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Superintendent Luna Announces Students Come First Technology Task Force

Written By onci on Thursday, May 26, 2011 | 2:21 PM

 Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna announced today the 38-member Students Come First Technology Task Force that will help implement the unprecedented investments in classroom technology that are part of Idaho’s education reform laws.

Under Senate Bill 1184, the Superintendent of Public Instruction will chair a task force to help in implementing the technology components of the Students Come First law.  Specifically, this task force will study and develop plans for the one-to-one ratio of mobile computing devices in high schools. Once the State Board of Education determines the number of online courses to graduate, the task force also will develop implementation plans for the requirement, in addition to the necessary professional development for teachers and other topics determined by the task force chairman.

“This task force will play a critical role in implementing key components of the Students Come First laws and creating the 21st Century Classroom for every Idaho student, no matter where they live. I’m confident in the group we have put together,” Superintendent Luna said. “Through this task force, we have pulled together individuals from education, technology, and the business community to work together in making this implementation successful for every child.”

Under the law, the task force had to be made up of at least 28 members, 17 of which the State Superintendent appointed and 11 of which were appointed by educational stakeholder groups, the Idaho Legislature and the Office of the Governor. Superintendent Luna expanded the task force to 38 members to include parents, school board trustees, and more classroom teachers.

Now, 12 educators will be serving on the task force, including four current classroom teachers. Teachers include: Idaho’s 2011 Teacher of the Year Stefani Cook, a business teacher at Rigby High School, and 2009 Milken Educator of the Year Aaron McKinnon, a science teacher at South Junior High in Boise.

The task force also includes the House and Senate Education Committee Chairmen, Democrat Rep. Wendy Jaquet, Superintendent Linda Clark of Joint School District No. 2 (Meridian), and Bonneville School District Trustee Wendy Horman, among others.

The first task force meeting will be held June 13-14, 2011 in the Auditorium room at the Idaho Statehouse. It will be open to the public.  The task force will meet throughout the year.

The following is a list of the members of the Students Come First Technology Task Force. Biographies on each member are attached.

  • District Superintendent: Andy Grover, Melba School District    
  • District Superintendent: Alan Dunn, Sugar-Salem School District    
  • District Superintendent: Linda Clark, Joint School District No. 2 (Meridian)    
  • District Superintendent: Colby Gull, Challis School District    
  • District Technology Director: Christopher Campbell, Genesee School District    
  • District Technology Director: Keven Denton, Joint School District No. 2 (Meridian)    
  • Secondary Principal: Bicker Therien, New Plymouth High School    
  • Secondary Principal: Spencer Barzee, West Side School District    
  • Business Manager: Jenn Johnson, Moscow School District    
  • Head of Virtual School: Desiree Laughlin, Idaho Virtual Academy    
  • Head of Secondary Charter School: Alan Millar, Sandpoint Charter School    
  • Secondary Teacher: Salvatore Lorenzen, Post Falls High School    
  • Secondary Teacher: Stefani Cook, Rigby High School    
  • Private Education Sector: Eileen Lento, Intel    
  • Business Community: Gary Smith, Board member of ESTech    
  • Business Community: Jayson Ronk, Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry    
  • Business Community: Michael Fornander, Data Projections Inc.    
  • Parent: Maria Nate, Rexburg    
  • Parent: Mary Vollmer, Aberdeen    
  • School Board Trustee: Debbie Critchfield, Cassia County School District    
  • School Board Trustee: Wendy Horman, Bonneville School District    
  • School Board Trustee: Melinda Smyser, Parma School District    
  • At-Large: Marne Curtis, Teacher, Gooding Elementary School    
  • At-Large: Aaron McKinnon, Teacher, South Junior High School, Boise    
  • At-Large: Cliff Green, Insight Schools    
  • At-Large: Rep. Wendy Jaquet, House of Representatives    
  • At-Large: Heidi Rogers, Executive Director, Northwest Council for Computer Education    
  • Idaho Education Association: Sherri Wood, President, Idaho Education Association    
  • Northwest Professional Educators: Brad Patzer, Member    
  • Idaho Association of School Administrators: George Boland, Superintendent, Idaho Falls School District   
  • Idaho School Boards Association: Brian Duncan, Trustee, Minidoka County School District    
  • Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence: Brent Lloyd, President and CEO, Futura Corporation    
  • Idaho Digital Learning Academy: Mike Caldwell, Director of Academics, Idaho Digital Learning Academy
  • Idaho House of Representatives: Rep. Bob Nonini, Chair, House Education Committee, R-Coeur d’Alene    
  • Idaho House of Representatives: Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle    
  • Idaho Senate: Sen. John Goedde, Chair, Senate Education Committee, R-Coeur d’Alene    
  • Idaho Senate: Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise    
  • Office of the Governor: Christine Donnell, former educator and district superintendent

Here is more information about each member of the Students Come First Technology Task Force:


Andy Grover is the superintendent of the Melba School District and a former principal, technology director, special education director, and social studies teacher.   Melba High School has gone from three students taking online courses three years ago to 109 online classes this year.  Grover also serves on the Idaho Human Rights Education Committee and traveled to Jordan as a delegate to the Idaho Human Rights Council in 2009.  He holds an Educational Specialist Degree from the University of Idaho.

Alan Dunn is the superintendent of the Sugar-Salem School District and a former principal and teacher.  Sugar-Salem led the state with an online learning graduation requirement, and in the upcoming school year, nearly two-thirds of their high school students will be enrolled in an online or Idaho Education Network (IEN) class.  Dunn holds an Education Specialist Degree from Idaho State University.

Linda Clark is the superintendent of Joint School District No. 2 (Meridian) and a former principal, curriculum director, and teacher.  Clark recently received the Northwest Council for Computer Education’s Outstanding Technology Leader of the Year Award and holds an Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco.

Colby Gull is the superintendent of the Challis School District and a former principal and special education teacher.  The Challis School District has begun integrating a variety of instructional technology in its classrooms all the way from preschool through high school. Gull is working on an Ed.D. in School Administration from Idaho State University.

Christopher Campbell is the technology director in the Genesee School District and a member of the Idaho Education Technology Association.  He holds a degree in Computer Information Systems from Andrews University as well as multiple certifications.

Keven Denton is the technology director in Joint School District No. 2 (Meridian). Denton has a Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis in Educational Technology from Boise State University as well as multiple certifications.

Bicker Therien is the principal of New Plymouth High School in the New Plymouth School District.  Therien was formerly the director of Idaho Digital Learning Academy and an alternative school teacher.  He holds a Master of Educational Administration from the University of Idaho.

Spencer Barzee is the principal at West Side High School in the West Side School District.  West Side High School is a leader in the state in dual credit.  Nearly 90% of their students graduated from high school last year having earned college credit.  Barzee holds an Educational Specialist Degree from the University of Idaho.

Jennifer Johnson is the finance specialist in the Moscow School District and president of the Idaho Association of School Business Officials.  Johnson holds a degree in Business Education from the University of Idaho.

Desiree Laughlin is the head of Idaho Virtual Academy and a former teacher and administrator.  Laughlin holds a Master of Education Administration Degree from Idaho State University.

Alan Millar is the principal of Sandpoint Charter School and a former teacher.  Millar holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership.

Stefani Cook is a business education teacher at Rigby High School in the Jefferson County School District and the 2011 Idaho Teacher of the Year.  She holds a Masters of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Idaho State University.


Salvatore Lorenzen is a technology teacher at Post Falls High School in the Post Falls School District and a 2009 Giants Award recipient.  Lorenzen also serves as a FIRST Robotics coach.  He holds an Education Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Idaho.

Eileen Lento is a K-12 Strategist for Intel Corporation.  She also serves as a board member for the International Society for Technology in Education.

Gary Smith is a board member for the Eagle/Emmett/Star Tech Corridor (ESTech) and on the Boise Valley Economic Working Group (BVEP).  He also serves as a Star City Council Member.

Jayson Ronk is the vice-president of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI), which represents hundreds of businesses across the state.  Ronk holds a degree Political Science from Idaho State University.

Michael Fornander is the region vice-president of Data Projection, Inc., a telecommunications and audio/visual design and engineering firm.  He is also a former elementary school teacher with a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from Boise State University.

Maria Nate is a parent in Rexburg and a former school board trustee.  Over the past decade, Nate has served on numerous state and district level education committees and was recognized by her local community for her hard work in the successful passage of two school bonds.  Nate studied Communications at the University of Utah.

Mary Vollmer is a parent and a registrar at American Falls High School in the American Falls School District.

Debbie Critchfield is the Cassia County School Board Chairman.  She has served on the school board for the last 10 years and was a member of the Idaho School Boards Association Executive Board.  She holds a Political Science Degree from Brigham Young University.

Melinda Smyser is a school board member in the Parma School District where she has served for 13 years.  She is also an educator and counselor of over 25 years.  Smyser is a current state senator.  She holds a Masters Degree in Education from the College of Idaho.

Wendy Horman is a school board member in the Bonneville School District.  She is a mother of five and the former president of the Idaho School Boards Association.

Heidi Rogers is the executive director of the Northwest Council for Computer Education and past president of the International Society for Technology in Education.  She holds a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Oklahoma State University.

Cliff Green is the regional vice president for Insight Schools and a former district technology coordinator and business education teacher.  Green previously chaired the Boise State University College of Education Advancement Committee and was the gubernatorial appointment to the Idaho Council for Technology in Learning.  He holds a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University.

Marne Curtis is a fourth grade teacher at Gooding Elementary School in the Gooding School District.  She recently received her Masters of Educational Technology from Boise State University.

Aaron McKinnon is a physical science teacher at South Junior High in the Boise School District and online for Idaho Digital Learning Academy.  McKinnon also serves as the technology coordinator at his school.  He is the 2009 Milken Idaho Educator of the Year and holds a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University.

Wendy Jaquet is an Idaho State Representative from Ketchum.  She serves on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee and the IEN Program Advisory Committee.  Jaquet served as the House Minority Leader from 1998-2008.

Sherri Wood is the Idaho Education Association’s appointment to the task force and the current president of the IEA.  Wood is a former teacher in the Caldwell School District.

Brad Patzer is an online principal at Idaho Digital Learning Academy and the Northwest Professional Educators’ appointment to the task force.  He is the 2003 Milken National Educator of the Year and a member of iNACOL, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning.  He holds a Masters Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Idaho.

George Boland is the superintendent of the Idaho Falls School District and the Idaho Association of School Administrators’ appointment to the task force.  Boland currently serves as the Idaho Digital Learning Academy Board Chair and holds an Education Specialist Degree from the University of Idaho.

Brent Lloyd is the president and CEO of Futura Corporation and the Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence’s appointment to the task force.  Lloyd also currently serves on as the Saint Alphonsus Health System Chair.  He holds a J.D. degree from the University of Idaho.

Mike Caldwell is the director of academics at Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA), and IDLA’s appointment to the task force.  Caldwell has ten years teaching experience in a traditional high school combined with over eight years experience in eLearning.  He holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Idaho.

Brian Duncan is the Minidoka County School Board Chair and the Idaho School Board Association’s appointment to the task force.  Duncan is the manager of Evans Grain and Evans Mineral and Nutrition in Heyburn.  He also served as president of the Idaho School Boards Association and holds a degree in Sociology from Weber State University.

Representative Bob Nonini from Coeur d’Alene and Representative Reed DeMordaunt from Eagle have been appointed from the Idaho House of Representatives.  Nonini serves as the House Education Chair.  DeMordaunt is also a member of the House Education Committee.

Senator John Goedde from Coeur d’Alene and Senator Chuck Winder from Boise have been appointed from the Idaho State Senate.  Goedde serves as the Senate Education Chair.  Winder is also a member of the Senate Education Committee.

Christine Donnell is the former superintendent of Joint School District No. 2 (Meridian). She retired in 2004 after spending 34 years in the district as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. She currently serves as executive director of the Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence. Donnell has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Boise State University, a Masters in School Administration from the College of Idaho and a Specialist Degree from the University of Idaho.

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