Instructional Technology Resource Teachers
Franny Aida began her career as a French teacher for 7 years. Once she recognized how technology could bring a more authentic Francophone experience to her classroom, her passion for all things tech was ignited. She went back to school to get her Masters of Education in Instructional Technology in 2014 from the University of Virginia.
After getting married, Franny and her husband moved to Daytona Beach, FL where she became a technology coach in 2018. Franny and her husband welcomed a baby boy to their family in 2019 and decided to move back home to Richmond in 2020. Franny is thrilled to be an ITRT in RPS. She loves the fast-paced world of EdTech, and how it encourages everyone to continue to grow and learn new skills. She loves working with teachers to solve problems and innovate in their classrooms.
Alex Alexson Email
Alex Alexson graduated Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA) from VCU. In May 2003, he received the Award in Academic Excellence for the College of Humanities and Sciences, Spanish Department. He has been in education for 14 years. He has served as department chair. He has a passion for the 4 C's (Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication).
Alex Alexson is certified in the following apps: Apple, BrainPop, Common Sense, CK-12, Discovery, Duolingo, Edpuzzle, Epic!, Flipgrid, Flocabulary, Edulastic, Formative, Google, Insert Learning, Legends of Learning, Nearpod, Microsoft, Mystery Skype, Newsela, Quizlet, Read&Write, Screencastify, Seesaw, Skype, SMARTboard, and Soundtrap.
Christopher Barna Email
Christopher Barna has been an educator in Richmond Public Schools since 2014. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master's Degree in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University with certifications in Math, Biology, and Chemistry. His passion for teaching using technology led him to join the ITRT team in 2020 where he hopes to spread the wonders of digital teaching tools to all classrooms within the district. When not teaching, Chris enjoys watching sports, live-streaming, and playing strategy games.
Before becoming an ITRT in 2020, Sam taught 7th grade Life Science for 10 years. She has a Bachelors in Biology from Longwood University, a Masters in K-12 Education from Capella University and is a Google Certified Trainer. Outside of school she is a mother (of a human child and fur-babies), crafter, lover of the outdoors, and all-around nerd.
As an ITRT, Sam loves to learn new technologies and ways to increase student engagement. She believes technology can bridge achievement gaps by helping students become self-directed, life-long learners.
Ashley is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where she gained two bachelor’s degrees in biomedical engineering and physics and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She is also a Richmond Teacher Residency alumna. Prior to becoming an ITRT, Ashley taught math at Elkhardt-Thompson Middle School, earning the distinction of Teacher of the Year.
Her passion is to utilize her classroom and technology as a way to ignite interest in the STEM fields. She was also named the 2021 Richmond Public Schools Teacher of the Year and 2022 Virginia Teacher of the Year for Region I.
Mercedes Buck Email
Mercedes Buck earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications from Lehman College in New York City; where she was born and raised. After working in the finance and technology industry for several years, she dedicated a year to serving as a mentor program coordinator in elementary schools through AmeriCorps. She then started a nonprofit organization focused on career and technical educational opportunities for teens. Volunteering sparked her desire to become a teacher.
Mercedes returned to school to obtain a teaching license in 2015. In 2017, she graduated from Regent University with a master’s in Education and continued on to earn an Ed. S degree in K-12 Educational Leadership in 2020. Mercedes has taught students in Virginia and NYC throughout grades 6th-12th in courses titled Computer Science, Coding, Digital Input Technologies, Entrepreneurship, Economics & Personal Finance, and U.S. Government.
Ms. Buck is passionate about exposing students to careers in technology as well as teaching staff how to incorporate technology in daily lessons to engage students.
Brent Evans Email
Brent is a graduate of Virginia State University. He has been with Richmond Public Schools for nearly 40 years. Brent was a high school Technology Education teacher and a middle school Computer Applications teacher before becoming an ITRT. Mr. Evans is a SMART Certified Educator and a SMART Certified Champion.
Mr. Evans enjoys assisting teachers with the integration of technology in their lessons.Professional Development topics include: Digital Citizenship, Online Resources, SMART Notebook, SMART Board, Lumio, Aspen, Google Workspace, and Illuminate.
Stacy-Ann Green is an alumna of Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Carolina University. Mrs. Green also holds a bachelor’s degree in teaching from Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College.
Mrs. Green has 14 years of experience in public school education and has served in a variety of roles including Virginia Preschool Initiative teacher, K-6 teacher, lead literacy teacher, mentor, Virginia Commonwealth University Clinical Faculty, and technology coach. She encourages and facilitates the use of educational technology tools. She uses numerous technology tools to deliver curriculum content, engage students, and foster critical thinking. Her hobbies include playing volleyball, hiking, photography, and spending time with her family.
Lisa Horrell Email
As a true lifelong learner, Lisa earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education, a master’s degree in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University, and a bachelor’s in Information Science from Christopher Newport University. She is certified to teach Middle Education grades 5-8, Library Media PreK-12, Business and Information Technology, Technology Education, and Computer Science. After teaching Science, Library Media, and Career and Technical Education for twenty-three years near her hometown in Virginia, she has found her niche as an ITRT.
Lisa continues to take every opportunity to learn something new and enjoys sharing information with other educators. Consistently researching technology resources for educational integration has resulted in experience with dozens of programs, apps, and games. She has successfully coached teams in Odyssey of the Mind, Lego Robotics, the Regional Science Bowl, and CoderZ competitions. Her love for the Chesapeake Bay inspired her to support the oyster restoration project by growing baby oysters with her students. Finally, Lisa experienced weightlessness in the Zero-G plane which was amazing!
ITRT Lisa supports the 5 C’s (critical thinking, creativity, citizenship, collaboration, and communication), student-centered learning, engagement, experiential learning, and real-world integrations for all learners (including faculty and staff).
Dina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from Virginia State University. She earned endorsements in Early Childhood Education and English as a second Language K-12. Dina has been teaching in the RPS system since 2001. She has been a second grade teacher and a teacher in the Virginia Preschool Initiative program. She also served as the lead Technology teacher at Francis Elementary for three years prior to becoming an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher.
Dina speaks Spanish and enjoys assisting with language needs wherever possible.
Rose Martin-Turnage Email
Previous Position: Earth Science Teacher. Degrees: Bachelor of Science (Earth & Space Science) Master's Degree (Information Systems) PhD in Educational Technology. This is my 37th year with the RPS school system. I am a Google Certified Educator, Level 1.
Staff Development Topics: Webpage, Microsoft Office Tools, podcasting, webcasting, Qwizdom Interact, classroom performance systems, digital photography, Essential Tools, Smartboard, camcorder, Windows Movie Maker, Photostory, digital microscope, Tablet PCs, Open Mind, United Streaming, Google, Google Earth, blogging, Skype, portfolios, technology action plans, distance learning, teleconferencing, Google Drive, Web 2.0, Google Docs, Voki, FaceTime, Prezi, Wordle, Voice Thread, Glogster, Moodle, EduSoft, Jing.
Cathryn taught fourth and fifth grade. Before becoming a classroom teacher, Cathryn began her RPS tenure nearly thirty years ago as a school-wide Aquatics Instructor and Writing Teacher at Swansboro Elementary School. Previous to teaching for RPS, Cathryn taught at various universities including The University of Tulsa and VCU. Cathryn has a BA from St. Bonaventure University, a MA in Modern Letters from The University of Tulsa, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her focus is to use technology to create multimedia modes of expression, such as digital storytelling.
Nicole was previously an elementary classroom teacher in Richmond Public Schools. Her passion to implement technology into everyday lessons and small group learning stations led her to become an ITRT. Nicole welcomes collaboration with teachers in the creation and integration of technology into their lessons and enjoys sharing and modeling.
She strongly believes that technology increases student interest and involvement. Nicole hopes to enable teachers to successfully correlate technology with the curriculum and SOLs to increase student motivation and achievement.
Before becoming an ITRT in 2009, Jeff taught 9th Grade World Geography for four years and also spent a year as an Americorps reading tutor. He holds a Bachelor's degree in History, a Master's degree in Teaching, a Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Instructional Technology, and a Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching for K-12 Educators, all from Virginia Commonwealth University and is endorsed for grade 6-12 Social Studies.
He is proficient with both Windows and Macintosh computers along with a wide variety of software for each. Staff Development Topics: using Smartboard in the Social Studies classroom, cyberhunts and Webquests, Wikispaces, social studies Websites, blogs and wikis, Glogster, Google Tools.
Marci Rosenthal has a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology and has been an ITRT since 2006. Out of her thirty-one years in the field of education, twenty-seven years have been with Richmond Public Schools. She has experience on the elementary level, teaching multiple grade levels and as a Library Media specialist. Marci has presented at EdTech Conferences, VSTE Conferences, and City-Wide Staff Developments. She has taught summer and after-school classes through RPSU at the Technical Training Center at Henderson.
She enjoys sharing her knowledge and helping to bring students and teachers into the 21 century. Marci is a SMART Notebook 11 Certified Trainer, a Google Classroom Certified Educator. She has trained educators on the use of Aspen, Edmodo, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Discovery Streaming, PowerSchool, Web 2.0 tools, Web searching, and creating Cyber hunts and Web quests. She is also very comfortable with using the digital camera, document cameras, iPads and eBooks.
Stephanie Smith Email
Stephanie has more than two decades in education from elementary, middle school, high school and adult education. With her love for science and passion for teaching, Stephanie went above and beyond her classroom duties making sure each and every one of her students reached their fullest potential. Stephanie exemplifies the skill needed to be a 21st century educator as she focuses on preparing her students for the world that they will live and work in.
Stephanie is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. She majored in Biology/Pre-Medicine in hopes of becoming a pediatrician but soon realized that her passion was in education. Stephanie's educational philosophies and constructionist approach to teaching and learning, her science classroom was hands-on with student-centered learning. She is deeply committed to helping learners understand the transformational power of technology. Her intimate knowledge of teaching and learning, down-to-earth style, and powerful message of empowerment have made her strive to achieve best practices technology infusion into teaching and learning with high energy.
A true wanderer, Stephanie has also taught in Maryland, Texas and Germany. During her times of travel, she did manage to receive her Master’s Degree in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University. Stephanie is married to her wonderful and understanding husband, Rondal Smith who recently retired from the USAF after 22 years in service.
Joselyn Verdi was a classroom teacher for 13 years before becoming an ITRT in 2015. She recently accepted a position as Lead ITRT. She taught first, second, third, and fourth grades.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She also holds a Post Master's Certification in Leadership and Supervision. She was a mentor teacher for seven years and a Language Arts Lead teacher for six years. Joselyn is a National Board Certified Teacher with a concentration as an Early Childhood Generalist. She is the mom of two wonderful boys and an avid Ohio State, Browns, and Indians fan! She loves sports, outdoor activities, reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Joselyn used technology in her classroom daily! She has experience with the district's Priority Resources and anything Google. She is proficient with both Windows and Macintosh computers. Joselyn brings a lot of passion and excitement for helping teachers integrate technology into their classrooms to support students’ learning needs. She strongly believes that technology increases student interest and involvement.
Mark Wenberg Email
Mark was a third grade teacher for 10 years, Lead Technology Teacher and Ecoff Elementary School 2000-2001 Teacher of the Year before becoming an ITRT. Mark has a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications, a Master of Teaching degree and a Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching for K-12 Educators, all from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Mark has extensive experience with Windows-based and Macintosh computers with an emphasis on web development, digital graphics, desktop publishing, digital video production and cybersecurity. He is particularly interested in using online platforms such as Google Classroom to deliver professional development that is convenient, flexible and fun.
Carla enjoys working with teachers to help them strategically implement technology in the classroom to support students’ learning needs. Pairing teachers with resources such as specific Google Workspace Apps, creation platforms, and other online instructional tools is one of Carla's favorite tasks. According to Carla, the best part of the job by far is celebrating colleagues' successes as they grow to meaningfully incorporate technology into their teaching practice. Follow her on twitter @rpsitrt or find her on the web at myitrt.com.