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Stacey Allen

Project Manager, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

Stacey Allen

Project Manager, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

“This past spring I was working on a research project on education technology use in India that included some field work in different parts of the country. I learned a TON about not only the Indian education system, but also the culture, people, and of course, delicious food in the country.”

 

Bio
Stacey comes to Digital Promise with five years of experience in education and education technology. She began her career as a high school physics teacher with Teach For America in the Boston area, while completing a graduate degree and thesis focused on resource allocation in K-12 school districts in Massachusetts. She left the classroom to pursue research in education technology full-time at MIT. Through her research, Stacey designed a rubric for administrators to use to assess readiness for large scale technology implementations in schools. She has earned a Master’s degree in Technology and Policy from MIT, an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum from Boston University, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from MIT. You can reach Stacey at stacey@digitalpromise.org.

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Andronica Alston

Operations and Finance Manager

Andronica Alston

Operations and Finance Manager

“I retain details in a variety of ways and my learning style varies, depending on the type of information I am receiving. One thing I am currently learning more about is early childhood education and the impact it has on development in those critical years.”

 

Bio
Andronica comes to Digital Promise from Working America in Washington, D.C., where she worked on audit readiness, vendor contracts, and insurance policies. She earned her B.A. degree in Psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta, where she also coordinated two summer college readiness programs. She is continuing her education through an early childhood development endorsement program with the Virginia Department of Social Services. You can reach Andronica at: andronica@digitalpromise.org.

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Robert Bajor

Project Manager, Educator Micro-credentials

Robert Bajor

Project Manager, Educator Micro-credentials

“I learn by tinkering. When I was 11, I wanted to play computer games but my family couldn’t afford a computer. I got a computer assembly book from the library and collected recycled computer parts in my neighborhood until I could build my own.”

 

Bio
Before joining Digital Promise, Robert worked as a high school science teacher in New Jersey. Robert came to teaching from a background in science, working in microbiological research and cancer diagnostics. He graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in biological sciences. Robert can be reached at: robert@digitalpromise.org.

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Jim Beeler

Chief Learning Officer

Jim Beeler

Chief Learning Officer

“The next thing I want to learn is to be a better songwriter, to write and play something that resonates with someone other than my Mom (who politely likes anything that I play).”

 

Bio
Jim comes to Digital Promise from Apple, Inc., where he was a Senior Specialist and Development Manager as well as the National Senior Manager of Professional Development. Jim’s career at Apple included working in a wide variety of large and small urban, suburban, and rural school districts, and on many laptop and tablet one-to-one projects. Prior to his work at Apple, Jim owned a consulting business that provided professional development, software development, peer coaching and change management consulting in the area of education technology. Jim taught middle and high school social studies and was a technology coordinator. Jim recently received his Ed.D. from North Carolina State University with a focus on the effect of adult learning theory on educator professional development and technology adoption models. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of Tennessee and Appalachian State University, respectively, and studied doctoral-level curriculum and instructional technology at the University of Texas at Austin. You can reach Jim at: jim@digitalpromise.org.

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Karen Cator

President and Chief Executive Officer

Karen Cator

President and Chief Executive Officer

“I am a social learner (just ask my 8th grade teachers!); I prefer to learn with and from people. I believe many minds create better ideas and that social interactions incent action. I am increasingly interested in how online interactions can be designed to improve learning opportunity, regardless of location.”

 

Bio
Karen Cator is President and CEO of Digital Promise and a leading voice for transforming American education through technology, innovation and research. From 2009-2013, Karen was Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, where she led the development of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan and focused the Office’s efforts on teacher and leader support. Prior to joining the department, Cator directed Apple’s leadership and advocacy efforts in education. In this role, she focused on the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies, and the reality faced by teachers, students and administrators. She began her education career in Alaska as a teacher, ultimately leading technology planning and implementation. She also served as Special Assistant for Telecommunications for the Governor of Alaska. Cator holds a master’s in school administration from the University of Oregon and received the 2014 College of Education Distinguished Alumni award. The American Association of Publishers has awarded Cator with the 2014 Visionary Award. She received her bachelor’s in early childhood education from Springfield College and received the 2015 Distinguished Alumna award. She is an Aspen Pahara Fellow, the past chair for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and has served on boards including the Software & Information Industry Association- Education. You can reach Karen at: karen@digitalpromise.org.

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Corinne Colgan

Multimedia Content Producer, Research

Corinne Colgan

Multimedia Content Producer, Research

“When you ask people about memorable learning experiences, you hear many stories about informal environments. I know times spent in museums, libraries, and parks are the ones that stand out for me.”

 

Bio
Corinne documented the work of artists and filmmakers as a video producer at BRIC TV, a community television station in Brooklyn. She’s also edited content for MoMA and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Corinne left her heart in New York City when she moved to the Bay Area to pursue her master’s in Learning, Design and Technology at Stanford. Her area of focus is reimagining the field trip experience through storytelling. She holds a B.S. in Television-Radio from Ithaca College. Corinne can be reached at: corinne@digitalpromise.org

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Patti Constantakis

Director of Adult Education Initiatives

Patti Constantakis

Director of Adult Education Initiatives

“Learning something new requires diving in and taking a risk. You’re never sure if you’ll sink or swim, and initially it may seem like you’re sinking, but in the end you conquer it and float to the surface.”

 

Bio
Patti has a long-held commitment to innovation, technology and education and has spent the bulk of her career in the educational technology field largely working with adult learners. Prior to Digital Promise, Patti was the Director of Product, Content and Curriculum at GreatSchools.org and was responsible for several large parent education initiatives that included developing digital media components, implementing on-the-ground workshops and events, and managing community-based media campaigns. Prior to GreatSchools, Patti worked with several start-ups, developing and implementing e-learning courseware, online educational games, and mobile apps for a variety of audiences, including English language learners, older returning community college students, parents and families, and teachers. Patti earned her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in communications, with an emphasis in Spanish-language media and Latinos in the U.S. She received her master’s degree in Radio, Television, Film, also from the University of Texas at Austin, and a dual bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish from New Mexico State University. You can reach Patti at: patti@digitalpromise.org.

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Sara Martinez Crawford

Professional Learning Manager, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

Sara Martinez Crawford

Professional Learning Manager, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

“I have always been a social learner. I watch how other people delve into problems and love to see how they problem solve. Most recently, I have learned so much from my own children. Their curiosity and the way they address concerns offers me a new perspective and helps me appreciate things in a new way.”

 

Bio
Sara comes to Digital Promise from The Arizona K12 Center where she was the Technology Project Director, overseeing technology professional learning opportunities, technology conferences, and other leadership and learning events for educators across Arizona. Previously, Sara was a Standards Coordinator and Professional Development Coordinator for Maricopa County Education Service Agency (MCESA). She was also a 1st and 5th grade teacher as well as an Instructional Technology Specialist for kindergarten through 8th grade teachers in the Cartwright School District. Sara received her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Arizona State University, her Master of Education in elementary education and reading specialist endorsement from Northern Arizona University, and an Educational Doctorate in educational administration and supervision from Arizona State University. You can reach Sara at s.crawford@digitalpromise.org.

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Jude Crocker

Senior Digital Manager

Jude Crocker

Senior Digital Manager

“I am always keen to learn new things. I wanted to learn to speak French so I moved to Paris and immersed myself in Parisian culture for a year. I am always trying to improve my knowledge of digital technology and trends in web development so I listen to podcasts, read blogs and watch tutorials on YouTube.”

 

Bio

Jude comes to Digital Promise from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, where he led the digital communications team. While there, he focused on digital campaigns using email, social media, and websites to achieve a significant increase in engagement and online giving. Jude moved to the U.S. from Great Britain three years ago with his young family. In the U.K., Jude worked as a digital producer at the U.K. Parliament and managed the website and intranet for the London Borough of Islington. Jude has a background as a librarian, having completed an MA in Library Information Services at University College London. You can reach Jude at: jude@digitalpromise.org.

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Michelle Dreyband

Executive Assistant

Michelle Dreyband

Executive Assistant

“I have always been a very tactile learner. When I was young I built an entire make-believe city out of playdough and popsicle sticks on a rainy afternoon, and, now in adulthood, I love to build things. New concepts come clear when I have the opportunity to experience it hands-on.”

 

Bio

Michelle is the executive assistant to Digital Promise President and CEO Karen Cator. Michelle brings experience in volunteer management, event planning, and arts administration to Digital Promise. In her last position at the San Francisco Symphony, Michelle supported all large-scale fundraising events and managed major donors and sponsors lists. Michelle received her M.A in arts administration from Indiana University and her B.M in vocal performance at San Jose State University. Michelle is an advocate for creative learning and inspiring adults to always continue improving through education. You can reach Michelle at: michelle@digitalpromise.org.

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Rosy Escandon

Professional Learning Manager, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

Rosy Escandon

Professional Learning Manager, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

“Growing up I loved to tinker with things. I would take them apart when they weren’t working and put them back together after I fixed them. To this day, when I learn something new I take it apart and figure out how the pieces come together to understand it.”

 

Bio

Prior to joining Digital Promise, Rosy was an educational consultant specializing in professional development and technology integration. Rosy also worked in a public school district, first as a K-2 teacher focusing on special education and then as an administrator, providing technology training and developing teacher trainers for the entire district. Rosy received her B.A. in special education, M.S. in curriculum and instruction, and is currently completing an Ed.D. in educational leadership. Rosy can be reached at: rosy@digitalpromise.org.

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Aubrey Francisco

Director of Research

Aubrey Francisco

Director of Research

“For me, learning something new requires making it bigger before making it smaller. I gather a lot of information in a somewhat chaotic manner and then distill it into a clear and coherent “big picture” framework that I use to develop expertise.”

 

Bio

Aubrey has more than six years of research and development experience spanning academic, industry, and government settings. Aubrey comes to this role from the biomedical research field, where she developed and evaluated novel materials for treating lower back pain. Aubrey has taught at the undergraduate and graduate level, and has served as a mentor for 8th-grade girls interested in math and science. She is also engaged in science outreach as a curator for +ScienceSunday, a STEM-focused social media outreach group that promotes and curates science content on Google+. Aubrey earned her Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and her B.S. from Syracuse University. You can reach Aubrey at: aubrey@digitalpromise.org.

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Cricket Fuller

Project Director, Education Innovation Clusters

Cricket Fuller

Project Director, Education Innovation Clusters

“I learn best by doing — and by finding a way to love what I’m learning. That was never truer for me than when I was learning to be a teacher — one lesson plan, one student conversation, one sleep-deprived morning at a time. The only way to learn to swim is to jump into the pool (or the deep end) and start paddling.”

 

Bio
Cricket first joined Digital Promise as an Education Pioneers Fellow, working on Leadership Coaching and Education Innovation Cluster initiatives. She is excited to now support EdClusters around the country full-time. Prior to joining Digital Promise, Cricket ran the OpEd department at The Christian Science Monitor, where she featured solution-oriented education commentary. Before her stint in journalism, Cricket was a K-12 classroom teacher and educator with Teach for America, the New York City Department of Education, the Harlem Children’s Zone, and the Horace Mann School, focusing on curriculum design and technology integration. She has a Master of Science in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University (with honors), a Master of Science in teaching from Pace University, and a B.A. in English and sociology from Bates College (with honors). You can reach Cricket at: cricket@digitalpromise.org.

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Elyse Gainor

Project Associate

Elyse Gainor

Project Associate

“I want to learn how to cut and polish stones so I can design jewelry and décor. I already have a small collection of stones that I have saved for this purpose. I want to learn this because I enjoy working with my hands and it gives me to joy to create something with aesthetic value.”

Representing Digital Promise Global, Elyse collaborates with Digital Promise.

 

Bio
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Elyse worked at Vital Voices Global Partnership, where she supported the VVLead Fellowship Program, a capacity-building fellowship for women leaders across the globe. Her work on the VVLead Fellowship Program included managing and producing online courses, building the fellowship’s virtual mentoring framework, producing audio stories, and organizing the fellowship’s in-person exchanges. Elyse received her Bachelor of Arts in international affairs with a concentration in international development from The George Washington University. She can be reached at elyse@digitalpromise.org.

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Admir Garic

Project Manager, Educator Micro-credentials

Admir Garic

Project Manager, Educator Micro-credentials

“I want to learn how to perfect some of the languages that I am semi-fluent in. I currently speak German and Bosnian fluently and know some Spanish and Russian. I am hoping to become fluent in both and hopefully pick up Mandarin as well.”

 

Bio
Before joining Digital Promise, Admir worked as a Project Manager with Community Technology Alliance, a non-profit tech company committed to using technology to eliminate poverty and homelessness. He served as the lead person in charge of implementing and managing a multi-year initiative designed to move 1,000 people out of poverty using data, technology, and collaboration. Admir graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in political science and a Master’s degree in public administration. He can be reached at admir@digitalpromise.org.

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Melissa Gedney

Program and Communications Manager, League of Innovative Schools

Melissa Gedney

Program and Communications Manager, League of Innovative Schools

“I’m taking improv classes right now and it’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had. It’s all about learning how to identify and develop patterns and characters, and how to build upon what’s been handed to you by others.”

 

Bio
Before working at Digital Promise, Melissa worked with the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York City Department of Education, Discovery Communications, and the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program. At George Washington University, where she graduated from the honors program with a B.A. in political science, she conducted two years of research on crowdsourcing and public behavior. You can reach Melissa at: melissa@digitalpromise.org.

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Kelsey Gross

Communications Manager, Research

Kelsey Gross

Communications Manager, Research

“As a stay-at-home parent, when I wanted to learn more about nonprofit work, the Internet afforded me the flexibility to learn new skills on my own (and my son’s!) schedule.”

 

Bio
Kelsey shares research on learning with educators and developers so they can improve teaching practices and products. Prior to joining Digital Promise, she was a volunteer grant writer at an adult literacy nonprofit, and worked in higher education as a career counselor and admissions administrator. She has co-published research results from a two-year ethnographic study of a student organization. Kelsey earned a bachelor’s degree in communication and Spanish from St. Norbert College, and a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from Miami University. You can reach Kelsey at: kelsey@digitalpromise.org.

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Will Jarred

Senior Communications Fellow, Digital Promise Global

Will Jarred

Senior Communications Fellow, Digital Promise Global

“I’m interested in the power of networked collaboration to drive project-based learning, connecting students around the block and across the world to break down geographical and cultural barriers in order to infuse learning with a shared sense of purpose and community.”

Bio
Will is a veteran education industry strategist with over 20 years of experience in brand management, strategic marketing communications, advertising, and print and digital media.  His background spans Pre- K-12, Higher Education, Adult Education, and ESL/EFL/ELT domestically and globally. He has launched and marketed an array of products and services for teachers and administrators including textbooks, online and interactive curriculum, assessments, and teacher professional development.  Most recently, Will was Associate Executive Director of Marketing, Communications and Development for the National Association of Elementary School Principals, where he led all aspects of the member experience, including membership services, publications, digital marketing, and strategic partnerships. Prior to NAESP, Will spent 17 years in educational publishing, working for several global organizations including Cricket Media, ETS, and Pearson.  Will began his career at AOL as a member of the original team that launched the AOL brand nationwide.  Will resides in Alexandria, VA, is an avid cyclist and tennis player, and enjoys spending time with his two daughters. You can reach Will at will@digitalpromise.org

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Lisa Jobson

Project Manager, Learning Studios and 360 Filmmakers Challenge

Lisa Jobson

Project Manager, Learning Studios and 360 Filmmakers Challenge

“I love learning from and with people from all over world, and helping to connect people from different networks and disciplines in the process. For the past few years, I’ve been learning to surf and grow food.”

Representing Digital Promise Global, Lisa collaborates with Digital Promise.

Bio
Prior to joining Digital Promise Global, Lisa held numerous roles at iEARN-USA from 1997-2016, including Executive Director and Chief Program Officer.  In addition to overseeing program and technology strategy, implementation, and new initiatives, she helped to launch and manage iEARN’s Adobe Youth Voices partnership, a program of the Adobe Foundation. Lisa grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and has taught high school in Providence, Rhode Island and Mmabatho, South Africa. She holds a BA from Brown University, and an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, with a focus in International Policy Studies.

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Jennifer Kabaker

Director of Educator Micro-credentials

Jennifer Kabaker

Director of Educator Micro-credentials

“When I was 10, I took a computer course on something called ‘PowerPoint’ where I got to explore topics on this thing called the ‘World Wide Web.’ Suddenly I could access information far beyond the encyclopedias at home and display what I learned on slides with pretty pictures I downloaded. It sounds simple now but I was overwhelmed by the new tools available to me.”

 

Bio
Jennifer comes to Digital Promise from KIPP LA Schools, a high-performing charter management organization in Los Angeles, where she managed corporate and foundation relationships and led external engagement efforts to ensure the schools and students have the tools they need to succeed. Previously, she worked at two Washington, D.C. think tanks, the New America Foundation and Urban Institute, researching and writing about federal education funding, policy, and reform. Jennifer received her master’s degree in policy, organizations, and leadership studies from the Stanford Graduate School of Education and graduated with honors from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in public policy with a focus in education. You can reach Jennifer at: jennifer@digitalpromise.org.

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Erica Lawton

Senior Communications Manager

Erica Lawton

Senior Communications Manager

“I like to think there’s an opportunity to learn from anyone and everyone — we all have our own stories to tell and information to share, and it’s exciting to view any interaction as having the capability to change the way you think.”

 

Bio
Erica supports Digital Promise’s strategic and digital communications efforts across all initiatives. Previously, Erica provided media relations and social media consulting to a range of for- and non-profit clients, including Williams-Sonoma and The Salvation Army, while working at Xenophon Strategies, a public relations firm in Washington, D.C. Erica received her master’s degree in strategic communications from American University, and she earned an Honors B.A. in communication from Bryant University. You can reach Erica at: erica@digitalpromise.org.

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Sam Lindauer

Communications Associate

Sam Lindauer

Communications Associate

“I learn the most from my friends. I consider myself lucky to have a group of friends that work in such diverse fields as politics, academia, design, law and media. Every time we hang out, I learn a little bit more about their corner of the world.”

 

Bio
Before joining Digital Promise, Sam served as an editorial producer for MLB.com in New York. There, he produced content for all 30 MLB club websites. He earned a degree in Journalism at American University in Washington D.C. He can be reached at: sam@digitalpromise.org.

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Christina Luke

Project Director, Marketplace Research

Christina Luke

Project Director, Marketplace Research

“I learn best by example. If I have a chance to observe or experience a new learning, it is easier for me to replicate and adapt it. With a good model, I am able to adapt new knowledge and skills more easily.”

 

Bio
Before joining Digital Promise, Christina led program evaluations for federal and state initiatives and delivered professional development and technical assistance to school districts at Measurement Incorporated. Formerly a high school English teacher, Christina left the classroom to study education policy with a desire to improve student outcomes by offering a practitioner’s perspective to education research. For instance, in 2014, she researched the effect of state induction policies on novice teacher attrition. Christina earned a Ph.D. in education administration and policy from the State University of New York at Albany and a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and English from Boston College. You can reach Christina at: christina@digitalpromise.org.

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Kathryn Marinos

Professional Learning Coach

Kathryn Marinos

Professional Learning Coach

“As I watched my children learning a new skill, I realized that everything we do has a learning curve. I try to approach every situation as a learning experience and think about my own learning curve. If I can find a golden nugget that I can make my own, I feel the experience was successful.”

 

Bio
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Kathryn worked at the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) on the Accountability, Innovation, and Results team. In this role, Kathryn led innovative instructional and informational technology projects in San Mateo County School Districts. She assisted districts in educational technology and student data privacy planning. She also worked on the iZone SMC initiative, a public private partnership with the Full Circle Fund to spur innovation in schools. Before SMCOE, she worked in the public education, IT industry and nonprofit sectors. She helped start the non-profit Jean Nidetch Women’s Center at University of Nevada, Las Vegas while earning a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She is very active in her community, Parkside Intermediate School PTO, past board member of the San Bruno Education Foundation, and is currently serving a term as the San Bruno Lions Club President. You can reach Kathryn at: k.marinos@digitalpromise.org.

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Dimitri Moore

Video Producer & Digital Storytelling Coach

Dimitri Moore

Video Producer & Digital Storytelling Coach

“I learn from everyone I encounter. I love asking an open-ended question such as “Do you enjoy what you do?” and watching people take their answer toward what they are most passionate about or what they wish they could accomplish. Every conversation is an opportunity to learn something new as long as you listen to the person’s soul.”

Representing Digital Promise Global, Dimitri collaborates with Digital Promise.

Bio:
Since 2001, Dimitri has worked at Columbia College Chicago, Youth Speaks, Bay Area Video Coalition, Mill Valley Film Festival, SF Sketchfest, Illinois Leadership Seminars and Free Spirit Media, where he learned how to breakdown, organize and produce projects of all types. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Film and Video Producing. Dimitri has trained youth in media production, leadership development and workshopped adults in discovering their preferred work culture. He has produced music videos for Bay Area artists, short narrative films, promo videos for small businesses, training videos for Facebook and Yahoo, and documentaries. He is currently the creator of a web series that focuses on The Ignition Point of addiction and passion and a resident at San Francisco Film Society’s FilmHouse Residency Program. Dimitri can be reached at dimitri@digitalpromise.org.

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Emily Morris

Project Associate, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

Emily Morris

Project Associate, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

“The thing I want to learn next is the art of photography. I love taking photos and, next, I really want to explore the entire process in depth – from framing good shots, using equipment, editing, and everything else.”

 

Bio
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Emily worked on the research and policy team at the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), where she tracked and analyzed arts education policies in all 50 states and helped coordinate a research review panel. Emily has also worked on Capitol Hill, as a legislative assistant to a member of U.S. House of Representatives. In that role, she monitored education policy, regularly meeting with students and educators. Emily graduated from American University, where she earned a B.A. in political science and completed a certificate program focusing on women in politics. Emily can be reached at: emily@digitalpromise.org.

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Mark Nichols

Digital Promise Fellow, Challenge Based Learning

Mark Nichols

Digital Promise Fellow, Challenge Based Learning

“I love to learn. And I learn by jumping in the deep end, splashing around, making waves, and learning from the experience. My most profound insights have emerged from challenges, risk, adventure and discomfort.”

Bio
Mark has over 30 years of experience in the field of education, including positions as a middle and secondary teacher and coach, outdoor educator, wilderness guide/instructor, district technology and curriculum director, professional development provider, multimedia/web/graphic designer, consultant and faculty/program director at the university level, and entrepreneur. During his 10 years at Arizona State University, Mark moved from director of educational technology at KAET/PBS, to a faculty member in the COE, to a director within the University Technology Office.

Intertwined with his experience in public and private education is over a decade working with and for Apple in a variety of roles including Apple Distinguished Educator, contractor, a Development Executive, and Manager of Online Content. Mark was an integral part of the original Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow – Today (ACOT2) team that developed the concept of Challenge Based Learning (CBL), co-authored the CBL white paper, and managed the pilot and implementation projects for Apple. Mark has degrees in political science and economics (Colorado College), theology and education (Princeton Theological Seminary), and public policy (Claremont Graduate University), and is currently pursuing a degree in graphic information technology. He is also a proud owner of a lifelong ABD/PhD in Education. He can be reached at mark@digitalpromise.org.

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Susanne Nobles

Senior Manager of Strategic Outreach, Adult Learning and Learner Positioning Systems

Susanne Nobles

Senior Manager of Strategic Outreach, Adult Learning and Learner Positioning Systems

“Powerful reflection happens in digital spaces. In my case study research of high school seniors, individual reflection grew naturally from participating in digital communities of practice. These learners looked back on all they had done in the digital space and saw their personal learning processes and best practices laid out. That is powerful learning.”

Bio

Susanne is working with both Digital Promise and Digital Promise Global. Her focus is identifying and communicating the best learning and instructional strategies for learners of all ages and all learning differences. Prior to coming to Digital Promise, Susanne was a teacher and administrator, leading and advising 1:1 programs at middle, secondary, and collegiate levels as well as teaching English and advising yearbook staffs. She earned her Ph.D. in Composition and New Media from Old Dominion University, focusing her research on creating effective digital communities of practice. She earned her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University and her A.B. in English with Teacher Certification from Duke University. You can reach Susanne at: susanne@digitalpromise.org.

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Jacinto Noriega

Professional Learning Manager, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

Jacinto Noriega

Professional Learning Manager, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

“I love learning by watching, wondering, and then failing – to me ‘fail’ = ‘First Attempt In Learning’ – until I figure it out. Getting hands-on with real-life problems is what it’s all about for me!”

 

Bio
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Jacinto was a technology manager for a community-based organization in San Francisco. There, he integrated community technology services with schools, businesses, and other agencies to bridge the digital divide in the Mission District neighborhood. He’s also been an elementary school teacher, Avid site coordinator, and technology integration specialist in public schools. Jacinto received his B.A. in liberal studies and his M.A. in education with a focus on equity and social justice. You can reach Jacinto at jacinto@digitalpromise.org.

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Kathryn Petrillo-Smith

Chief Operating Officer

Kathryn Petrillo-Smith

Chief Operating Officer

“When I need to learn something new, I break it down into small discrete bits of knowledge or information I can learn along the way. This helps me figure out where to start and makes the process much less overwhelming for me.”

 

Bio
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Kathryn worked at the Association of Small Foundations, an organization dedicated to strengthening and inspiring small-staff philanthropy.  During her nine year tenure at ASF she held a variety of positions, most recently Managing Director. Kathryn also worked in environmental policy at the Environmental Protection Agency, implementing innovative market-based mechanisms to reduce air pollution and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria. Kathryn holds an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. You can reach Kathryn at: kathryn@digitalpromise.org.

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Hashim Pipkin

Communications and Content Manager, Educator Micro-credentials

Hashim Pipkin

Communications and Content Manager, Educator Micro-credentials

“Thanks to a second grade science project, I had the opportunity for my mother to show me how to use this thing called the “Encyclopedia” tucked away in a bookshelf at my grandma’s — the same Encyclopedia my mom used in college. I didn’t have the words then, but I know now that type of learning is the strongest because it put connection and discovery in the center.”

 

Bio
Before joining Digital Promise, Hashim worked as an elementary reading and writing teacher for Atlanta Public Schools. After this, he supported community and student engagement programming at Emory University and the United Negro College Fund.

Hashim most recently led the marketing and strategic communications for the District of Columbia Public Schools’ teacher recruitment, retention, and diversity efforts. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Georgetown University and a Master of Arts in English and Critical Theory from Vanderbilt University.

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Tyler Richendollar

Project Manager, Learner Positioning Systems

Tyler Richendollar

Project Manager, Learner Positioning Systems

“When I was about 12 years old, my dad bought my older brother an early CD-based video game system that included an interactive encyclopedia. I remember spending hours searching the encyclopedia for videos of great 20th century speeches and content about astrophysics. It was clear then that technology would democratize and transform learning at a massive scale.”

Representing Digital Promise Global, Tyler collaborates with Digital Promise.

Bio
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Tyler was the Professional Development Manager for the City of Philadelphia’s Out-of-School Time (OST) programs for grades K-12. There, he and his team of Program Analysts developed and implemented a learning program that covered topics such as project-based learning, supporting diverse learners, and creating positive program culture. Prior to that, Tyler served as a Special Education teacher and OST Program Analyst in Philadelphia, PA, and as Education Director for a Boys and Girls Club in Camden, NJ. He earned his M.Ed. in Elementary and Special Education from Chestnut Hill College, and his BA from Rutgers University in sociology/anthropology. You can reach Tyler at: tyler@digitalpromise.org.

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Sara Schapiro

Senior Director of the League of Innovative Schools

Sara Schapiro

Senior Director of the League of Innovative Schools

“I’m lucky to spend my days learning from and working with amazing educators, students, thought leaders, and policymakers. They all have important stories to share and learn from. My family and friends also have been a lifelong source of knowledge and inspiration.”

 

Bio
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Sara worked as a consultant for Pearson and the New Jersey Department of Education.  Before those engagements, Sara led a portfolio of initiatives at The Fund for Public Schools, which manages the public-private partnerships for the New York City Department of Education.  During graduate school, Sara worked at Chicago Public Schools in Alternative Programs and Student Transitions and was an Education Pioneers Fellow at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Sara received a master’s in public policy from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and graduated with honors from Duke University with a B.A. in international and comparative area studies and Spanish literature. You can reach Sara at: sara@digitalpromise.org.

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Alex

Alex Sharpe

Operations and Finance Associate

Alex Sharpe

Operations and Finance Associate

“When I learn something new I like to try to look at it from all the perspectives I can. Being open-minded while learning helps me understand concepts and feel more confident in what I am learning. I like the gather as much information about something as I can.”

 

Bio
Alex graduated from Western Washington University with a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in finance. A week after graduating, she moved across the country to join the team at Digital Promise. She was actively involved in her university as the president of the Financial Management Association, manager of the Student Scholarship Fund and lead finance tutor. She helps with the operations and book keeping at Digital Promise. You can reach Alex at Alex@digitalpromise.org.

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Marco Antonio Torres

Director of Story

Marco Antonio Torres

Director of Story

“I learn by asking a lot of questions. Once I identify a challenge, I love to figure it out by looking to my personal network, connecting the dots, and then telling the story of my experiences along the way.”

 

Bio
Marco Antonio Torres taught middle school and high school for ten years. He also was a media coach, an education technology director, and one of the professional learning leaders for one of the nation’s largest urban schools in Los Angeles. In addition to his work in the classroom, Marco Torres is also a professional filmmaker and photographer who uses digital storytelling skills to add value to his curriculum and showcasing evidence. He has been recognized locally and internationally for his accomplishments in the classroom, focusing on teacher learning and storytelling. Marco is also a keynote speaker who focuses his talks on the why, what, and how of creativity. As the Senior Specialist/Learning Engineer at Apple, he was in charge of designing and implementing a professional learning plan for teachers, leaders and students of the Los Angeles Unified School District. You can reach Marco at: marco@digitalpromise.org.

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Kristin

Kristin Townsend

Project Director, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

Kristin Townsend

Project Director, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

“I learn best by drawing, diagramming and taking hand-written notes about the subject I want to learn about. In my world there is little better than a well-sharpened #2 pencil (and a smartphone to take a photo of my drawings and diagrams to share with others).”

 

Bio
Kristin comes to Digital Promise from Verizon, where she was a Senior Manager for Education Programs within Corporate Social Responsibility and the Verizon Foundation. Kristin’s career in corporate philanthropy focused on establishing content and state partnerships to support educational programs, as well as national professional development models to scale professional learning. Prior to Verizon, Kristin taught visual art to middle school students, primarily in Loudoun County, VA. Kristin earned a B.F.A. in Visual Arts from Cornell University and an M.Ed. in Art Education from Pennsylvania State University. You can reach Kristin at: kristin@digitalpromise.org.

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Vina Vo

Program Manager, League of Innovative Schools

Vina Vo

Program Manager, League of Innovative Schools

“By the time I was 8 years old, I travelled to India, England, Viet Nam, China, Egypt and about 30 other countries all through a CD-ROM that came with the purchase of my family’s Packard Bell computer. As someone who didn’t start traveling until I went to college, I learned about a world beyond my own through a shiny disc that every now and then skipped, but nonetheless provided a wealth of knowledge.”

 

Bio
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Vina worked at Ernst & Young as a consultant advising financial services organizations in process improvement, change management, regulatory compliance, and systems integration. In the past, Vina completed a fellowship with Education Pioneers where she worked with Pacific Charter School Development to build charter schools in Los Angeles, designed a student ambassador program for the Indonesian International Education Foundation, and authored a manual to guide local investments in indigenous communities with CARE Ecuador. Vina received her master’s in Urban Planning with an emphasis on social and community planning and a B.S. in Business Administration with a focus on International Business, both from the University of Southern California.

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Vic Vuchic

Chief Innovation Officer

Vic Vuchic

Chief Innovation Officer

“I learn a lot from my kids, my parents and my mentors. My kids give me perspective, my parents give me wisdom, and my mentors help me make sense of everything.”

Representing Digital Promise Global, Vic collaborates with Digital Promise.

 

Bio
Vic is a seasoned thought leader in education technology and philanthropy. He is an expert in learning science, innovation, and scaling what works and has launched game-changing initiatives that have increased access to education and improved learning for tens of millions of learners in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Prior to Digital Promise Global, Vic consulted with a number of foundations and organizations on education technology, innovation and philanthropy. Prior to consulting, Vic developed strategies and managed over $100 million in technology-focused grants at the Hewlett Foundation to launch and grow the Open Educational Resources movement and create and advance the Deeper Learning strategy. Vic completed a master’s degree in education and technology at Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Vic also received a scholarship and attended Berklee College of Music for a year. Previous experience includes working at startups in Silicon Valley for eight years with expertise in human-centric system design and innovation methodologies. You can reach Vic at: vic@digitalpromise.org.

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Chelsea Waite

Program Director, Global Learning

Chelsea Waite

Program Director, Global Learning

“When I was an English teacher in Brazil, I realized technology’s impact on how we learn because I had students who were fluent in English and had never completed an English class. They learned the language from online videos, games, and learning communities.”

Representing Digital Promise Global, Chelsea collaborates with Digital Promise.

 

Bio
Chelsea Waite directs Digital Promise Global’s work with international partners and global learning programs. She is responsible for managing corporate partnerships for Digital Promise, as well as the 360 Filmmakers Challenge, a project that engages students in sharing their stories through 360 degree video. Prior to coming to Digital Promise, Chelsea was an English teacher and program coordinator at two universities in the Northeast of Brazil, working to increase access to English language learning and international study opportunities. Chelsea’s work in Brazil began through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program, where she was assigned to support professors in an English teacher training program at an interior state university. Chelsea is accredited by the Partnership Brokers Association, and has a certification in Advanced Facilitation from the UN and Soliya. She graduated with a degree in history from Brown University, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Innovation from the University of Cambridge. Chelsea can be reached at chelsea@digitalpromise.org.

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Josh Weisgrau

Project Director, Learning Studios

Josh Weisgrau

Project Director, Learning Studios

“I learn by reading, talking, and trying things out. When I think I’ve got something figured out, I’ll usually try to write about it. That’s when I discover that I don’t know it as well as I thought and I start the cycle again.”

Representing Digital Promise Global, Josh collaborates with Digital Promise.

 

Bio
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Josh helped develop the makerspace and maker learning program at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood, PA, and has taught Photography, Information and Digital Literacy, Computer Science, Shop, and STEAM. He is a co-founder of Rough Cut Schools, consulting and advocating for media literacy and production in schools around the world. Before that, he worked in theaters and schools teaching kids about technical theater and design. Josh has a B.A. in theater from Wesleyan University and a Masters of Liberal Arts with a focus in media and cultural studies from Temple University. You can reach him at josh@digitalpromise.org.

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Shaun Wilson

Professional Learning Manager, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

Shaun Wilson

Professional Learning Manager, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

“I would like to learn a foreign language. Learning a new language opens up international opportunities to be able to collaborate with other cultures.”

 

Bio
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Shaun was an independent contractor for Discovery Education as an instructional coach. Shaun worked with school districts throughout the United States to build capacity of teachers/facilitators in technology-pedagogy integration to improve teaching and learning. Shaun has also served as a global professional development specialist in Cape Town, South Africa increasing the literacy rate amongst adult learners. She was also an elementary/middle school teacher. Shaun received her B.S. in elementary education from Morgan State University and her M.S. in educational leadership from Towson State University. Shaun can be reached at shaun@digitalpromise.org.

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Christine Yarzabek

Professional Learning Coach, Challenge Based Learning

Christine Yarzabek

Professional Learning Coach, Challenge Based Learning

“One of my favorite learning experiences came at an unconference organized by students who were experts with technology. I learned to code, how to create animations, and even how to play Billie Jean on GarageBand. It was an incredible day of learning and student empowerment!”

 

Bio
Christine comes to Digital Promise from Apple Professional Development where she was a senior specialist supporting a large high school district. Previously, Christine was a 1st- and 4th-grade classroom teacher and coach in Hershey, Pa. She is passionate about building professional learning communities and is the founder and creator of both edcamp Harrisburg and #1stchat on Twitter. Christine received her B.S in elementary & early childhood education from Elizabethtown College, her master’s of education in language and literacy from Millersville University, and her Certificate in Technology Integration from Penn State University. You can reach Christine at: christine@digitalpromise.org.

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Odelia Younge

Partnership Manager, Educator Micro-Credentials

Odelia Younge

Partnership Manager, Educator Micro-Credentials

“My greatest teachers in life have been my parents. Their spirit and passion for life, and especially for education, is what has propelled me to be the woman I am today. I also learn from the communities I work in, listening to their needs and allowing that to create the foundations of my knowledge of them and my work.”

 

Bio
Before joining Digital Promise, Odelia was the VP of Strategy and Talent at a media tech start-up based in Indiana she helped found. Odelia spent several years as a classroom teacher, primarily as a Reading and Language Arts teacher in Miami. Her first class was an Intro to Jazz History course she taught to middle school students as a senior in high school, which solidified her love of education. Odelia left the classroom to pursue research in the sociology of education, focused on the experiences of black male youth. Odelia also has a background in peace education and children’s rights, developing programs for local NGOs in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. Odelia earned an MPhil in politics, development and democratic education from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. in history and literature from Harvard University. You can reach Odelia at: odelia@digitalpromise.org

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