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2018 Featured Speakers



Featured Speaker | Leslie Fisher

Leslie Fisher's interest in technology began while studying music at the University of Southern California. She quickly realized the value of utilizing computers for music mixing and recording. She grabbed her 300 baud modem, jumped on the Internet (before anyone really called it the internet) and started looking for music resources. She soon realized she was spending more time discovering technology than playing music so she changed her major and tried to figure out what geeky thing she could do for the rest of her life. After graduating from USC with a Business and Marketing degree in 1989 and a quick stint as a Trainer, Leslie joined Apple Computer in 1992. When the Internet took off in 1994, Leslie was one of the first Apple employees assigned to study Internet growth and implementation. In 1997, Leslie was roadkill on Apple's road to recovery and part of their massive lay off. Leslie planned to spend most of her huge severance package golfing and waiting a few months to look for a job. The day after her layoff, her phone began to ring with Apple customers requesting consulting, training and presentation services. Before she could say fore, Fisher Technologies Inc. was created to help educators with their technology implementations and decisions. Fisher Technologies Inc. is now a worldwide company (meaning one employee named Leslie gets to travel the world teaching) specializing in presenting emerging and practical technology solutions to educators all over the world. 

Sessions : All About The Rocketbook  November 14, 2018 10-10:15 AM
                 Apps, Tips, Websites and Gadgets for the Busy Administrator 
November 14, 2018 11-11:45 AM

Featured Speakers: Jack O'Connell | Barrett Snyder | Nick Romley

Former State Superintendent Jack O'Connell brings decades of public service and expertise in the K-12 education sector. During his two terms as State Superintendent of Public Instruction and twenty years as both a state Senator and Assembly Member, Jack focused on closing the achievement gap and preparing students for a rapidly changing global economy by holding high standards for all students.  As a former high school teacher and author of the legislation creating the California High School Exit Exam, he led a comprehensive effort to increase rigor and improve student achievement in California high schools.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton and a secondary teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach.







Barrett Snider has spent nearly two decades working in California politics  and is a founding partner of Capitol Advisors Group, where he manages the daily government relations operations of the firm. His diverse experience in both legislative advocacy and political campaigns provides clients with valuable industry expertise and strategic political consulting.  

He is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with degrees in Political Science & Communications.





Nick Romley has been working in government relations 
on behalf of public schools for nearly a decade. Mr. Romley 
supports CETPA by tracking legislation, analyzing bills, 
monitoring various committee hearings and State Board of 
Education and California Department of Education meetings.  
A native of California, Mr. Romley holds a Bachelor of Arts in 
Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from the University of California, Davis.


Session: Key Policy Debates Affecting Technology in Schools November 13, 2018 4-5:45 PM




Featured Speaker l  Dr. Tom Ryan

Tom Ryan is an education professional with 38+ years of experience and expertise in educational leadership.  He works with schools leadership on strategic planning and leadership, designing digital learning environments, technology infrastructure reviews, and the shift to digital tools.  He currently serves at the Chief Information and Strategy Officer for the Santa Fe Public Schools in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Dr. Ryan has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.  He has spent 14 years as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for large school systems in New Mexico.  He has lead teams of 100+ employees, administering multi-million dollar budgets and projects. He is engaged in leadership activities in several state and national organizations including Chairmen of the Board for the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN), iNACOL, ISTE, and the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS).  Work with the CGCS includes: large school district IT reviews of infrastructure, strategic planning, instructional technology, and digital transformation efforts.  Dr. Ryan presents at several state and national conferences throughout the year.


Sessions: The Shift to Digital in Public Education November 16, 2018 8-8:45 AM
                   Leading Effective Change with Digital Initiatives November 16, 2018 9-9:45 AM


Featured Speaker l Mike Lawrence

Over the last twenty-five years, Mike Lawrence has been an award-winning teacher, administrator and non-profit educational leader. He served as CEO of CUE (, helping the nonprofit grow fivefold in 12 years, served two terms on the ISTE board, and also served as Director of the California Student Media Festival ( for a decade. He co-founded the Google Certified Teacher (now Innovator) and Leading Edge Certification programs, has consulted and keynoted for educational institutions as Chief Maverick of Maverick Learning, most notably supporting the development of UNESCO Best Practices in Mobile Learning Project, ISTE Certification and Rocket Ready Professional Learning. He serves as an advisory board member for SXSWedu and the California Emerging Technology Fund and others. He is proud to support educators worldwide in his current role as Senior Director of Educator Engagement at PowerSchool.



Session: Who Wants to be An Eduinnovator  November 14, 2018 3-3:45 PM

Featured Speaker | Ross Lemke

Ross Lemke serves as the Manager for the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) with over 10 years of experience providing TA around education data.   He helps state and local education agencies, schools, districts and postsecondary institutions develop an understanding of FERPA, privacy, and data security.  He provides timely support through the PTAC helpdesk, on-site technical assistance visits and development of technical guidance documents and live webinars.  Prior to his work with PTAC, Ross has provided TA around numerous U.S. Department of Education data collections including EDFacts, Civil Rights Data Collection and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Session: So you think you know FERPA? A.K.A FERPA 201 November 15, 2018

9-9:45 AM

Featured Speaker | David Cumbow

David Cumbow is a Systems Engineering Manager with Palo Alto Networks. Prior to his position there, David spent thirteen years in the public sector working for the third largest K-12 school district in Riverside County. Having worked jobs from Database Administration to Virtualization, David found a passion for Networking and Security. With eight years in the Security field, David has lead many K-12 Districts throughout California to a better security posture through his guidance and peer-to-peer consulting. In his current role, David is able to
 provide his knowledge and guidance to his team and directly to State Government, Local Government and Education customers throughout the Southwestern US. As a leader in the Security market, Palo Alto Networks can provide the tools needed to improve an organization's security posture with limited manpower and limited budget. David has implemented these tools to improve his previous organizations' security posture and has helped many organizations do the same.

Session: From K-12 to SE: What I've Learned (Best Practices) November 13, 2018 3-3:45 PM


Featured Speakers | Heidi Espindola, Terri Griffin and Peter Skibitzki

Heidi Espindola, M.Ed. / B.S. Math & Physics, is the STEM Coordinator at the Placer County Office of Education. She coordinates the Placer County STEM Girls days, connecting female middle school students with female industry professionals in the region for a day of hands on learning. In addition, she works with districts, schools and teachers to facilitate strategic planning, professional learning, coaching and lesson study in all areas of STEM. Heidi is focused on building capacity and improving service to students through meaningful collaboration at all levels and across organizations; she runs several NICs and networks of STEM district coordinators / TOSAs which are using continuous improvement tools to address a selected area of focus. Previously, Heidi taught middle school and high school mathematics and engineering in diverse student populations with high percentages of SED and SWD.


Terri Griffin, B.S. in Applied Management, is a Career Specialist with Placer County Office of Education. She is deeply committed to serving the needs of students and optimizing student success. Terri works to establish meaningful partnerships between industry partners, school districts and the community college system. Her current focus is to work on cross-functional teams to develop work-based learning projects that support high school curriculum.



Peter Skibitzki currently serves as the Director of Information Technology for the Placer County Office of Education (PCOE). He has over 25 years of experience in the computer field directly supporting K-12 education. Peter is responsible for managing technical efforts and customer service for both educational programs and business functionality at PCOE. He is actively involved in the decision-making processes surrounding technology and its use for enhancing the educational environment for PCOE and the 18 districts that it serves. Peter earned a B.A. in History from CSU Sacramento. He was a member of CETPA's first graduating CTO Mentor Class in 2007. Peter has served as an instructor and mentor for the program since 2009.  Heis the currently the Treasurer for the CETPA Board of Directors and served as Board President in 2015. ACSA Region 2 recognized Peter as their Technology Administrator of the Year in 2015.

Session: STEM Girls Day - Motivating Female Students for Increased STEM Involvement November 15, 2018 8-8:45 AM
 Nick Romley
 Nick Romley