At its meeting on July 6, the Bethlehem Central Board of Education is expected to appoint Erin Sheevers as the district’s new Chief Technology Officer. Sheevers is an educator and experienced leader in K-12 technology having served as technology director at two area school districts for the last 10 years, including her current position as technology director for the Troy City School District.
Sheevers will be a familiar face to many in the district. In 2011-12, she worked as a technology integration specialist in Bethlehem and she is also a 2003 graduate of BCHS.
In her role as BC’s Chief Technology Officer, Sheevers will oversee a professional staff of nine and a staff of more than a dozen student interns employed throughout the school year as part of the district’s student help desk. The department provides technology hardware, software and infrastructure, data systems, and instructional technology support to 4,300 students and more than 800 faculty and staff districtwide. She is replacing Raymond Nardelli who announced his resignation in June.
Sheevers began her professional career as a high school social studies teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. Her transition from classroom teaching to instructional technology and leadership, she said, was an outgrowth of her interest in professional development while still a teacher. While in Baltimore, she helped launch a then first-of-its-kind Virtual Learning Lab in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and Lockheed Martin. She wrote curriculum and supported instructional colleagues for the learning lab that in 2009 was the first public-private partnership to introduce the use of games and simulations to improve instruction for high school students.
After returning to the Capital Region, Sheevers worked for a year at BC as a technology integration specialist and technology consultant supporting the district’s Special Education and Student Services (SESS) department. In that role, she coordinated iPad integration for special education students providing teachers and students with an adaptive tool to help promote learning and level the playing field for students with disabilities.
Sheevers received her bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College in Political Science, History and Education. She holds a graduate certificate in Leadership in Technology Integration from Johns Hopkins University. She also holds a master’s degree in Instructional Technology and Curriculum Development as well as School Building Leader and School District Leader certificates from the University at Albany.
In looking ahead, Sheevers said she will be focused on applying the lessons learned during COVID to improve instructional technology in the near and distant future.
“Technology has been integral to COVID learning but we need to know where we stand and what our technology needs are going to be moving forward,” said Sheevers. “There are definitely things we will want to keep, things we hope to refine and things we never want to see or do again.”
She also said COVID has accelerated changes in how we prepare students for college and work life.
“For so long we have been training students to go to work,” said Sheevers. “Now, work is coming to them. The traditional work environment has changed and we need our students to be prepared for a future that suddenly looks very different. The technology we use in school and how we use it can make a huge difference for a student of the 2020s.”
Superintendent Jody Monroe said she is excited to welcome Sheevers to her administrative leadership team.
“Erin’s background is the ideal combination of experienced educator and seasoned technology leader. She has proven she can navigate a large school district through one of the most technologically demanding times in history,” said Monroe. “That experience and know-how will be incredibly valuable as we look to make post-COVID teaching and learning at BC the best that it can be.”
Sheevers said she is looking forward to what she calls a “full circle” return to Bethlehem.
“I know the community,” said Sheevers. “I left, came back, bought a house here and am raising my children here. I love Bethlehem and am ready to make a difference in the community that is my home.”
Sheevers is set to begin her new role at BC on Monday, August 9.