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Addressing Technology’s Diversity and Equity Through District Policies, Practices, and Personnel
Monday, February 13, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST
Presented by Dr. Nick Polyak, Superintendent, Leyden High School District 212 (IL); Dr. Avis Williams, Superintendent, NOLA Public Schools (LA); Dr. Kristi Wilson, Superintendent, Buckeye Elementary School District (AZ); and Diane W. Doersch, Senior Director of Information Technology, Digital Promise
Moderated by Ann McMullan, Project Director, CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) EmpowerED Superintendents Initiative
Technology plays an ever-increasing role in providing high-quality education for all PreK-12 students, but its use and application may sometimes be inequitable. In this edLeader Panel, three superintendents and a senior director of information technology share the strategies they use to ensure not only equitable access and effective uses of technology for all the students and families in their school districts, but also how they promote diversity within their district technology teams to better represent all the communities they serve.
Join the conversation with three leading-edge superintendents and a senior director of IT as they review specific approaches for thinking outside the box to create equitable digital learning opportunities for all students. In addition, tune in to learn the processes the superintendents lead and implement when it comes to hiring and leading collaborative district technology teams that truly represent the communities they serve.
This edLeader Panel is of particular value to superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring school leaders. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions to the panelists during the live broadcast.
About the Presenters
Dr. Nick Polyak serves as the superintendent for Leyden High School District 212 in Franklin Park, Illinois. He earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in educational leadership and supervision from Loyola University Chicago where he received the Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. He holds a Master of Arts degree and Chief School Business Officer (CSBO) license from Governors State University. Dr. Polyak’s undergraduate work was at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and secondary education.
Dr. Polyak is a co-moderator of #suptchat, the international Twitter chat for superintendents. He has co-authored three books: The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today, Student Voice: From Invisible to Invaluable, and The Unfinished Leader: A School Leadership Framework for Growth and Development. Dr. Polyak facilitates the AASA Transformational Leadership Consortium, the IASA Aspiring Superintendents Academy, and the AASA National Blended Aspiring Superintendents Academy.
In March 2022, Dr. Avis Williams was selected to serve as Superintendent of the NOLA Public Schools. She is the first woman to be permanently appointed to this role. Her core values are equity, excellence, and joy, and she is known for her ability to drive innovation while improving organizational culture and climate. An award-winning educator and sought-after speaker, she is a native of Salisbury, NC. She earned master’s degrees from Alabama A&M and Jacksonville State Universities, and an Education Specialist degree and her doctorate from the University of Alabama. Dr. Williams has had the unique privilege to serve as an elementary, middle, and high school principal, giving her a full perspective of what it takes to lead effectively at all levels. With a heart to serve, Dr. Williams is an optimistic, strategic, visionary leader determined to provide a high-quality education to all scholars in her charge.
Dr. Kristi Wilson is in her tenth year as Superintendent of the Buckeye Elementary School District in one of the fastest-growing cities in America, Buckeye, Arizona. Prior to her superintendency, Dr. Wilson served in a variety of leadership roles, including an assistant superintendent, executive director of student services, special education director, school administrator, teacher, and adjunct professor in both Arizona and Oregon.
Dr. Wilson is a past president of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the National Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN), and serves on the American Heart Association, the Abrazo West Valley Hospital Board, and the Executive Board of Arizona’s Business and Education Coalition (ABEC). She is the 2020 Arizona Superintendent of the Year. She has been the recipient of the Arizona PTA Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award and the VH1 Save the Music National Superintendent of the Year. She is also the recipient of the Carolyn Warner Women in Leadership in AZ in March of 2022.
Diane W. Doersch is the senior director of information technology at Digital Promise. She was formerly a chief technology and information officer of a large Wisconsin school district. As a former teacher, she has been involved in education for over 34 years. Diane holds a master’s degree in educational technology from Lesley University and has her Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) National Certificate from CoSN. Diane was a founding member and President-Elect of the WISEDash Local Consortium, a group of Wisconsin school districts that built their own data warehouse. She is currently President of Northeast Wisconsin Women in Technology (WIT), an organization devoted to attracting, educating, and supporting women in the field of technology. She is also the Chair-Elect of the Consortium for School Networking’s (CoSN) Board of Directors. Diane is passionate about providing technology and opportunities for ALL students to be college, career, and community ready.
About the Host
Ann McMullan is Project Director for CoSN’s EmpowerED Superintendents Initiative. Ann served as Executive Director for Educational Technology in Klein ISD 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 educators serving 50,000 students. She was co-chair of the Texas Education Technology Advisory Committee which developed the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology.
Today, Ann works as a public speaker, writer, and consultant focused on leadership to meet the needs of today’s students. Ann serves on the edWeb.net Advisory Board, ClassLink’s Senior Advisors Group, and is a founding member of ERDI’s EdLeader Alliance. She also volunteers as a leadership consultant with Executive Service Corps of Southern California, serving non-profit associations. Ann is co-author of Life Lessons in Leadership, available on Amazon.com.
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AASA is the premier association for school system leaders and serves as the national voice for public education and district leadership on Capitol Hill.
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.
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