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Leadership Exchange
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Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

What Superintendents Need From Their Technology Leaders: Collaborating for Success

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Panel

Friday, December 4, 2:15–3:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Dr. Mark Benigni  
Dr. Doug Brubaker  
Ann McMullan  
Dr. David Schuler  
Dr. Donna Wright  
Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss  

Leadership is key to any school district's technology initiatives. Join five leading superintendents as they engage in a lively, informative discussion on the challenges and rewards of leading digital transformations - especially within our current learning environments - and how they bring everyone together in collaboration that leads to success.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: N/A
Only reference will be to the CoSN Empowered Superintendent Initiative at Any Internet browser will work and it is not a requirement for the participants during the presentation, only a reference.
Topic: Leadership
ISTE Standards: For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Support educators in using technology to advance learning that meets the diverse learning, cultural, and social-emotional needs of individual students.
Visionary Planner
  • Communicate effectively with stakeholders to gather input on the plan, celebrate successes and engage in a continuous improvement cycle.
Systems Designer
  • Lead teams to collaboratively establish robust infrastructure and systems needed to implement the strategic plan.
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to provide the participants with effective leadership strategies when it comes to bringing the diverse teams and individuals in a school district together to successfully implement digital transformations. When the title of this session references "technology leaders" it is referring to not just CIO's, CTO's and IT staff, but also curriculum leaders, principals and other school administrators as well as teachers and students. All have roles to play when it comes to effectively leading technology for learning initiatives. Participants will be able to take the strategies learned and apply and/or modify them in their own roles in their school settings. There has never been a time when leveraging technology for learning has been more critical to the success of all students, teachers and administrators than now. The superintendents will share how they find success in collaboration to assure equitable and effective learning opportunities for all within the constraints and challenges of COVID-19.


Content & Activities:
Each superintendent will share information on the following topics:
1) Who are your technology leaders?
2) CTO - Recruiting, Interviewing & Hiring
3) CTO - Primary Areas of Responsibility
4) Leadership & Collaboration at the Superintendent's Cabinet Level & with School Site Leaders
5) Best Lessons Learned in Working with Your CTO and bringing all departmental teams together - with a special focus on how they are finding success together in meeting the challenges of providing learning for all during the COVID-19 pandemic.
10 Minutes on Introductions & Overview
40 Minutes on topics listed above
10 Minutes for Participant Q & A
Process: Will engage the panel through thoughtful questioning and dialog among the superintendents. Will engage the audience by asking them to respond to the ideas presented by the superintendents and also give the audience the opportunity to ask questions.

Supporting research

All five of the superintendents serve on the CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) Superintendent Advisory Panel. Forty-two superintendents, along with state association representatives and sponsors participate as a thought leadership group for the CoSN Empowered Superintendent Initiative. Multiple resources, including an Empowered Superintendent Toolkit - created in partnership with AASA, The School Superintendents Association - are provided at the CoSN Empowered Superintendents Initiative website:
CoSN has also partnered with edWeb to provide a monthly webinar series featuring the superintendents from the advisory panel. Each month a different technology topic is analyzed from the viewpoint of superintendents through the webinar discussions.

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Dr. Mark Benigni, Meriden Public Schools
Dr. Doug Brubaker, Fort Smith Public Schools

Dr. Doug Brubaker has served as superintendent of Fort Smith Public Schools, an Arkansas district with over 14,000 students, since 2017. In May 2018, district residents approved the first millage increase in 31 years for upgrades related to instructional innovation, school safety, technology access, and career development. Prior to Fort Smith, Dr. Brubaker served for over 20 years in teaching and district leadership roles in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He holds a doctorate from the University of North Texas, an M.Ed. from Texas Christian University, a B.A. from the University of Kansas, and CoSN CETL certification.

Ann McMullan, Ann McMullan Education Consultant

Ann McMullan is a veteran educator who now works as an education consultant based in Los Angeles, CA, with a focus on leadership and strategic planning to make learning relevant for all students. Learn more at As Project Director of CoSN’s EmpowerED Superintendents Initiative – in partnership with AASA – Ann serves as the host moderator of the national monthly webinar series, Super-Connected. Ann writes for journals and newsletters and is a frequent speaker at national education conferences. Ann’s book, Life Lessons in Leadership, is available on Book information available at

Dr. David Schuler, Township High School District 214
Dr. Donna Wright, Wilson County Schools, TN
Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss, Salisbury Township School District

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