Speakers: Tech Forum New York 2013

Speakers: Tech Forum New York 2013

Keynote Speaker

JON BERGMANN, Author, Educator and Co-Founder, Flipped Learning Network

Jon Bergmann is considered one of the pioneers in the Flipped Class Movement. He co-wrote the book, Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. Bergmann believes educators should ask one guiding question: What is best for my students in my classroom? To the best of his abilities he has done this in his twenty-four years as a high school science teacher. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence for Math and Science Teaching in 2002 and was named Semi-Finalist for Colorado Teacher of the Year in 2010. He is a co-founder of the Flipped Learning Network, a nonprofit organization that provides teachers the resources needed to implement flipped learning, and serves on the advisory board of TED Education. Until recently, Bergmann was the lead technology facilitator at the Joseph Sears School in Kennilworth, IL. He is the father of three and happily married to the love of his life.


Tech Forum is well known for its great speakers, attendees and networking opportunities. The following team members will be presenting:

David Andrade, Chief Information Officer, Bridgeport Public Schools, CT Prior to assuming the post of CIO for the Bridgeport Public Schools, David Andrade was a high school physics teacher and educational technology specialist for 10 years, and an engineer for 10 years before that. He is a Tech & Learning and SchoolCIO advisor and blogger, has his own blog (Educational Technology Guy educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.com) and presents at conferences around the country.

John Barell, Professior Emeritus, Montclair State University, NJ John Barell is a national consultant to schools interested in teaching inquiry, critical thought and reflection. Currently, he is researching the ways we assess the quality and improvement of students' engaging in these 21st century skills. A native New Yorker, Barell has sailed to Antarctica as part of Operation DeepFreeze to explore that continent based upon his deep curiosity about the history and science of the continent, and his meetings/correspondences with Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd. After Antarctica, he became an educator in New York City public high schools, then at Montclair State University in teacher education and world literature. He has also served as a consultant to The American Museum of Natural History and the International Baccalaureate program on inquiry-based instruction. Barell is the author of several books, including Did You Ever Wonder? Fostering Curiosity Here, There and Everywhere and How Do We Know They're Getting Better? Assessment for 21st Century Minds, K-8.

Nancy Caramanico, Educational Technology Specialist and Leadership Consultant, Philadelphia, PA Nancy Caramanico is a certified instructional technology specialist with a Master’s Degree in Education and a specialty in Distance Learning from Teacher’s College Columbia. Her experience as a teacher and technology coordinator, professional developer and recently as K-12 Director of Technology for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (2006-2011), where she oversaw technology programs for over 200 schools, has allowed her to connect with thousands of educators and professionals online. While at the Archdiocese, she launched the first diocesan-wide virtual professional development program for educators and oversaw the writing and implementation of technology plans for schools. Caramanico has been directly involved with hundreds of professional development events through both delivery and planning. In addition to serving as co-chair for this year’s Tech Forum conference, she writes for School CIO magazine and is a School CIO advisory board member. She is also a member of the Acer Education Advisory Board and a regular contributor to Acer’s Education Blog.

Chris Casal, Teacher/Technology Coordinator,PS 10, Brooklyn, NYC Department of Education After a career in the high tech dotcom sector, Chris Casal switched gears to education. Currently in his 11th year with the New York City Department of Education he teaches at P. S. 10 in Brooklyn, where he serves as the computer teacher, data specialist, technology coordinator, and unofficial social media manager and evangelist. While PS 10’s iPad initiative is currently his largest active project outside of the instructional day, Casal also runs technology integration professional development sessions, has blogged for EducationalIT.com, has presented on behalf of Apple at their SoHo retail store & UFT headquarters, and is a recurring presenter for SimpleK12.com. An ardent believer in knowing where we’ve been to help guide where we’re going, and usually chewing on pens, he can be most easily found on Twitter @Mr_Casal, or neglecting his personal blog (thecasalos.blogspot.com).

Trevor Charles, Social Studies Teacher, Middletown High School, CT In addition to teaching social studies, Trevor Charles is a three-season coach and Middletown High School’s educational technology specialist, offering support to teachers in the building to implement technology in the classroom. Charles has taught for 11 years, covering World History, US History, Civics, Psychology, and has designed two new elective courses: Witness to History, and a Research Methods class. He won the CECA Educator Award for Transforming Education with Technology three times in the four years he applied, and has been a six-time presenter at the Connecticut CECA conference.

Mitch Crasson, Teacher, Scarsdale Public Schools, NY Mitch Crasson has taught 4th and 5th grade in Scarsdale, NY, for 17 years. His students see themselves as global participants, collaborators, and contributors in a world without boundaries. Fascinated with global cultures, Mitch has traveled through 38 countries and, an avid mountain climber, he has summited mountains all over the globe.

Jerry Crisci, Director of Technology, Scarsdale Public Schools, NY Jerry Crisci is the director of technology and co-director of the Center for Innovation at the Scarsdale Public Schools. Scarsdale was awarded a "Technology Salute" by the National School Boards Association, one of three districts selected nationally. Crisci’s work has been profiled in many different publications. He has served as an adjunct professor and has presented papers and workshops at many conferences, including the International Conference on Technology and Education at MIT, the NSBA T+L Conference, COSN, and at several National Educational Computing (ISTE) Conferences. He became a Google Certified Teacher in 2007, and has conducted dozens of workshops on using Google technologies in education. He was recently selected to be a New Media Consortium K-12 Ambassador, and his latest work involves the development of "next generation" eBooks.

Brad Currie, Middle School Vice Principal and Supervisor of Instruction, Chester School District, NJ Brad Currie is passionate about personal learning networks, educational technology and social media in the school setting. He began his career as a middle school social studies and computer education teacher for the Hanover Township School District in Whippany, NJ. He then transitioned to the field of administration in 2009 as a middle school vice principal/athletic director for the Readington Township School District in Whitehouse Station, NJ. Currie is the co-founder and co-moderator of a weekly Twitter discussion for current and emerging school leaders called #Satchat. The online discussion takes place every Saturday morning on Twitter at 7:30 AM EST/PST. More information about Brad can be found by visiting his website at www.bradcurrie.net or following him on Twitter @bcurrie5.

Jaymes Dec, Fab Lab Integrator, Marymount School of New York Jaymes Dec has a Masters degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, where he has been an assistant adjunct professor. In addition to being the Fab Lab integrator at Maryount School, he is a partner in the HTINK technology education co-operative and a founder of the NYC Makery, a pop-up community makerspace for families in New York City. He was named a Teacher of the Future by the National Association of Independent Schools. Dec is also the founder of City Hunt, a special events company based in New York City.

Patrick J Fletcher, Superintendent of Schools, River Dell Regional School District, NJ Patrick Fletcher is the superintendent of the River Dell Regional School District. He has spent nearly thirty years in the administration of New Jersey schools districts, the last twelve as the Chief Education Officer. He supported the district’s effort to bring a one-to-one laptop program to the high school students while promoting the infusion of technology into the middle school grades. The program provides the opportunity for all students to use technology to broaden and personalize their individual learning experiences while and allowing learning to take place beyond the four corners of the traditional school day. He is an officer in both the local and state Association of School Administrators and is a frequent presenter at professional conferences.

Benjamin Gleason, Graduate Student, Michigan State University [joining us virtually] Benjamin Gleason is a third-year PhD student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET) program at Michigan State University. His current scholarly interests include the use of social media to support learning in formal and informal learning spaces, adolescent literacy practices (including digital media), and language and literacy play in social media. He is the author of two peer-reviewed, journal articles on the use of Twitter to support literacy and learning practices. Prior to returning to graduate school, Gleason served as a high school English teacher in California, a youth development specialist, and as a university instructor in Guatemala. You can follow him on Twitter at @BWGleason.

Bob Greenberg, Global Educator/Presenter, Stratford, CT Bob Greenberg has just retired after 30 years as an elementary teacher in Stamford and Bridgeport, CT. In 2007, the Bridgeport Public Education Fund selected him as an Outstanding Teacher. In 2012, he received the Pellerin Classroom Teacher award from the Connecticut Association of School Librarians. He also spent 15 years traveling as a fulltime professional magician. He has run the Boston Marathon in under three hours. Greenberg has three children and five grandchildren. Born in the Bronx, raised in Stamford, he currently lives in Stratford, CT.

Mary Beth Hertz, Technology/Art Teacher, Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia, PA Mary Beth Hertz has spent the last six years as a technology teacher for grades K-8 in Philadelphia. For two years prior, she was a science teacher for grades K-6, also in Philadelphia. She is very excited to be joining the Science Leadership Academy at Beeber team as the Technology/Art teacher with its inaugural 9th grade class for the 2013-2014 school year. She was named an ISTE Emerging Leader in 2009, was named PAECT's 2013 Outstanding Teacher of the Year and is a member of the 2013 class of ASCD Emerging Leaders. Outside of teaching, Hertz co-organizes the Philly EdTech Meetup, is the Treasurer of the Edcamp Foundation, a founding organizer of Edcamp Philly, and organized WebSLAM, Philadelphia's first hackathon for high school students, in May 2013. She has also presented at ISTE, the #140 Character Conference as well as a number of edcamps, and covered ASCD's annual conference in Philadelphia as a member of the press. She blogs at Philly Teacher (http://mbteach.com), maintains a blog on Edutopia.org and can be found on Twitter as @mbteach.

Brandon Lutz, Technology Integration Specialist, School District of Philadelphia, PA Brandon Lutz has been in the education profession for over thirteen years. After many years spent teaching technology in a K-8 environment for the School District of Philadelphia, he put his experience to work as an instructional technology coach for sixteen high schools throughout Philadelphia. Professionally, Lutz serves as the Southeast Regional Director of PAECT (an ISTE affiliate), a Pennsylvania Keystone Technology Integrator, and the creator of the Follow Me Project, connecting classrooms throughout the United States with stuffed animals. In addition, he spends his time searching for the latest and greatest web tools to include in his popular 60 Web Tools in 60 Minutes presentation, which he has presented at a wide range of events. He is currently in discussions to bring his popular presentation to the literary world through a hands-on book for educators.

Hannah Magnan, English teacher, New Canaan High School, CT Hannah Magnan teaches sophomore English and senior electives (Creative Writing, World Literature, and Poetry) at New Canaan High School. She received her BA in Literature and Modernism from Boston University's Professor's Program, an MS in Secondary Education from Eastern Connecticut State University, and serves as a Teaching Fellow for the Connecticut Writing Project at UConn Storrs. As much as she loves using technology to enhance her teaching and learning, she enjoys reading, writing, and outdoor adventures that force her to close her email and enjoy the smell of the rain.

Jim Meredith, Principal, Archbishop Ryan High School, Philadelphia, PA Jim Meredith has been teaching for seventeen years, including courses in World History, U.S. History and Government. His work with students and Web 2.0 techniques was featured in the book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms by Will Richardson. He presented at an international students conference in Seoul, Korea in 2011 and at the National Catholic Education Association Convention in 2012 and 2013. Meredith, married and the proud father of four daughters, resides in Philadelphia.

Peter McKenna, Computer Teacher,Scarsdale Public Schools, NY Peter McKenna has been teaching since 1986 and is a computer teacher at Fox Meadow Elementary School in Scarsdale, NY. Prior to his current job he taught special education in Scarsdale, and before that, for BOCES of Southern Westchester. McKenna began making things at four years old and has never stopped. He works with tile, builds models, does home improvement, brews beer, works on bikes, cooks and has built patios, treehouses, ziplines, stained glass, and mantles, to name some of the many interests and hobbies he dabbles in. He is team leader of the group that founded the Fox Meadow Makerspace last year through a grant from the Scarsdale Center for Innovation.

Dr. Robert Miller, Director of Information and Communications Technologies, New Canaan Public Schools, CT Rob Miller is in his tenth year as director of ICT for the New Canaan Public Schools. Before that, he spent five years in a similar role in a neighboring school district. Miller is responsible for the technology infrastructure, technology support, data services, state reporting, and the instructional program for technology and library media, merged as “Information and Communication Technologies” in New Canaan. He recently finished his Doctorate of Education at Northcentral University in E-Learning and Teaching Online. His dissertation focused on the development of 21st century communication, collaboration, and digital literacy skills through the use of social network tools at the high school level.

Maria Naughton, Educational Consultant, New Canaan, CT Maria Naughton has 18 years experience in the education field. She received a M.A. in Teaching from Sacred Heart University in 1995. Following that, she completed Graduate coursework in both Instructional Technology and Educational Leadership, and is currently awaiting State approval for an Intermediate Administrative Certificate. She was both a classroom teacher and a technology integration teacher, and served on the Connecticut Educator's Computer Association Board where she was involved in both organizing and presenting at their annual technology conference. Since 2001, she has trained teachers and administrators as an Educational Consultant on Connecticut state initiatives including data-driven decision making, school climate, teacher evaluation and technology integration. Naughton remains passionate about education, which incorporates the best and most up-to-date technology available in a student-centered and meaningful way.

Frank Noschese, Physics Teacher, John Jay High School, Cross River, NY Frank Noschese has been teaching physics for 15 years at John Jay High School. He advocates for "hands-on, minds-on" science instruction that uses technology to support student inquiry and exploration. He was an invited speaker at TEDxNYED and has been quoted in The Economist,The New York Times, and USA Today. In addition, his classroom was featured on MSNBC.com and CUNY-TV. He is the winner of the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (New York-Science).

Karen Pelekis, Teacher, Greenacres School, Scarsdale, NY Karen Pelekis is an elementary school and early childhood educator for more than fifteen years. She collaborated for several years with the New Literacies Research Team at the University of Connecticut to enhance literacy learning through the use of technology. Her first grade students utilize multimodal Internet resources, and work with other classes through wikis, blogs, and other digital content. Pelekis has presented at workshops, IRA TILE-SIG sessions, and other conferences. She has written about her work for publications, including Reading Today Online. She is also on the ReadWriteThink Advisory Board.

Evan Remley, Teacher, New Canaan High School, CT Evan Remley teaches English, grades 10-12, at New Canaan high school, where he has worked for 12 years. Classes he teaches include advanced placement English literature and American studies. He has worked in developing a "blended" model of instruction in several of his classes, and the use of data and the feedback cycle to construct a mastery-based approach to student learning. He has an M.Ed. in teaching and curriculum from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from trinity college.

Dr. Patricia Scott, Principal, Saint Edmond's Academy, Wilmington, DE For the past five years, Dr. Patricia Scott has served as a principal at Saint Edmond’s Academy, an independent Catholic school for boys in Wilmington, Delaware. She earned her master and doctoral degrees from the University of Delaware and began her career as a classroom teacher for twelve years and instructional coach for six years. After two successful years of a one-to-one iPad initiative, Saint Edmond’s Academy has adopted the flipped approach to learning, allowing its faculty to develop active student-centered learning.

Mike St. Pierre, President, Morris Catholic High School, Denville, NJ Mike St. Pierre is president of Morris Catholic High School, which was the recipient of the Optimum Lightpath Innovation Award for 2012 as a result of its commitment to social media, one-to-one technology and blended learning. His blog,www.thedailysaint.com,looks at productivity, education and work-life balance. You can follow him on Twitter, @thedailysaint.

Cathy Swan, Educational Technology and World Language Consultant, Stamford, CT Cathy Swan is a former world language teacher, technology integration specialist and professional developer with 36 years in Pennsylvania and Connecticut classrooms. She has been a regular presenter at Tech Forum NY and Boston since 2008, and is this year’s Tech Forum NY co-chair . Swan hosted the webinar series, Blended Learning Bootcamp, on EdWeb’s online community. She serves on the Board of the Connecticut Educators Computer Association, is a Google certified teacher and member of the National Staff Development Council’s Academy XVI. In 2012, she and two colleagues won top recognition in the ISTE Sylvia Charp Award for District Innovation in Technology.

Clare Taylor, 5th gradeTeacher, Duffy Elementary School, West Hartford, CT Clare Taylor’s passion is creating projects that engage children, integrate multiple subjects, and have world application. She comes to teaching after a 20 year career in Broadcasting and Marketing. From the start she initiated project-based teaching and a few years ago started implementing Service Learning projects in her classroom and district. She has recently won the Connecticut Innovative Teaching Award and went to Brazil with educators from across the U.S. as part of a Global Fellowship mission to support teachers in helping their students become globally competent. Taylor believes it is important to make the public aware of the exciting things that are happening in our schools. When schools and communities are connected students become engaged, parents become involved, and education receives more support. She actively seeks out opportunities for grants, community projects, awards, and student competitions that garner positive public attention.

Dr. Alan Taylor, Teacher, Indian Mills Memorial School, Shamong, NJ Dr. Alan Taylor is currently a 5th grade Social Studies teacher, adjunct faculty member, educational consultant, and educational technology trainer. He received his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership with a specialization in technology from the University of Delaware. Prior to his experience in the field of educational technology, he spent 10 years as an adolescent and family therapist (having received his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University). Starting as a computer teacher, he then spent 12 years as the technology coordinator for a school district prior to going back into the classroom to “practice what he preaches.” He has presented and conducted workshops at numerous conferences around the U.S. regarding technology integration.

Lisa Thumann, Assistant Director, School for Global Education & Innovation, Keane University, NJ Formerly a K-6 technology teacher, Lisa Thumann works with innovative learning technologies at the School for Global Education & Innovation at Kean University. She is a Google Certified teacher and trainer and has been working with districts as they "Go Google". In addition to presenting at ten of the Google Teacher Academies, Thumann also presents at State and National conferences including Alan November's Building Learning Communities, ISTE and FETC. You can also find her speaking for the NJEA and NJECC. See more at thumannresources.com/presentations.

Lisa Torres, Social Studies Teacher,River Dell Regional High School, NJ Lisa Torres teaches history at River Dell Regional schools and is the president of the River Dell Education Association. She has been a professional educator for twenty years and has taught courses in World Civilizations, American History, Law and Sociology for grades 9 to 12. She has served on numerous district-level curriculum committees and has had leadership roles as professional learning community chair and as co-chair of the district’s professional development committee. Currently, Torres is a technology turnkey trainer and a facilitator for student growth objectives training for the school district. In these roles she has implemented many new training initiatives to enhance teachers; skills for the achievement of district goals. As an educator, she is constantly seeking creative ways to foster a dynamic learning environment and to promote high quality curriculum and technology implementation to improve student achievement.

Craig Tunks, Director of Technology, Ridgefield Public Schools, Ridgefield, CT Craig Tunks is the director of technology for Ridgefield Public Schools and oversees both the Education Technology (ET) and Information Technology (IT) teams. He has been developing and managing technology systems for over 20 years for the financial industry, public schools, and municipalities. He has a master’s degree in computer science and doctorate in education administration, and has been teaching information technology as an adjunct college professor for over 10 years. Tunks is currently completing a doctorate in Computer Science at Pace University. His current research interest is in how technology can be used to support reading comprehension with autistic students. He finds continual inspiration through his students and is encouraged to promote and support the use of Web 2.0 tools and social networking throughout all aspects of education.

Jeffrey Williams, English teacher, River Dell Regional High School, NJ Jeff Williams is interested in integrating technology on a daily basis into language arts classrooms, and has used blogs, forums, collaborative writing, chat utilities, and polling software extensively in his classroom. He has also served for five years as a technology turnkey trainer at River Dell, providing other English teachers with face-to-face instruction on the resources available to them and in a manner specifically tailored to the needs of River Dell's faculty. He has presented at conferences such as ProjectRED, highlighting how technology empowers students to personalize and to create their learning. He is working on his master’s degree in educational leadership at Montclair State University.

Marianthe Williams, Director of Technology, River Dell Regional School District, NJ Marianthe Williams has been an administrator overseeing the infusion of technology and technology staff development for the past 15 years. Before migrating to technology, she taught science at the secondary level. Most recently, she has supported the River Dell Regional School District in the implementation of their one-to-one computing initiative which is about to enter its eighth year at the high school. In addition, she is actively involved in supporting technology infusion into the middle school’s learner-centered environment. Williams created an elite team of technology turnkey teacher trainers in each discipline who provide ongoing, differentiated training through face- to-face, on-demand and flipped professional learning opportunities to their colleagues. She often presents at conferences and serves on technology committees in professional organizations.

Meg Wilson, Educational Technology Teacher, Avenues: The World School, NYC Meg Wilson is a special educator and assistive technology specialist with a passion for educating others on the importance of individualizing instruction for all students. She is currently a technology integrator at Avenues: The World School in New York City.

William Yang, Technology Teacher, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale Public Schools, NY William Yang has been an educator for over fifteen years as a classroom teacher, technology teacher, staff developer, and assistant principal in New York City Public Schools and in the Scarsdale Public Schools. He received his M.A. in Elementary education from Teachers College-Columbia University, studied Educational Administration and Supervision at New York University and recently completed his M.Ed in Advanced Literacy at the Bank Street Graduate School of Education. Yang is a contributing writer for the Technology in Literacy Education (TILE-SIG) blog on International Reading Association’s “Reading Today Online” and has presented his work on literacy and technology at several national conferences. He served as an adjunct instructor at the Bank Street Graduate School of Education and Fordham University's Graduate School of Education.


  • Lorraine Brooks, High School Principal, River Dell Regional High School, NJ
  • Rick Cave, Director of Technology, West Windsor-Plainsboro RSD, NJ
  • Dr. Maxine Fisher, Contributing Faculty, Walden University, NY
  • Joel Handler, Director of Technology, Hillsborough Board of Education, NJ
  • Dr. Michael McGill, Superintendent, Scarsdale Public Schools, NY
  • Samantha Morra, Educational Consultant/Teacher, Edtechteacher.org
  • Donna Murdoch, National Advisor, The Apollo Group, PA
  • Robin Newman, Director of Technology, OWNCS, Astoria, NY
  • Sandra Paul, Director of Technology, Sayreville Board of Education, NJ
  • Amy Perry-Delcorvo, CEO, NYSCATE
  • Beth Richards, Peer Intervenor, NYC Department of Education
  • Paul Sanfrancesco, Director of Technology, Garnet Valley School District, PA
  • Carolyn Semet, Technology Specialist, I.S. 230, Queens, NY
  • Lynne Shain, Assistant Superintendent, Scarsdale Public Schools, NY
  • Dr. Mathew Swerdloff, Director of Technology, Hendrick Hudson School District, NY
  • Andrea Tejedor, Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology, Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery CSD, NY
  • Diane Tung, Director of Instructional Technology and Student Assessment, Diocese of Bridgeport, CT
  • Ron Velez, Director of MIS, White Plains Public Schools, NY
  • Vicki Windman, Special Education Teacher, Clarkstown Central School District, NY