Empowering Tomorrow’s Tech Leaders: STLP Engineer/Ambassador Team’s Insightful Visit to Kentucky Department of Education

On February 8th, 2024, the STLP Engineer/Ambassador team embarked on an enlightening journey to the heart of Kentucky’s educational landscape, the Kentucky Department of Education in Frankfort. Their visit was not only an opportunity to explore the inner workings of the Office of Education Technology but also a chance to engage with key figures shaping the future of education technology in the Commonwealth.

One of the highlights of the visit was the tour of the Help Desk services center, a hub of technical support vital for schools across the state. For many of the students, who serve on their school’s help desk back in their districts, this experience was both insightful and inspiring, offering a glimpse into the real-world application of their skills.

The meeting with Dr. Marty Park, Kentucky’s Chief Digital Officer, and Chuck Austin, Chief of Customer Relations and Emerging Technology, provided a platform for discussing the expansive scope of the Kentucky Education Technology System (KETS). Exciting updates on the horizon promise to revolutionize classrooms and enhance learning experiences for students statewide.

Security in the digital realm emerged as a paramount concern during discussions with Brian Spellman, Interim Director Division of School Technology Services, and Kenny Brakefield, School Security Operations Manager. Safeguarding students using technology for learning is a shared responsibility, and these deliberations shed light on the importance of proactive measures.

Later, the STLP Engineer/Ambassador team had the privilege of engaging with David Couch, Associate Commissioner of Education. Mr. Couch, viewing the students as his own student advisory council, eagerly listened to their perspectives on technology’s role in education and explored avenues for further support from the Office of Education Technology. Reconnecting with returning team members from his hometown in Johnson County was an added delight for Mr. Couch, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose.

Jim Seward, Director of Technology for Bellevue Independent Schools, returned as the STLP Engineer/Ambassador Lead, bringing invaluable expertise to guide the team. Together, they embarked on team-building activities and laid the groundwork for a transformative year as student ambassadors, poised to champion innovation and collaboration across the state.

**What are STLP Engineer/Ambassadors?**

STLP Engineer/Ambassadors are tech-savvy students selected to represent their schools and districts in leveraging technology for educational excellence. These students serve as liaisons between their peers, educators, and educational institutions, advocating for innovative solutions, fostering digital literacy, and driving positive change in their communities.

As the STLP Engineer/Ambassador team forges ahead, their dedication and passion promise to shape the future of education technology in Kentucky, empowering students to thrive in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

Picture of STLP Engineer Ambassador team standing together.