See below for candidate statements and links to their résumés. The voting window is from April 18 to May 2, 2022. Members, please check your email for an invitation to vote. Elected officials begin their duties July 1, 2022.
Neil Arnett (résumé)
I am deeply honored and excited to be considered for the office of Vice President for the KySTE Organization. My name is Neil Arnett, this is my 20th year serving the teachers and students of Kentucky in the area of educational technology. Serving since 2013 as District Technology Coordinator for Pikeville Independent Schools. Most recently in the summer of 2018 I was elected President of the East Region Association of Technology Coordinators by our 15 member school districts and organize several technical focused events for our incredible technical team members across the state.
It all began as a Magoffin County STLP student leader where I earned the KATC Mary Grace Jaeger Scholarship & served KTLC as an STLP Junior Engineer. While continuing my service as a Network Technician to Magoffin County Schools I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems at Morehead State University. At which point I joined the Pikeville Independent School District as Technical Support Manager and STLP Coordinator in 2008. Completing a Master's degree in Information Systems & Educational Leadership in 2011. I have spent summers traveling through 16+ school districts, from Pikeville to Paducah, training teachers in multimedia project-based learning.
As our KySTE mission states, it is also my firm belief that technology infused as an integral part of the educational process is the key to leveling the playing field for our children to compete on a global stage. I have witnessed this daily serving alongside our great educators and having traveled the length and width of our Commonwealth equipping thousands more educators; ensuring our children have the tools to succeed. It is with great enthusiasm that I accept this nomination to do my part in advancing the mission of the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education!
Candidate has chosen to withdraw his nomination from the election.
Susan Vincentz (résumé)
With previous KySTE Board experience in the positions of Parliamentarian, Vice President, President, and Past President I feel that I would bring experience and up to date knowledge to the position of Communications Officer. I have a vast knowledge of web tools, social media, and marketing/promotional experience to bring to the table from using this skills in the classroom and tech coaching positions as well as serving as Communications Director for my church. In that role I am in charge of maintaining the church website and social media accounts and communicating with people to carry out promotion of events.
I have been a Technology Integration Specialist since 2007 and taught in the classroom and library media center prior to that. I served on the KySTE Board from 2010 to 2018 and took a few years off. I am excited to have another opportunity to serve the educators in Kentucky through KySTE. In addition to my TIS position at Christian Academy School System in Louisville, I am also a Shake Up Learning Trainer and serve as the cohost of The Ask The Tech Coach Podcast.
Chris Walsh (résumé)
Hello, my name is Chris Walsh and I am in my third year serving as the CIO for Campbell County Schools located in Region 4. I have previously served as a classroom teacher, STC, and TRT(DLC). In addition I served as a board member on the ISTE Technology Coordinators PLN from 2017-2020. I am seeking to serve in the position of Communication Officer so that I may become more involved and serve the membership of KySTE.
Throughout my career I have always sought out leadership opportunities with the goal of working together as a team to move the organization forward in a positive way. As the Communication Officer I will strive to keep our current members abreast of news and events related to KySTE using new and creative strategies. I will work with the board to continue to grow, develop and promote our organization to drive membership growth and continue to produce meaningful and impactful events year after year. Thank you for considering me!
Matthew Winkler (résumé)
Greetings, thanks for checking out why I’m a good fit for KySTE Communications Officer. I’ve been involved in P-12 education for over 16 years now. Previously I was the Network Administrator at Fort Thomas Independent Schools. While in Fort Thomas, I had the privilege of being involved or leadings projects around phone system replacement, network upgrades, wireless upgrades, 1:1 digital conversion, construction/renovations, and many other technology/instructional projects; all which required excellent communication. Now in my new role as the DTC at Kenton County, I am excited about the opportunities to move Kenton County into the 1:1 space. Quickly in my time at Kenton County, I worked to revise the 1:1 approach speeding up the adoption process, centralized the work order system, planned a full phone system replacement, began a wireless refresh, consulted on 7 building construction projects, and many other technology/instructional technology projects.
My communication skills are a strong and valued attribute in my leadership of Technology at Kenton County. I have presented several times regionally and even multiple times at the national level. Additionally, my volunteer experience with multiple organizations completing website development, social media presence, and communication demonstrates my skill set beyond P-12.
My interest and involvement in KySTE has been ongoing for 16+ years as an attendee and presenter. I feel it’s the right time to give back to P-12 through KySTE because of the experiences KySTE has give me through my education career. The Communication Officer fits me well as my networking connections stretch across the Commonwealth and I will be able to engage and communicate effectively growing the KySTE membership. Nikkol Bauer had been an amazing contributor to the success of KySTE and I am excited about the opportunity to follow in her footsteps. I kindly request that you think of me when selecting the next Communication Officer for KySTE.
David Lucas (Unopposed Incumbent -- résumé)
I was elected in 2014 to be on the KySTE Board as the KySTE Outreach Coordinator. Since then the Outreach Committee and I have worked very hard to improve the whole process, so that more schools will have a chance at being able to receive a KySTE Outreach Grant by implementing the “Second Chance” application for a few years. Then just this past application process we moved it completely to be an online application using Google Forms.
The reason in which I am pursuing the nomination as the KySTE Outreach Coordinator is largely due to my concern for the continuation of technology in education. Technology was once considered the way of the future. We have now reached the future, and must incorporate different methods into every classroom. Students must learn the proper uses of today’s advancements. Not only will technology keep students engaged, it is a means of reaching the once unreachable. These are just a few of the reasons I would like to represent the state as the KySTE Outreach Coordinator for two more years.
Estill Frodge (résumé)
I have been involved with KYSTE for the last 6 years. Although I have been in IT for years, I got my first start in education at St. Bernard Catholic School 6 years ago. I was able to develop a rigorous computer science curriculum for my K-8 classes and also serve as the Director of Technology. During this time I was able to start a robotics club where the students successfully competed in the Wonder League Robotics Competition. I also successfully started a 3D printing club so that the students could design their own prints and then sell them in our “store”. I have since moved into the role of Technology Director at Mercy Academy, the nation’s first all-girls accredited STEM school.
Over the past few years we have seen schools acquire multiple technologies to help close the gap in the classroom. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to assist schools on this journey that we all are on. Thank you for the nomination and opportunity to serve.
Mercedes McCain (résumé)
My name is Mercedes McCain and like most educators I am a life long learner! Over the last two years I have fallen in love with the technology side of education. I am looking to become more involved and grow professionally in this role.
I have been an educator for over six years now and I currently serve as one of our district's digital learning coaches. My education consists of an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a Master's degree in Instructional Systems Design with a certificate in Distance Education. I am highly organized and extremely self motivated. If chosen, I know I could represent the KySTE board strongly and effectively.
Matt Kresslein (résumé)
My name is Matt Kresslein and I proudly serve Warren County Schools as a Digital Learning Coach. My experiences in the roles of Music Teacher, Technology Education Teacher and Digital Learning Coach have allowed me to live out my WHY….providing access and opportunities for students. It would be an honor to collaborate with EdTech leaders across the state to advocate for educational technology initiatives and support districts with digital literacy and technology innovation across the state of Kentucky!
Region 2 Representative
Jerrod Graybeal (Incumbent -- résumé)
Hello KySTE members, My name is Jerrod Graybeal and I am honored to be the Region 2 nominee and current representative. This past conference was one of many I attended as a member but the first in person KySTE conference I was able to help facilitate as a board member. I currently serve as the CIO for the Grayson County school district where I have championed education technology for the past twenty-five years. I have worked in numerous roles as an advocate for promoting educational technology by contributing my expertise to multiple projects to promote the continued improvement of using technology in not only my home district, but throughout the state of Kentucky. With your support I would welcome the opportunity to continue to promote the mission of KySTE in Region 2 by promoting technology as an integral part of the educational process through advocacy and leadership, promoting educational excellence and supporting technology-based innovation.
As a technology enthusiast I have championed education technology for the past twenty-five years in multiple roles working in public education. I have been CIO for Grayson County School District for the past eleven years. I have enjoyed four of those eleven years as president of our regional technology leader organization and two as the Region 2 KySTE Board Representative. With your support I would welcome the opportunity to continue to represent our region as the Region 2 KySTE representative.
Region 4 Representative
My personal mission, that guides my work, includes the desire to be a life-long learner by remaining curious, practicing creativity, sharing my learning and collaborating to improve outcomes for others. I believe that by taking on a role as the KySTE representative for Region 4, it would not only align to my mission and allow me the opportunity to grow and learn from others in the state and region and to share what I have learned, but it would allow me to stretch in a leadership capacity that would ultimately serve those I work for -students and teachers.
I appreciate the opportunity and the nomination to participate and would love the chance to work for the people of Region 4.
Laura Deters (résumé)
In the past five years, I have come to realize that in order to be successful with educational technology, you need a robust support system. KySTE has developed that support system for us. I want to help ensure that KySTE continues to grow to meet our needs with the ever changing landscape of technology.
If elected, I would be excited to become a part of this team to continue to develop future opportunities for learning, networking and discovery.
Kevin Fugate (résumé)
I'm always up for the challenge of learning new things. I was happily surprised by the nomination and will gladly do my best to serve my region, and the state, well. This is my 21st year in education, mostly coming from the classroom and school administration. I've taught everything from intermediate math to special education. Outside of my work as director of technology, the two years as principal at Brooks Elementary have been the most rewarding where my admin team and I took them to be recognized as one of the top schools for growth in 2019. I'm now in my second year as director of technology for Bullitt County Public Schools and love everything I do. As I mentioned before, I love a good challenge and although this has sometimes had its challenges, it's been extremely rewarding to know that the decisions I make directly affect students every single day. I have a wonderful team of very skilled and knowledgeable staff that support our schools very effectively day in and day out.
Robin Stephenson (résumé)
As a prospective Region 4 KySTE Representative, I have been fervidly compelled to submit my application and resume for your review. As a successful leader in the Carroll County School District, I have been afforded a variety of operational, planning, and administrative experiences and opportunities. While serving Carroll County Schools, I have exhibited a strong work ethic, innovative thinking, and proven to be a motivated, intuitive, and dedicated individual.
Serving as Director of Technology has allowed me to passionately promote responsible technology usage for increasing exposure to digital resources, exploring digital assessment tools, and assisting with acquisition of digital citizenship skills for safely and effectively communicating and collaborating with others--a critical component for thriving in the 21st Century workplace. I am prepared to successfully contribute to KySTE's goals and objectives in this role, and would appreciate your consideration as Region 4 KySTE Representative.
Region 6 Representative
Breanna Sizemore (résumé)
I am very passionate about technology and how it helps not just the students, but also helps teachers in and out of the classroom. I enjoy helping other teachers in my building grow and learn something new that is beneficial to them in the classroom and that they start to use instead of the "old school" way of teaching. I have learned that even though technology is literally everywhere, that new teachers and even students still know only the basics sometimes and that we can't just assume they know.
We have to create an environment that encourages and pushes students and teachers to step outside the box and learn more than just the basics so that maybe one day they are the leader in the latest and greatest technology revolution.
Donna Morris (résumé)
I have been nominated by a fellow KYSTE member that has believes I have the skill set necessary to serve as the Region 6 Representative, which is an honor in itself. Some of my signature talents are: relator, communication, significance, and individualization. I like to be in the know of what new things are happening with education in the state of Kentucky. I have experienced this with my work on the Kentucky Association of School Librarians board and look forward to meeting new faces to share information with the "Technology World" as I have in the Central District of KASL. The "Technology World" is not foreign to me, I have been a member of KYSTE for several years. I've presented at the conference in recent years. STLP is a passion of mine and promote it any time I have a chance.
With 23 years of teaching experience, I currently serve as library media specialist at Daniel Boone Elementary(Madison Co. Schools) in Richmond, KY. Prior to working at Daniel Boone, I taught at Kirksville Elementary (MCS), and Berea Community Elementary (Berea Independent). Before becoming a school librarian, I taught second grade and enjoyed sponsoring the academic team. I am also the sponsor of the STLP at DB and serve as the School Technology Coordinator. I am a current member of ALA/AASL/KASL/CKASL and KYSTE. In 2020, I was awarded the AASL Intellectual Freedom Award, in 2018 the Kentucky Intellectual Freedom Award, and now serve on the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee. I've served in several roles on the KASL board through the years, and currently serves as the Intellectual Freedom Chair. I has served CKASL twice as president, 2011-2013, 2019-2021. On the personal side, I am married to Daryn of 16 years. We have a daughter, Sara (8th grade) and a son, Jackson (5th grade), plus two dogs, Molly and Sparkles.
Rhonda Thompson (Appointed Incumbent -- résumé)
My name is Rhonda Thompson and I am the current District Technology Coordinator for Jackson County Public Schools. I am also the current KySTE Board Region 6 Representative and would like to continue serving on the board in this capacity.
I have been with Jackson County Public Schools for 28 years and have been an instructional assistant, computer lab attendant, business/computer teacher, technology resource teacher, and the district technology coordinator. I have also served as the secretary and president of the South Central Kentucky Association of Technology Coordinators (SKATC). Over the years I have presented at the KySTE conference several times and have provided training (virtually and in-person) across Region 6. I believe that I will be an asset to the KySTE board and will represent Region 6 to the best of my ability.
Region 8 Representative
Nathan Lyttle (résumé)
KYSTE has been a great experience in my time as a digital learning coach. I love being involved and want to go a little deeper with KYSTE, but I also see this as an opportunity to be a voice for the students and staff in my district and region.
I think I would bring a lot to the table as a representative. I am finishing up my fourth year as a teacher after switching my career path from being an executive producer at WYMT. I climbed the ranks at WYMT fairly quickly even though I did not have a background in television. What helped me was leveraging technology and social media to do things we weren’t doing at the time. After switching careers, I brought that same attitude to the table at Perry County Central and we’ve done some special things. We have a broadcast program that rivals anything else in the state, our STLP students are consistently reaching semifinalist level statewide and our transition to digital/blended learning went remarkably well. I would like to bring that same attitude to the KYSTE Board.
Denise Isaac (résumé)
Thank you for the opportunity to be nominated as Region 8 KYSTE Representative. I am Shella "Denise" Isaac from Floyd County, in the hills of Eastern KY. I am a proud educator of 24 years. For the first ten years, I was a middle school teacher. In the following ten years, I served as a principal. For the last four years, I have held the role of Chief Information Officer and Director of Federal Programs for the district. Throughout my roles, I have developed a passion for STEAM education and providing opportunities to grow tech leaders in our region. As a KYSTE representative, I will promote and seek opportunities for Region 8 to bring STEAM and tech education equity to all districts and classrooms. I will also collaborate with other regions across the state to bring new ideas and opportunities to our area.
As Chief Information Officer in our district, I get to enthusiastically bring STEAM education to all students across the district. I am proud to lead the pathway creation at the School of Innovation in Floyd County for STEM education and career opportunities, grades 9-12. Our district is also a co-recipient of an NSF grant to establish and implement a computational thinking pathway in grades K-8. It is through this work that technology comes to life and becomes a reality for our students! Our department also leads the implementation and exposure of STEM with our own STEM Bus to create equality for STEAM in all eleven schools in our district.
I am the mother of two beautiful young ladies who keep me busy in my spare time! My oldest is 26 years old and in her last semester of medical school at the University of Kentucky. She has been matched with the University of Louisville in OBGYN for her residency. My youngest daughter is 23 years old and lives in Atlanta, GA. With one quarter to go, she graduates from Life University with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. My husband and I can see the end of supporting many semesters of college, sorority formals, spring break trips, football tailgates, etc. This year will also be our 30th wedding anniversary. I have embraced my passion for STEAM/ EdTech with the busy life I have grown to love! I would be honored to represent Region 8.