High Honors: Celebrating the "Next Generation" of School Technology Leaders

CoSN & EdScoop Recognize Emerging Leaders Ahead of CoSN 2018 Annual Conference
Washington, DC
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) and EdScoop today revealed the five winners of the 2018 NextGeneration Leaders Program. The program, now in its third year, annually recognizes emerging K-12 school system technology leaders across America.
 
Selected from among 28 uniquely qualified finalists nationwide, this year’s NextGeneration Leaders are:
 
  • Jon Gregori, Instructional Technology Specialist, Henrico County Public Schools (Henrico, VA)
  • Aubrey Harrison, Personalized Digital Learning Specialist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Charlotte, NC)
  • Yan Li, Director of Research and Analytics, Office of the CIO, Mississippi Department of Education (Jackson, MS)
  • Sophia Mendoza, Director of Instructional Technology Initiative, Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Eddie Sawyer, Innovative Technology Solutions Coordinator, Vancouver Public Schools (Vancouver, WA)
The winners will be celebrated during an official ceremony at the CoSN 2018 Annual Conference next week.
 
“We were very pleased to see the number of qualified candidates that applied for the 2018 NextGeneration Leaders Program,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “The winners’ accomplishments are impressive. It’s exciting to see the next generation of ed tech leaders representing ethnic and gender diversity, rural organizations and areas where there are special needs to be met. Congratulations to the winners! I look forward to honoring them at CoSN 2018 next week.”
 
“It’s never been more important for America’s school systems to have forward-looking leaders driving the use of technology in education,” said Wyatt Kash, Senior Vice President for Content Strategy at Scoop News Group, parent company of EdScoop. “We’re pleased to join CoSN in recognizing this year’s ‘NextGeneration Leaders.’”
 
Here’s a closer look at this year’s NextGeneration Leaders:
 
Jon Gregori
Instructional Technology Specialist, Henrico County Public Schools (Henrico, VA)
 
After just four years in educational technology, Jon Gregori is now an instructional technology specialist mentoring 12 ed tech coaches. Through his teaching experience, Gregori learned that for low-income students and students of color, the traditional academic approach provides limited opportunities for improved student outcomes. Because of this, Gregori has been an integral leader in Henrico’s middle school transformation (MST), which is scaling up student-centered interventions as a way to enhance achievement and elevate equity. He planned the MST kickoff event and the Middle School Summit, and serves on Henrico’s STEAM Steering Committee – all of which are making deeper learning a reality for Henrico students.
 
Aubrey Harrison
Personalized Digital Learning Specialist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Charlotte, NC)
 
Aubrey Harrison, a personalized digital learning specialist at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, helped design and deliver technology training to teachers in preparation of the largest Chromebook deployment in the United States. He conducts similar teacher training – on effective use of classroom technology – during the summers, which includes a digital badging system and a number of online and blended courses to supplement the training material. Harrison also oversees a professional learning video library that is hosted on YouTube. During the school year, he publishes two videos per week, most of which focus on technology integration.
 
Yan Li
Director of Research and Analytics, Office of the CIO, Mississippi Department of Education (Jackson, MS)
 
For almost three years in the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Technology and Strategic Services, Yan Li has been providing technical assistance to the CIO. Her focus areas include generating the automated recurring processes in creation of federal student graduation and assessment results files; assisting with student information system integration and quality assurance; and assisting with the development of the State Technology Guide for school districts. This role has inspired her to help bring the current educational technology system to the next level, and ultimately, help all students achieve in the state educational system.
 
Sophia Mendoza
Director of Instructional Technology Initiative, Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles, CA)
 
Sophia Mendoza leads district-wide instructional technology efforts at the Los Angeles Unified School District – the country’s second-largest district – where she has overseen the implementation of digital learning tools in over 400 schools. Mendoza’s leadership helps provide a blueprint for the next iteration of how to address technology in schools. Her work is a synthesis of cutting-edge instructional frameworks, such as the ISTE Standards for Students, the Computer Science Framework and the National Ed Tech Plan. She extends her leadership reach by leveraging technology in ways that model what she preaches, which helps other school leaders determine how they can be change agents.
 
Eddie Sawyer
Innovative Technology Solutions Coordinator, Vancouver Public Schools (Vancouver, WA)
 
Eddie Sawyer has a vision and understanding of education as a whole, which allows him to find technology solutions that work best for all staff and students. He plays a key role in implementing, sustaining and supporting Vancouver Public Schools’ one-to-one initiative. And, though his team supports 20,000-plus iPads, 3,500-plus PCs and a variety of other instructional technologies, Mendoza cares about more than just the technology – he aims to ensure the technology makes a meaningful difference for students and staff. Additionally, he has authentic relationships with a large number of vendors, partners and departments to support and move the district’s work forward.
 
Learn more about the NextGeneration Leaders Program, including previous winners, at: cosn.org/nextgeneration-leaders-program.
 
 
CoSN 2018 Annual Conference: CoSN kicks off its 2018 Annual Conference in Washington, DC, on Monday, March 12. Themed “Exponential Change,” the four-day conference will address how new, rapidly changing technologies are shaping education and society as a whole. Visit cosnconference.org for more information.
 
About EdScoop
EdScoop, published by Scoop News Group, features the latest news and conversations among the top leaders driving technology and digital learning in K-12 and higher education, reaching a unique audience of federal, state and local education technology and policy decision makers. Learn more at: edscoop.com.