The role of the CTO in school districts is evolving into one of the most important leadership positions in education, yet many who currently fill that job lack the skills and background to make the
Sheryl R. Abshire, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
Calcasieu Parish Public Schools
1724 Kirkman Street Lake Charles, LA 70605
Dr. Sheryl Abshire has been the Chief Technology Officer in the Calcasieu Parish School System in Lake Charles, Louisiana for 19 years and is a former Assistant Professor at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas in the Educational Leadership Department. As a long-time transformational leader in technology innovation and integration, she has served as the catalyst to initiate the integration of technology into all curriculum areas throughout her school district, the state, nationally and internationally. Sheryl has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education, a M.Ed. in Elementary Education, an Educational Specialist in School Administration and Supervision and a Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans in Educational Leadership and Administration. She is an accomplished grant writer and regularly conducts institutes to fund innovative technology programs throughout the nation. A forty-three year veteran educator, she has worked as a school principal, K-5 teacher, a library/media specialist, a classroom teacher, and as an adjunct professor at McNeese State University and Louisiana Tech University.
Sheryl has been involved in diverse staff development programs throughout the nation and in Great Britain involving restructuring schools through the infusion of technology and curriculum enhancements. As a 1991 NEA/NFIE Christa McAuliffe Fellow, 1990 Louisiana Technology Teacher of the Year, 1992 National Teacher Hall of Fame Inductee (She was the first teacher in the country inducted into the National Teachers’ Hall of Fame), 1998 Louisiana Computer Using Educator of the Year, 1999 McNeese State University Distinguished Alumnus, 2002 National Christa McAuliffe Award winner, 2008 University of New Orleans Outstanding Doctoral Student in Educational Leadership, and the 2010 SWLA Economic Development Alliance Educational Technology Awardee, Sheryl is a nationally recognized consultant/speaker. She serves on numerous national, state, and district committees focusing on the role of technology and curriculum integration in changing educational practice. As a founding member of the ISTE NETS Writing Team and the Technology for School Administrators Writing Team she is deeply involved in infusing technology into standards based instruction. Additionally, she served on the ISTE Standards and Accreditation Committee working on the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Refresh Project.
Dr. Abshire is the past co-chair of the NEA Membership Advisory Committee, served on the NEA Legislative Committee and is the past chair of the Louisiana Association of Educators Instruction and Professional Development Committee. She is the past President of the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators and is presently on their Executive Board as Vice President of Advocacy and Programs. In 2010 she was appointed to the FCC Universal Services Administrative Corporation (USAC) Board representing our nation’s K-12 schools and libraries on ERATE matters. Additionally, she is a founding member of the CoSN Louisiana Chief Technology Officer Association and serves as Chair of the Board. Sheryl has served as a member of the national K-12 advisory councils for Compaq Computer, Promethean, and Knowledge Adventure. Presently she serves on the national advisory boards for Dell, Blackboard, eSchool News, and Scholastic Administrator. She is the past Chairman of the Louisiana Department of Education Committee to Advance Technology Standards and since 1997 served as Chairman of the Louisiana Technology Advisory Commission with the responsibility to oversee and approve proposals for the expenditure of over $200 million in technological advancements in the Louisiana schools. In 2003 she was named a national semi-finalist for national Ed Tech Leader of the Year. In May of 2009, ISTE awarded Dr. Abshire the first Public Policy Advocate of the Year Award for her decades of work promoting educational technology. She was named by the Louisiana Technology Council as the Governor’s 2012 EWARD Technology Educator of the Year. In January 2013, at the Books and Bytes Inaugural Ball, she was the recipient of the National Coalition for Technology in Education & Training, NCTET Community Builder Award for exemplary service in support of policies and practices designed to facilitate the effective integration of technology into teaching and learning across the nation’s education system.
Dr. Abshire is the past Chair of the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana Board of Trustees, is presently the Vice Chair and Chairs the Investment Committee where she oversees the placement of over 17 billion dollars in retirement funds. She is the past Board Chair for the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) in Washington, D.C., is on the Board of Directors and also chairs their Public Policy Committee. As a nationally recognized speaker she has shared her expertise with audiences at numerous local, regional state and national and international conferences. Her school district, the Calcasieu Parish Public Schools, is a model for innovative technology practices and uses. Additionally, Dr. Abshire has published extensively in the area of technology in education in numerous educational publications and books.