Spotlight Sessions

  • Carol Todd
  • Joseph South
  • Rita Oates
  • Holly Doe
  • Dan Black
  • Cathy Collins
  • Laconia School District

Special Educator, Advocate, Parent, & Speaker

Carol Todd FullSizeR 

Carol has been an educator working with special needs students in British Columbia, Canada since 1984 and is currently a coordinator in her school district in the area of Assistive Technology. Making sure that students use technology effectively, efficiently and safely is of main importance. Carol created Amanda’s Legacy in memory of her daughter who died by suicide in October of 2012. The legacy’s mission has been to bring increased awareness and conversations to schools, families, and communities about online safety, exploitation, abusive behaviours online, and mental health. She has joined forces with like-minded individuals and organizations to create increased awareness related to these issues that need more attention. Carol is a dedicated advocate working to encourage a shift in thinking and beliefs about negative behaviors (both on and offline) to those of REFLECTION and RESPECT.

Carol shares her experiences and expertise in the following sessions:

  • Monday Leadership Forum 3:30 to 5:00 Developing Digital Responsibility in Our Children
  • Monday Evening Parent Forum 6:30 to 8:00 Developing Digital Responsibility in Our Children
  • Tuesday concurrent session12:00 to 12:50 Online Safety, Cyberbullying, Kindness, & Respect
  • Wednesday concurrent session1:40 to 2:30 Online Safety, Cyberbullying, Kindness, & Respect

ISTE Chief Learning Officer

joseph south 

Joseph is a strategic national educational technology leader focused on evidencebased learning transformation. He formerly served as the director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. DoE. In this role, he was an adviser to the Secretary of Education and developed national educational technology policy, formed public-private partnerships to assist education leaders in transitioning to digital learning, helped school districts expand the use of openly licensed educational resources (OERs), and collaborated with stakeholders to nurture a robust ecosystem of edtech entrepreneurs and innovators. He also worked on a cross-governmental team to bring high-speed broadband, interactive devices, professional development for educators and leaders, and high-quality affordable digital content to U.S. classrooms. He is a strong proponent of the active use of technology by learners. Joseph has led learning product development teams at startups, museums, nonprofits, corporations, and higher education institutions. Joseph has also consulted on educational projects in China, Korea, Mexico, South America and the Middle East. He holds a doctorate in instructional psychology and technology from Brigham Young University.

Joseph shares his experiences and expertise in the following sessions:

  • Monday Leadership Forum: 3:30 to 5:00 Transform Learning: ISTE Standards for Future-Focused Leader
  • Tuesday Concurrent Session 10:20 to 11:10 Bring ISTE Standards to Life: New Professional Learning Opportunities

Educator, EdTech Innovator, Grants Guru

rita oates 

Rita has worked at the cutting edge of technology and education more than 30 years and is president of consulting firm Oates Associates. She was the education editor of the first U.S. online service with color and graphics, VIEWTRON. Oates won grants exceeding $10 million as edtech director in Miami-Dade County Schools (FL), the nation’s fourth largest district. She taught a graduate class, "Grant Writing for Ed Tech," at Barry University, where she chaired the graduate program in computer education and technology. Rita has presented grantwriting webinars for, CoSN, FAME, and workshops at ISTE, FETC, and other state conferences. She taught high school language arts and journalism in rural, urban and suburban Kansas before earning her master’s and PhD degrees at Indiana University. She evaluated large federal grants for technology teacher training in three universities and for magnet schools. She has helped schools and teachers receive grants from $500 to $600,000 and helped her children’s middle school secure $1.9 million. She has also presented to more than a thousand PTA meetings on edtech in school and at home. Formerly VP of education at ePals, she seeks to help world language and social studies teachers integrate authentic communication into their classrooms and all teachers to embed social emotional learning into their classroom practice. She has worked to increase opportunities for female and minority students in computing careers and has written more than a dozen books on edtech.

Rita shares her experiences and expertise in the following sessions:

  • Monday PreConference Workshop from 8:30 to 3:30 Finding Funding & Support for Rich Digital Learning Environments
  • Tuesday Concurrent session 1:40 to 2:30 Social Emotional Learning: Where to Find It, How to Fund It

NHSTE Susan Janosz Award Winner, NHCTO President, Director of Technology Pelham SD

holly doe 

Holly has over 23 years experience in public education. She has served as a 4th grade teacher, STEM teacher, Technology Integrator, and currently as the Director of Technology for the Pelham School District. Holly is a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, a Google Certified Innovator, and received the Presidential Award for Science Teaching in 2012. She was honored to receive the NHSTE Susan Janosz Award in December of 2017. Most recently, Holly served as the President of the NHCTO organization and has helped to plan the last two NHCTO clinics with a focus on Innovative Leadership and Future Ready Schools. Holly is the mom of three very diverse children. Their interests and strengths reinforce her daily work to meet and personalize learning for the students who attend the Pelham School District.

Cathy shares her experiences and expertise in the following sessions:

  • Monday PreConference full-day workshop 8:30 to 3:30 Creating School Based Change through Future Ready Planning Workshop
  • Tuesday concurrent session 3:10 to 4:00 Personalized Professional Learning-Anytime! Anywhere!
  • Wednesday concurrent session 12:00 to 12:50 Building Your Data & Privacy Toolkit
  • Thursday concurrent session 11:10 to 12:00 Pelham's Path to Personalization

Assistant Superintendent, Londonderry SD

dan black 

Dan started as a teacher through Teach for America at the P.S. Garza Elementary School in Donna, Texas, and later became a founding teacher of IDEA Public Schools in the same community. He has had considerable experience in leadership as both an instructional coach and principal in the New York City Public School system as well as in forming educational policy as an analyst in the Office of Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Prior to coming to Londonderry, Dan served as Assistant Superintendent for the Keene NH School District, where he assumed a full range of duties varying from budgeting to curriculum and instruction. Dan received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Vanderbilt University, and his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University. He completed his Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership from Plymouth State University.

Dan shares his experiences and expertise in the following sessions:

  • Tuesday concurrent session 10:20 to 11:10 Being Prepared for the Next Technology Wave as a Skeptic

Media Specialist/Librarian

cathy collins 

Ms. Collins has worked as a Media Specialist/Librarian for 15 years and is currently the library media specialist at Sharon High School, where she has worked for the past seven years. She holds a Doctorate in Education with a specialization in Curriculum, Leadership, Teaching and Learning; and additional Masters Degrees in Education and Library Science. She also has credentials and certification in Administration/Educational Leadership. Ms. Collins has published her writing in various journals including “E School News,” “EdWeek,” “ASCD Leadership Briefs,“ “Library Media Connection,” “NEA Today,” and other education-related blogs and websites including AASL’s “Knowledge Quest.” She is a 2012 Reynolds High School Journalism Institute Fellow and served as a project consultant for the E-Book, “Searchlights and Sunglasses: Journalism in the Digital Age.” She received a “Teachers for Global Classrooms” fellowship from the U.S. State Dept. in 2014 and is the recipient of AASL’s Intellectual Freedom Award (2014). She has served on the MassCUE Board as PD Chair since 2013. Most recently, she joined the ISTE STEM PLN Leadership Team as PD Chair. She was named an MSLA “Super Librarian” in 2015, and earned National Board Certification as a Library/Media Teacher in 2009. She received the HNA “Teacher of the Year” award in 2015 for excellence in teaching about China, and served on the DESE Science Ambassador Team through 2016. In her spare time, she enjoys nature walks, reading, world travel and yoga. She also enjoys co-leading a Makerspace SIG through MassCUE. She is passionate about the use of technology as a tool to connect students to the world and each other.

Cathy shares her experiences and expertise in the following sessions:

  • Wednesday concurrent session 3:10 to 4:00 Makerspaces Unleashed
  • Thursday concurrent session 9:35 to 10:25 Leading the Way Toward Innovation: Digital Age Librarians


laconia school district 

Laconia is a small school district located in the heart of New Hampshire’s lakes region. Three elementary schools, a middle and high school, along with the Huot Career and Technical Center serve approximately 2,000 PreK to grade 12 students and adult learners in the community. Their strategic plan identifies 2 goals around 21st Century Learning Environments: 1) The District will create a learning environment designed around the flexible use of classroom space and class time, and 2) The District will work with the staff around providing professional development in a personalized manner to meet their individual needs. A District professional development focus will be on using flexible spaces, technology, and flexible groupings in a way to meet the individual needs of each student more effectively. Join the Laconia team to hear how they are meeting these strategic goals.

The Laconia School District team shares their experiences and expertise in the following session:

  • Wednesday concurrent session 12:00 to 12:50 Laconia's Technology in the Classroom Packs a Super Punch!