Help us select the NextGeneration Leaders who
are making a difference in K-12 education technology.

Review the candidates below, submitted from across
the U.S., and cast your votes for the most
promising emerging leaders.


Voting ends at midnight, February 5, 2018

Winners will be announced on EdScoop and by CoSN March 12, 2018.

About the NextGeneration Leaders Program 2018

VOTE for this year's most promising nominees.

School districts across the country put forward their top candidates for consideration. Now, it’s up to you to determine who will be recognized as the “NextGeneration Leaders” in school technology — a program now in its third year, developed and co-sponsored by CoSN and EdScoop.

To qualify for the program, candidates had to be employed by a K-12 school, district or education service agency; have worked five or fewer years as an education technology professional; and have demonstrated leadership in the schools and districts they serve. You can vote for as many candidates as you wish.

The 2018 NextGen Leaders will be selected based on final vote tallies and will be officially announced on March 12, 2018, at CoSN’s 2018 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. See more at CoSN NextGeneration Leaders Program.

Doral, FL City/St
Director of Instructional Technology Title
Divine Savior Academy School/District

Michael Babler has made significant contributions to the Divine Savior Academy through his work with instructional technology. Babler restructured the campus technology department to focus on edtech adoption, implemented a one-to-one iPad program in the middle school and helped implement a transition to SMART panels. He has also made it a priority to introduce and expand coding opportunities to students as early as preschool. Babler offers professional development to teachers interested in educational technology and has begun an initiative to certify those who are especially proficient with technology.

Williamstown, MA City/St
Director of Academic Technology Title
Mount Greylock Regional School District School/District

Eileen Belastock has established herself as a leader in edtech at Mount Greylock Regional School District. There, she chairs the district technology committee. Working with Williams College and local school districts, she organizes district- and county-wide professional development edtech events. With a background in school administration and classroom teaching, she has strong academic and leadership skills that inform her work as a district edtech administrator, a MassCue (ISTE affiliate) board member and conference committee chair. Eileen also serves on the board of METAA (CoSN affiliate) and is involved with the CTO clinic committee.

Lawrence, IN City/St
CTO Title
Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township School/District

A recent addition to the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township (MSDLR) leadership team, Michael Bottorff leads initiatives to implement digital citizenship curricula and develop a data dashboard for board members and administrators. He directs the technology portion of the district's blue-ribbon facilities plan, which will renovate an estimated 17 schools over the next 10 years and will include upgrades to network infrastructure, classroom technology, public address systems and security cameras. This year, he will also lead the development and implementation of a best-practice edtech environment for grades PK-4. His background as a small business owner gives him a unique perspective and skill set for K-12 technology advancement.

Council Bluffs, IA City/St
Director of Information Systems Title
Council Bluffs Community School District School/District

David Fringer has a robust career in education IT, and he currently fills the role of director at Iowa's Council Bluffs Community School District. In his many positions in K-12 education, David has exhibited the desire and ability to explore and identify next-generation solutions and then successfully implement them on a district-wide basis. The latest example of this was his effort to deploy an artificial intelligence-driven and deep learning-focused infrastructure for the entire district, which came in on time and under budget.

Ripon, WI City/St
Director of Innovation & Technology Title
Ripon Area School District School/District

In her current role as director of innovation and technology, Mandy Froehlich's goals have been twofold. First, she has worked to morph the district's previous focus on devices into a curriculum and learning-driven path, with support in personalization and empowerment with technology. Mandy has been working toward this same movement with adult learning in the district, trying to provide personalization in their professional development as a whole, and embedding opportunities for them to learn about technology through these experiences. Because of this shift in mindset, the district has seen a shift in climate and culture, risk-taking and innovative thinking.

Cambridge, MA City/St
Founder Title
Next-ed Labs School/District

Daniel Goez is the founder of Next-ed Labs, an education laboratory with the aim of closing the skills gap in developing countries. Next-ed Labs' first initiative is called "Coding for Development," a nonprofit developing a challenge-based educational platform and physical spaces to empower low-income young adults to go from poverty to professional careers. The skills gap, particularly in STEM, is one of the most pervasive barriers to emerging economies' continued growth — their young people have the talent, but lack the opportunities. This project will connect those individuals with the professional opportunities they need to succeed.

Henrico, VA City/St
Instructional Technology Specialist Title
Henrico County Public Schools School/District

After just four years in educational technology, Jon Gregori is now an instructional technology specialist mentoring 12 edtech coaches. Through his teaching experience, Jon learned that for low-income students and students of color, the traditional academic approach provides limited opportunities for improved student outcomes. Because of this, Jon has been an integral leader in Henrico's middle school transformation (MST), which is scaling up student-centered interventions as a way to enhance achievement and elevate equity. Jon planned the MST kickoff event, the Middle School Summit and serves on Henrico's STEAM Steering Committee, all of which are making deeper learning a reality for Henrico students.

Charlotte, NC City/St
Personalized Digital Learning Specialist Title
Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools School/District

Aubrey Harrison, a personalized digital learning specialist at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, helped design and deliver technology training to teachers in preparation of the largest Chromebook deployment in the United States. He conducts similar teacher training — on effective use of classroom technology — during the summers, which includes a digital badging system and a number of online and blended courses to supplement the training material. Harrison also oversees a professional learning video library that is hosted on YouTube. During the school year, he publishes two videos per week, most of which focus on technology integration.

Coxsackie, NY City/St
Director of Technology Services Title
Coxsackie-Athens Central School District School/District

Michael Kealy recognizes that providing students and teachers with hardware and software is not enough, and that training and digital skill development is important. So, in addition to leading one-to-one deployment, Michael collaborated with his district leadership team to create, develop and implement a personalized learning model that utilizes micro-credentials. With Michael's help, the district has utilized open-source and locally authored materials to develop a variety of meaningful challenges surrounding technology, coding and instruction. This gives staff a choice to develop the skills that best meet their needs and receive recognition that can be easily displayed and shared via digital badge.

Baton Rouge, LA City/St
Director of Technology Integration Title
East Baton Rouge Parish Schools School/District

Now serving her district as the East Baton Rouge Parish director of technology integration, Karla Kiper has successfully led the planning, delivery and evaluation of effective technology professional development. In this role — and at a large urban school district, no less — Karla works on a daily basis to engage colleagues on strategic technology planning to ensure that all investments in technology benefit students first. Her team is currently implementing a one-to-one program for over half of the district's 40,000 students, with an expansion planned for this summer.

Big Rapids, MI City/St
Network Technician Title
Mecosta-Osceloa Intermediate School District School/District

Rose Kipfmiller, a network technician at Mecosta-Osceloa Intermediate School District, has started down a path of leadership by joining the Michigan School Business Officials' Chief Technology Officers training. This training supports the ongoing professional development of school officials and helps candidates prepare to eventually become a school technology director. Rose exhibited her willingness to take initiative by organizing a meet-and-greet lunch to build relationships within the organization and among trainees. This, plus her work at MOISD, indicate her promising future as a K-12 technology leader.

Coeur d'Alene, ID City/St
President Title
Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) School/District

Currently the president of the Northwest Council for Computer Education, and with over 18 years of classroom and library experience, Morgen Larsen is passionate about professional development. As a teacher-librarian and technology instructional coach, Morgen is a strong advocate for educational technology and information literacy; she facilitates student-directed learning maximized with the use of technology. Her current projects include the development of social studies open educational resources. In addition, she was recently honored with the ISTE Making It Happen award for her visionary and innovative approaches to cultivating and empowering student learners with technology.

Jackson, MS City/St
Data Scientist, Office of the CIO Title
Mississippi Department of Education School/District

For almost three years in the Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Technology and Strategic Services, Yan Li has been providing technical assistance to the CIO. Her focus areas include generating the automated recurring processes in creation of federal student graduation and assessment results files; assisting with student information system integration and quality assurance and assisting with the development of the State Technology Guide for school districts. This role has inspired her to help bring the current educational technology system to the next level, and ultimately, help all students achieve in the state educational system.

Hudson, WI City/St
Instructional Technology Coordinator Title
Hudson School District School/District

As a new leader within the Hudson School District, Jennifer Lotze has worked to support the alignment of instruction and technology while also building the capacity of the district's technology staff. Jennifer has supported the implementation of a one-to-one initiative for grades 3-12 and has worked to create innovative learning spaces through a $100 million referendum building project at two schools. At the start of the 2017-18 academic year, Jennifer was elected to be the chair of the WI Education Technology Leaders (WETL) organization. In the first half of her term, WETL developed a strategic plan that includes a three-year vision and one-year goals.

Kings Park, NY City/St
Director of Technology and Data Systems Title
Kings Park Central School District School/District

Sharon Macken has worked in education for many years, but only recently did she step into the role of district technology leader — a position she says is her "dream job." Sharon has excellent intuition about what technology is most appropriate for the teaching staff, administrative staff and for the students. Her enthusiasm about educational technology and improving learning opportunities for students is contagious. She enjoys seeking out new technology that will support teachers in their efforts, as well as technology that will improve the educational experience for students. She reinforces the fact that any new technology brought into her district is supposed to make people more efficient and more effective.

Los Angeles, CA City/St
Director of Instructional Technology Initiative Title
Los Angeles Unified School District School/District

Sophia Mendoza leads district-wide instructional technology efforts at the Los Angeles Unified School District — the country's second-largest district — where she has overseen the implementation of digital learning tools in over 400 schools. Mendoza’s leadership helps provide a blueprint for the next iteration of how to address technology in schools. Her work is a synthesis of cutting-edge instructional frameworks, such as the ISTE Standards for Students, the Computer Science Framework and the National Ed Tech Plan. She extends her leadership reach by leveraging technology in ways that model what she preaches, which helps other school leaders determine how they can be change agents.

San Antonio, TX City/St
Computer Technician Title
Harlandale Independent School District School/District

Daniel Pena, according to one colleague, is "without a doubt the best tech in the district." At Harlandale Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, he was instrumental in the recent implementation of a new PA system. Daniel led his fellow technicians to get this project done. Throughout the rollout, he impressed his colleagues and superiors. He is respectful, an effective communicator and a hard worker — all things that make Harlandale ISD a better district.

Sterling, VA City/St
Instructional Facilitator, Technology Title
Loudon County Public Schools School/District

Hannah Prebeck frequently can be found not only in classrooms training, coaching and co-teaching the integration of digital content and technology, but also promoting the use of technology in creativity through her role on the STEAM Team and through Loudoun Creates, the division’s initiative supporting student-created digital content. At Sully Elementary School in Sterling, Virginia, Hannah developed our own Sully Net, which houses all school information; implemented the Sully Pineapple Chart to promote the sharing of instructional strategies; and initiated the use of student Twitter Tech Ninjas to communicate learning and events to our community, all while ensuring that student and staff digital citizenship are at the forefront of learning.

Winchester, VA City/St
Instructional Technology Coach Title
Frederick County Public Schools School/District

Jennifer Rowan, an instructional technology coach at Frederick County Public Schools, has shown tremendous leadership in a number of roles, as the lead trainer for a district-wide student information system transition and as a Google-certified trainer. Rowan has experience working with students and teachers in K-12 and higher ed, including those at alternative schools and with special needs. Specifically, she has helped elementary students with assistive technology and coding initiatives. She is the instructional technology coach representative to the district’s assistive technology committee. Rowan has a master’s degree in Education Technology from Saint Vincent College and is now pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Learning Technology Design Research at George Mason University.

Vancouver, WA City/St
Innovative Technology Solutions Coordinator Title
Vancouver Public Schools School/District

Eddie Sawyer has a vision and understanding of education as a whole, which allows him to find technology solutions that work best for all staff and students. He plays a key role in implementing, sustaining and supporting Vancouver Public Schools' one-to-one initiative. And, though his team supports 20,000-plus iPads, 3,500-plus PCs and a variety of other instructional technologies, Eddie cares about more than just the technology — he aims to ensure the technology makes a meaningful difference for students and staff. Additionally, he has authentic relationships with a large number of vendors, partners and departments to support and move the district’s work forward.

Leonardo, NJ City/St
Instructional Technology Specialist Title
Middletown Township School District School/District

Regina Schaffer, an instructional technology specialist at Middletown Township School District in New Jersey, embodies the qualities of a great leader. She empowers and motivates others. She continually brings out the best in people, building on their strengths and encouraging them to reach new heights. In addition, Regina is visionary and innovative, often identifying areas that are generally overlooked and seeing possibilities to take an idea to the next level. Regina is very knowledgeable about emerging best practices in educational technology, and collaborates regularly with other educators about these tips, as evidenced by her frequent use of social media to connect.

Denton, MD City/St
Instructional Technology Coach Title
Caroline County Public Schools School/District

Before moving into edtech, Amy Shepler taught art to elementary, middle and high school students. Now, she is the first — and only — instructional technology coach at a small, rural school district in Maryland. In this capacity, she has helped deploy G Suite for Education across Caroline County Public Schools and led school- and district-wide instructional technology workshops. This school year, she has focused on privacy issues by educating herself and leaders in the district about current laws and by drafting a privacy-assurance process for existing and future technologies in the district.

Cullman, AL City/St
Federal Programs, CTE, and Technology Coordinator Title
Cullman City Schools School/District

Josh Swindall has demonstrated innovative approaches to integrate technology across all learning platforms in his Alabama district, Cullman City Schools. Doing this through sustainable funding sources, coupled with rigorous professional development for staff, Josh has shown success and even more promise for future years. Josh does an outstanding job of bringing people together to focus on common goals. He has redesigned the technology department with a singular focus on student achievement and has developed valid ways to evaluate the return on investment correlated to student outcomes.

McDonald, PA City/St
STEAM Teacher K-2 Title
South Fayette School District School/District

Melissa Unger, a K-2 STEAM teacher at South Fayette School District, has become a leader in STEAM education in the western Pennsylvania region. Each summer, she leads a workshop on "Making for K-2 Educators" as part of a Summer Institute at South Fayette. Melissa has taken her career to the next level by becoming an educational entrepreneur. She perceived a need for a tool for collaboration and planning for young learners and decided to create "Digital Playground." The company now works with several other schools in the western Pennsylvania region.

Atlanta, GA City/St
Coordinator of Instructional Technology Title
Gwinnett County Public Schools School/District

Michael Urbanik works directly with district and school leadership teams to lead the assessment, design and vision for technology integration initiatives. These initiatives have a direct impact on how instruction is delivered to the 180,000 students served by Gwinnett County Public Schools. Michael believes that by staying abreast of the latest edtech trends, he can help schools analyze their specific needs and make informed decisions on what types of technology will benefit the teachers in that building. His willingness to be flexible and adapt helps him not only grow as a leader, but also understand a broad range of technology integration approaches.

Havre, MT City/St
Information Systems Specialist Title
Havre Public Schools School/District

Kelly Veis, an information systems specialist at Havre Public Schools, manages the Montana district's student information system and dedicates her time to improving student and parent access to a variety of educational resources. Kelly is a leader in the district and constantly strives to improve in her role. She regularly provides training to rural districts in Montana that are looking to increase their knowledge base with student information systems.

Oakland, CA City/St
Technology Instructor, Data Tech Lead Title
Oakland Unified School District School/District

Olivia Wong is a natural leader. Her colleagues say she is charismatic, organized, detailed and full of great of ideas. Olivia, a technology instructor and data tech lead in the Oakland Unified School District, splits her time between three school sites — one for grades K-3, one for 4-5 and one for K-8. Olivia delivers instruction to students through the use of Chromebooks and school platforms that engage them in topics like digital citizenship, media, coding, virtual reality and other areas of educational technology. She has also written her own curriculum in technology.

Redmond, WA City/St
Educator Title
Tesla STEM High School School/District

Melissa Wrenchey, an educator at the Tesla STEM High School in Washington state, leads students in inquiry-based learning and discovery. Students at the school learn programming and computer science. They also learn how they can apply Sustainable Development Goals to solve problems and make a change within their community. With Melissa's help and encouragement, her high school students are reaching outside of their community to also be leaders and reach underrepresented learners. She was recently named a 2017 PBS Digital Innovator and leads twitter chats with the hashtag #CoreLaborateWA.

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