Albemarle County Public Schools Selects Experienced Teacher, National Tech Leader, as Its Chief Technology Officer
The Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools, Dr. Matthew Haas, said today that, following a nationwide search, Dr. Christine Diggs has been appointed as the division’s new Chief Technology Officer.
Currently, Dr. Diggs is the Director of Technology Services for Columbia (Missouri) Public Schools, which serves 18,500 students across 31 schools and a career center. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) ranks Columbia Public Schools in the top 10 percent of all school divisions across the country for its “exemplary and innovative uses of technology.”
“We share the NSBA’s high opinion of Dr. Diggs’ leadership,” said Dr. Haas. “To understand the immediate contributions she will bring to our division, one need look no further than the values of the department she leads—innovation for effective education; transparent and open communication; community trust; flexible access to resources; and 21st century transliteracy. These are much more than aspirational goals for one school division; they are practical strategies for the quality of lifelong learning that all students deserve,” Dr. Haas said.
Dr. Diggs said she long has been impressed by the innovative programming in Albemarle County Public Schools and by the opportunities she has had to learn more about the division from collaborating with its technology professionals at national conferences.
“It is an honor to be joining such an extraordinary team,” Dr. Diggs said. “I am looking forward to contributing to such a vibrant learning community—one that is so dedicated to a vision that all students enthusiastically embrace learning; are empowered to perform at their highest capabilities; and develop the skills and confidence to succeed in their personal and professional lives,” she said.
The superintendent said Dr. Diggs will be assuming responsibility for Learning Engineering, Access and Design (LEAD), a department that has earned national recognition in its own right for the breadth of its support and services and for its next generation use of technology in the classroom. The department supports over 27,000 technology devices in 32 schools and site locations. Over 100,000 emails are sent throughout the division each day, and there are over 12 million internet-related activities every day across the division. Albemarle County Public Schools is one of 102 member school divisions across the country in the League of Innovative Schools, authorized by the U.S. Congress to accelerate innovation in education.
“While welcoming Dr. Diggs to Albemarle County Public Schools, I’d also like to thank our Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Jamie Foreman, for his outstanding service as the interim department head over the past three months. His leadership was instrumental to our successful start of the new school year and to our recent progress on such important initiatives as expanding broadband access to students in our western feeder pattern,” Dr. Haas noted.
In her application, Dr. Diggs described herself as a collaborative, results-oriented, visionary leader. One example of her impact in Columbia is the division’s “STEAM Bus,” a converted school bus that travels throughout the division equipped with technology kits to teach students how to use their own imagination and creativity to produce their own inventions. She also has brought together business and community leaders to expand internet access for students.
Dr. Diggs began her career in education as a teacher, serving as a media specialist and an instructional technology coach for 12 years with Columbia Public Schools before being appointed as the manager of data services and a senior project leader in 2006. She became the director of technology services in 2012. Not surprisingly, her doctoral dissertation was on “understanding teacher perspectives regarding instructional technology from an ecology of resources framework.”
“Her well-established experience in blending what works in the laboratory with what works in the classroom had a very strong appeal to us,” said Dr. Haas. “She speaks two languages very well—that of a technology expert and that of a passionate educator,” he added.
An undergrad of the University of Florida with a B.A. in Elementary Education, Dr. Diggs earned her master’s degree in Information Science and Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri and her Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the same institution.
Dr. Diggs’ first day in her new role will be Monday, November 12.