technology to improve curriculum access by learners with disabilities. Additionally, she participated in two NSF-funded projects to increase the number of students with disabilities who pursue STEM in college and careers. For the Maine Department of Education, she delivered in-person and online professional development on teaching all learners in 1:1 computer classrooms across the state. Just prior to joining CAST, she was the coordinator of the Office for Students with Disabilities at the University of New England.

Blonde female in striped blazer

Candice Dodson, Executive Director, SETDA, @candicedodson

Candice Dodson is the Executive Director for the State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA). Prior to joining the team at SETDA, she served as the Director of eLearning for the Indiana Department of Education. In that role, Candice focused on advancing and expanding Indiana’s efforts to take advantage of technology to improve student outcomes. She and her eLearning team worked to boost the state’s efforts to connect Indiana to great ideas in educational technology, virtual and online learning, and new learning models and instructional practices. Her strategic work included the formation of an eLearning Leadership Cadre, statewide professional development opportunities including the Summer of eLearning conferences, Admin Academies, and Digital Learning Grants, and resources and training to support digital learning. Prior to the Indiana Department of Education, Candice had 20 years of experience in a variety of roles from elementary teacher, media specialist, and high ability educator to curriculum and technology integration specialist, central office administrator, and assistant principal.

read more

Ms. Dodson’s most recent work prior to the IDOE centered on the implementation of a 6-12 one-to-one initiative, the development of leadership programs for district administrators, and expansion of professional development programs. Candice has previously represented Indiana on the Board of Directors of SETDA (State Educational Technology Directors Association), and the HECC (Hoosier Educational Computer Coordinators) Board. Candice continues to serve on the Indiana University School of Education Alumni Board of Directors She has presented, in Indiana and nationally, various sessions and talks on leadership in the digital age.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University, Bloomington, a Masters of Education from Indiana State University, Terre Haute, an Administrator Leadership, Administrative Licensure from University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, and a Leadership Institute Certificate from Brown University, Providence, RI.

Val Emrich headshotVal Emrich, Director of Instructional Technology and School Library Media, Maryland State Department of Education

Val Emrich is the Director of Instructional Technology and School Library Media at the Maryland State Department of Education. Prior to this role, she served 9 years as a county level Instructional Technology Manager, 2 years as a county level Instructional Technology Specialist, and over twelve years as a school based educator. Her goal is to use the power of digital resources to help transform K12 teaching and learning in blended, student-centered environments. She holds a Masters in Instructional Technology/Library Media from University of Towson and a Masters Certification in Instructional Technology from Johns Hopkins University.

Ronda EshlemanRonda Eshleman, Executive Director, Indiana Online

Ronda Eshleman is the Executive Director of Indiana Online, a program of the Central Indiana Educational Services Center. Ronda and her team have built a supplemental, online program partnering with over 300 high schools across the state of Indiana, offering over 100 online courses. During her tenure at Indiana Online, Ronda has been an integral part of the expanding growth of online learning in Indiana. A leader in the field, she is on the Executive Board for the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance and currently serves on the leadership team for the creation of the new National Standards for Quality Online Courses, Teaching and Programs.

Julia Fallon White NewJulia Fallon, Title II, Part A Program Lead, Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Julia Fallon is a technology and learning alchemist. She works 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 provides operational oversight of the federal program designed to improve the quality of instruction and administration. In her previous role as the state’s Technology Integration Program Manager, she streamlined strategic planning for districts moving large- and small-scale technology projects forward, championed robust professional learning 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.

read more

Involved with learning technologies since 1989, she is an avid proponent of dynamic 21st century learning experiences where highly effective instructional strategies integrate a wide range of digital technologies. Her professional interest lies in making the case for public school systems wherein all educators are able to optimize technology-rich learning environments to engage the learners who fill our classrooms. She explores and probes 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.

Julia is also the past board chair of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), a nonprofit membership association launched by state leaders in 2001 to serve, support, and represent their emerging interests and needs with respect to the use of technology for teaching and learning.

Melinda Fiscus NEW Head shotMelinda Fiscus, Digital Access Coordinator, Learning Technology Center of Illinois, Illinois State Board of Education

Melinda Fiscus is the Digital Access Coordinator for the Learning Technology Center of Illinois. In this role she provides networking opportunities, consulting services, professional development for school districts, and advocates for the advancement of educational technology across Illinois. She serves as one of the Illinois representatives to the State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA) and also serves as a governing board member. She is one of the Illinois State E-rate Coordinators (SECA), and is a founding member of the Classroom Connectivity Project. Melinda is in her 20th year working in IL educational technology, and is currently excited about IL broadband opportunities, the Future Ready School Initiative, and is passionate about creating immersive learning experiences for staff and students.

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.

read more

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.

Jennifer Fronczak headshotJennifer Fronczak, M.Ed., 6-12 Mathematics, East Grand School

Jennifer Fronczak is a New York native who has lived in Maine for over 25 years. Her undergraduate work was at the State University College in Oneonta, NY in Elementary Education with a minor in mathematics. Her graduate work was at UMO for Literacy. She has been a teacher for over 25 years and has taught every grade from K-12+. In addition, she is a Noyes Fellow Mentor teacher at the University of Maine in Orono. Her areas of interest in education center around place and project based education with a natural resources emphasis, authentic integration of technology and classroom climate. She and her husband are a blended family with 10 children between them. They enjoy hiking, swimming, camping and kayaking. Their goal is to retire on a catamaran and sail the warm part of the world.

Erich Grauke, Principal Consultant, Illinois State Board of Education

Erich Grauke is a principal consultant in the CTE and Innovation division at the Illinois State Board of Education.  Drawing on 21 years of experience in education with roles as a middle school teacher, assistant principal, and 13 years as a district technology director, he provides expertise and leadership on statewide educational technology initiatives and grant programs.  He also advises State Board administrators and members of the Illinois General Assembly in the creation of policies and laws governing educational technology use, with areas of focus including broadband infrastructure, equity, data security and privacy, and personalized learning.  Along with Mindy Fiscus, he serves as one of the Illinois State E-Rate Coordinators. He is a COSN Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL), Google Educator, and a Microsoft Innovative Educator. He holds a Masters in Educational Technology from National Louis University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Benedictine University.

Kim Gray East Grand SchoolKim Gray, Kindergarten Teacher, East Grand School

Kim Gray grew up in Medway and received her associate’s degree in Library Science in 2000 and bachelor’s degree in 2006 from University of Maine at Augusta as a non-traditional student while raising her two boys. She was the Media Coordinator at East Grand School for a number of years and in 2010 started teaching Pre-K after receiving her certification. She has also taught 4th grade, Title 1 and currently is teaching Kindergarten.  She loves the young students of East Grand School and enjoys watching them flourish in their learning.

Kiersten Greene headshot croppedKiersten Greene, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Literacy Education, Department of Teaching & Learning, SUNY New Paltz

Kiersten Greene is an Associate Professor of Literacy Education in the Department of Teaching & Learning at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Kiersten’s scholarship is rooted in making sense of the 21st century classroom experience, and her most recent work explores technology integration practices in teacher preparation.

Greene iSmile 2015 (1 of 12)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.

read more

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 HeadshotAlan Griffin, Curriculum Content Specialist, Utah State Board of Education, @agriffin5

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.

Cindy Hamblin Head ShotCindy Hamblin, Director, Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance, @CindyHamblin10

Cindy Hamblin is the director of the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA). The VLLA is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization that brings together leaders from online learning programs in the U.S. to strengthen virtual education. Ms. Hamblin was the director of the Illinois Virtual School from 2009-2018 where she provided oversight of the quality of online courses, instructors and services to students. Cindy joined the VLLA with twenty-six years of experience leading educational technology in Illinois.



Thomas Kochan Headshot MITThomas Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, Professor of Work and Employment Research, Co‐Director of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research, MIT Sloan School of Management

Thomas Kochan is the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, a Professor of Work and Employment Research and the Co‐Director of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Kochan focuses on the need to update America’s work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the need for a new social contract at work, one that anticipates and engages current and future technological changes in ways that build a more inclusive economy and broadly shared prosperity. Through empirical research, he demonstrates that fundamental changes in the quality of employee and labor‐management relations are needed to address America’s critical problems in industries ranging from healthcare to airlines to manufacturing. His most recent book is entitled, Shaping the Future of Work:  A Handbook for Action and a New Social Contract (MITx Press, 2018).  He is a member of the MIT Task Force on Work of the Future. Kochan holds a BBA in personnel management as well as an MS and a PhD in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin​.

reg leichty headshotReg 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. 

read more

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.  

Ann-Marie Mapes, Educational Technology Manager,  Office of Systems, Evaluation, and Technology (OSET), Michigan Department of Education, @annmariemapes

Ann-Marie Mapes is an Education Technology Consultant in the P-20 Office of Data and Information Management at the Michigan Department of Education. She has served in various roles at the Michigan Department of Education for over 14 years, from coordinating teacher recognition programs to teaching technology to adult learners. Her current efforts focus on various statewide technology initiatives, including Michigan’s State Education Technology Plan, the Michigan #GoOpen Community and the state refresh of education technology standards for students, in addition to technology planning and school connectivity.  Ann-Marie believes that strategic partnerships are essential elements to accelerate, amplify, expand access and opportunity, and positively impact student achievement and engagement through technology.

Garrett McGuire ATT headshot

Garrett McGuire, Area Manager – External Affairs, Corporate and External Affairs, AT&T Virginia

Garrett McGuire is the Regional Director for External and Legislative Affairs for AT&T Virginia. In this role, Garrett helps advocate for company priorities at the state and local level in Virginia, while also promoting AT&T’s work in the community. Garrett has an extensive background in government relations and public policy. Prior to AT&T, he led state government relations advocacy for a trade association representing a sector of American manufacturing. Garrett has also worked for elected leaders in a legislative and campaign role at the local, state, and federal level. He holds an undergraduate and graduate degree from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Garrett and his wife Meghan live in Alexandria, Virginia with their dog, Cassie.

Tim McIlvainTim McIlvain, Director, Learning Technology Center, Illinois State Board of Education, @TimMcIlvain

Tim McIlvain directs the Learning Technology Center, an Illinois State Board of Education organization that delivers technology and education services to all K-12 schools and districts in the state. He provides strategic leadership, expertise, and operational management for technology and digital learning initiatives. Primary areas of focus include technology infrastructure, personalized and digital learning, data security and student safety, equity and access, and industry and community partnerships. 

read more

Tim is a frequent presenter on educational technology topics and serves in leadership roles on several boards and committees. He is a National Board Certified Teacher, Google Trainer and Administrator, Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL), and Microsoft Innovative Educator. Before his role as Director, Tim was a teacher, project manager, and web developer. He holds a Master of Information Science from Indiana University and a Master of Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of Illinois. 

Janice Mertes HeadshotJanice 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. 

read more

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. 

Dawn Nordine Photo GoogleDawn Nordine, Executive Director, Wisconsin Virtual School (WVS)

Dawn Nordine is the Executive Director of Wisconsin Virtual School (WVS), the state-led supplemental online program for grades 6-12, operated out of CESA 9. Since 2000 WVS has served over 35,000 enrollments, with over half of Wisconsin’s school districts participating in the program. Dawn has been in the education field for 28 years. Formerly a superintendent and technology coordinator of a rural school district, Dawn has been actively involved in the expanding online and blended learning opportunities for students in Wisconsin for 16 years.

Jill PlummerJill Plummer, Middle School Teacher, East Grand School

Jill Plummer grew up on the New Jersey shore and received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 1990 from Salisbury University in Maryland. After starting a family, she returned to teaching in 1999 and has been teaching at East Grand School ever since. She has been a Title I teacher, kindergarten teacher, second grade teacher, and currently is a middle school ELA, teacher. Jill is pursuing her master’s degree in Instructional Technology at the University of Maine. In the future she would like to work with adult learners to help them integrate technology into their instruction. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and snowshoeing.

LAsse Remmer headshotLasse Remmer, Lead Ambassador, Future Classroom Lab, Copenhagen Denmark

Lasse Remmer is appointed by the Danish Ministry of education to represent Denmark in the European Schoolnet’s Future Classroom Lab. In this role, Lasse is part of a team that works with the combination of new pedagogy, learning spaces and technology, aimed at inservice teacher training and teacher training programs. All centered around the 1000m2 Future Classroom Lab DK placed in the brand new University College Copenhagen at Campus Carlsberg, Copenhagen Denmark. Future Classroom Lab has a public service commitment to provide impartial guidance to municipalities and schools in buying edtech products and other learning resources in close collaboration with industry partners from all over the world. Furthermore Lasse was appointed by the Danish Ministry of Education to be part of a expert group to develop a brand new compulsory subject for 1-10. grade (6y-16y) called “Technology Comprehension” that is still in a test phase at 46 primary schools. Prior to his work at Future Classroom Lab, Lasse worked as a secondary teacher in the Copenhagen area. Lasse lives in Copenhagen Denmark, with his 3 children and wife Charlotte.

Jake Steel headshotJake Steel, Deputy Director, U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology

Jake Steel is the Deputy Director of the Office of Educational Technology and the Senior Advisor over K-12 Education in the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to joining the Department, Jake was appointed by the President as a White House Fellow at the Domestic Policy Council. A former math teacher in Oklahoma City, Jake focused on closing the achievement gap through personalized learning and technology. Jake earned a B.S. in communications from Brigham Young University–Idaho and an M.S. in education from Johns Hopkins University.

Scott Stump USDOEScott Stump, Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education

Prior to assuming the role of Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical and Adult Education, Scott Stump served as the Chief Operating Officer with Vivayic, Inc., a learning solutions provider devoted to helping individuals, organizations and corporations do good in the world.  Before that, Scott served as the Assistant Provost/State Director for Career & Technical Education (CTE) with the Colorado Community College System. Over his tenure with the system Stump also served as State FFA Advisor, Agriculture Program Director and interim President of Northeastern Junior College during the institution’s presidential search process. 

read more

During his seven-year tenure as a State CTE Director, Scott served as an officer in the National Association of State Directors of Career & Technical Education.  Through this role, he served on the National SkillsUSA Board of Directors as the NASDCTEc liaison.

Stump served two terms on the Prairie RE11-J school board and one year on the Colorado Association of School Boards Board of Directors.

Stump received his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education from Purdue University and taught at Manchester High School in North Central Indiana.  Before coming to Colorado he also worked for the National FFA Organization managing the national officer team and the national FFA convention. In May of 2018, Stump completed his Master of Business Administration through Western Governor’s University. 

Christine Terry Headshot-2Christine Terry, Education Consultant, eMINTS National Center, @ChristieTerry

Christine Terry, is an education consultant with the eMINTS National Center and the Graduate Research Assistant to the Associate Dean for Outreach and Engagement at the University of Missouri College of Education. She has 20 years of experience developing and investigating educational solutions that serve diverse populations including those with the greatest needs. In addition to serving as Director of the eMINTS National Center, Christie has served as project director or assistant project director on over 30MM in Federal research grants, including two Investing in Innovation (i3) Validation grants awarded to study the eMINTS program, and an NSF grant focused on teaching students computational thinking as they design and program their own video games.

Shannon Glynn Thomas headshotShannon Glynn Thomas​, Program Director, College‑and Career‑Readiness Standards, CCSSO

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.

DeLaina Tonks, Ph.D.,  Principal, Mountain Heights Academy

DeLaina TonksDeLaina has been involved in education since 1991. Prior to coming to Mountain Heights Academy, DeLaina taught high school French and Spanish, and worked as an instructional designer in Upper Arlington, Ohio. She is a 2014 “Best of State – Principal” winner and was named as one of Utah Business’s “30 Women to Watch.” She holds a PhD in Instructional Psychology and Technology from Brigham Young University, her initial alma mater, where she also earned a BA in French and Spanish Teaching. She also has a Master of Arts in Linguistics/Second Language Acquisition from the Ohio State University.



Sara Trettin Headshot 2019Sara Trettin, Policy Advisor & Open Education, Digital Engagement & Libraries Lead, U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, @saratrettin

Sara Trettin is a Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education where she leads the broadband and K-12 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. 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.

Christine Voelker headshotChristine Voelker, K-12 Program Director, Quality Matters, @voelkerc

Christine Voelker is the K-12 Program Director for Quality Matters. She has been involved with K-12 education for over 20 years, with an emphasis on distance learning, library media, instructional technology and professional development. Prior to coming to Quality Matters, Christine was an Educational Technology Teacher Specialist. As such, she developed and coordinated the first student online learning program in her district. She has an advanced certificate in Administration and Supervision, a Masters in Library and Information Sciences, and a B.A. in both History and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary: Early Childhood Education.

Margaret White, Principal, East Grand School

Margaret White has been in education for 34 years. She received her undergraduate degree in Special Education at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.  She taught PK-12 Special Education courses from 1985 until 2000. In 2000, she designed and taught in a 9-12 Alternative Education program in Stacyville, Maine. She received her graduate degree from the University of Maine in 2009 in Educational Leadership. In 2010, she became the PK-5 principal at Southern Aroostook Community School (SACS) in Dyer Brook, Maine, and in 2016, she became the PK-12 principal at East Grand School in Danforth, Maine.

© 2019 SETDA, All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy