Early Career K-12 CTO Academy

The Early Career K-12 CTO Academy is a program to address the needs of education technology leaders who are new in their position. Participants will have the opportunity to develop edtech leadership skills including; managing diverse teams, leading a variety of projects simultaneously, and collaborating with a variety of stakeholders. Academy participants make a positive impact on student-centered and digital learning in their school district and enhance their career trajectory.

This program was developed through public and private sector leaders and district CTOs to address current professional development needs and thought partner support for early-career CTO’s.
The Academy is generously supported by CoSN's Gold Partner HP.

CoSN’s Early Career K-12 CTO Academy prepares new technology directors with fewer than four full years of experience to: 

  • Lead the creation of a culture of innovation in their school district  
  • Build a Professional Learning Network (PLN) of edtech experts and other new CTOs through face-to-face and virtual meetings
  • Understand best practices to build diverse teams that include under-represented populations in the edtech industry including African Americans, Latin, and Native Americans, Pacific-Islanders, and females.
  • Benefit from the experience of veteran tech and curriculum leaders in the areas of supporting student-centered learning, technology budgeting, technical support strategies, infrastructure, effective strategies for communications, and more
  • Be part of discussions centered around new strategies for meeting the needs of diverse learners
  • Improve the soft skills necessary to work effectively with others in the culture-specific to their school district

CoSN would like to congratulate the 2020-2021 Cohort: 

Amy Sterckx, Sturgeon Bay School District (WI)
Angie Potts, ISD 77 (MN)
Jeremy Wickham, North Shore School District 112 (IL)
Julie Pedraza, Brownsville Independent School District (TX)
Kyle Flaherty, Prescott School District (WI)
Matt Bartenhagen, Williston Public School District (ND)
Suzan Brandt, Mountain Brook Schools (AL)
Tony Alvarez, Grand County School District (UT)

Eligibility and Timeline

New career K-12 chief technology officers (CTOs) with fewer than 4 full years of experience are invited to apply.   
The program runs from October 2021- June 2022. 

Application Preview

Apply Here



DEI Scholarship Opportunity: The CTO Academy has five Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Academy Scholarships available for CTOs from underrepresented populations in the education technology community. As part of the application process, you may request to be considered for one of these scholarships.

What participants are saying about the Academy

"The CTO Academy is absolutely the most valuable resource I have available to me!  The modules are relevant and the learning coincides with what is current in my work life.  Despite the variety of skill sets, the academy design supports all new CTO’s, and the course facilitator was very conscious of meeting me at my level, which ensured a quality experience.  

Also, having Thought Partners available to me, at any time, has given me the confidence needed to manage tasks and lead meetings.  It is nice to know that I will still have this network available to me when the academy concludes.  I would recommend the program to any new CTO looking to build capacity in the position.  To me, there is no question about its value!" -Tony Alvarez, Governor Mifflin School District (PA) 


"The work of a District Technology Leader can be lonely at times. The Early Career K-12 CTO Academy brings value and partnership to the daily work of a CTO. With a focus on leadership and vision, finance and budgeting, communications, infrastructure, and data privacy and security, this unique learning opportunity provides timely support both in resources and thought partners to those new to technology leadership. 

Expanding one's professional learning network allows early leaders to build their knowledge and confidence bringing back new learning to support District priorities. The relationships built within the Early Career K-12 CTO Academy are bonds that will last throughout the years. This valuable program not only benefits Technology Leaders but Districts as a whole." -Amy Sterckx, Sturgeon Bay School District (WI)


"Since I reached the end of the academy's first year, it’s was important for me to look back and reflect on my experience. As CTOs, we all have hard jobs. The Academy has helped me to prioritize and take a holistic approach. My mentor told me best, "don't get stuck in the weeds." The information provided was expansive and relevant. I have learned to take what I needed in the following approach: Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can." -Donna Rowland, Wills Point ISD (TX)


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