On June 3, Steve Hope, Associate Superintendent of Personnel and Technology will be retiring from both posts after having served 36 years in the district. Likewise, Director of Technology Andy DiGirolamo is also set to retire on April 30. The retirement of both these technology specialists brings up the question of how the district’s technology team will be staffed and ran in the upcoming school years.
The retirements of Hope and DiGirolamo are happening during an important transition period for the district. As Common Core State Standards (CCSS) begin to take effect in the 2013-2014 school year, it is crucial that the district critically evaluates how and what technologies the students at both high schools require. CCSS calls for a new, updated exam that will include essays and projects to be more comprehensive than the current multiple choice exams. Since these new exams will be proctored on computers, the issue of technology is an important one in the district.
To help tackle fill Steve Hope’s position, the district has appointed Laura Stefanski as Mr. Hope’s replacement.
Stefanski is aware of the power of technology. Having started her career in Milpitas, Stefanski was responsible for teaching English to Vietnamese engineer immigrants who were entering the electronics industry.
“Expanding technology is certainly a necessity and [a] priority of the district,” Stefanski said. “I think [that is] because students will need tech skills in college when they take their courses [and] when they obtain jobs.”
She moved on to the Fremont district and then to the MVLA Adult School, first teaching GED preparation, then becoming program coordinator. She has coordinated older adults, basic skills programs, and community interest. She was the adult school summer principal for five years until she finally became director of adult education.
Stefanski has continued to show support for the community through holding positions on numerous school boards and committees.
“I am deeply honored to be nominated for this position,” Stefanski said. “I am following my mentor, Steve Hope, into a position that requires me to learn, listen, act and reflect. My goal is to meet the high standards of the district while maintaining a positive and nurturing work environment.”