Plum School District chooses interim technology director
Chris Burkey has done just about every job in the Plum School District technology department.
Burkey, 34, was hired six years ago and has moved up from a position on the help desk to recently being appointed interim director.
“I worked my way up as I pursued my education,” said Burkey, of Indiana, Pa.
“It became clear to me that I thoroughly enjoyed being part of a school-district technology team and that I would like to have a bigger hand in the research and development of new programs and services to help the department grow.”
The Plum School Board appointed Burkey, previously systems administrator in the district's technology department, to the director position on May 6.
Burkey's annual salary was $42,196, and his new salary is $62,000, retroactive to May 1.
Burkey replaces district technology director Chris Davis, whose last day is May 30.
Davis accepted a position as chief technology officer at the University of Central Arkansas.
Plum Superintendent Timothy Glasspool said the interim position is for six months or until Nov. 30, after which a decision on the permanent position is expected to be made.
Burkey said he is interested in the permanent position.
District officials did not consider outside candidates for the interim post.
“The consensus on the (school) board was to keep it (the hiring) in house,” said Joe Tommarello, the board's vice president.
Glasspool praised Burkey's work.
“We believe at this time the best decision was to remain with Chris Burkey,” Glasspool said. “He has been a loyal employee.”
Burkey said he looks forward to overseeing implementation of the district's new information system.
The Sapphire Systems Inc. software is intended to consolidate student data systems that have information on grades, student health, management of special-education students and discipline management into one centralized system.
Burkey plans to continue technology upgrades.
“I want to continue to build on my professional relationships within the district and to develop and roll out some hardware and equipment updates throughout the district,” Burkey said.
The board voted to create a technology-integrator position for the 2014-15 school year.
The duties include assisting teachers in the use of technology and creating resources including websites and tutorials for teachers, staff and students.
Glasspool said various factors were considered.
For one, the district's “Bring Your Own Device” policy has resulted in an additional 800 to 1,000 devices on the district's network each day, Davis has said.
“It has been a success,” Glasspool said.
The district's network supports more than 2,000 computers and 500 mobile devices, not counting students' own devices.
Glasspool said he is looking for a candidate with a background in education and would like the position filled before summer recess.
“I am looking for someone from the teaching ranks — a K-12 teacher to meld the skills abilities,” Glasspool said.
“I am looking for a technology mentor — someone who will work with the teachers, assist in the use of technology to its fullest capability, enhance instruction and engage students.”
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.