K-12 Advisory Board
Sheryl Abshire, Ph.D
Chief Technology Officer
Calcasieu Parish Public Schools
Sheryl Abshire serves as a catalyst for change in the field of technology integration at local, district, state, and national levels. As an accomplished grant writer, Dr. Abshire has shared her expertise through regularly conducted institutes, assisting others in funding innovative technology programs and helping to restructure schools with the infusion of technology and curriculum enhancements.
As a Christa McAuliffe Fellow, a National Teacher Hall of Fame inductee, 1998 Louisiana Computer Using Educator of the Year, 1990 Louisiana Technology Teacher of the Year, 1999 McNeese State University Distinguished Alumnus, 2008 University of New Orleans Outstanding Doctoral Student in Educational Leadership, 2002 National Christa McAuliffe Award winner and the 2009 ISTE Public Policy Advocate of the Year, she takes an active lead in supporting professional development initiatives that ultimately impact student learning and achievement. Dr. Abshire serves on the ISTE Standards and Accreditation Committee, as immediate past Chair of the Board for the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) in Washington, D.C., past president and vice-president of programs and advocacy for the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators (LACUE) and is a member of the Advisory Boards for Dell, Blackboard, Pearson Digital Learning, eSchool News and Scholastic Administrator. Additionally, she has taught graduate level technology integration courses for teachers and administrators, both online and face-to-face, for McNeese State University, Louisiana Tech and Lamar State University. In 2003 she was named a national semi-finalist for Ed Tech Leader of the Year.
Director of Student Online Learning
Jeffco Public Schools
Judy Bauernschmidt has over twenty-two years of experience as K-12 educator. She started her career as a middle school science teacher and taught for nine years. She has been an administrator in traditional and online education environments for the past thirteen years serving as a dean of students, assistant principal, principal, and director.
She has led the creation and implementation of online and blended school models in the for-profit and non-profit sectors of online education. Judy served as a Director of Secondary Education at Colorado Virtual Academy leading the largest online middle school and high school program in Colorado. Judy currently serves as the Director of Student Online Learning in Jeffco Public Schools leading the district in online and blended education development. She works with the traditional high schools and middle schools in Jeffco managing support and growth for the various online and blended learning models being offered at their sites. Student enrollment growth in the blended model increased by 6000 students in the last year.
In addition to overseeing the district-wide student online/blended program, Judy is also the principal of Jeffco’s 21st Century Virtual Academy. Judy was appointed by the Colorado Department of Education to the Advisory Committee for Online Learning where she is currently an active member of the committee. She has presented at several nationwide symposiums and conferences sharing her passion for online education and blended learning. She has served as a consultant for school districts to develop online and blended learning models. Judy’s passion stems from her most important role as a parent of blended learners. Her experience as a parent of blended learners, teaching online, and as an online administrator, gives her the advantage of having many perspectives in the area of online education.
Rick L. Miller, Ph.D
Riverside Unified School District
Dr. Rick Miller joined Riverside Unified School District as Superintendent on January 5, 2009. Dr. Miller has been an educator for 37 years and prior to coming to RUSD was Superintendent of Oxnard School District in Ventura County. Dr. Miller has taught at the elementary and secondary levels and has been an elementary and high school principal.
For the past 19 years he has served as Superintendent for three school districts in California and one in Idaho, as well as serving as an adjunct instructor at the university level in both states.Dr. Miller holds four degrees including a Ph.D. in Education; Ed.Sp. (Education Specialist) in Educational Administration; M.Ed. (Masters in Education) in Educational Administration and Higher Education; and a B.A. in Chemistry.
Dr. Miller has authored a number of professional articles and has presented at state and national conferences. The focus of his career as a school administrator has been on school reform and improved student achievement in diverse settings.
Dr. Miller is Riverside Unified School District’s tenth Superintendent since 1871.
Patrick J. Russo, Ph.D
Henrico County Public Schools
Dr. Patrick Russo has more than 34 years of experience as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent and business leader. During the last 24 years, he has been a superintendent in New York, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Dr. Russo has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from The University of Charleston, a Master of Arts Degree in Secondary Education from Adelphi University, a Master of Business Administration from Dowling College, a Professional Diploma from Long Island University and a Doctorate of Education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Dr. Russo has been superintendent of Henrico County Public Schools since July, 2009. The school division has more than 49,500 students and one of the most comprehensive 1:1 Laptop Technology Initiatives in the country. A leader who is committed to community engagement in the educational process, Dr. Russo combines solid business practices with his educational administration leadership skills to meet the needs of students, teachers, administrators, key stakeholders and the community. This year, Dr. Russo held Henrico County Public Schools’ first Community Priorities Workshop where the school board and administration engaged more than 150 students, parents, community members, business leaders and government officials in a process to identify and support the school system’s priorities and goals for the upcoming 2010-11 school year. He has also initiated the development and implementation of Henrico County Schools five-year Strategic Plan.
In 2009, Dr. Russo was a finalist for Virginia’s State Superintendent of the year. He has been named Georgia’s 1996 Superintendent of the Year, Regional Superintendent of the Year in North Carolina, and on three occasions was named one of the Top 10 Executive Educators, selected by the national publication Executive Educator.
Dr. Russo’s commitment to education is a family affair. His wife Brooke is a registered nurse and taught at a regional vocational school in the Hampton area. They have five children: Erik, Meagan, Sarah, and school aged twins, Ashleigh and Patrick, who will attend middle school in Henrico County Public Schools.
Pamela A. Willingham, NBCT
Information Systems Analyst
Volusia County Schools
Pam spent the first 17 years of her career teaching “in the trenches,” mainly at Palmetto Elementary in Palmetto, Florida. To enhance her teaching skills, in 1999, and again in 2008, she earned National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In 2006 she received the P-12 Teacher Recognition Award from the College of Charleston for being the teacher who most inspired a graduating student.
Always interested in creating engaging and interactive experiences for her students, she eagerly adopted technology in the classroom as it evolved—from the earliest PCs, to Newtons and Palms, to Macbooks. In 2007 her ongoing fascination with instructional technology led her to join Volusia County Schools’ Technology Services Department. She works in the Learning Technologies Division as an Information Systems Analyst, and one of her primary roles is serving as the Blackboard administrator.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Florida Virtual School
In 1997, Julie Young pioneered the launch of Florida Virtual School with the goal of providing high quality, online courses to students throughout the State of Florida. That vision has resulted in Florida Virtual School becoming the largest provider of Internet-based courseware and instruction for middle and high school students in Florida and around the globe.
Ms. Young began her career as a classroom teacher and has since served as an administrator and leading e-Learning expert and advocate. Today, as the president and chief executive officer of Florida Virtual School, she directs the work of more than 1000 faculty and administrators, courseware developers, web design specialists and technology support personnel. She is a frequent national conference speaker and has played an important role in charting the course of virtual K-12 education.
Ms. Young is the Chairman of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) and serves on the boards of the International Association for K12 Online Learning, the Florida Sterling Council and the Florida Learning Alliance. She is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Distance Learning Task Force and the Florida Taxwatch Center for Educational Performance and Accountability. Ms. Young was recognized by Technology & Learning Magazine as one of the Top 30 influencers in Ed Tech, along with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. In 2003, she was inducted into the USDLA “Hall of Fame.”
Under Ms. Young’s leadership, Florida Virtual School has been recognized for its work by the National School Boards Association and the Canadian Association for Distance Education. Florida Virtual School has received two 2010 CODiE Awards: Best Reading/English Instructional Solution & Best Social Studies Instructional Solution. FLVS was also honored with the 2009 and 2007 USDLA 21st Century award for Best Practice in Distance Learning, the 2008 Better Government Competition Award from the Pioneer Institute, the EdNET 2007 Pioneer of the Year Award and the 2006 EdNET Impact award. In 2003, her school was named as one of the WebSmart Top 50 organizations by Business Week Magazine.
Ms. Young earned her Master of Science degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of South Florida, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Kentucky.