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Breakout Session Presenters

  • Jared
  • Carolyn
  • Elaine
  • Christina
  • Erin
  • Paola
  • Summer

Jared Smith

Jared Smith

WebAIM

Jared Smith is the Associate Director of WebAIM. He is a highly demanded presenter and trainer and has provided web accessibility training to thousands of developers throughout the world. With a degree in Marketing/Business Education, a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology, and over 16 years of experience working in the web design, development, and accessibility field, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that is used to help others create and maintain highly accessible web content. Much of his written work, including a broad range of tutorials, articles, and other materials, is featured on the WebAIM site. Jared is active on Twitter at @jared_w_smith.

Carolyn Mitchell

Carolyn Mitchell

Carolyn Mitchell began her career in LISD in 2002 by working as a substitute teacher at the secondary level. Carolyn was a Title I Math teacher at Hedrick Middle School before joining the LISD Technology department as a secondary Instructional Technologist in 2007. Carolyn was the high school Instructional Technology Specialist before joining the Virtual Learning Academy team in 2012 as a Digital Learning Specialist. Prior to becoming part of the LISD family, Carolyn taught communications at a community college in Dover, Delaware and was a payroll coordinator and accountant for Trinity Medical Center (now Baylor Scott White) in Carrollton, Texas.

Carolyn’s main areas of specialty for VLA are credit recovery and course design. She supports the credit recovery students and teachers during the academic year and summer school, as well as, supporting math and science Blended teachers. Carolyn also teaches Accounting I for VLA.

Carolyn has a master’s degree in Education from the University of Georgia, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Speech from Valdosta State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Accounting from Wesley College. She also completed the secondary certification program at UNT and earned her online teaching certification through Texas A & M University. Carolyn has lived in Flower Mound for 28 years, and both of her children attended LISD schools from Kindergarten through 12thgrade.

Fun fact: Carolyn is a certified scuba diver.

Interests: Baking, reading, traveling, golf and GIS.

Elaine Plybon

Elaine Plybon

Elaine is Coordinator of Virtual and Blended Learning in Keller, Texas. She manages the individualization that can be afforded through online learning, including virtual/online courses, credit recovery, dropout prevention, grade redemption, subject-area acceleration, and homebound services. In 2014, Elaine was named one of the National School Board Association's 20 to Watch Education Technology Leaders.

Christina Narayan

Christina Narayan has been online since 2002, teaching grades K-4, developing Special Projects and coordinating Elementary Student Support Services. She is an award winning teacher: Colorado Online Elementary Teacher of the Year and iNACOL/SREB top 5 finalists for National Online Teacher of the Year. Christina also tutors ESL students from China online. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education and a Master of Educational Technology and Graduate Certificate in Adult Online Education.

Erin Henschel

Erin Henschel

Erin Henschel has been teaching online since 2005. She has a passion for education and believes that every person has the ability to learn. Erin takes a strong stance that each student is unique and special in their own way. Teaching online has given her students an avenue to learn and grow in a place that is comfortable for them. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, both from The University of Colorado.

Paola Sanchez

Paola Sanchez

Paola has been working with the Pasco County School District since 2008 and currently supports Pasco eSchool, a full-time virtual K-12 school as an online instructor, instructional coach, and technology support. As an instructional and technology coach, she has created and delivered professional development training for teachers and staff to support the implementation of the school’s LMS (Canvas), Adobe Connect Software, and other instructional and technology school initiatives. She is a certified Florida educator in Elementary Education, Business Ed, and Spanish. She holds a Master’s degree from St. Leo University in Instructional Design and has designed and developed several online courses for both student and teachers. She is passionate about technology and education, and guiding teachers and students to utilize technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Summer Alcauter

Summer Alcauter

Summer Alcauter is the Coordinator of Partnerships at the University of Texas at Austin High School, where she supports English language learners and blended learning initiatives in the state of Texas and internationally. Her experience also includes serving as a Digital Learning Specialist and AP Spanish teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master’s of Education in Instructional Technology. She is passionate about using technology tools to foster creativity and build personalized learning for students, whether through online learning, blended learning or in a face-to-face classroom.