Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
Washington Unified School District
An educator for nearly 30 years, Dr. Becci Gillespie has held a variety of positions including teacher, assistant principal, principal (both elementary and middle school), district superintendent and now assistant superintendent in West Sacramento, California. She has worked in large and small schools and districts on both traditional and multi-track year round calendars. Becci has enjoyed the variety of challenges she's faced in these different settings.
Becci first became interested in technology while in college although, she says, "technology choices were still emerging way back then!" As a new teacher, she pursued opportunities to try new technologies and feels extremely fortunate to have worked with a very forward-thinking principal and superintendent who provided her with lots of learning opportunities and support. She had the opportunity to try out new computers and applications as they became available. Before long, she was teaching computer classes to other teachers and later, as an administrator, leading district technology efforts.
When asked what technology solutions and projects she believes make the biggest difference in schools and education, she promptly replied, "Almost any technology can make a difference—if it's used!" She believes successful technology implementation has to do with effective leadership on the part of both teachers and administrators. "Using technology involves significant change, and that kind of change only takes place when people work together. You can have the latest and greatest tech solutions, but they won't be used effectively unless you have people working together to make it happen."
What role does Becci see for technology in the future of education? A big one! "If knowledge is power," says Becci, "successful students need to have access to the latest information. They should have access to tools to deliver, analyze, and present information. It's hard to imagine how we'll be learning in the future. Innovation is creating a powerful need to change our pedagogy and instructional delivery. What an exciting and challenging time in education!"