She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

I know how busy many of you have been this week in the days leading into ISTE 2015. It promises to be another wonderful conference, and the Snoop regrets having to miss it this year. Before you head to Philadelphia, take just a moment to catch up on my many pre-ISTE scoops....

New roles for colleagues and friends....

The talented Meredith Braselman, recently with O'Keeffe & Company, launched a new role this week at K12 Insight as Senior Director of Communications & Partnerships. She said she is so excited to be working with the amazing team there and leading the company's marketing and PR efforts. And she is also excited to be back in K-12 100%! Send congratulations to Meredith on her new role at

Industry veteran Jennifer Robinson has joined Excent® Corp. as the new director of Medicaid services. Excent provides Medicaid billing tools and services that assist K-12 school districts in maximizing Medicaid reimbursement revenue while improving efficiency. As the director of Medicaid services, Jennifer will oversee Excent Medicaid, a comprehensive logging and billing application that integrates with districts' existing IEP systems, and Excent's Medicaid Billing Service, which is designed to make Medicaid reimbursement more accessible to all districts and schools.

Jennifer brings over 20 years of experience in the K-12 education technology industry to her new position. She most recently served as the director of Medicaid at Computer Automation Systems (CAS), where she managed all aspects of the division. She spent eight years as a senior account executive for Medicaid services and originally, product director for the company. Prior to that, she was a product manager for Pearson School Systems. Join me in congratulating Jennifer on her new role at

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) has announced its new executive leadership team. Dr. Mark R. Nelson has been named new Executive Director, and Lissa Clayborn has been named Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer.

Mark Nelson is an accomplished scholar, teacher, and executive with a collaborative leadership style and a passion for "missions that matter." Most recently his work focused on supporting associations and educational institutions. In prior positions, he received awards for research, teaching, and practice, including recognition by his peers as an innovation star within the association community. Mark will be introduced to the entire CSTA community during CSTA's annual conference in July in Texas.

Lissa Clayborn, who has served as CSTA's Acting Executive Director since May 2014, will assume her new role as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. Over the past year, Lissa has elevated CSTA, computer science education, and the importance of supporting computer science educators to great heights through her tireless work. She has been instrumental in helping CSTA grow and expand its membership by more than 3,000 members.

Join me in congratulating Mark and Lissa on their new roles at CSTA!

Martin Creel has been named vice president of curriculum and instruction for Discovery Education. With more than 25 years of experience in public education, he will lead the development of comprehensive, engaging, and relevant K-12 instructional resources and curriculum to support Discovery Education's partners across the country in their efforts to increase student achievement.

In this role, Marty will collaborate with Discovery Education's district partners to develop curriculum offerings and instructional resources, including tools, trainings, assessments, and professional development that underscore the role of digital content and technology in educational practices. He will utilize learning science to best inform the design and implementation of instructional methodologies, custom-designed professional development, and personalized learning programs that fulfill districts' goals and improve student achievement. He will also oversee the development of curriculum and instructional resources for the division's corporate education partnerships team, which provides students nationwide with custom-designed programs offered at no cost in under-funded areas such as workforce readiness, health and wellness, STEM, financial literacy, life skills, and more.

Marty joins Discovery Education from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the largest school district in Maryland, where he worked for more than 25 years in a variety of roles including director of curriculum and instruction, director of enriched and innovative programs, PreK-12 supervisor of social studies, and social studies teacher. While in the classroom, he was nominated by peers and students alike for the Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. Most recently as director of curriculum and instruction, he was responsible for developing and implementing PreK-12 curriculum, assessment, instruction, and professional learning programs. He led system efforts to align curriculum to the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, including development of MCPS' innovative Curriculum 2.0.

Marty holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and has completed the work for a School Administration & Supervision certificate from Johns Hopkins University. He is based in Discovery Education's offices at Discovery Communications' global headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Join me in congratulating him on joining the terrific Discovery Education team!

The Learning First Alliance (LFA), a partnership of leading education organizations representing more than 10 million parents, educators, and policymakers, has named Stephanie Hirsh, executive director of Learning Forward, as the 2015-16 chair of LFA's Board of Directors. Committed to increasing student achievement and educator effectiveness through standards-based professional learning, Stephanie has served in her current position at Learning Forward since 2007. Learning Forward is a membership association focused on building the capacity of leaders to establish and sustain highly effective professional learning.

Before her appointment as executive director of Learning Forward, which has more than 10,000 members and 40 state and provincial affiliates, Stephanie served the association as deputy executive director for 18 years. She began her career as a secondary teacher and later served as a school district administrator in the Richardson (TX) Independent School District. In 1996 she was elected to the Richardson school board and served for three terms. Today, she advises policymakers, state and local superintendents, foundation leaders, and other thought leaders on improving student learning through effective professional learning and school improvement.

Stephanie also presents, publishes, and consults on Learning Forward's behalf across North America. Her recent books include Becoming a Learning System (2014), co-authored with Frederick Brown and Kay Psencik; A School Board Guide to Leading Successful Schools (2013), co-authored with Anne Foster; A Playbook for Professional Learning (2011), co-authored with Shirley Hord; The Learning Educator (2009), co-authored with Joellen Killion; and Transforming Schools Through Powerful Planning (2006), co-authored with Kay Psencik. Stephanie writes a regular column for JSD, Learning Forward's bi-monthly magazine. She has also written articles for Educational Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan, The Record, The School Administrator, American School Board Journal, The High School Magazine, and Education Week. Stephanie serves on the advisory boards for Knowledge Alliance, University of Texas College of Education, and National STEM Equity Pipeline. She has been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Learning Forward Texas; as a Distinguished Alumnae from the University of North Texas; and, as Master Trustee and member of an Honor Board from the Texas School Boards Association.

In addition to Stephanie's appointment as chair, LFA's Board of Directors has elected Thomas J. Gentzel, executive director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), as its 2015-16 secretary/treasurer.

Congratulations to both Stephanie and Tom!

George Perreault has been appointed Chief Academic Officer for ClassLink. He most recently served as Director, Instructional Technology and Library Media, at Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) in Florida, capping off a distinguished forty-year career as teacher, administrator, and technology leader. During his time working in schools, George guided OCPS through increasingly sophisticated use of technology in the classroom and across the district.

After retiring from his position as district administrator, George was approached by ClassLink to join its growing team in the role of Chief Academic Officer so that he could continue advocating for the effective use of technology in education. Having used ClassLink at OCPS, he saw firsthand how the company's technology was changing the way teachers and students engaged with technology and with each other.

Looking ahead, George sees ClassLink establishing itself as a leading proponent in the use of open technology standards, particularly those developed by IMS Global Learning Consortium. Join me in congratulating him on his new role at ClassLink!

And our friend Frank Catalano is on the join the great team at SchoolMessenger as Vice President of Marketing Strategy. He will be guiding the marketing group's activities and working with the executive team, starting right after ISTE.

This means Frank is ending his work as an independent consultant at Intrinsic Strategy, and we hate to lose him as an MDR EdNET Insight consulting Senior Analyst. But this is a great opportunity for Frank, and they are lucky to have him join their team. In his new role, he'll be reporting to Nate Brogan, Senior Vice President, Business Operations, and working with what Frank describes as a motivated and talented marketing group. 

Frank received the offer by phone when he was standing in line, waiting for the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand to open last Saturday morning (it was Friday afternoon in the U.S.). He thinks the river otters and kiwi were mystified about why he was so excited to be at the zoo!

Frank will remain in Seattle and travel regularly to SchoolMessenger's headquarters in the San Jose area and its other offices. And he will keep his tech commentary column in GeekWire.

He will have a new email address shortly but look for him at ISTE or send him congratulations now on his new adventure at

Check it out....

And Frank Catalano has posted his New Zealand keynote for the EdTech for Export conference, with an outline of his notes, on his website. 
Check out the five "myths" about technology in education at the end. Frank said this was for a government-sponsored conference on helping New Zealand firms export their ed tech products and services globally. Enjoy!

EdNET 2015

Don't be a straggler! This is your final reminder—tomorrow is the deadline for the early, early-bird registration for the not-to-be-missed EdNET 2015 conference, October 4-6, 2015, in Atlanta. Don't miss out on this early discount, friends!

Did you check this week's Education Talk Radio program and my interview by Larry Jacobs, host? I had a lot of fun, as I always do with Larry, and of course I always love talking about EdNET. Catch the archived recording to learn more about this year's conference and program.

And just for fun, take one of the EdNET Community polls. What's your top priority at EdNET 2015? What best describes your role at the conference? Cast your vote and see how others are responding!

With the shortened week next week, we will be sending out a special version of our newsletter, and the Snoop is taking time off from her column. So let me say a special message to those of us in the United States celebrating Independence Day next week. Let's be reminded as we gather with families and friends to give thanks for the freedom and independence our wonderfully diverse people enjoy and cherish in this country. Find your own way in thoughts or prayers or other tangible ways to also think of and thank the men and women serving in other parts of the world-and their families who also deeply sacrifice-on behalf of all of us. Enjoy your weekend and your 4th, friends! See you back here in two weeks....Vicki, the Snoop

[Send me your scoops at and be sure to follow me on Twitter @Snoops4Scoops #SheSnoops]


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