Superintendent’s Technology Advisory Council Announces Focus Areas and Members
As one of the nation’s top school systems, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) understands the powerful role that technology must serve in its ongoing focus on excellence in student achievement. In recognition of this priority, a new Superintendent’s Technology Advisory Council was established in May 2020. The Council’s mission is to assist FCPS with expertise and guidance to ensure FCPS’ technology applications are at the forefront of innovation; and that teachers and students are equipped with the tools, connectivity, access, and security to be prepared in today’s increasingly interconnected landscape.
The Technology Advisory Council is comprised of several of the nation’s leading thinkers across technology, education, and business, and Fairfax County School Board members Karen Corbett Sanders, Chair and Mount Vernon District representative, and Elaine Tholen, Dranesville District representative. Additional members include FCPS administrators, teachers, and a student representative.
The Council is led by four co-chairs:
- Andrew Ko, managing director of Global Education and Workforce, Amazon Web Services.
- Greg Baroni, chairman and CEO, Attain.
- Amy Gilliland, president, General Dynamics Information Technology.
- Bobbie Kilberg, president and CEO, Northern Virginia Technology Council.
In support of the Council’s mission, the co-chairs have launched eight workstream committees:
- Communications and Change Management, led by Alisa Valudes Whyte, senior partner and CEO, Merritt Group.
- Device Access and Internet Connectivity, led by Jeff Mao, CEO and founder, EDMOXIE, and former learning technology policy director, State of Maine.
- Innovation, led by Katrina Stevens, director of learning science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and former deputy director and senior advisor, Office of Educational Technology, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education.
- Instructional Technology, led by Katie Blot, principal and owner, Strategy Ed LLC, and former chief information officer, U.S. Department of Education.
- Partnerships, led by Elizabeth Murphy, executive director, the Foundation for FCPS.
- Professional Development and Human Capital, led by Richard Culatta, CEO, ISTE; former senior advisor to the Secretary and director, Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education; and chief information officer, State of Rhode Island.
- Technology Accessibility, led by Pam Baker, division director, Division of Special Education and Disability Research, George Mason University.
- Technology Infrastructure and Operations, led by James Hannah, CIO and vice president, Corporate IT Services, GDIT.
One of the early focus areas for the Council will be on FCPS’ instructional technology, including distance learning applications and learning management systems. In parallel, the Council is moving quickly to address priority focus areas across the other workstreams. In the weeks ahead, the Council will submit a recommended action plan and timeline, along with initial recommendations.
“COVID-19 has required us all to redesign our educational and support systems, and this council will help provide needed guidance as we make those changes with our primary goal of student success in mind,” said FCPS Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand. “In the 21st century, we need to equip our students and staff with tools, training, and technology applications that will serve them best, and are economically sound. I want to ensure that we are doing everything we can to educate our students in a way that helps prepare them for life and to excel in the workplace with the skills and knowledge they need to make good decisions on what paths to pursue.”
School Board Chair Karen Corbett Sanders welcomes increased community participation in the Technology Advisory Council. “We are incredibly fortunate that top tech leaders in the industry are dedicating their time and best thinking on this council and we’re deeply appreciative of their partnership; their expertise is extraordinarily valuable.” She continued, “Our goal is to bring the best thinking about how to incorporate advances in technology and provide our students with the skills necessary to succeed in today’s rapidly-changing, diverse, global environment. Our Tech Council members are serving a noble task for our community, one that will serve us today and for many years ahead.” said Corbett Sanders.
Visit the Superintendent’s Technology Advisory Council webpage. For more information, contact the FCPS Office of Communication and Community Relations at 571-423-1200.