For Ed Zaiontz, executive director of information services for the Round Rock Independent School District in Texas, and Leo Brehm, director of technology for the Sharon Public Schools in Sharon, Mass., being an effective school district chief technology officer (CTO) begins first with a passion for the job—and then the adoption of several important habits.

“In this job, you have to produce results and create value,” said Zaiontz. “Besides providing leadership and vision, a customer-focused business mind, and a knack for planning and budgeting, you have to also take charge of process management.”

For Zaiontz, process management includes...

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