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Digital Equity Summit 3 (June 15, 2021)

On June 15, 2021, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, the New York State Education Department will convene the third virtual Digital Equity Summit. This last Summit will focus on digital equity issues specific to P-12 education.

Panel presentations and breakout discussions will center on building a better understanding of the diverse experiences of our students, teachers, schools, and educational communities, as well as compiling recommended tools, resources, and solutions for moving forward toward greater digital equity in New York State.

The Summit will feature a student panel and a second panel of educational and community leaders.  After the panels, small breakout conversations will focus on the topics of quality digital teaching and learning; devices and broadband access for students; and building/facilitating school-to-home and -community connections to support digital inclusion efforts. 

In an attempt to mirror the diversity of our stakeholders, participation in this event is by invitation only. 

The Summit will be streamed live (excluding any breakout sessions) on the New York State Education Department's homepage. The link will be available on NYSED's home page on the day of the Summit.

Facilitator and Panelist Bios:

Angelique Johnson-Dingle, Student Panel Facilitator, is the District Superintendent at Western Suffolk BOCES which serves 18 component school districts with approximately 75,000 students. Ms. Johnson-Dingle also supervises the Division of Instructional Support Services at Western Suffolk BOCES, a position she holds concurrently with that of District Superintendent.

Jaime AliceaMoving Forward Panel Facilitator, is the Superintendent of Syracuse City School District. He has dedicated his career to the district having worked his way up from a teaching assistant to Chief Operations Officer over the course of his 33-year career before being named Superintendent. Through his many years of dedicated service, Mr. Alicea has been recognized as the Latino Educator of the Year by ANCLA, the Latino Educator by Nosotros Radio and has received the NAACP Community Service Award, the YWCA Academy of Diversity Achievers Award and more. He was recently recognized by Syracuse University with the Chancellor’s Citation for Public Education as an advocate and leader.

Student Panelists

Kiarra Boodram, Quest to Learn, New York City

Eudora (Eudie) Brennan, Chatham Central School District

Jaylen Cameron, Martin Van Buren High School, New York City

Dajhana Earl, Buffalo City School District

Justin Espinal, Brentwood Union Free School District

Samantha Gonzalez, Copiague School Disrict

Michael Haws, Yonkers City School District

Katelynn Kennedy-Staggs, Professional Performing Arts High School, New York City

Moving Forward Panelists

Claudia Depkin is the President of the New York Library Association and Director of the Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library. She was named a Library Journal “Mover & Shaker” for 2019 for her work on building community around sustainability. When not librarianing, Claudia likes to exercise, hang with family, and read books. 

Sarah Edwards is the Director of Instructional Technology for the Buffalo Public Schools. A veteran member of the district’s IT department, she has been largely responsible for leading the district through several technology initiatives including the implementation of their 1:1 device program for all students, grades PK-12.

Rafi Santo, PhD, is a learning scientist focused on the intersection of digital culture, education, and institutional change. As principal researcher at Telos Learning, he partners with education institutions, foundations, intermediaries, coalitions and government agencies to generate insights through basic and applied research, develop novel strategies for impact, and create new designs for equitable learning. He has studied, collaborated with, and facilitated a range of organizational networks related to digital learning, computing, and technology in education including the Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network, CSforALL, NASA, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. His scholarship spans multiple levels of activity—from understanding youth learning pathways across settings to investigating policy implementation and organizational network design—in order to develop practical insights that come from a holistic perspective. His work has been supported by the Spencer Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, the Susan Crown Exchange, Google, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Rafi holds a PhD in Learning and Developmental Sciences from Indiana University.

Tanika Shedrick, is the Principal of BUILD Community School in the Buffalo City School District and an Assistant Principal Coach.  She is an alumna of the school that she currently serves. It is her personal mission to restore the legacy of BUILD Academy while embracing the future possibilities of BUILD Community. Tanika was recently awarded Elementary School Principal of the Year by the Friends for a Better Buffalo organization for her compassion for and commitment to the students and community of the Buffalo City School District.   

Anibal Soler, Jr. is the Superintendent of Schools for Batavia City Schools a small high needs city district located in Genesee County.  Anibal's current work in Batavia focuses on providing greater opportunity, equity, access and quality for all.  Prior to his superintendency Anibal served as the Associate Superintendent of Strategic Alignment and Innovation for Buffalo Public Schools.  Throughout his career, Anibal has also held previous roles as a Principal in both the elementary and secondary levels and has also served as a teacher on assignment in the role of Instructional Technology Specialist.