SOMERS, N.Y. - Looking to blend cutting-edge technology with leading-edge educational concepts, Somers school officials have created a new position called director of innovations in learning.
Somers High School’s assistant principal, Kevin Guidotti, will fill the $155,000-a-year post, replacing Christopher B. White. White, who resigned in October to join Microsoft Corp.’s educational team, was the Somers Central School District’s director of technology.
But under Guidotti, the position will take on expanded responsibility for applying the schools’ technological advances directly to the ways students acquire knowledge.
“Over the past several years, a lot of work has been done to set up the technological infrastructure for the district and get us well established in that area,” Guidotti said in a statement announcing his promotion. “We are now focusing on helping our students and teachers use the technology in the most efficient way to accelerate student learning.”
Dr. Raymond H. Blanch, the district’s superintendent of schools, proposed creation of the new post, saying last month that the director of learning innovations will work directly with teachers “to create relevant professional learning experiences for effective and engaging instructional practices.”
The school board endorsed Blanch’s initiative at its Nov. 22 meeting, voting unanimously to create the learning-innovations position and to install Guidotti in the post.
“I welcome Kevin,“ Blanch told the board meeting, saying he “has quickly become a well-regarded and well-liked, well-appreciated, very, very strong asset to our school district and our leadership team.”
A physics teacher for eight years at Byram Hills High School, Guidotti moved to the Somers front office in September 2015. He called his new job “an amazing opportunity to be part of the good work that is happening in the district.”
Somers schools are in the midst of a $700,000 upgrade of their technology infrastructure, improvements financed by the district’s share of a $2 billion statewide Smart Schools bond approved by voters in 2014.
White, who came to the district in 2004, supervised the high-tech overhaul as director of technology, a responsibility that now falls to Guidotti.
“His focus will be on the continued development of students’ critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, character development and citizenship and on furthering the use of instructional technology in classroom practices,” Blanch said.
He said the district will seek an interim assistant principal for the remainder of the school year to replace Guidotti.
For his part, Guidotti said he was “excited to see the impact our efforts will have on student learning and engagement.”
“This,” he said of his new job, “is about crafting transformational learning experiences for the students.”