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.
2015 Keynote Speaker
James Steyer, Founder and CEO, Common Sense Media
James Steyer is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Common Sense Media, the nation’s leading non-partisan organization dedicated to improving the world for kids and education. He is also the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Center for the Next Generation, as well as the author of Talking Back to Facebook and The Other Parent: The Inside Story of the Media’s Effect on our Children. Jim is also an award-winning, Consulting Professor at Stanford University, where he has taught popular courses on civil rights, civil liberties and education for 25 years. He appears regularly on national television and radio programs as an expert commentator and children’s advocate. Last, but most importantly, he’s a dad of four great kids.
Presenters, Moderators and Discussants
Kristen Amundson, Executive Director, National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
Kristen Amundson is the Executive Director for the National Association for State Boards of Education (NASBE). Prior to her role at NASBE, she represented the 44th District in the Virginia General Assembly from 1999-2009. During that time, she was a member of Virginia’s P–16 Council and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).
Before successfully running for an Assembly seat, Amundson—a former teacher— served for nearly a decade on the Fairfax County, Va., School Board, including two years as its chairwoman. Most recently, she was the Senior Vice President for External Affairs at Education Sector, an independent think tank. She writes frequently on education issues and has been published in The Washington Post and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, among others.
Roxana Ayala, UC Irvine Student, MSTMA Alumni
Roxana Ayala is a first generation student currently completing her second year at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). She is currently majoring in Earth System Science with a double minor in Urban Studies and Global Sustainability. Today she is a proud member of the nation’s first co-ed professional sustainability fraternity, Theta Psi, who are dedicated to empower innovate leaders to help alleviate the current climate crisis. She is passionate about creating sustainable environments in her community, as she is currently an intern in The Garden Commission Project at UCI and took part of a two week intense program in El Papaturro, El Salvador to learn about food system, agriculture, and sustainability-equity related challenges. After college she hopes to continue to travel to different parts of world to continue to develop a critical lens on local/global solidarity and address environmental issues that affect rural communities and help restore their communities.
Dan Badea, Associate Director, Office of Curriculum & Assessment, Ohio Department of Education
Dan Badea is an Associate Director in the Office of Curriculum & Assessment at the Ohio Department of Education. He is the lead person on all things technology in the office of C&A. Dan served on the Ohio Digital Learning Task Force which was legislatively charged with developing a strategy for the expansion of digital learning in Ohio schools. Currently his focus is on leading the work of integrating technology into the state’s model curriculum for all Ohio Learning Standards for students; updating and revising Ohio’s Technology Standards for students; and the selection of a learning management system that will be used to deliver the department’s professional development to Ohio educators.
Recently, in partnership with Sandy Paxton of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Dan was selected to receive the Quality Matters “Making a Difference for Students” Award in the K-12 Individual Category. Dan will be recognized for this award at the 7thAnnual Quality Matters Conference in San Antonio, TX on November 3, 2015.
Laurence Cocco, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, New Jersey Department of Education
Many evenings Laurence can be found in World of Warcraft (WoW) conversing with fellow members of the educators’ guild Inevitable Betrayal on the educational value of WoW and other games. He has also conducted webinar interviews and panel discussions on educational gaming for G.A.M.E. (Gamers Advancing Meaningful Education).
Laurence has a M.A. in Educational Communication & Technology from NYU. He is an Ed Tech and lifelong learning evangelist, looking to transform learning strategies through the incorporation of emerging technologies and brain-based learning theory.
Richard Culatta, Director, US Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology
Richard Culatta is a leader in the field of educational innovation. He has worked in K-12, higher education, corporate, and government training environments. His current focus asDeputy Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the US Department of Education is on using data and learning analytics to create customized learning experiences for all students.
Prior to joining the Department of Education, he served as an education policy advisor to US Senator Patty Murray. Culatta is a certified Spanish teacher and active in promoting bilingual and arts education in public schools.
Dallas Dance, Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools
Distinguished as a vibrant and visionary leader, Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance has united Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) students, staff and the community into Team BCPS, a powerful force committed to producing globally competitive graduates. As superintendent of the 25th largest school system in the nation, Dr. Dance, whose tenure began in 2012, is responsible for overseeing the instruction of 110,000 students and leading and managing a $1.6 billion budget, 19,000 employees, and 173 schools, centers and programs.
In collaboration with Team BCPS, Dr. Dance spearheaded the development of Blueprint 2.0, a five-year strategic plan focused on improving academics, safety, communication and organizational effectiveness. Under Dr. Dance’s leadership, fundamental shifts in teaching and learning are taking place through two groundbreaking ways. First, S.T.A.T. (Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow) is designed to create a 1:1 digital learning environment for all students. S.T.A.T. began with the development of curriculum in core content areas to redefine how instruction is delivered, placing a stronger emphasis on personalized instruction and critical thinking skills. In addition, the Second Language Acquisition program supports all students by ensuring that they graduate with fluency in a second language. By the 2015-2016 school year, Second Language Acquisition, which offers Spanish language instruction starting in Grade 4, will be in 25 elementary schools while S.T.A.T. will be operational in seven middle and 10 elementary schools.
Candice Dodson, Director of eLearning, Indiana Department of Education
Candice Dodson is the Director of eLearning where she is focusing on advancing and expanding Indiana’s efforts to take advantage of technology to improve student outcomes. Candice comes to the IDOE from Evansville Vanderburgh Community Schools (EVSC) with over 20 years of experience in a variety of roles from elementary teacher, media specialist to curriculum and technology integration specialist, central office administrator, and assistant principal. Ms. Dodson’s most recent work in Evansville centered on the implementation of EVSC’s 1-to-1 initiative, the development of leadership programs for district administrators, and expansion of professional development programs and evaluation systems.
Sonya Edwards, Education Administrator, California Department of Education
Sonya Edwards has served public K-12 and postsecondary education at the state level for over two decades. Her career in education started at the California Chancellor’s Office of Community Colleges where she supported a computer network and managed data for disabled students programs. After moving to the California Department of Education, she helped automate the collection and processing of financial reports from over 1,000 school districts and supported one of the department’s first local area networks.
Recently, her role as an administrator in the California Department of Education has expanded to include data governance and education technology. Her experience includes leading the development of the data architecture for the statewide longitudinal student data system; managing the development of a statewide on-line system that local education agencies use to apply for, and report on, $2 billion in federal program funding; establishing data management policies; and building staff capacity in data management (e.g., data privacy awareness). Sonya has also provided national level leadership on various issues such as alternative measures for socioeconomic status, meta data management, preventing unnecessary data burden and data standards.
Jeff Egly, Associate Director, Technical Services, Utah Education Network
Jeff Egly has 25 years experience working in information technology. As an Associate Director of the Utah Education Network, Jeff oversees UEN Field Operations, the Technical Services Support Center, Project Management, and Application Engineering.Jeff serves as the Technical Advocate for central Utah and has been with UEN for nearly 18 years. Jeff participates in the ongoing planning, implementation and support of broadband services to Utah’s public schools, colleges, universities and libraries. .
These services include Internet and Internet2 access, a robust 10-gigabit Ethernet backbone and gigabit Ethernet services to Utah’s public schools, colleges, universities, and libraries. In addition Jeff has oversight of UEN’s statewide IP based interactive video conferencing network (IVC) that leverages UEN’s broadband network to deliver distance education to Utah’s public high schools, colleges and universities.
Jose Espinoza, Principal, Roosevelt High School
Jose A. Espinoza is Principal of the Math, Science, Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School. He was Director of District/School Improvement and Innovation for the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools where he lead a team of curriculum experts to close the achievement gap by improving classroom instruction, increasing parent involvement in schools, and using technology to expand learning opportunities beyond the school day. Jose has coauthored five articles on the achievement gap. The most recent appears in Narrowing the Achievement Gap: Perspectives and Strategies for Challenging Times published by Harvard Education Press.
Christine is the Director of Educational Leadership & Research 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.
Stan Freeda, Educational Technology and Online Learning, New Hampshire Department of Education
Stan is the educational technology and online learning specialist at the New Hampshire Department of Education. His focus is on ICT Literacy and online teacher professional development that supports technology integration, blended learning, and competency based education. Stan received bachelors’ degrees in both physics and biology, and earned master’s degrees in limnology and oceanography, and education. Stan has worked in the Office of Educational Technology for nearly ten years. Prior to his work for the Department of Education, Stan taught a variety of sciences at both the secondary and post-secondary levels, both online and face to face.
Elizabeth Garcia, UC Irvine Student, MSTMA Alumni
Elizabeth Garcia, a MSTMA Class of 2015 alumni and a freshman at the University of California, Irvine, is declared as a Computer Science major with an interest in double majoring in Electrical Engineering. During the summer, she was a Northrop Grumman Foundation Intern at Great Minds in STEM and a Computer teacher at the Salesian Family Youth Center. She was part of the O.A.I. Summer Transition Program at UC Irvine for incoming freshman and developed an entertainment based prototype in the timespan of two weeks.
Luis Gonzalez, MSTMA Student
Luis D Gonzalez is a senior at the Math, Science, and Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School. Luis Gonzalez is a first generation student that hopes to attend University of California Merced. He wants to major in Computer Science and Computer Engineering, with a minor in Chicano/a Studies and Physics. He is passionate about computers and about supplying schools with the right technology to create a 21st century classroom where all the students could gets hands on experience on working, and solving problems to prepare them for the future. Luis Gonzalez hopes to be part of the technology in the classroom revolution.
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.
Stephanie Hirsh is executive director of Learning Forward. Learning Forward’s more than 10,000 members and 40 state and provincial affiliates are committed to increasing student achievement and educator effectiveness through standards-based professional learning.
Before her appointment as executive director, Hirsh served the association as deputy executive director for 18 years. She began her career as a secondary teacher and later served as a school district administrator in the Richardson (Texas) Independent School District. In 1996 she was elected to the Richardson school board and served for three terms.
Today, Hirsh advises policymakers, state and local superintendents, foundation leaders, and other thought leaders on improving student learning through effective professional learning and school improvement. Her recent books include Becoming a Learning System (2014) co-authored with Frederick Brown and Kay Pscenik, A School Board Guide to Leading Successful Schools (2013), coauthored with Anne Foster, A Playbook for Professional Learning (2011), co-authored with Shirley Hord, and The Learning Educator (2009), co-authored with Joellen Killion.
Hirsh serves on advisory boards for several organizations including Learning First Alliance, University of Texas College of Education, National Stem Equity Pipeline, Great Teachers and Leaders Center, and Chief Learning Officer. Hirsh earned her masters and doctorate degrees from The University of North Texas and undergraduate degree from The University of Texas.
Alice Im, English Teacher, Roosevelt High School
Alice Im has been an English teacher with the Math, Science, Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School for ten years where she has served as English department chairperson. Her department’s philosophy and work underscore the right for all students to have access to a quality education that prepares them to be 21st century citizens and participatory agents in transforming their world. In recent years, MSTMA has experienced significant success in elevating students’ literacy skills, from experiencing second highest gains on standardized tests in the state of California to reducing college remediation rates fourfold. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Masters Degree in Education from UCLA’s Teacher Education Program, and she is also a National Board Certified teacher. In her free time, she enjoys grading the endless papers that she assigns to students and supporting students through the college application process.
Sara Jaime, MSTMA Student
Sara Jaime is a senior at Math, Science and Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights. She hopes to attend University of California Irvine and major in Forensic Pathology or Psychology. She is involved with the Roosevelt’s cross country team and Track & Field team. Sara is a youth advocate at the East Los Angeles Women’s Center and a College Track ambassador. She has presented at ESRI headquarters, Los Angeles City College and Roosevelt High School about her project, “Women In STEM.” Sara’s interest include leadership roles in her community, participating in the LA Marathon and traveling.
Paige Kowalski, Director of State Policy and Advocacy, Data Quality Campaign
Paige joined DQC in 2008 to promote the essential role education data plays in making instructional, management, and policy decisions. In her current role Paige manages DQC’s efforts to support state policymakers in understanding their roles and responsibilities in supporting effective data use at all levels.
She leads a team of professionals to develop DQC’s Data for Action state survey, provide direct policy assistance to states, identify emerging issues, and connect data use to current policies and practices. Prior to leading DQC’s state policy efforts, she led DQC’s work to inform state and national teacher effectiveness policies and supported state efforts to effectively implement data-related provisions of the 2009 federal stimulus act. From 2006 to 2008 Paige managed several national data initiatives for the Council of Chief State School Officers and participated as a managing partner of DQC in its early years. Paige also has significant state and local experience through her tenures with the University of California, the City and County of San Francisco, and Chicago Public Schools. Paige received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of California, Davis, and earned a master’s degree in public policy from The George Washington University, where she focused on education policy.
Keith Krueger, CEO, CoSN – the Consortium for School Networking
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. Technology & News selected him as one of the “big 10” most influential people in ed tech in 2015. 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.
He serves on many Advisory Boards including eSchool News, the Education Committee of the National Park System, the Friday Institute at NC State University and the Wireless Reach Advisory Board. He is a past Board Member/Treasurer of the National Coalition on Technology in Education & Training (NCTET). 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. 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.
Reg Leichty, Founder and Partner, FLP Advisors
With over two decades of policy and legal experience, Reg advises national education associations, state education agencies, school districts, nonprofit leaders, and companies about federal education, student data privacy, and technology law. He counsels a wide range of entities about how to work effectively with Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Federal Communications Commission, and frequently speaks and writes about emerging policy and legal issues in education reform.
Prior to co-founding Foresight Law + Policy, Reg practiced law for over a decade with two national law firms, and served as telecommunications, technology, and privacy counsel for U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson of Florida, and 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, and the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the Federal Communications Bar Association.
Jeff Letourneau, Executive Director, Networkmaine, University of Maine System
Jeff Letourneau is the Executive Director of Networkmaine at the University of Maine System where he is responsible for Maine’s Research and Education Network, MaineREN. Networkmaine services K-20 schools, public libraries, research institutions, government, and other non-profit entities. Jeff is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the North East Research and Education Network, NEREN, and serves on the ConnectMaine Authority Advisory Board.
Jeff has been involved with and led many network initiatives in Maine. These initiatives have included Maine’s first ever Internet connection in the late 1980s, Maine’s first CableTV based broadband network as part of the Bethel Datafication Project in the early 1990s, the first in the nation all inclusive K-12 school and public library network (MSLN) in the mid-1990s and, most recently, Jeff was the catalyst behind and co-author of the $25M Three Ring Binder Federal BTOP grant that created three “rings” of fiber optic infrastructure throughout Western, Northern and Downeast Maine.
Jeff Mao, Senior Director, Learning Solutions Program, Common Sense Education
Jeff Mao joined Common Sense Education in the fall of 2014. He provides strategic consulting to states and districts on the effective implementation of digital learning programs. Prior to joining Common Sense Education, Jeff served as the Learning Technology Policy Director for the Maine Department of Education. In that role, he provided leadership and education technology policy support to four Commissioners of Education, and he was directly responsible for the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). He oversaw all aspects of the program including vision, implementation, policy, professional development, procurement and contract management. Jeff has keynoted international events sponsored by UNESCO, World Bank, InterAmerica-Development Bank, and the Korean Education and Research Information Service. He served on the Board of Directors of the State Educational Technology Directors Association for six years including two as Chair of the Board. Common Sense Media named him Educator of the year in 2012, and SETDA named him Leader of the Year in 2013.
Carol Mosley, State Education Technology & E-Rate Director, Louisiana Department of Education
Carol Mosley an innovative leader in K-12 education technology with over 20 years of experience in corporate and educational technology solutions, design, implementation and integration. Ms. Mosley currently serves as the State Education Technology & E-Rate Director for the State of Louisiana Department of Education and provides vision and oversight to Louisiana’s education technology programs. Ms. Mosley is also currently sprearheading Louisiana’s new Digital and Technology Readiness Initiatives (DTRI) in support of Louisiana’s commitment to teachers and students entitled Louisiana Believes. Ms. Mosley serves as a board member for the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators (LaCUE) and represents Louisiana as a member in State E-Rate Coordinator’s Alliance (SECA) and on various Partnership for Assessment of Readiness For College and Careers (PARCC) work groups. Ms. Mosley has presented at various conferences on topics involving technology integration, best practices, and technology infrastructure.
Lan Neugent, Interim Executive Director, SETDA
Lan Neugent is Interim Executive Director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). Lan brings over 43 years of educational experience to SETDA as a teacher and administrator at the local school level, international business development program manager, college administrator and assistant superintendent at the Virginia Department of Education. Areas of responsibility at the department included oversight of data collection and reporting, career and adult programs and educational technology. Major initiatives during his tenure included a highly successful on-line testing program, statewide instructional technology resource teacher deployment, starting Virginia’s virtual education program, distribution and management of nearly one-billion dollars for equipment and infrastructure build-out and development of a multitude of instructional resources. He has been actively involved with SETDA since its inception and has served as a committee chair, board member, treasurer and board chair.
Neugent is the recipient of several national and local recognitions. These include SETDA’s prestigious State Leader of the Year (SLY) award, NCTET’s Community Builder award, the Making it Happen Jacket, VSTE’s (Virginia’s ISTE associate) Honors of the Society and the VETAC Educational Leadership award. He is a native of New York and holds a bachelors, masters and certificate of advanced study in educational administration from the State University Of New York.
Kimberly Ortega, MSTMA Student
Kimberly Ortega is a senior at Math, Science, and Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School. She is the Associate Student Body President of Roosevelt High School and is a student representative in School Site Council where different school- community stakeholders meet to conduct a school budget. She is also president of M.E.Ch.A (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) which is a social justice club where students learn about their rights as chicano’s, discuss and execute solutions to social justice issues in Los Angeles, and empowers chicano’s to aspire for higher education. Kimberly also enjoys playing basketball for Roosevelt’s Girls Varsity Basketball team and is recognized in the first team all Los Angeles Eastern League.
Erendira Palma, MSTMA Student
Erendira Palma is a senior at the Math, Science, and Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School. She is an AP Scholar, treasure of Roosevelt’s Astronomy Club and College Track Intern/ambassador to a college bound program located in three different states With hopes of double majoring in Education and Psychology, she hopes to be an agent of social change in her community and elsewhere.
Stephen Parker, Legislative Director, Education and Workforce Committee, Office of Federal Relations
Stephen Parker manages policy and advocacy for education and workforce issues, including: child nutrition, workforce development, career and technical, early childhood, K-12 and postsecondary education. He is responsible for directing the development and implementation of governors’ strategic priorities through the Education and Workforce Committee.
Susan Patrick, President & CEO, International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)
Susan Patrick is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). iNACOL is a nonprofit providing policy advocacy, research on best practices, next generation learning models professional development and networking, publishing national quality standards, driving the emerging field of competency-based, online and blended learning forward.
She is the former Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education and wrote the National Educational Technology Plan in 2005 for Congress. She served as legislative liaison for Governor Hull in Arizona, ran a distance learning campus as a Site Director for Old Dominion University’s TELETECHNET program, and served as legislative staff on Capitol Hill. In 2011, Patrick was named to the International Advisory Board for the European Union program for lifelong learning/virtual education. She is an Aspen-Pahara Institute Fellow. She has authored numerous research reports and articles in the field of online, blended and competency-based education.
Evo Popoff, Chief Innovation Officer/Assistant Commissioner Division of Charter Schools, School Choice & Educational Technology, New Jersey Department of Education
Evo Popoff is Chief Innovation Officer and an Assistant Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Education. He has spent his career working closely with states, districts and schools to develop and implement effective systems and programs, with a strong focus on improving student outcomes through the use of technology. As Chief Innovation Officer, Mr. Popoff oversees the State’s programs, policies and initiatives relating to school choice, district and school level interventions, education and information technology, and school innovation. Prior to joining the Department of Education, Evo Popoff served as the Senior Vice President of Achievement Solutions at EdisonLearning, Inc., where he supported public schools and districts across the country by developing and implementing innovative turnaround, assessment, after school and blended classroom solutions that improved outcomes for students.
Before beginning his career in education, Mr. Popoff practiced law at McDermott, Will & Emery where he worked on labor and employment, antitrust, and general corporate issues.
Mr. Popoff holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.
Lee Posey, Federal Affairs Council
Lee White Posey is a federal affairs counsel working with the Education Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). She conducts NCSL lobbying activities in education, representing state positions and concerns to Congress and the Administration. Lee has been at NCSL since 1999. Her NCSL experience includes four years as committee director for the Human Services and Welfare Committee and the Agriculture and Energy Committee. Before coming to NCSL, Lee was a policy analyst for the Georgia Senate, focusing on education and child care issues. In that
position, she staffed the standing Senate Education Committee and various interim education study committees. She also worked for the Education Development Division of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget while in Georgia, performing research on education issues, analyzing budget requests from education agencies, assisting education agencies in implementing programs and policies, and analyzing state and federal legislation affecting education. She holds a Masters degree in Political Science from Georgia State University and a Bachelors degree from Davidson College.
Mariana Ramirez, Social Science Teacher, Roosevelt High School
Mariana Ramirez has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Social Science from San Diego State University and is a credentialed Spanish, English, and History Teacher. She has worked in urban immigrant communities since 2005 and developed as critical pedagogue, promoting quality education and committed to social justice. For the past five years Ramirez has worked at the Math, Science and Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School, where she, along with her colleagues, were instrumental in establishing an extensive service-learning project. With this research project students utilize the APA style of research, and Geographic Information Systems to resolve a problem they observe in the their community. In addition, Ramirez enjoys creating documentaries in order to document the struggles and hopes of her immigrant community.
Dana Shaffer, Deputy Managing Director, Federal Communications Commission
Dana Shaffer is Deputy Managing Director of the Federal Communications Commission, where she leads the financial oversight of Universal Service programs. One of Tennessee’s “Top 40 Under 40,” Dana joined the FCC a decade ago from the telecom industry, where she was Vice President of a national competitive local exchange carrier, President of the Southeastern Competitive Carriers Association, and President of the Tennessee Telecommunications Association. Dana is a member of the Senior Executive Service, and has served as Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, Advisor to Commissioners Tate and McDowell, and Deputy Chief of both the Enforcement and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureaus.
Dana is a former school teacher, Miss Tennessee, Second Runner-up to Miss America, and spokesperson to schools for the Drug Free TN program, and put herself through law school at Vanderbilt University, graduating Order of the Coif, Captain of the Jessup International Moot Court Team, Associate Editor of the Journal of Transnational Law, and recipient of an appointment to clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She and her husband, former FAA Associate Administrator D. Kirk Shaffer, reside in Arlington, Virginia, and are very active in numerous youth, civic and charitable organizations. Dana is currently traveling the country with Joe Freddoso of USAC, working directly with schools, libraries, state leadership, and service providers on how to best leverage Erate funding to bring cost-effective, scalable broadband to schools, libraries, and underserved communities.
Barbara Soots, Open Educational Resources Program Manager, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Barbara Soots is the Open Educational Resources Program Manager at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in Washington. She implements state legislation directing creation of an openly licensed courseware library with alignment to state learning standards. She also manages an awareness campaign informing school districts about open resources and their importance in the changing educational landscape.
In her previous position with the University of California, Davis, she directed an education program consisting of interactive software creation and teacher professional development. She has designed openly licensed game-based learning software registered in schools nationwide.
Khalia Spivey, Educator Effectiveness Systems Consultant, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Khalia Spivey is the Educator Effectiveness Analyst in the Digital Teaching and Learning division at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Her works motto is “Led by instruction, Powered by technology” where she has worked in education in multiple capacities. Prior to joining DPI, she successfully implemented an evaluation and assessment system at ECU Brody School of Medicine where she helped shaped medical curriculum. She also has experience in the classroom and was a technology resource coordinator at a middle school. Khalia holds a BBA in Information Systems from Howard University, a MS in Information Security from Trinity University both located in Washington, DC and a MS in Instructional Technology from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. In her spare time she enjoys Zumba, baking, and mentoring.
Skip Stahl, Senior Policy Analyst; Co-Director, National Center on Accessible Educational Materials, CAST, Inc.
A nationally recognized expert in accessible educational materials and Universal Design for Learning, Skip Stahl has extensive experience in advising education stakeholders–including states, district leaders, publishers and policy makers–on how to make learning environments and products more effective for all.
Mr. Stahl is Co-Director of the federally-funded National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (the AEM Center), where he leads a national initiative to assure that educational materials are developed and distributed in ways that are accessible, appropriate, and readily available to all students. He is also CAST’s Project Director for the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities, a partnership with the University of Kansas and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.
Skip is a nationally recognized conference presenter and one of CAST’s five founding staff members.
Bob Swiggum, Deputy Superintendent Technology Services / CIO, Georgia Department of Education
Bob Swiggum is responsible for the overall direction of technology for the Georgia Department of Education. He leads the Technical Services, Data Collections, Instructional Technology and Virtual School functions. Prior to working for the Department of Education he worked for Fortune 500 companies in technology roles.
Amelia Vance, Director of Education Data & Technology, National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
Amelia Vance works on education data privacy for the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), authoring NASBE publications, working with other organizations, and supporting state boards of education seeking to create or implement stronger state privacy policies. In the past, she served as NASBE’s policy analyst, collaborating with the NASBE team to produce analysis and materials relevant to education policy reforms. Amelia is a member of the Virginia State Bar. She previously served as a legal fellow at the Family Equality Council and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, interned at the White House, the State Department, and the House of Representatives, and worked on the 2008 Obama campaign.
Carla Wade, SETDA Chair, Oregon Department of Education
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.
Mary Ann Wolf, Ph.D., Director of Digital Learning Programs, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation
Mary Ann Wolf is the Director of Digital Learning Programs 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.
Jennifer Wolfe, Partner, The Learning Accelerator
Jennifer Wolfe is a Partner at The Learning Accelerator. Jennifer is a former CEO and experienced strategic advisor who has worked as a consultant for the last several years in the education industry, bringing more than 20 years of experience to help education reform organizations strengthen their strategic planning, program design, partnerships, marketing and communications. Jennifer’s work at TLA focuses on the role of Open Education Resources and she is leading the organization’s leadership role in the K-12 OER Collaborative.
Formerly Jennifer was the co-founder and CEO of Sun Busters, a leading children’s sun protection apparel company. She was a nonprofit executive with Do Something Inc., leading initiatives that inspired young people to make a difference in their communities. Jennifer began her career as an attorney with Latham & Watkins. She graduated cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and received her law degree with Honors from New York University School of Law.