Speakers: Tech Forum Chicago 2010

Speakers: Tech Forum Chicago 2010

Dr. Glenn (“Max”) McGee
President, Illlinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Aurora, IL

“Max” McGee is recognized as a dynamic leader, teacher, speaker and writer on critical issues in educational leadership and legislation. He is president of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a residential academy that educates the top math and science students in Illinois and is active in statewide outreach programs. Dr. McGee is a former Illinois state superintendent of education and has been a teacher, principal and superintendent for three Illinois public school districts. He is a past chairman and current member of the board of directors for the Golden Apple Foundation. He also serves on the boards of the Great Books Foundation, the Governor’s P-20 Council, the Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois, the Illinois Association for Gifted Children, as well as the Museum of Science and Industry’s Advisory Council. McGee is a regular speaker at state and national conferences, has published several articles and coauthored two books, most recently The Perfect School. His published research on high achieving, high poverty schools that have closed the achievement gap has garnered state and national attention for identifying how schools and communities can help all students succeed. His mission is to make an enduring difference in the lives of all children and to share his passionate commitment and support with Illinois’ educational leaders.

Tech Forum is well known for it’s great speakers, attendees and networking opportunities. The following team members will be presenting and/or leading roundtable discussions:

Dr. Steven Baule
Superintendent of Schools
CUSD 201

Steve Baule is superintendent of schools for Community Unit School District 201 in Westmont, Illinois. Prior to coming to Westmont, he was a teacher, librarian and administrator. He holds doctoral degrees from Northern Illinois University and Loyola University of Chicago. Baule also writes and consults on a variety of topics including educational facilities and technology planning.

Christopher M. Brown
District Technology Coordinator
Avoca School District 37

Chris Brown is the district technology coordinator for Avoca School District 37 and the technology facilitator for Marie Murphy School in Wilmette, Illinois. Among his many responsibilities, he coordinates the 1:1 laptop initiative, integrates technology into the school curriculum in all disciplines, teaches staff development classes throughout the district, and serves as chairperson for the district professional development committee. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a fellow for the Powerful Learning Practice program, and was selected as one of NSBA’s "20 to Watch." Under his leadership, Marie Murphy School is an Apple Distinguished School and the Avoca School District was named "Technology Salute District" by NSBA for 2008. Brown has been published in the Illinois Music Educator's Journal and has presented at numerous conferences. He has also given lectures on music technology and digital portfolio development at Roosevelt University and is a certified instructor for the Technology Institute for Music Educators.

Brian Engle
Director of Educational Technology
Glenview School District # 34

Brian Engle has been an educator for the past 14 years, starting his career as a special education teacher in Redmond, Washington. Along his educational journey, he has worked to infuse technology throughout all disciplines and with educators who have a wide range of technology competencies. Since the 2004 school year, Engle has served as director of educational technology in Glenview School District 34, where he works in collaboration with teachers, students, parents and the community, to provide a progressive and productive technology base for all, helping to create lifelong learners and responsible decision makers in a changing society. He values technology as a tool for its ability to facilitate communication and enhance the learning of all students within and beyond the classroom walls. Engle has also worked with several non-profit organizations as a technology consultant and educational advisor over his tenure as an educator.

Dr. Nanciann Gatta
Superintendent of Schools
Niles District 219

Dr. Nanciann Gatta is superintendent of Niles Township High School District 219, which serves approximately 4,800 students in the communities of Skokie and Lincolnwood and parts of Morton Grove and Niles in Illinois. As an avid supporter of the use of technology in our schools, she realizes that the students we serve are “millenials” who have never known life without access to the latest technology tools. She has emphatically backed many initiatives that provide students ubiquitous access to technology. Being a champion for the District’s Anywhere-Anytime Learning plan, Gatta is ensuring that all students, regardless of economic status, have the technology available to them. This one-to-one plan incorporates professional development and curriculum integration and is rooted in ISTE’s NETS*S.

Jim Gerry
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director
Mathematics and Science Academy

Jim Gerry has moved into the role of innovation and entrepreneurship director after twelve years as CIO for IMSA and Fenton High School. He is leading programs designed to fast forward collaborative innovation in STEM teaching and learning (coolhub.imsa.edu) and working with high school students on innovative entrepreneurship learning. As CIO and leader of the Technology for Learning strategic initiative, his projects included the use of PDAs in the classroom and in the field, wireless networking, web redesign and the one-to-one tablet implementation. Gerry has presented at many conferences over the years. He ran the May 2005 conference entitled "Generating the Horizon: Technology’s Role in the Future of Learning." He was on the team that ran the Open Minds Conference in Indianapolis in 2006 and 2007. He is on the board of the Illinois Chief Technology Officers (ILCTO) organization and is a consultant with Educational Collaborators, LLC.

Keith Gillette
Director of Information Technology
Lake Forest Country Day School

Keith Gillette is president elect of the Illinois Chief Technology Officers and directs the Information Technology program at Lake Forest Country Day School. Keith has more than 15 years of experience delivering information technology solutions in K-20 educational contexts. In addition to a breadth of multi-platform network and systems administration knowledge, Keith has experience launching and administering 1:1 student notebook programs and expertise in IT infrastructure design and construction management associated with new building and facilities remodeling. Gillette holds a Masters in Information & Telecommunications Systems Management as well as numerous IT industry certifications, and is pursuing an MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is a senior member of the American Society for Quality and brings Six Sigma certification and a quality systems/process management orientation to his work of improving the use of information technology to support education.

Ben Grey
Instructional Technology Coordinator
Barrington CUSD 220

Ben Grey is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for Barrington Community Unit School District 220 in Barrington, IL. He was a middle school history teacher for three years and a fifth grade teacher for five years prior to taking his current position. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Judson University in the Master of Education in Literacy program where he teaches the course, “Technology in Literacy Instruction.” He believes passionately in finding relevant, meaningful ways to engage students in the process of learning by teaching teachers how to critically examine their own lesson design and engaging the use of technology in learning. Grey holds a Master of Education in Integrating Technology in the Classroom, and he is currently enrolled in a leadership program through Johns Hopkins University and ISTE for his administration and supervision certificate.

Steve Griesbach
Superintendent of Schools
Gower School District 62

Steve Griesbach is the superintendent of Gower School District 62, a suburban pre-K-8th grade school district located in southeast DuPage County. Gower is proud of both its diversity and student achievement – more than 96 percent of its students met or exceeded state standards in 2009. Griesbach's career includes work in elementary, middle, and high schools in the north, west, and south suburbs of Chicago. In his schools, he has advocated for the implementation of research-based instruction and the use of technology when and where it improved teaching and learning. His blog, which started six years ago, raises the existential question, "If you write a blog and nobody reads it, have you truly blogged?"

Dr. Carl Heine
Senior eLearning Architect
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)

Carl Heine is a senior eLearning architect at IMSA and managing partner of the 21st Century Information Fluency Project. From 2000 to 2004 he was the founding director of the International Career Academy, and for ten years prior to that managed the Center for Youth Education at the College of DuPage, a national model for K-12 continuing education. He has authored and facilitated numerous on-line professional development courses in information fluency. His work an information architect includes the design and development of Web portals (e.g., coolhub.imsa.edu), webinars, podcasts and Flash games for assessing students' skills in information fluency. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and frequent conference workshop presenter. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in education and motivation where he collaborated with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of numerous books on creativity and flow.

David Jakes
Coordinator of Instructional Technology
Glenbrook South High School

David Jakes, a T&L contributing editor, has spent 24 years in education as a teacher, staff developer, and technology coordinator. From his first Macintosh Classic to his current tablet PC, he has witnessed firsthand the changes in education that educational technology has empowered. Jakes shares this knowledge as a frequent speaker at technology conferences across the United States, as well as in Canada, Europe, and most recently, China and Singapore. His interests in educational technology include digital storytelling, developing online curriculum, learning management systems, and developing online communities of learning through blogging, wiki and RSS technologies. He currently maintains a web site (JakesOnline.org), a blog (The Strength of Weak Ties) and a variety of other resources dedicated to improving the use of technology in education.

Dr. Philip Lacey
Director of Instructional Technology
Niles Township High School District 219

Phil Lacey spent seven years in the classroom as a secondary science instructor before formally venturing into the field of Educational Technology. He currently serves as the President-Elect for Illinois Computing Educators (ICE), a professional organization composed of over 3000 members who include educators, administrators, industry professionals and education technologists from across the state and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Illinois Virtual School. Among other projects, Lacey is currently developing and conducting professional development for instructors as District 219 implements its Anytime, Anywhere Learning 1:1 initiative. He has presented at numerous conferences including NECC, ICE, and IETC. He received his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from National Louis University in 2006.

Branson D. Lawrence, Jr.
Teacher, Operational Coordinator, and Energy Center Director
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)

Branson Lawrence has taught 30 years in public schools in Illinois -- previously at the Aurora West High School and, for the last 18 years, at IMSA. He received the Illinois School Board “Those Who Excel” Award in 1991, was named to the “Top Ten Science Educators” in the state of Illinois by the Illinois Science Teachers Association in 1996, and was runner up in the Presidential Award for Science Teaching. Lawrence is a member of Illinois Association of Chemistry Teachers, Illinois Science Teachers Association, American Chemical Society Ed. Division and the Association of American Physics Teachers. He served as the President of the Illinois Chemistry Teacher Association in 2001. He has worked with many science and math training programs across the state over his career, including ITEAMS at Illinois State University. In addition to teaching engineering, physics and chemistry, he is the operational coordinator for the IMSA campus and director of IMSA's Energy Center.

Dr. Tom Leonard
Superintendent of Schools
Barrington CUSD 220

Tom Leonard has served as the superintendent of Barrington Community Unit School District 220 since July of 2007. Prior to that, he held the position of principal of Barrington High School from 2001-2007 and the dual role of principal and assistant superintendent for secondary education from 2003-2007. Before joining the Barrington 220 school community, Leonard was an assistant principal at Deerfield High School in Township High School District #113. He also held the administrative position of mathematics department chairperson at both Highland Park and Libertyville High Schools.

Scott Meech
Technology Facilitator
The Joseph Sears School

Scott Meech is in his 15th year of teaching and is currently working at the Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, IL, as the district technology facilitator. While he began his teaching career in social studies, he quickly realized his greatest educational interest was in the transformative nature of technology. He was an early adopter and was regularly the test pilot for any and all new tech initiatives. His teaching quickly transformed from a traditional teacher-centered paradigm to a constructivist, student-centered approach. Meech earned his masters in education in curriculum and technology in 2005 and is currently enrolled in The Johns Hopkins University Leadership program in conjunction with the International Society of Technology and Education. While he has a myriad of interests, his favorite pastime is studying the impact technology is making and can make on education. He believes that education is on the brink of major change and that technology will finally fulfill its promise. Meech blogs at www.smeech.net and has a repository of his work at smeech-presos.wikispaces.com. Additionally, he has started an educational community that is focused on studying mobile devices and their educational value called I Education Apps Review.

Nadine Norris
Instructional Technology Coordinator
Community Consolidated School District 15, Palatine

Nadine Norris is the instructional technology coordinator for Community Consolidated School District 15. She has been in education for over 10 years in positions including classroom teacher, technology coordinator and integration specialist, and professional development provider. She is a frequent presenter at various educational conferences and is particularly interested in helping teachers understand the impact of social media and Web 2.0 technology in the educational experiences of students. Norris received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Elmhurst College, and a M.A. in Educational Leadership from University of Illinois.

Jon Orech
Instructional Technology Coordinator
Downers Grove South High School, IL

Jon Orech taught English for 24 years before becoming the instructional technology coordinator at Downers Grove South High School. He also is an instructor for Aurora University where he teaches digital storytelling workshops. In the classroom, he has always promoted best technology approaches to ensure student learning. He is a frequent speaker at conferences; his presentations include a wide variety of topics on teaching digital storytelling, hi-tech lit circles, learning with wikis, and student-generated assessment. Currently, Orech's focus of research is in the area of collaborative technology – specifically, embedding structured cooperative learning pedagogy into teaching with Web 2.0 tools to improve student learning. Away from school, he savors the "Four F's": Family, Football, Fishing, and Food!

Dr. Joseph Porto
Superintendent of Schools
Avoca School District 37

Joe Porto has been a practicing educator for the past 32 years. He has worked as an elementary teacher, middle school assistant principal, elementary principal, assistant superintendent for instructional development, and currently serves as superintendent of Avoca School District 37 in Wilmette, Illinois. In addition to his responsibilities as superintendent, he is a part-time assistant professor at Loyola University in Chicago, where he teaches masters and doctoral students in School Administration. Over the past 15 years as a superintendent, Porto and the school districts he has led have earned recognition for creative initiatives in the areas of strategic planning, educational technology plans, building master schedules to support teaching teams and Professional Learning Communities. Under his leadership, Avoca School District 37 has received numerous national recognitions and awards, including the Technology Salute District Award from the National School Board Association (2008), the Apple Distinguished School Award (Marie Murphy School 2007-2010), the Apple Exemplary Program Award (Avoca West School 2010), and the Academic Excellence Award from the State of Illinois (2007-2009). Porto is a frequent presenter and author of articles on topics related to school administration.

Dr. Micheal Riggle
Superintendent of Schools
Glenbrook High School District 225

Mike Riggle has served as superintendent of the Glenbrook High Schools since July 2008. He held the position of principal of Glenbrook North High School from 1998 to 2008. Prior to his employment with Glenbrook High School District 225, he held the positions of assistant principal, science department chair, physics teacher and coach at Bloomington High School South in Bloomington, Indiana, and served as principal of the school for eight years. He received his Doctorate in School Administration and Master of Science in Secondary Education from Indiana University. Riggle is a member of numerous professional organizations and active in community service organizations in Northbrook.

Purva J. Rushi
Coordinator of Strategic Operations & Legislative Relations
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)

Purva Rushi manages the execution of IMSA's strategic plan and coordinates institutional research and evaluation partnerships with universities and other organizations. She has been actively engaged in joint research projects with faculty, resulting in publications and national conference presentations in the fields of educational research and science. She also develops and leads legislative relations initiatives at IMSA. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Biology, Master's degree in Communication Studies, and Doctorate in Educational Psychology.

Gail Soriano
Technology Facilitator
Avoca West School

Gail Soriano is one of the technology facilitators at Avoca West School where she works mainly with the second and third grade teachers. During weekly hour meetings she leads teachers in technology staff development and technology curriculum integration. Along with her many responsibilities, she also enjoys teaching encore technology classes to students at Avoca West during their weekly hour of encore tech class. Soriano is a Google Certified Teacher. She was honored as one of the 20 to Watch educators by the National School Boards Association and Avoca West was recently selected as an Apple Exemplary Program by Apple Inc.

Dr. Henry Thiele
Director of Technology
Maine Township District 207, IL

Henry (Hank) Thiele has been serving Maine 207 as the director of technology for the past two years. Before that he was a technology coordinator at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, IL where he had also taught science and music since 1996. Thiele is is focused on providing a simple and effective way to foster learning through the appropriate use of technology and believes that effective instruction and demonstration of resources allows students, parents, community, and staff to improve their skills and be more efficient in today's world. He earned his Doctorate from Roosevelt University, Chicago, in Educational Leadership and Organizational Change, with a focus on the impact online communication can have on learning. Thiele's other teaching experience includes working as an adjunct professor at Roosevelt University and presenting at various conferences locally and around the country. He has also worked as a Youth Director at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wheaton, IL and as a consultant for Riverside Publishing. You can follow him at www.hcthiele.com.

Karen Thompson
Instructional Technology Facilitator
Springfield Public School District 186

Karen Thompson has traveled the technology highway from the one-computer classroom of the past to the 1:1 technology environment of today. Her passion for integrating technology into the school environment began in 1979, in her seventh grade science classroom with an Apple II+. Thompson, an instructional technology facilitator in Springfield, IL, is currently using her vision of educational technology to help support her district’s thirty five schools. She has experience implementing 1:1 MacBooks in the middle school, is an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Google Certified Teacher, and received the ISTE Making It Happen award in 2009.


Guy Ballard
Chief Technology Officer
Niles Township HS District 219

Joe Brennan
Media Coach
Wilkes University

Charlene Chausis
Manager Technology Training & Integration
Adlai E. Stevenson High School

Mary Clifford
Director of Grants and Research
CUSD 200, Wheaton

John Connolly
Technology Education Director
Chicago Public Schools

Marce Gonzalez
Network Administrator
Consolidated HS District 230, Orland Park

Lucy Gray
Education Technology Specialist
Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education
University of Chicago

Patricia Haughney
Director of Information Services
Barrington CUSD 220

Naomi Harm
National Intel Senior Trainer/ President Elect
Wisconsin Education and Media Technology Association (WEMTA)

Jeffrey Hunt
Director, E-Learning
Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204

Curt Lieneck
Director of Information Technology
University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Kymberli Mulford
Engaged Learning Specialist
Gower School District 62

Tracy Murdach
Middle School Technology Facilitator
Aptakisic-Tripp School District 102

Judy Okasaki
Executive Director
SET Connections

Jason Pasatta
Technology Magnet Administrator
Chicago Public Schools

Mark Pennington
Science Teacher
Hinsdale South High School

Jim Peterson
Technology Director
Bloomington Schools District 87

Jason Radford
Data Center Manager

Michelle Russell
Director of Technology
Kildeer Countryside School District 96

Kathy Sanders
Library Media and Technology Specialist
Wisconsin Education and Media Technology Association (WEMTA)

Alice Schmitz
Director of Education and Professional Development
SET Connections

Darrell Walery
Director of Technology
Consolidated HS District 230, Orland Park

Scott A. Weidig
Technology Coordinator
Schaumburg High School

Wendy Wolfe
Technology Integration Specialist
Totino-Grace High School, MN