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Meet the next generation of school ed-tech leaders

CoSN and EdScoop announce inaugural winners at CoSN 2016 annual conference

CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) and EdScoop have unveiled the winners of the NextGeneration Leaders Program, a new national initiative that recognizes emerging K-12 education technology leaders.

Chosen among 29 finalists from across the country, the 2016 NextGeneration Leaders are:
• Michele Eaton, CETL, Director of Virtual and Blended Learning, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township (Indianapolis, IN)
• Travis Eldridge, Technology Integration Specialist, Laramie County School District #1
(Cheyenne, WY)
• Roshni Lakhi, Blended Learning Specialist, Highlander Institute (Providence, RI)
• Andrew Neiburg, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, Henrico County Public Schools (Henrico, VA)
• Nathan White, CETL, IT Operations Manager, Elmore County Public Schools (Wetumpka, AL)

The ed-tech leaders were honored in a ceremony at the CoSN 2016 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The NextGeneration Leaders Program is co-sponsored by EdScoop with support from Microsoft.

“This is an important moment today to recognize the technology leaders of tomorrow. Chosen by their peers and the entire education community, these leaders have taken demonstrable, visionary steps to drive technology programs and accelerate learning success through digital tools in their schools,” remarked Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN.

Next page: A closer look at this year’s winners

Here’s a closer look at this year’s NextGeneration Leaders:

Michele Eaton, CETL
Director of Virtual and Blended Learning, Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Wayne Township, Ind.

Michele Eaton leads MSD’s online and blended learning team, but she aspires one day to lead the district’s technology department. She spoke at CoSN’s 2015 Annual Conference about identifying and supporting “next generation” leaders. During the session, she highlighted the benefits of programs such as Indiana’s CTO2B group, in which she is participated, and she will present at the CoSN 2016 Annual Conference on expanding similar programs for future leaders. Eaton is the conference chair for the Indiana Connected Educators and is president of ISTE’s Online Learning Network. She has also served as the social media chair and web master for the “Yes 4 Wayne” political action committee.

Travis Eldridge
Technology Integration Specialist, Laramie County School District #1, Cheyenne, Wy.

Travis Eldridge has skillfully leveraged his talent as an educator to define and then exemplify what “deeper learning” means for students and teachers. With classroom educators, he is reassuring, attentive and practiced. With site and district administrators, he is objective, mission-focused and optimistic. Eldridge understands the necessity and nuance of change. He communicates the district’s technology enhancements using language affiliated with a concrete, student-centered learning model. He understands the natural uncertainty that his colleagues feel regarding new initiatives, and works strategically to help them discover new steps incrementally. Over the past year, Eldridge has helped Laramie County School District #1 integrate technology into the curriculum. Other schools have since sent teachers and administrators to the district to observe and incorporate elements of the successful program.

Roshni Lakhi
Blended Learning Specialist, Highlander Institute, Providence, R.I.

In just her second year as a teacher, Roshni Lakhi was named the lead technology integrator in her school district. She has been honored with multiple awards and now, through the Highlander Institute, works with schools and districts throughout New England and beyond. One example of Lakhi’s leadership is her work bringing Girls Who Code to Rhode Island; she found the time to train, organize, manage and teach coding to a group of underserved urban students from multiple schools as a volunteer last year. It was the first Girls Who Code site in the state. Lakhi demonstrates esteemed leadership values and has already made a name for herself in the growing blended learning sector. She is able to seamlessly straddle the education, technology and business sectors, liaising and communicating with various stakeholder groups, and sees the inherent need to bring these groups together to do what is best for kids in the digital learning age. Lakhi is a great role model for young women both in the technology and education sectors.

Andrew Neiburg
Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, Henrico County Public Schools, Henrico, Va.

When Andrew Neiburg came to Highland Springs High School three years ago, he brought stability and excitement to a school needing visionary leadership. His dedication to the teachers and students can be seen in the writing center and peer tutoring service he established with an English teacher his first year, which encourages students to sign up when they need help with the writing process. He also created the “HSHS Virtual School” (HSHS), a place for students and teachers to connect outside of school and collaborate on lesson plans and for departments to work together to achieve accreditation. This year, Neiburg built a student and teacher hub to provide easy access to everything at HSHS. He is a visionary leader and has been instrumental moving it toward excellence in instruction and official accreditation.

Nathan White, CETL
IT Operations Manager, Elmore County Public Schools, Wetumpka, Ala.

Nathan White’s interpersonal skills make him well suited to any position that involves interaction with others. He is an excellent troubleshooter and able to prioritize and resolve problems. White has the ideal mix of technical and interpersonal skills. In the technical area, he has recently earned the designation of Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL™), one of only a few who hold this title throughout the state. White is charged with significant responsibilities in the technology realm. Not only does he supervise four technicians to meet many and varied hardware and software needs across the district, but White also manages numerous staff and student software programs, security cameras, cell phones, as well as other critical technology and infrastructure programs.

Learn more about the NextGeneration Leaders Program at:

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