Don Knezek, Ph.D., has been named chief executive officer of the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) and the National Educational Computing Association (NECA) effective April 1. The two organizations plan to complete a merger this spring.
“I’m honored to have been chosen to lead two exciting organizations that have decided to leverage and enhance their individual strengths,” Knezek said. “We’ll collaborate on new initiatives that promise to advance improved schooling through technology.”
Knezek has been involved with ISTE and has served in the ed-tech field for many years. Since 1999, he has served as director of ISTE’s National Center for Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology, which aims to improve the technology preparation of new teachers. He has also served on the organization’s executive board and its accreditation committee.
Knezek earned his Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a fellow in the Cooperative Superintendency Program. He did graduate study in computer science at the University of North Texas and holds a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Hawaii. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Dartmouth College. He holds certificates in public school administration at the superintendent, mid-management, and supervisor levels and as a teacher of mathematics, physics, and computer science.
According to Cathleen Norris, president of NECA’s board of directors, Knezek is an ideal choice to lead NECA and ISTE. “As someone who’s been in the trenches, Don relates with educators and understands from the teacher perspective what’s at stake in promoting educational technology,” Norris said. “And he has the experience, expertise, and personality to be an outstanding leader, a staunch advocate, and a perfect representative of the teaching profession.”
Knezek will be based in the organizations’ new joint office in Washington, D.C. According to Cheryl Williams, president of ISTE’s board of directors, Knezek’s appointment and an increased presence in the nation’s capital will play a pivotal role in advancing educational technology: “We’ll provide an essential voice in a national forum for those who support and practice the use of technology to help students reach high standards of learning.”