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Leading Digital Transformations in Rural School Districts
Monday April 13, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT
Presented by Ann W. Linson, Superintendent, East Noble School Corporation, IN; Dr. Chris Marczak, Superintendent, Maury County Public Schools, TN; and Glenn Robbins, Superintendent, Tabernacle Township School District, NJ
Program Host and Moderator: Ann McMullan, Project Director, CoSN Empowered Superintendents Initiative
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Over 50% of U.S. school districts and about one third of all public schools in the nation are located in rural areas. Successfully leading digital transformations within rural school districts has a tremendous impact on our nation as a whole.
Rural districts have both unique challenges and special opportunities when it comes to leveraging technology for learning. Among the challenges are poverty and vast travel distances, as well as lack of affordable internet access. However, rural districts—due to their smaller size—also have distinct opportunities. They can be nimbler when it comes to dealing with change. School leaders often have more ownership within each school. Rural districts frequently have strong community involvement. Teacher retention is usually quite strong. Many times, teachers teach in the same town—or even in the same schools—where they themselves were once students.
Join this edWebinar with three rural school district superintendents, located in three different states, as they discuss the challenges and opportunities that are unique to rural school districts when leading digital transformations that change how teachers teach and students learn as well as impact the way school districts operate. This edWebinar will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.
About the Presenters
Ann Linson is in her ninth year as Superintendent of East Noble School Corporation serving 3,600 students in rural northeast Indiana. Her previous experiences include being a classroom business teacher at the high school and post-secondary levels, assistant director of a vocational cooperative, principal at East Noble High School, and assistant superintendent at East Noble School Corporation. Ann earned her bachelors, masters, and Ed.S. degrees from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She was selected to participate in the Future Ready Superintendent Briefing with the U.S. Department of Education Secretary in October 2016. Ann also attended the 2014 White House Connected Superintendents Summit and was named a 2012-2013 NSBA Technology Leadership Network 20 to Watch Educator. During Ann’s leadership at East Noble School Corporation, the district received the Indiana Chapter of CoSN’s Excellence in Vision Team Award, was selected as a Project Red Signature District and selected to the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools.
Dr. Chris Marczak is the superintendent of schools for the Maury County Public School system in Tennessee and a 2017 NSBA “20 to Watch” educational technology award recipient. Dr. Marczak leads trainings across Tennessee in district and principal professional development, SMART goal implementation, professional learning communities, and the impact of social media on the superintendency. Dr. Marczak is also an adjunct professor in Nashville, TN, where he teaches in doctoral programs for both educational leadership and technology in educational leadership. Prior to coming to Maury County, Dr. Marczak was the assistant superintendent in Oak Ridge Schools in Tennessee, a district lead principal with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, an elementary principal, and an elementary teacher with Wilson County Schools and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. McGavock Elementary, where Dr. Marczak served as principal, earned Reward status by being one of the top 10% elementary schools in the state of Tennessee in 2012.
Glenn Robbins is Superintendent of Tabernacle Township School District in New Jersey. His passion is harnessing a school culture that thrives on design thinking skills, innovative digital spaces, high caliber professional development, exponential thinking, BYOD/1to1, and makerspaces. Glenn encourages all students to have a voice, not only in building a school culture, but also in designing student-led courses. He was named as a Digital Principal of the Year by NASSP for exhibiting bold, creative leadership in his drive to harness the potential of new technologies to further learning goals for staff, students, and the school community. Glenn has been recognized by numerous organizations for his innovative technology implementation methods and has been a featured speaker at numerous events across the globe. By empowering students and staff to have a growth mindset through design thinking, while implementing digital tools, we better prepare them for the profound shifts that they will encounter in life.
About the Host
Ann McMullan is Project Director for CoSN’s Empowered Superintendents Initiative. Ann served as Executive Director, Educational Technology in the Klein Independent School District, near Houston, Texas until September 2013, when she and her family moved to Los Angeles, California. For 16 years Ann led the district team that provided professional development on technology and 21st century instructional strategies to 4,000 professional educators serving 50,000 students. Ann served as co-chair of Texas Education Technology Advisory Committee which developed the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020. Today, Ann is based in Los Angeles working as a public speaker, writer, and education consultant focused on leadership and planning to meet the needs of today’s students. Ann serves on the Project Tomorrow advisory council and is a leadership consultant with Executive Service Corps of Southern California, serving non-profit associations. Ann co-authored Life Lessons in Leadership, a guide for leaders ages eight to 88.
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CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community, best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education.