The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Technology Leadership Network (TLN) has named its “20 to Watch” honors for 2012-2013. These education leaders from across the country are being recognized for their ability to inspire colleagues to incorporate innovative technology solutions that contribute to high-quality learning environments and more efficient school district operations.
“The ’20 to Watch’ honorees offer school board members and other leaders real-world stories that help them evaluate the intersection of policy and practice when it comes to today’s emerging technologies,” said Ann Flynn, NSBA’s Director of Educational Technology. “These early adopters are naturally curious about technology’s potential to help transform learning and exhibit traits that inspire and motivate their colleagues to join them on the journey. Their voices and experience will inform local, district, and state approaches to education technology decisions for years to come.”
NSBA established the “20 to Watch” program in 2006. This year’s honorees will be recognized at 2013 Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Conference on March 11th in San Diego and also at TLN-hosted luncheon at NSBA’s 2013 Annual Conference, also in San Diego, this April. TechSmith Corporation is sponsoring the “20 to Watch” celebration events and is providing software scholarships to the honorees.
The 2012-2013 honorees are (listed by state/territory):
Andrew Chlup, Director of Technology, Vail Unified School District, Ariz.
As the primary architect behind the Beyond Textbooks initiative, Andrew Chlup is among the national leaders transitioning from print to digital resources. New projects that can improve education include helping the community’s homeschooled students participate through blended learning, delving deep into the district’s Big Data, and finding other “cool stuff,” according to his superintendent.
Keith Bockwoldt, Director of Technology Services, Township High School District 214, Ill.
Collaborator and visionary are two terms used to describe Keith Bockwoldt’s leadership style, which has saved his district more than $120,000 annually by moving to the cloud. He also has successfully shown the district’s senior leaders how technology can transform learning, and he has established systems that support and inspire teachers to embrace iPads and “flipped” classes.
Ann Linson, Superintendent, East Noble School Corporation, Ind.
As an innovative technology leader, Superintendent Ann Linson has inspired her teachers to abandon textbooks, flip classes, and embrace the district’s 1:1 learning initiatives by providing professional development through building-level peer coaches. She is leading an online course pilot for current students and the homeschooled students in her community.
Theresa Shafer, Online Community Manager, New Tech Network, Ind.
From starting weekly international Twitter chats about project-based learning (#PBLChat) to using Pinterest boards for education, Theresa Shafer casts an ever-expanding net to willingly share what she knows about social media with colleagues and community members. Helping students think about the kind of digital footprint they are creating and how it might impact the future they desire has been a special focus.
Kelly Williams, Teacher, USD 115 Nemaha Central Schools, Nemaha Valley High School, Kan.
Kelly Williams’ blog has been an invaluable resource that has helped teachers understand that changing instruction from teacher-centered to student-centered is a complicated, but worthwhile, process. In his blog, he has discussed strategies to use technology, from iPads and social media to cloud-based tools and flipped classes.
Ed Bonhaus, Technology Integration Specialist, Kenton County School District, Ky.
Ed Bonhaus provided critical firsthand knowledge about technology in Kentucky’s Race to the Top grant process. But he didn’t stop there—he is now providing online professional development and working on the first flipped classroom for the Kentucky iTunes campus. And inspired by what he saw during NSBA’s site visit to the Clark County (Nev.) School District in 2012, he is pursuing a vision to transform a low performing elementary school with minimal technology into a 21st century school.
Dr. Robert Dillon, Principal, Maplewood Richmond Heights School District, Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School, Mo.
Robert Dillon, “story-teller-in-chief,” provides a constant flow of information to parents and community members about the positive work of students in his school’s 7-year-old 1:1 program, where they engage and document authentic learning by bringing technology to the field, and using social media and digital story telling as teaching tools. His work with teachers to create electronic portfolios also provides a platform for deep reflection by students.
Jhone M. Ebert, Chief Technology Officer, Clark County School District, Nev.
Jhone Ebert embodies the essential skill set for a Chief Technology Officer, as she recognizes her primary role is to evaluate and implement technology solutions that further advance student achievement. In Clark County, the nation’s 5th largest school district, that includes supporting a robust infrastructure and a virtual school, introducing a more effective web presence, and leading the move toward competency-based education and blended learning.
Jeanine Gottko, Master Technology Teacher, Westfield Public Schools, N.J.
The 21st century learning environments thrive at Westfield’s elementary schools, as Jeanine Gottko supports teachers in and out of their classes, in professional development sessions, and through her online resource blog as part of a $1.2 million technology initiative. By ensuring technology was effectively incorporated into the district’s other grant on literacy, her work serves as a model for others.
Kenneth Zushma, Technology, Design and Pre-Engineering Teacher, Livingston Public Schools, Heritage Middle School, N.J.
Although gender equity remains a concern for most STEM initiatives, Kenneth Zushma’s female engineering club, FemGineers, is inspiring a new generation of middle school girls to get involved and is boosting their confidence and achievement. The club participates in competitions like the National Engineers Week Future City Design Challenge that uses SimCity software, analysis and scale models to create a solution for an engineering problem.
Jenny M. Buccos, Executive Director & Founder, ProjectExplorer.org, N.Y.
Since 2006, ProjectExplorer.org founder Jenny Buccos has provided free resources through technology that encourage students to become aware of the world beyond their own communities by using video, photography, vocabulary, and lesson plans. After directing and producing more than 400 of these short films, her international work has been described as a “positive voice in a sea of global misunderstanding,” and is used across the United States and in more than 40 countries.
Jayne Clare, Special Education Teacher, Southampton Union Free School District, Southampton Intermediate School, N.Y.
Jayne Clare’s room was once described as “magical” by a colleague who observed students with multiple learning problems effortlessly navigating technology she had tailored to their needs. With time, that expertise blossomed into support for district technology initiatives, including iPad integration for grades 6-8, and the creation of her influential Teachers With Apps site.
Jayme Linton, Director of Teacher Education, Lenoir-Rhyne University, N.C.
Building on years of practical experience in K-12 settings, Jayme Linton is training a new generation of teachers to effectively integrate technology into their classrooms and assume leadership roles with their peers. Her influence extends beyond her students as she shares and learns from others in her Personal Learning Network and works with in-service teachers in local schools and districts.
Jeremy Shorr, Educational Technologist, Mentor Public Schools, Ohio
Jeremy Shorr knows how to match the latest and most effective technology tools to the research-based Common Core resources and strategies to meet students’ and teachers’ instructional needs. Currently, Jeremy is working to deploy a district-wide 1:1 initiative as well as a building-wide blended learning environment at the middle school level.
Dr. L. Robert Furman, Principal, South Park School District, South Park Elementary Center, Pa.
World Future Society member, author, and principal L. Robert Furman believes technology should be embraced as a standard educational practice. He leads by example, presenting the latest technological tools to inspire his teachers, engage his parents, and enrich learning each day for his students. He shares his ideas, both virtually and in person, with audiences across the country.
Thomas Stauffer, Director of Technology Services, Dallastown Area School District, Pa.
Students can have an entirely online educational experience, thanks to Thomas Stauffer’s work to develop the district’s virtual academy, or they can elect various blended courses that may better meet their needs. He has been instrumental in developing technology applications for administrators to use in their walk-through observations as the state moves towards a new teacher evaluation system.
Dr. Christopher Craft, Teacher, School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties, CrossRoads Middle School, S.C.
In Christopher Craft’s innovative middle school STEM program, students work on cutting-edge technologies such as building functioning hydrogen fuel cell model cars, app development for smart phones, and video game creation. His after-school program encourages at-risk students to explore robotics and reflects his belief that when children are provided with the appropriate technological tools, their potential is unlimited.
Stephanie Green, Assistant Director Educational Technology/Director Library Services, Klein Independent School District, Texas
Stephanie Green has been instrumental to the district’s 1:1 tablet PC program serving more than 12,000 students and 700 teachers to make digital learning the norm. Her role takes on even greater significance as she shares that experience with state legislators through the Texas Capitol School House project. She has also led the transformation of the district’s libraries into 21st century learning and support centers.
Todd Nesloney, Fifth Grade Teacher, Waller Independent School District, Fields Store Elementary, Texas
While lots of teachers are “flipping” their classes, few have been as successful as Todd Nesloney’s effort. He earned a $100,000 grant that provided fifth grade students on his campus (where 66 percent of the students are on free and reduced lunch) and others in the district with an iPhone 4, pre-loaded Verizon data plan and internet access at home. A founding partner in the training company, The 3 Tech Ninjas, Todd is committed to sharing his experience with other educators.
London Jenks, Science Teacher/Director of Technology, Hot Springs County School District 1, Thermopolis High School, Wyo.
Project-based learning, a paperless classroom and the effective integration of iPads into instruction are typical features of London Jenks’ science classes. But they also are among the ideas he shares with district colleagues in his role as Director of Technology, where he works with other educators to increase student engagement and academic rigor through the use of technology.
Since 1987, TLN has served local district leadership teams that establish policy and implement technology decisions to enhance teaching and learning, administrative operations, and community outreach.