RCET Workshop Instructors
Dr. Gus Farmakidis
Dr. Gus Farmakidis has spent the last 20 years teaching History, Technology, Instructional Design and Technology integration. Dr. Farmakidis has spent time as an educator at Southeast Local in Ravenna, Multi-Juvenile Correction Facility in Canton, The University of Akron (part-time), and now with The Akron Public Schools. Dr. Farmakidis received his Bachelor of Science from Kent State University. He received his Masters Degree from The University of Akron in Instructional Technology. In 2013 Dr. Farmakidis received his Ph.D from The University of Akron in Curricular and Instructional Studies. Dr. Farmakidis has spent the last two years at Jennings CLC developing a “Virtual Village” to help teachers and students benefit from the integration of technology into their curriculum. He also is continually working to build a technology program to support Social Emotional Learning for Akron Public Schools. Dr. Farmakidis is a Google Certified Trainer and uses this to develop the faculty’s abilities for communication and instruction.
Laurie has been working in technology and education for almost 30 years. She holds a Masters Degree from Cleveland State University in Curriculum and Foundations with a focus on Technology Education, and a Bachelors in Business from The Ohio State University. A recognized speaker, curriculum consultant, and workshop leader, her experiences have included serving on the keynote panel for Learning 2.0 in Shanghai, China, a Keynote speaker for the Maths and Science conference in Queensland, Australia, and presenting at various conferences throughout the United States including ISTE and OETC. Her expertise as a Technology Integration specialist was recently recognized by Squirrels® and was accepted into their Alpha Squirrel class.
She is a Certified LEGO Robotics Instructor, Quality Matters Certified, INFOhio Coach, Makey Makey Certified trainer, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, and serves on the ISTE PLN Admin committee.
Additionally she served as a volunteer for FIRST for 10 years including 3 years as a regional director for the Cleveland, Ohio FIRST Lego League robotics competitions. Laurie has taught at the Laurel School for Girls, was the online learning coordinator for PBS ideastream®, Workshop leader with Western Reserve Education Services PBS , taught at the Cleveland public schools, and Cleveland State University and is an adjunct professor for Ashland University. Laurie enjoys developing customized professional development experiences for faculty and staff.
Laurie has had a special interest in helping schools provide environments that nurture girls interests in science and technology.
Jackie Hersh, MSED, B.S
Jackie Hersh MSEd, B.S., joined the West Geauga School District in 2018 as their Response to Intervention (RTI) District Specialist and Middle School Department Head for Special Education. Prior to this new position, she served as the Director of Assistive Technology and Learning Support at Lawrence Upper School, with over ten year’s experience as an Intervention Specialist. Jackie has presented at Closing the Gap, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) and International Dyslexia Association on topics regarding Assistive Technology, as well at local symposiums and conferences. She has served on the board of the North East Ohio International Dyslexia Association, as well as a steering committee member for WVIZ Technology Innovation for Northeast Ohio. Jackie is also a Google Level 1 and 2 Educator. Her passions include equity, assistive technology and coaching teachers and students about educational technologies to empower our learners and ensuring our students have tools to support their learning!
You can follow her on twitter at @JHJhersh.
Becca Hollis, M.Ed., RYT-200
Becca Hollis earned her Masters of Education from Kent State University and most recently served as Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention for the College of Arts at Kent. In addition to her background in education, she has been practicing mindfulness for over 15 years and is a Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor.
Becca develops and leads mindfulness curricula for both K-12 institutions and universities throughout Northeast Ohio.
D. Garth Holman
Garth Holman has been teaching middle school history for 24 years. Currently, Garth teaches 7th grade World History at Beachwood Middle school, a position he has held since 2000. Garth was an integral part in making Beachwood the first 1:1 school in the state of Ohio and has had his students building online textbooks for over 15 years now.
In addition to nationally renowned classroom procedures, Garth has also been a keynote speaker and presenter at countless conferences throughout the United States. He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Akron for 14 years.
Jake is an authorized Google Apps for Education Trainer and is currently the Technology Integration Specialist for Brady Middle School in the Orange City School District. At Brady, Jake helps manage the implementation of G Suite (Google Suite) for Education, 1:1 Chromebooks, Google Classroom and other technologies, while working with a team to envision the building’s future integration of STEM, Fab Labs and innovative learning practices.
He previously taught and co-created a middle school STEM Program at Kimpton Middle School in Stow-Munroe Falls, Ohio. Prior to that he taught 9 years of math and science in various grades. His Bachelor’s Degree is in middle-level education (math/science) from the University of Akron and his Master’s Degree is in Instructional Technology from Kent State University.
Jake is passionate about educational technology and regularly shares his geeky obsession at area conferences, schools’ professional development days, on his website (jakemiller.net) and on Twitter (@JakeMillerTech). His other passions aren’t as “geeky” - his wife, 3 kids and dog, with whom he resides in Kent, Ohio.
Bill Myers, Founder - New Territory
Bill Myers, founder of New Territory, has recently served as a professional consultant for the Interactive Commons at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio, where AR is used for the Microsoft HoloLens deployment in medical school education. While deploying AR for marketing and other uses through his own company, he is a sought-after leader in AR consulting in Northeast Ohio for new applications of AR, particularly in the broad arena of education.
To capture the attention of youth and peer-to-peer mentoring, Bill is an advisor at Akron Public Schools, Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools and Cuyahoga Falls City School District where AR is introduced at the usage and coding levels.
Robert Lane, M.A. Ed.
This school year, 2018-2019, marks Robert's 23nd year of teaching. Robert is excited to get to spend another year at Springfield High School and Junior High as the 7th grade Computer Technology and 8th – 12th grade Robotics teacher. Prior to teaching at the junior high and high school level, he taught 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades. Most of these years he had a self-contained classroom where he taught all of the subjects. In the fall of 2008, Robert switched to math only. In 2007-2008, he also spent two semesters teaching technology at the University of Akron. Teaching at so many age ranges allows Robert to appropriately integrate technology at many levels.
Robert received his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Malone College in 1996. A few years later he went on to get a Master of Arts in Education concentrating on instructional technology from the University of Akron in 2002.
He facilitates and leads a computer science camp in Springfield Local Schools. He is excited to also facilitate and lead a other computer science camps to the children of the Summit, Stark, and Portage Counties in Northeast Ohio. Robert also speaks and leads professional development in Springfield Local Schools as well as around Northeast Ohio. He has presented at International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC), NEOTech Conference and the APS3T Conference.
JC Lenk is a 10-year 6th grade social studies teacher. JC is currently working at Beachwood Middle School and worked for several years at Conneaut Middle School. JC is finishing his master's degree at Baldwin Wallace University in the Leadership in Technology program that integrates a variety of tech tools into the classroom and school building.
JC has created a paperless classroom that uses Chromebooks and free software to change the idea of what teaching and learning can be and provides ownership to his students. He has started presenting at local and regional conferences to share his experiences with others.
Find JC on twitter @jclenk.