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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!