Our TeamGet to know us.
Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice, where she works with schools and districts from across the United States and around the world to re-envision their learning cultures and communities. She also consults with governments, school districts and non-profits that are integrating online communities and networks into their professional learning initiatives, including the US Department of Education’s Future Ready Leaders initiative; Alberta, Canada Initiative for School Improvement’s (AISI) online community of practice; and Victoria, Australia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s literacy coach community. Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics of 21st Century reform, teacher and educational leadership, community building, and educational issues impacting marginalized populations such as the homeless.
She is an advisor to the U.S. Department of Education’s Connected Educators Initiative and a leader in the annual worldwide Connected Educator Month. She currently serves on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors and The National Science Foundation’s CS10K Board. Sheryl also served on the New Media Consortium’s 2012 Horizon.K12 Report Advisory Board and their 2013 Horizon Higher Education Report Advisory Board.
Sheryl lives near the Virginia shore and spends her spare time playing on the water with her four children, her grandsons Luke, Logan, Levi and Tanner and a trio of dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.
Lani Ritter Hall
Lani is Community Leader for Powerful Learning Practice. She also serves as the “Newbie Maven”, helping along and nurturing newbies to the PLP experience, as well as facilitator for the Connected Coaches. Lani brings more than 35 years of teaching experiences in urban, sub urban, and independent schools at the middle/secondary level in the U.S and Canada to this work. A national board certified teacher, she and her students began collaborating globally in the late 1980’s. Lani has created and facilitated professional development around technology infusion into learning for over twenty years and served in a leadership role for the K12Online Conference for 2 years. She is co-author of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age.
Christen is the Director of eLearning for Powerful Learning Practice. After earning her MEd. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Virginia, she began her career as a K-5 Computer Resource Teacher. She enjoyed collaborating with staff and creating technology lessons that engaged students, but caught “the bug” for presenting to educators on a national level. For eleven years, Christen trained educators both face-to-face and virtually with Verizon Thinkfinity. She also served as their Distance Learning Coordinator and Vice President of Professional Development. Christen has enjoyed working with Powerful Learning Practice since 2011 and continuing her work with educators, parents and students alike.
Jennifer Bloomingdale graduated from the College of St. Rose in 2006 with a Bachelors in Childhood Education. In 2011 she completed her Masters in Educational Technology and became a New York State certified Educational Technology Specialist. Jennifer has four years of elementary teaching experience, which includes implementing a 1:1 netbook initiative. It was through her teaching experience and masters program that Jennifer developed a passion for integrating technology and assisting others in doing so. She has been an eCourse facilitator at Powerful Learning Practice for three years and is a Google For Education Certified Trainer. You can follow Jennifer’s blog here.
Kathy Cassidy has been teaching for more than 20 years and is currently a grade one teacher in Moose Jaw, SK, Canada. Since 2005, her classroom has been connecting with the world through a classroom blog, student blogs, Skype, Twitter and other means. Outside of school, Kathy speaks internationally and maintains a professional blog. Her first book is Connected From the Start: Global Learning in the Primary Grades. Kathy has won several awards, including the Canadian Innovative Teacher Award from Microsoft, the Canadian Regional Award for Reading and Technology from the ILA and the Kay L. Bitter Award from ISTE. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator.
Tom has been teaching grades 4, 5, and 6 for more than ten years. He currently teaches grade 5 in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Tom is passionate about real education transformation. He foresees a future where learning is truly student-driven, and creativity is valued as much as are literacy and numeracy. Tom’s interest in definitions of masculinity dates back to his childhood, when, as a competitive swimmer (and NOT a hockey player… in Canada) he was bullied by his hockey playing peers. The bullying stopped when his peers discovered how good a swimmer he was, but that change only proved what he already knew: to “be a man” in his peer group meant either playing hockey or being the best at something else. These experiences have framed Tom’s philosophies on how to educate boys, and his course, “The Compassionate Male Educator,” is his means of sharing these things with the world. Follow Tom’s blog at The Reason I Do This.
Amber is Marketing Director for Powerful Learning Practice. Her 10+ years experience includes graphic design, web design, web development, social media marketing, content strategy, content creation, and more. Amber has worked with clients from national touring bands to bestselling authors to Fortune 500 companies, and specializes in empowering small businesses and entrepreneurs to take control of their web presence and make their businesses shine. Amber has a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Old Dominion University and is extensively self-taught through the university of “Googling it and figuring it out”. You can find her on Instagram or building a yoga community for all bodies at Body Positive Yoga. When she’s not writing, designing, and building a better internet, you can find her practicing & teaching yoga, knitting or quilting, reading, or hiking in the Virginia mountains with her husband and Boston terrier.