Greenport and Southold schools will share a new technology director for at least the next three years now that the two districts have entered into a shared-services agreement.
The Greenport Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the appointment of Ryan Case for the job, which takes effect July 1.
Greenport and Southold have approved several shared-service agreements in recent years to cut costs and offer more programs for students.
“It’s another example of the things we can do together and how much better we are when we work together,” Mr. Comanda said.
Mr. Case’s position is instructional and not related to infrastructure, Mr. Comanda said. Part of his job duties will include providing increased faculty training regarding the further integration of technology like iPads and Smart Boards into the classroom.
“This isn’t a hard-wired job,” Mr. Comanda said. “He’s working on staff development and instructional design using technology. He can observe teachers and infuse more technology into their lessons.”
“Teachers almost have to accept, if you will, that they’re really co-learners with the students,” board president Heather Wolf said. “In many cases the students will be more tech savvy than they are. That’s an unnatural thing for a teacher. You really almost have to go into discovery mode. I hope that [Mr. Case] will make them comfortable with that new mode of teaching.”
Mr. Case, 37, lives in Cutchogue with his wife, Jennifer, and their 4-year-old son, Jackson. He currently works in the West Babylon school district as its coordinator of technology. Previously, he spent two years working as a data expert at Eastern Suffolk BOCES. He has also taught computer lab for elementary school students in the Connetquot school district.
“I’m a strong proponent of web-based technology and social media use,” Mr. Case said. “We’re moving away from having specific software for teachers. I see my job as helping teachers make their own lives better and making their curriculum more exciting.”
The Greenport school board said they don’t anticipate that Mr. Case will encounter any major challenges as the shared technology director with the Southold school district.
“I think the greatest challenge for him is going to be able to learn the culture of both schools because they are uniquely different,” Mr. Comanda said of Mr. Case. “He’ll need to look at the curriculum and what each school has in terms of equipment and programs and then start to weave those together in terms of staff development.”
Mr. Case said he’s up for the task.
“I think it’s more of an opportunity,” he said. “These two districts have been working together more and more. I think it’s going to be very interesting.”