Speakers: Tech Forum Southwest


Clarence Fisher

Teacher, blogger and Web 2.0 guru
Manitoba, Canada

Clarence Fisher has been a classroom teacher for the past 15 years. He blogs professionally at remoteaccess.typepad.com, with his class at thinwalls.edublogs.org and has spoken at conferences worldwide. He has won several awards, including one of Canada' highest teaching awards, the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching, for his integration of technology into daily classroom life. Fisher's innovative classroom practices in his middle school classroom in Snow Lake, Manitoba, have been featured online, in magazines and newspaper articles, and in a recent book, New Literacies in Action. He has also been featured on CBC, CNET, and MSN. He is an advocate of "classroom 2.0" – learning spaces that take complete advantage of the tools that are available to learners in their quest to learn rather than having school be something that is done to them.


Joel Adkins

Chief Technology Officer
Kerrville ISD

Joel Adkins started his teaching career in 1997 in the north Texas district of Allen ISD. There he taught middle and ninth grade multimedia, computer applications, web mastering, and a teacher-resource class where students served as technology mentors to their teachers. In 2003, he moved to Austin to work in Eanes ISD as the campus technology coordinator for Westlake High School. There he helped the campus and district develop a vision for 21st century students using technology integration tools. In 2007, TCEA honored him with the Instructional Technology Specialist award. In July 2008, he moved to Kerrville to begin the task of developing the vision for technology for the district as their CTO.

Jennifer Bergland

Chief Technology Officer
Bryan ISD

Jennifer Bergland has been in public education for 30 years. She was the director of instructional technology for Bryan ISD for eight years and has been CTO for the past five. Before that, she taught social studies in middle and high schools in Oklahoma and Texas. In her years in Bryan, Bergland has taken a department of two trainers and a part-time secretary to a staff of 45 technology professionals whose responsibility it is to support and maintain a high-tech infrastructure supporting over 15,000 users. Under her leadership, Bryan ISD has received over 8.6 million dollars in grants, enabling the district to pursue the skills and technology necessary to prepare their students for the 21st Century. Central to Bergland's heart is how best to serve the district's learning community. Bryan ISD recognized her efforts by naming her Administrator of the Year in 2002. The district was recently honored by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), which presented it with their TEAM award, given annually to a district that has significantly employed technology to transform learning.

Cassie Bland

Winnsboro ISD

Cassie Bland has been in public education for 12 years, all of them as a teacher with Winnsboro ISD. She taught special education for two years, first grade for seven years, and is currently in her third year of teaching third-graders. She began integrating technology into her first-grade classroom via Qwizdom and Interwrite SchoolPad. Currently in her third grade classroom, Bland integrates not only Qwizdom, but Writers', web-based lessons and distance learning lessons into daily content areas.

Dr. Abbe Boring

Georgetown ISD

Dr. Abbe Boring has been superintendent/CEO of the the Georgetown Independent School district since January, 2008. Before that she served as superintendent/CEO of public schools in Bartow County, Georgia; as chief academic officer and senior advisor to the superintendent/CEO for the DeKalb County Georgia public schools; and as deputy superintendent for instruction in the public schools of Birmingham, Alabama. She has extensive and impressive experience in Texas as an educator and administrator. Her Texas tenure spans 17 years and includes experience as an elementary teacher, curriculum writer, assistant principal, principal, interim district superintendent, and district executive director.

Shannon Capps

Executive Director of Technology and Library Services
Troup ISD

Shannon Capps has led the educational technology efforts for Troup ISD for the last thirteen years. She has received a commendation from the Troup ISD Board of Trustees for her grant writing efforts with a focus on furthering the technology integration in her school district. She has served on a number of committees, including the Technology Advisory Committee at Region 7 ESC, and currently holds the position of vice president/secretary of the Supernet II Consortium. Capps has taught sixth through twelfth grades and continues to serve as district librarian along with her technology directorship. She received her Master of Education in Educational Technology from University of Texas at Brownsville. This is her twentieth year at Troup.

Bret Champion

Leander ISD

Dr. Bret A. Champion became Leander ISD's superintendent of schools on February 1, 2008. He is in his 17th year with Leander ISD, where he has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and, most recently, assistant superintendent of administrative services. Champion was a member of the second corps of the "Teach For America" program—which recruits and trains teachers to serve in low-income communities. His first teaching positions were in inner-city schools in Houston, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He received his Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) from the University of Texas, and his Masters in Education (M.Ed.) from Texas State University.

Dr. Jesús Chávez

Round Rock ISD

Dr. Jesús Honorio Chávez began his career in education as a third grade teacher with Brownsville ISD in 1979, after which he served as an assistant principal from 1981 to 1983. He has served as a central office administrator, director and assistant superintendent in Round Rock ISD and as superintendent for Harlingen CISD and for Corpus Christi ISD. In February 2006 Chávez was named superintendent for Round Rock ISD. Under his leadership the district earned the Recognized status in 2009 and 35 of the 44 regular campuses were designated as Exemplary or Recognized campuses. During his time at RRISD community members have approved two bond programs totaling more than half a billion dollars. He has received numerous state awards for his leadership in education and is a state finalist for the 2009-2010 Superintendent of the Year. Chávez describes the ideal district as having strong academics, fine arts and athletic programs for all students, and believes that "Equity, Efficiency and Excellence" are hallmarks of a successful partnership among families, staff and patrons in any educational system.

Matt Federoff

Chief Information Officer
Vail School District, Arizona

Matt Federoff has been heading up the technology program for the Vail (Arizona) School District since 1999, first as director of technology and now as CIO. In 2005, he worked on the team that opened Empire High School, the first textbook-free school in the nation. He is currently involved in the Beyond Textbooks Initiative, extending the Empire methodology across all grade levels. Federoff lives in the wilds of the Empire Mountains with his wife and nine children.

Karen Fuller

Klein ISD

Karen Fuller has been involved in K-12 education for 17 years. She began as a classroom teacher in Diboll ISD, teaching microcomputer applications on Apple IIe's, and then became the technology coordinator for the district. From there she moved to become the technology manager for ESC VII, in Kilgore, Texas. In 2004 she became the district technology trainer and, later, the director of technology in Marshall ISD. Fuller has been with Klein ISD since 2006, first as the director of information technology and now as CTO. She has designed, implemented, and supported campus LAN's, district WAN's, and regional networks, and has conducted workshops on technology integration, grant writing, supporting district hardware and software, and technology planning. In addition, she has worked with districts on implementing wireless, VOiP, and distance learning networks, and developing curriculum for technology integration; has provided technical training for technology staff; and has served on state committees for developing hardware standards and teacher standards in technology.

Anita Givens

Associate Commissioner, Standards and Programs
Texas Education Agency

Anita Givens was named associate commissioner for standards and programs at TEA in March, 2009, before which she served as acting associate commissioner and deputy associate commissioner for standards and alignment. She oversees a number of policy development areas including curriculum, textbooks and educational technology as well as program coordination for IDEA and NCLB. Previously, she served as senior director for instructional materials and educational technology at TEA and was responsible for the review, adoption and distribution of both traditional and electronic instructional materials for Texas schools. A former kindergarten teacher who has taught at all levels from elementary through graduate school, Givens is known nationally for her leadership in educational technology and instructional materials. She has won numerous honors over the years and served on boards and committees on the state and national level, including ISTE, the State Educational Technology Directors Association, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

Arturo Guajardo

Instructional Technology Facilitator
Austin ISD

Arturo Guajardo is an instructional technology facilitator for the Austin Independent School District as well as as an independent trainer and consultant specializing in emerging educational technologies and the use of digital media with ELL/Bilingual students. He has developed and led numerous instructional technology staff development sessions and has presented at various conferences including the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE), and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Miguel Guhlin

Director of Instructional Technology & Learning Services
San Antonio ISD

A perpetual learner and writer, Miguel Guhlin has served educators and students in a variety of positions, including as a bilingual/ESL teacher, campus instructional technologist, campus and district technology coordinator and consultant. Although he has served as a TCEA Area 20 Board member/director and president of TCEA Technology Education Coordinators' group in the past, Guhlin's most rewarding professional achievements come from interacting with educators in Texas and around the globe about how to enrich learning through the use of technology. To that end, he shares his efforts via his widely-read education blog, Around the Corner. He gratefully serves as director of instructional technology & learning services for the San Antonio ISD. Visit him on the Web at http://mguhlin.org.

David Jakes

Coordinator of Instructional Technology
Glenbrook South, IL

David Jakes, a T&L contributing editor and techlearning.com blogger, 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.

Andrew Kim

Manor ISD

Andrew B. Kim has served in the field of public education for over 10 years and continues to learn and seek opportunities for innovation. Currently, he serves the Manor Independent School District as superintendent. He began his administrative and teaching career in the Dallas Independent School District as an English as Second Language teacher, and as an administrator at the high school and middle school level. He is a graduate of the Foundation of Educational Administration at the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his Principalship Certification and Masters in Educational Administration. He is in the doctoral program with the University of Texas at Austin Cooperative Superintendent Program. He continues to refine the innovative work at Manor New Tech High School and the evolution of 21st Century instructional practices at Manor ISD.

Mary Beth Kreml

District Technology Teacher
Klein ISD

As a district instructional technology teacher in Klein ISD, Mary Beth Kreml is responsible for creating and implementing instructional technology professional development for teachers PreK-12. She has been an educator for 35 years, teaching kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 4th grade students for 26 years, and then working with adults for the past nine years. As part of Klein ISD's educational technology team, she has managed digital assessment projects and developed and provided training programs relating to the district's standard software as used in core curriculum content. Kreml works closely with curriculum specialists to design workshops ensuring that teachers have the skills and strategies to use the district's interactive whiteboards, document cameras, projectors and electronic assessment tools to increase student achievement. She was awarded the National Science Foundation's Presidential Award for Elementary Mathematics in Texas, and she is a former Elementary Teacher of the Year in Klein. She has provided professional development sessions at local, state, regional and national educational conferences.

Michael Kuhrt

Superintendent of Schools
Giddings ISD

Mike Kuhrt was named superintendent of Giddings ISD in June, 2004. Previously, he was the coordinator of policy and administrative services for Clear Creek ISD and a coordinator of statewide initiatives at ESC Region XIII in Austin. He was a middle school principal and taught mathematics and government at the high school level before getting into administration. Kuhrt has developed and led numerous instructional technology staff development sessions and has presented at NECC and TASA's Summer Conference. Passionate about the ability of technology to enhance student engagement, he has led several groups of teachers and administrators in attending TCEA, NECC and the T + L Conferences and NSBA Technology Site Visits. Giddings ISD is a Technology Leadership Network affiliate district, and has been featured in a case study completed by Cisco Systems regarding the new Giddings High School and its technology infrastructure.

Bill Landis

Executive Director of Technology and CTE
Lubbock ISD

Bill Landis is in his ninth year with Lubbock ISD, where he serves as executive director of technology and career & technology education (CTE). He taught for more than 13 years in Cumberland County, NC, at the elementary, junior and senior high school levels in the areas of math, science and technology. He was a district-wide gifted and talented demonstration teacher for three years and was the first instructional technology supervisor for Cumberland County in the mid 1980's. During his five years in this position he also taught at the community college and university level. Landis is especially proud of his work with statewide instructional technology implementation. He was the first director of technology at Fort Bragg Schools, where he was responsible for both the technical and instructional side of technology. During his 10 years working with Fort Bragg schools, he served as a member of the three-person committee that created the original stateside Department of Defense technology plan.

Tammy McLain

Technology Director
Winnsboro ISD

Tammy McLain has been in the public school system for 19 years, 14 of those as a classroom teacher. She first became involved with computers during the TIF grant, went on to become an Intel Master Teacher, and has facilitated technology workshops for teachers, paraprofessionals, and secretaries. She currently serves as district technology director for Winnsboro ISD. Her passion lies in making sure that teachers have the training necessary to use technology in their classrooms so students benefit academically, and are prepared for life with the skills necessary to succeed in a technology-driven world.

Ann McMullan

Executive Director, Educational Technology
Klein ISD

Ann McMullan is completing her 31st year with the Klein Independent School District. During the first 18 years of her career, she was a social studies teacher at Strack Intermediate School. During her last years in the classroom she began to use technology with her students to teach U.S. history and government. Klein ISD asked McMullan to move to the central office to lead the district's efforts in using technology to transform teaching and learning in all content areas. In her current role she leads the district team that provides technology professional development to Klein's 5500 employees. She also works closely with curriculum directors to assure that Klein ISD's curriculum maximizes the use of the technology tools the district has placed in every classroom, and in the district's 1-to-1 schools. From 2004 to 2006 McMullan served as the co-chair of the state's Educational Technology Advisory Committee, which produced the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020.

Helen Mowers

21st Century Learning Specialist
Killeen ISD

Dr. David Niguidula

Ideas Consulting, RI

Before founding Ideas Consulting, an educational technology and consulting firm based in Providence, RI, David Niguidula was at the Coalition of Essential Schools and Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, where he led the first research project on digital portfolios. Through Ideas Consulting, he has developed the Richer Picture digital portfolio software tools and professional development workshops to help school successfully implement portfolios in their own settings. Niguidula has worked with policy makers and educators on statewide implementation of portfolios, including the use of portfolios as a graduation requirement in Rhode Island. His most recent work helps schools connect portfolios to other initiatives, including curriculum mapping, individual learning plans and personal literacy plans.

Dr. Alice E. Owen

Executive Director of Technology
Irving ISD

Alice Owen has experience as a principal, staff development director, technology director, and statewide executive director of a computer education association. She currently oversees a district-wide implementation of over 10,000 laptops provided to all high school students and teachers in Irving ISD. She has hosted national symposiums for districts implementing laptop programs in one-to-one settings, is a member of a number of state and national associations, and serves as past-chair of the state chapter of CoSN, the Texas K-12 CTO Council. Owen has also worked with CoSN staff and others to develop a Leadership Symposium around the topic of one-to-one computing and serves as chair of ISTE's new special-interest group about one-to-one computing. She has been on numerous state and national committees to develop standards for the educational technology community and has developed curriculum and served as master trainer for a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant project that trained Texas superintendents and principals in the use of laptops and leadership. As staff development director, she led her district to be recognized nationally by the U.S. Department of Education as a Model Staff Development Program.