I’m taking a leave of absence to serve as ‘Director of Innovation’

Prairie Lakes AEA

Just to keep everyone posted, I am taking a one-year leave of absence from the University of Kentucky. Starting July 1, I will be serving here in Iowa as the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8. I’m delighted to be working with Chief Administrator Jeff Herzberg and the other Prairie Lakes staff. I will be focusing on resourcing and supporting the 45 innovative school districts (and a few private schools) that the AEA serves, with the hopes of continuing and enhancing their transition toward cognitively-complex, technology-infused learning environments for students and educators.

I still will be involved, albeit more informally, with CASTLE and the School Technology Leadership courses at UK. If you’re a member of our initial cohort, expect to see me in your classes!

Also, because my appointment is not a 12-month position, I have space and permission within my job description to still work with other entities on occasion as an outside consultant. Drop me a note if that’s of interest.

I confess that I’m both excited and a bit nervous about this coming year. I’m excited because there are a number of new resources for educators that I want to try and create (stay tuned!) and believe that this position will give me the opportunity to get those off the ground. Also, I’ve worked with the educators in AEA 8 for several years now and always have been impressed with their willingness to take risks and try new things. I know that it’s going to be fantastic working side-by-side with them to co-create powerful learning experiences for children. On the flip side, I’m a smidge nervous because, even though I work hands-on with schools a LOT (especially for a professor at a research institution), this will be the first time since 1994 that I haven’t been at a university either as a student or professor. It’s a little daunting to step outside my role as “Associate Professor with tenure and Founding Director of CASTLE” but I know it will be good for me!

Looking forward to a productive and impactful year!

11 Responses to “I’m taking a leave of absence to serve as ‘Director of Innovation’”

  1. MANY, MANY congratulations!!! They have certainly scored a home run by hiring you. The VERY best of luck and success in the new position.

  2. This is GREAT news – I’m so glad you can get your ear to the ground and do these very cool things!! This is great. Best wishes and, as always, so many of us will be watching.

  3. Sounds awesome. Congratulations! I spent time focusing on the bridges between primary, secondary and the next, and it is so vital for higher ed to remain connected to what happens in earlier educational institutions. Thank- you. I look forward to reading what you are innovating and contributing. Enjoy!

  4. Sound like a great fit, Scott! You’ll love working for a service agency. We’ve recently been hearing about Prairie Lakes because of the work they are doing with a Results Only Work Environment. Intermediate District 287 is also working with Culture Rx to implement ROWE. Would like very much to connect once you get settled: our strategic plan has innovation at the core and we’ve been doing some very exciting things with innovation coaches, etc. Safe travels back to the midwest.

  5. Congrats Scott! It seems like you are always moving toward a new challenge. The AEA 8 schools are fortunate to be able to work with you to help them effectively leverage technology to increase teaching and learning. Good Luck!

  6. Scott, this is such exciting news! SO thrilled that you will be working in our AEA this year. Looking forward to working with you and all of our districts to move innovation and education forward in NW Iowa!

  7. Angelia Gafford Reply July 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Congratulation, the more technology that is innovated in the classroom, the more benefit our students will have with their learning experience. We all need to be able to effectively use technology in all classrooms. I hope when I get my own classroom, technology is going to be offered for me to use. I wish you the best of luck.

  8. Congratulations, Scott! I have had the pleasure of working with AEA 8 several times over the years…wonderful people doing great things. I’ll be in “Pokey,” as they call it, in October & February. Hope to meet you then.


  9. Hi Scott,
    Nice job on Prairie Lakes bringing you in. Let me know if there are opportunities for any collaborative efforts with the ISU Library down the road. We do have an outreach section in our strategic plan which doesn’t always get heavily exercised with K12 settings.


  10. Congratulations Scott! It sounds as though this is a wonderful opportunity – for both you and Prairie Lakes. I admire your willingness to step outside your comfort zone and explore new ways to contribute to education! Best of luck; I look forward to reading about your experiences.

  11. Daniel Severson Reply July 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Scott , I am a teacher with Prairie Lakes and would like to welcome you to this area and to the Agency. I look forward to meeting with you and sharing ideas and innovations to enhance the learning of our students thru technology and also our skills to deliver them in the most effective manner. 🙂

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