Meet the Candidates for the 2023-24 Board of Directors

Director At-Large (Two Positions Available)

Jamie Haug

As an educator with over 20 years of experience and a district leader in the field of technology, I am confident that I am an ideal candidate for the NYSCATE board of directors for an at-large position. My passion and expertise in leveraging technology for enhancing teaching and learning are unparalleled, and I am committed to advocating for future-ready learning experiences for all students across the state. If elected to this position, my primary objective would be to bring a district leadership perspective to the board, with a focus on promoting equitable access to quality education for all students. Throughout my career, I have prioritized the success of students in all my decision-making, and I believe that this approach is vital to achieving positive outcomes. I recognize that this work cannot be accomplished in isolation, and if elected, I will work to foster collaboration and community building throughout New York State. I see this role as an opportunity to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices, and to promote a culture of innovation and creativity that benefits all learners. Overall, I am excited about the possibility of serving on the NYSCATE board of directors, and I am confident that I can make a valuable contribution to this important organization.

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Kristen Magyar

I am writing to express my interest in the At Large Board Position for NYSCATE. As an educator with a passion for technology, I believe my skills and experience align with the mission and goals of your organization. I have been attending NYSCATE events since 2008 with my first regional conference the HVNYSCATE event. This small conference was the doorway to my world of technology with learning experiences and collaborations to come from the discussions. I have 17 years teaching in the Highland Falls Fort Montgomery Central School District starting as just a computer teacher. Nobody is ever just a computer teacher. I have made a name for myself as a STEM, STEAM , STREAM Teacher and now TOSA for Instructional Technology. Each day is different. You never can be prepared for what tech emergency will pass my desk or via email. It could be a cracked Chromebook, lost presentation for an administrator, student password problems or even parents who are trying to get connected to our communication tool. Communication, patience and understanding are just some of the skills that have to be displayed daily. I believe I would contribute to the success of the NYSCATE family of educators. I am committed to promoting the use of technology in education and ensuring that educators have the resources and support they need to integrate technology effectively into their teaching practices.

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Michelle Okal-Frink

I have been with the NYSCATE Board of Directors for many years and currently serve as the Vice President. I hope to continue working on behalf of educators and students to assist NYSCATE in the work we have focused on for so long. Technology is more and more ingrained in our daily lives and working with educators to see how those changes, both the good and the messy, connect us all is imperative. Our most recent NYSCATE regional conference, Digital Pathways, began the morning with a focus on Artificial Intelligence in education. One of the important points brought up by the panel included the fact that AI will never replace a teacher's empathy for their students. I believe NYSCATE helps to drive that home in the fact that technology will never replace the interaction of a teacher with their students but can only help educators meet students where they are and progress them forward. I look forward to continuing to work with this fine organization as we continue to meet students and educators where they are and move them forward to great things.

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Art Schouten

I am writing to express my strong interest in serving as one of NYSCATE's At-Large Board Member. As an administrator, educator, technology leader, I have always been passionate about leveraging technology to enhance learning and improve both staff and student outcomes. I believe that being a part of the NYSCATE Board will provide me with the opportunity to contribute my knowledge and expertise towards advancing the effective use of technology in education. I am confident that my skills in instructional design, curriculum development, and project managemen] will be valuable in this capacity. Moreover, I am eager to work collaboratively with other board members and stakeholders to identify best practices, develop policies and guidelines, and implement strategies that will ensure the successful integration of technology in the classroom. I am committed to promoting equitable access to technology and ensuring that teachers and students have the opportunity to benefit from its use. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute my skills and experience with NYSCATE.

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Tarkan Ceng

My intention as a NYSCATE Board member is to help advance teaching and learning through the use of technology. Technology is ever advancing. This rapid advancement has created an environment where "how to learn" and "what to learn" have become increasingly conflated. Technology, when utilized effectively, can become a focused tool to support each learning objective individually.

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Laurie Yager

In my position as an Educational Technology Specialist on the MORIC Model Schools team, my daily role mirrored NYSCATE’s mission: to lead the transformation of teaching and learning through technology. It is a role I have taken on with energy, vigor and enthusiasm! During 20+ years of serving the 50 districts of the MORIC region, my efforts were focused on how technology can inspire and empower teachers and students. I recently retired from the MORIC but continue to provide my expertise to various special projects there including conducting regional LEGO Robotics workshops for teachers and students, organizing and running a Girls Technology Leadership Camp and researching the implementation of drone soccer in the MORIC region. My participation in NYSCATE activities has given me an opportunity to share my knowledge and passions with other educators across the state while developing my own skills and network of colleagues. I’ve had the opportunity to experience first hand the power of NYSCATE in bringing dreams like Maker Faire Rochester and the Student STEAM Fest to life, events I have co-chaired for the past nine years, sharing the vision of Maker Ed with students, NYSCATE members and the Rochester community at large. I was a member of the executive team of the NYS Model Schools Consortium, serving as treasurer from 2014 until my retirement in 2022, and have enjoyed collaborating with my peers to share best practices, promote technology in education, and develop special projects and initiatives that benefit member school districts. I have served on the NYSCATE Board for the past 6 years, participating on the Finance, Nominations & Elections, and Outreach committees and chairing the Professional Learning committee and Grants & Awards committee. I am hopeful I will have the opportunity to continue to drive the vision of NYSCATE as a member of the Board of Directors, combining the business acumen I gained through 12 years of experience as an accounting manager in the private sector with my proven passion for educational technology.

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Director of Southern Tier Region

Dustin Andrus

This is my statement of intent and hope for your support in running for the Director of the Southern Tier postion for the NYSCATE Board of Directors. I have been a member of NYSCATE for 15 years and the Director of the Southern Tier on the NYSCATE Board of Directors for the past 9 years. I have served as President twice and Vice President 4 times. I have served as the NYSCATE Annual Conference IT Chairperson 6 years where I oversee a team of 10 people who work continously throughout the year ensure a high quality expereince for members at the Annual Confernce. I serve as the NYSCATE Representative for the ISTE Conference in 2019 in Philadelphia and again this year in Philadelphia. In my day job, I work at Broome Tioga BOCES as the Director of Managed Technology for the Professional Learning and Innovation Center. In this role I oversee a team of nine embedded educational teachnology specialists as well as, Model Schools and Distance Learning services. Prior to this role I was the Regional Instructional Technology Specialist for 10 years at Broome Tioga BOCES. Currently my team and I facilitate workshops for leaders and teachers centered about innovative practices in ed tech, the new csdf standards, minecraft edu, Microsoft Reading Progress for literacy and world language teachers, and fast occuring trends such as, generative ai and its impacts in the field of education. While being the Director of the Sothern Tier, I developed and led the creation of the Southern Tier ConnectEd Conference. I lead the conference in the Binghamton area from 2014-2018 where the conference grew from 300 to 850 attendees. The conference paved the way in establishing a new model for regional conferneces such as the NYSCATE DO-ED Tech conference and helping creating stronger relationships between NYSCATE, BOCES, Teacher Centers, and School Districts. I am very excited to see that The Southern Tier ConnectED Conference is being revived by Katie Cooke in the Watkins Glen area this year and was able to empower and provide support as needed. Also, in this role I was able to provide NYSCATE a voice in the conversation around block chain technology in education that was featured by NYSBA and co-authored an article for District Adminstration centered on the use of LMS's to deliver region wide professional learning. I look forward to being able to represent in the same ways moving forward and helping facilitate events and bring the voice of the Southern Tier to the Board of Directors for NYSCATE.

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Director of New York City

Jackie Patanio

I consider myself to be a life-long learner, one who appreciates the process of learning and the dialogical nature of continuous growth in an ever-changing world. It is a tremendous task and responsibility to be entrusted and empowered to educate our nation’s future to live in a world that doesn’t exist yet, and even more challenging to prepare ourselves for jobs that don’t exist yet. But it’s not one that my imagination, passion, work ethic, creativity isn’t ready to encounter. I became a teacher many years ago, mostly because I love to learn, I love to think of the endless opportunities and possibilities that might exist. And when I enter any space, I carry that ingenuity with me, and I carry it with grace and humility to always meet people where they are and together become something new. I’ve been a member of NYSCATE for the last 4 years, have attended 2 conferences and supported the first NYC NYSCATE Meetup and presented at many national and international conferences in support of the technology work in New York City. I see schools as a microcosm of society at large, and as such, it requires an evolutionary stance, one that continues to grow and mirror, in many ways, the community it serves. I’ve always maintained a collective view of success, that we, as a group are better together and because of one another. Further, learning is dynamic and continuous, interactive, inquisitive, and requires multiple perspectives. A strong leader cultivates a love for learning and curates a ‘with’ mentality to facilitate learning and empower learners by elevating voice, ensuring representation of multiple perspectives, and developing opportunities for people to be at the table to articulate what they need.

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Director of North Country

Michelle Burke

My name is Michelle Burke, and I am currently the Technology Coordinator at Madrid-Waddington Central School district, a rural, one-building district that serves approximately six hundred fifty students, grades Universal PreKindergarten through twelve. I have been a North Country public educator since 1999 and I would like to serve on the NYSCATE Board of Directors as a representative of the North Country because it will allow me to bring a perspective to the board that is demonstrative of the North Country and its schools. Over the years, I have worked with colleagues in several North Country schools on collaborative projects and have made connections in many schools as an educator. Staying current with new technologies and standards in education will allow me to be a conduit of information to Northern New York schools and also to bring more events to the North Country and its constituents. I have the vision and drive to work with other technology leaders across the State to foster innovative practices in teaching and learning with technology in our schools.

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Corporate Council Ex-Officio Board Representative

Patrick Devanney

An opportunity to serve on the NYSCATE Board as a corporate member at large for a second term brings new and exciting benefits to NYSCATE and its members. It also provides new partnerships and opportunities for principled companies to contribute to education in our communities. Knowledge, experience, and relationships are key to maximizing this opportunity. NYSCATE will benefit from a broader awareness of and voice into corporate activities in the EdTech ecosystem nationally and internationally. Standards bodies have a major impact on interoperability frameworks and they are central to the work I do at ClassLink. Having greater insight into their initiatives will help the NYSCATE community. In a similar fashion, awareness of and advocacy for healthy financial models among companies in EdTech will benefit members of the NYSCATE community in selecting the tools they use and companies they work with. Finally, my broad business background and 20+ years in EdTech companies will help the NYSCATE community. ClassLink is the most interconnected company in EdTech and I oversee the team that manages over 1,000 partnerships. In addition to helping NYSCATE, the opportunity also opens the door for a stronger voice and insight into the NYSCATE community for corporations that share the ClassLink values and commitment to supporting education and educators.

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Tricia Interrante

As a long standing member of NYSCATE , from both the educational world and the corporate world, I feel that I can contribute to the mission of the organization and keep the corporate council members involved. My heart will always be with education, but as a corporate council member, I have to make sure that our goals and missions are aligned with Nyscate, and that we can always help each other. If elected onto the board, I will ensure that I communicate with the corporate council members and make sure that their voices are heard .

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Carrie Rogers-Whitehead

As more technology moves into education and homes NYSCATE can help be a leader in using technology ethically. There are many fears of technology, by parents, politicians and pundits; sometimes tech and apps are banned before they can be used. With my work in digital citizenship learning I can help NYSCATE provide a counterbalance and a space to influence other entities about looking at different perspectives on tech. I do that work now in Utah, helping to guide the state from "online safety" to "digital citizenship" and in that role work with many different partners. Technology is interconnected with so many industries and people that we need people who can work across silos and create connections. I'm passionate about learning, and yes I'm aware of the negatives as well as the positives, but I truly see educational technology having a unique opportunity to make social and educational change not only in our schools but the broader school community.

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Carmella Seely

Growing up in rural Hancock, NY sparked a passion for making a difference in how schools effectively engage with their parents. I'm excited to share my experience from communications and technology in K12, hospitality, and small business marketing. My fiancé and I recently bought a home in West Windsor, NY. I spend my spare time whipping up new gluten free recipes, crafting, learning how to garden and serving as the President of my hometown Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the team at Apptegy, I supported school districts with their communication tools through BOCES. Apptegy is a leader in cutting edge technology for school leaders across the globe. I believe our aligned missions and continued partnership will help forge the path of innovative technology in education.

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*Please note that only Corporate Council members are eligible to vote for the Corporate Council Board Position. An email ballot is mailed to Corporate Council Contacts.