The 2009 PLATE Conference is being presented by the second year students of the Master of Arts in Educational Technology program through Michigan State University.  We invite you to learn a bit more about each of us by reading our brief biographies, which are found below. 

Shaza Ahmed

Position: IT Director ( Helping Teachers from Grade 3 to 6 )
Employer: Khartoum International Community School - Khartoum, Sudan
Hometown: Khartoum, Sudan
Technology Background: Eight years ago, Shaza graduated from Computer Man College with a degree in Computer Engineering.  Over the past three years, She has worked for Khartoum International Community School as the school's network manager.

Jonathan Bennett

Position: High school video, photography, and computer animation.
Employer: Zama High School - Camp Zama, Japan
Hometown: Orange Park, FL
Technology Background: After getting sick and tired of teaching English, Jon got certified in computer science. Since then, he has taught over two dozen different technology courses ranging from word processing to robotics, often simultaneously.

Kristin Bergeron

Position: 10th Grade Biology
Employer: Holt, Michigan
Hometown: Pinconning, MI
Technology Background: Kristin did not have much knowledge in technology until last year; it was actually a weakness she had and wanted to fix. When Kristin heard about this program, she knew it would be perfect for her because she wanted to become more proficient with technology.

Rawad Bou Hamdan

Position: Math Grade 7 and Grade 8
Employer: Ibn Khuldoon National School- Issa town, Bahrain
Hometown: Lebanon
Technology Background: During Rawad's 5 years of teaching he has taught Math and Information Technology separately, but since beginning the masters program in education technology, he is able to integrate both subjects together. Rawad is hoping that by doing this, students will have a better understanding and be more engaged in the content.

Lauren Cortesi

Position: 7th and 8th grade Social Studies and Language Arts
Employer: Stone Academy - Chicago, IL
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Technology Background: Lauren Cortesi loves bringing new and creative ideas about technology back to her students and peers at the beginning of each school year, while continuing to strive to meet the challenges of integrating technology into an urban school.

Jacquie Courtney

Position: K-5 ICT (+ some Learning Support)
St. John's International School - Waterloo, Belgium
Hometown: Born in London but lived in Belgium for the last 31 years.
Technology Background:
Jacquie is currently working with another teacher in Elementary ICT in a new post that was created this February to provide additional staff training and technology guidance. The ultimate aim is to develop a co-ordinated school-wide ICT policy/curriculum.

Michelle Cox

Position: Elementary Art
Employer: Bedford North Lawrence School District - Bedford, Indiana
Hometown: Bloomington, IN
Technology Background: In her first year of teaching, Michelle was fortunate enough to have SMART boards and curriculum software in all of her classrooms. She also participated on the Educational Hardware Purchase Committee for the district's new computers and equipment.

Kelley Cunningham

Position: Grades 9 - 12, Mathematics
Vilseck High School - Rose Barracks, Germany
Austin, Texas
Technology Background: Over the past 20 years, the way Kelley has taught math has changed a great deal.  Graphing calculators were just making their appearance when she began teaching and she was resistant to using them until she realized that they could enhance learning and not disrupt it.  Kelley's personal growth plan for the last 7 years has been to increase her knowledge of technology as it applies to mathematics. 

Dean Halverson

Position: Grades 10-12 Communication Technology, Information Processing, Financial Management
Employer: Frank Maddock High School - Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada
Hometown: Olds, Alberta, Canada
Technology Background: Dean is the Head of the Technology Department at Frank Maddock High School. This September, he will be starting up a Broadcasting Class with all the bells and whistles one could dream of.

Johnny Hogan

Position: Physics and General Science, Grades 7-12
Employer: Renaissance College - Hong Kong
Hometown: Agawam, MA
Technology Background:  Although having coached throughout his teaching career, John also recently accepted an offer to be a head of house at his school, RCHK, for the upcoming academic year.  This position will allow him to become more involved in school activities as a whole and he will utilize a variety of technology based skills in order to organize activities and communicate with students.  He looks to further develop the science curriculum with the help of various technologies such as vodcasting and social networking.

Camilla Hudson

Position: 9-12 Art and Family and Consumer Science..formerly known as Home Economics.
Employer: US Army Headquarters School - Zama, Japan.
Hometown: Portales, New Mexico
Technology Background: If it doesn't apply to art, Camilla feels she knows little about technology. 

Patty Kolinski

Position: 4th Grade
Employer: Amerman Elementary - Northville, MI
Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI
Technology Background: Patty has only been working with technology for a couple of years, but has already learned many ways to integrate technology into her classroom from collaborating with colleagues. Last year, she had a students create a digital photo story to present the class trip to the Lansing State Capital.  She is hoping to do more of these types of projects with her class in the future! 

Eliza Mantyh

Position: Elementary Art
Employer: American School of the Hague - the Netherlands
Hometown: Random Lake, Wisconsin
Technology Background: Eliza has taught art at various grade levels, from preK to adult education. At the American School of the Hague, she recently worked on creating a new schedule for the elementary school. In the classroom, she is working on using technology as a tool for assessment, advocacy, and parent communication.

Alfred McDonnell


Position: Middle School Math and Science
Employer: Taejon Christian International School - Daejeon, South Korea
Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas
Technology Background: Alfred has always been interested in technology though he had not studied it in earnest until the last few years.  He is most interested in how to apply technology for student learning and assessment along with teacher professional development.

Ashley Priem

Position: 4th Grade All Subjects including computers
Star International Academy - Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Hometown:  Bay City, Michigan
Technology Background: Ashley has done technology grant writing through the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning.  She was also a member of the MI-Champions "Technology Integration Champions" in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.  She participates as a Technology Committee Member and is the web designer for 4th grade team.

Rehab Ragab

Position: EFL to G10 & 11
Employer: The Institute of Applied Technology - Dubai, UAE.
Hometown: Alexandria, Egypt. 
Technology Background: Rehab has been teaching English as a foreign language for nine years. When she first joined IAT, she was impressed with the amount of technology available at the school. She has been employing technology successfully to improve her students’ learning since 2006. Rehab has been involved in many PD activities with her school and as TESOL Arabia Organization representative in Dubai. She has a BA in Education, CELTA certificate an IADCS diploma.

Jason Shulha

Position: Grade 9 English and Grade 11 English Elective  Art Science and Literature
Robert College - Istanbul Turkey
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Technology Background:
Jason is the advocate and the skeptic.  He uses his computer every day, but feels naked without a pen.

Sean Marie Sweeney

Position: 6th Grade Science and Language Arts
Employer: Zionsville Middle School - Zionsville, Indiana
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Technology Background: Sean graduated from Indiana University with a degree in elementary education and computer education.  She has worked as the web developer for her school for the past six years and enjoys implementing technology into her classroom.  This past year she successfully piloted a one-to-one program in her classroom, which has result in an implementation in all 6th and 7th grade classes.