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Breakout Session Presenters

  • Carolyn
  • Celeste
  • Christina
  • Elaine
  • Erin
  • Jonathan
  • Paola
  • Summer

Carolyn Mitchell

Carolyn Mitchell
Lewisville ISD

Carolyn Mitchell began her career in Lewisville ISD (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 (VLA) 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 University of North Texas and earned her online teaching certification through Texas A & M University. Carolyn has lived in Flower Mound, Texas for 28 years, and both of her children attended LISD schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Celeste Stephenson

Celeste Stephenson
Dickinson ISD

Celeste Stephenson was the virtual high school science teacher at Comprehend Academy for it's inaugural year and will be returning to Dickinsons ISD to be the high school science teacher at the Dickinson Alternative Learning Center. She is ooking forward to her 6th year teaching high school science!

Ms. Stephenson brings a diverse set of skills to the table including advanced scientific content knowledge, technological skills, and best practices in teaching and learning. She believes she must prepare her students for a changing technological landscape, where a successful professional is constantly learning and innovating. Ms. Stephenson believes all students can succeed and she looks forward to working with students and families to ensure success in science and beyond.

Christina Narayan
Branson Online Schools

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.

Elaine Plybon

Elaine Plybon
Klein ISD

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.

Erin Henschel

Erin Henschel
Branson Online School

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.

Jonathan Whiting

Jonathan Whiting
WebAIM

Jonathan Whiting is the Director of Training and Evaluation at WebAIM, based at Utah State University. His main passion is helping others learn to make the web more accessible to people with disabilities. Jonathan is also currently involved in the GOALS Project, a program to assist institutions of Higher Education in improving their accessibility system-wide. With a Master's Degree in Instructional Technology and over thirteen years of experience in the field of web accessibility, Jonathan has published dozens of articles, tutorials, and other instructional resources. He has traveled extensively to train thousands of web developers and other professionals who develop or maintain web content.

Paola Sanchez

Paola Sanchez
Pasco CSD

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
UT Austin High School

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.


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