Credit: Credit: Albemarle County Public Schools

Ira Socol, the Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for Albemarle County Public Schools, announced today that five technology professionals in the Department of Learning Engineering, Access, and Design (LEAD) have been reassigned to leadership positions. The appointments, Socol said, will increase the depth of support for the integration of technology into curricula across all grade levels, enhance the quality of service provided to technology platforms across all schools, and pave the way for more collaborative learning opportunities for students.

James E. Foreman, who has served as Director of Learning Technologies, has been selected as the division’s Deputy Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, effective immediately. Foreman has extensive experience working directly with principals and teachers on the development and success of the Learning Technology Integrator team. He has been instrumental in the construction of the division’s Digital Learning Curriculum and in the conceptual development of the new pilot high school center, Albemarle Tech. In his new position, Foreman will focus on coordinating all technology initiatives across the division.

Effective July 1, Howard Hottinger will become the Assistant Director for School Technology Support, leading the work of school-based Technology Support Specialists. Hottinger, Socol said, brings a strong customer service mindset and tool kit to his new responsibilities, together with a passion for providing educators and students with the resources they need to continue to improve contemporary learning practices.

Also effective July 1, Russell Reed will serve as Manager of School Support Services, leading an experienced team to increase the level of support and service to schools and departments. For a number of years, Reed has managed the summer internship program, in which students gain experience working to repair and reimage thousands of student computers to ready them for the next year.

Gene Osborn will be the Assistant Director for Technology Integration effective July 1. He will be responsible for the division’s Learning Technology Integrators. Among his strengths, Socol said, is the ability to use the advantages of digital learning to close learning opportunity gaps. “Gene has an amazing ability to match the promise of virtual reality, for example, with the individualized needs of each student. These forward-edge experiences push higher the boundaries of what can be learned,” Socol added. Osborne has been with the division since 2013 as a special education teacher and Learning Technology Integrator.

Finally, on July 1, Bert Jacoby will be the department’s Coordinator for Central Technology Services. He will oversee inventory, parts, and warranty services while also leading work with Student Help Desks, which will be established in all middle and high schools. “Bert has a precise organizational skill set and a great mix of technical and instructional knowledge that will improve opportunities for educators, students and parents to provide feedback that will shape our core services.

“Howard, Russell, Gene and Bert all bring deep experience, creativity and passion to the learning environments in all of our schools,” Foreman said. “They have a very practical, hands-on understanding of how to use technology to lift student potential,” he added.

Socol said LEAD will continue to evolve its service structures as the division moves toward the new school year. “We are fortunate to have so many dedicated professionals who have amazingly inventive minds,” Socol said, adding, “We all are focused on one goal—to create the best possible learning environments for every child.”