2018 NICE K12 Cybersecurity Education Conference Planning Committee

iKeepsafe appreciates the assistance and support of the 2018 Conference planning committee members:


Oscar A. Aliaga

Career Pathways Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Education

Dr. Oscar A. Aliaga is the first Career Pathways Coordinator for the Agency of Education in Vermont.  His main role is to develop a career pathways system for the K-12 educational system in the state.  Also, his work includes the design and implementation of career pathways for the school system.  Recently, he has started to work on the development of a career pathway in cybersecurity, coordinating with technical centers, colleges, companies and other agencies and institutions around the country. Prior to his current position, he has been a Program Director and Research Associate with the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, both at the University of Louisville and the University of Minnesota.  He has also held a faculty appointment, and is the author of different publications.



Career & Tech Ed Specialist — IT, Computer Science, Arts & AV Tech at School District of Palm Beach County, FL

Anthony was a Graphic Design teacher for 20 years, working at all K-12 levels, elementary, middle and high, as well as adult education and as an adjunct at the college level.  Anthony earned a Bachelors in Art Education from Florida State University and a Masters in Educational Leadership at Florida Atlantic University. He is now in his third year in the CTE department at the District of Palm Beach County, Florida. 



Career and Technical Education (CTE) Specialist at Pearson Education

Jim is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Specialist at Pearson Education. Prior to joining the company in September of 2016, he was a Technology Forecaster and Labor Market Analyst for the State of Texas. Between 2003-2016, he delivered speeches and workshops on the topics of innovation, STEM, CTE, and cybersecurity reaching approximately 50,000 education, workforce, and economic development professionals. In 1995, Jim graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Bradley University—his focus was sociology of cyberspace.


christi coplin

CTE Teacher at CISD, Commerce, Texas

Christi has a Masters in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems from the University of North Texas and has been teaching in Texas Public Schools since 1997.  Christi has taught in both urban and rural school districts. She currently is teaching Computer Programming, Video Game Design and Principles of IT at Commerce High School located in Commerce, Texas.

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lemi-ola erinkitola

Founder at The Critical Thinking Child

An author and award-winning educator, Erinkitola is deeply passionate about empowering parents and their children. Her tutoring and consulting practice, The Critical Thinking Child LLC, provides parent coaching and fosters students’ academic achievement through the advancement of cognitive brain development and critical thinking skills. Her brain training boot camp program was featured on ABC News. Erinkitola is also the founder and Executive Director of the Children’s Reading Foundation of Greater Chicago. There, she collaborates with community partners to provide literacy support and free books while sharing a love of reading. Additionally, she currently serves as an Ambassador for By Kids For Kids (BKFK), helping to improve educational technology and promote innovation among today’s youth.  Erinkitola is an invited conference speaker at the local, national and international levels on early literacy, gifted education, cyber safety and critical thinking. Holding a Master’s degree from Rush University in Chicago, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois and specialized training in critical thinking from the University of Edinburgh, she is also the proud mother of three gifted children. In her spare time, she enjoys creating puzzles and traveling.


amanda fitzgerald

Director of Public Policy at American School Counselor Association

Amanda Fitzgerald serves as the Director of Public Policy for the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). She has worked for the association since 2003 in various capacities. While she serves as a liaison for community partnerships, she primarily focuses on government relations efforts for the national office. Amanda serves as a liaison for both congressional offices and the US Department of Education. Amanda earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Arts in School Counseling from The George Washington University in Washington, DC and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed the DC Education Policy Fellowship Program in 2010 and is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives and the Association for Women in Government Relations.


chuck gardner

Director of Curriculum at Cyber Innovation Center

Chuck Gardner is the Director of Curriculum for the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC) and former high school cyber and technology teacher. He holds an MBA (Marketing) and an EdD (Educational Leadership) from the University of Phoenix and a BS (Marine Transportation) from the United States Merchant Marine Academy. After leaving the maritime industry 12 years ago, he became a career-changing teacher, first teaching algebra and geometry in middle school, then moving to high school, where he first encountered NICERC and wrote content for the young company. As the director of curriculum, he now oversees a team of content authors and organizes professional development workshops across the country.


amanda keammerer

Deputy Director, CyberSecurity San Antonio at San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

Born and raised in San Antonio, Amanda Keammerer is the deputy director of CyberSecurity San Antonio at the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.   There, Amanda works to educate, engage, and elevate the CSSA TX community by sharing resources, fostering collaboration, spurring economic development, strengthening the talent pipeline, and increasing brand recognition of Cyber City USA.

Before the Chamber, Amanda served as a special assistant and policy advisor to the Federal Chief Information Officer during the Obama administration. Prior to the White House, Amanda was a digital marketing and analytics manager at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy think tank. Amanda started her career as a community relations manager with LULAC, a civil rights and advocacy organization.

Amanda earned her MA in Global Communication from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, where she concentrated on national security policy and IT policy. Amanda earned her BA in Russian Studies from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. A proud SAISD alum, Amanda graduated from GW Brackenridge High School. Amanda is a CyberPatriot mentor, and a member of the Association for Latina Alumnae of Smith College, the Digital Inclusion Alliance of San Antonio, and the AFCEA Alamo Chapter.


amber lindsay

Vice President of Operations at iKeepSafe

Amber has an extensive background of working with schools, corporate partners, and organizations on nationwide initiatives. Her gift is the ability to bring together various stakeholders to successfully work toward a common goal. Prior to working at iKeepSafe, Amber served as the Manager of Marketing and Outreach for the NetSmartz Workshop and at The Constitution Project. Amber holds a B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations.



Bill littleton

Cyber Forensics Vulnerabilities Assessment & Test IPT Lead in the Shore C2ISR & Integration Department at SPAWAR Atlantic

Mr. Littleton is an adjunct professor for Information Assurance since 2009 at Capitol Technology University in Laurel, Maryland teaching Information Assurance and Penetration Testing.  He is currently employed by the DoD as a computer scientist. In addition to his responsibilities as a scientist, he is also the STEM Cyber Security Outreach Team Lead. Over the years he was responsible for assisting the South Carolina Department of Education in developing 3 high school cyber security courses, development and deployment of a Cyber Collaboration Suite allowing for live virtual-hybrid on-line high school cyber classes.  Bill is also the Director of the Palmetto Cyber Security Summer Camp developed in 2012 that focuses on teaching middle and high school students various areas of engineering and cyber security. He is also the Director of the Palmetto Digital Forensics Competition which focuses on teaching preparing high school and college students in the domain of digital forensics through the use of a capture-the-flag event. In his spare time he presents as a guest speaker at various events such as the SBIOI, Association of Old Crows Cyber Training, CDCA conferences, and the annual Charleston C5ISR conference.  


michael maldonado

Associate Director for Middle School Programs at CyberTexas Foundation

Michael Maldonado is the Associate Director for Middle School Programs at the CyberTexas Foundation and is working to bring cybersecurity instruction to schools in South and Central Texas by providing professional development and curriculum resources.  Michael has developed Principles of Cyber Security, an innovative cybersecurity course adopted by the Texas Education Agency. Michael is currently the information technology teacher and lead Career and Technology teacher at Southwest High School in Bexar County, Texas.

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ed mondragon

Career & Technical Education Coordinator, IT/STEM at Granite School District, Salt Lake City, Utah

Ed Mondragon is a 28-year veteran business/computer science educator serving as the IT/STEM curriculum specialist for the Granite School District (Salt Lake City) CTE Department with a passion for computer science, physical computing, and cybersecurity education. Ed considers himself an edupreneur regarding developing and implementing new curriculum within the IT/STEM areas, and is passionate about getting students prepared for 21st century careers through engaging, problem solving learning opportunities.

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Kevin Nolten

Director of Academic Outreach at Cyber Innovation Center

Kevin Nolten serves as Director of Academic Outreach for the Cyber Innovation Center. With 13 years of management experience, six of which in K12 education, Kevin is responsible for the operations of the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), an organization funded by a multi-million dollar federal grant, charged with developing STEM, cyber, and computer science curricula, professional development, and other resources for K12 educators, school districts, and state departments of education across the country. Kevin’s visionary passion and philosophy has led to the expansion of Cyber Innovation Center’s workforce programs to communities across the county – all with the goal of developing the next-generation cyber-literate workforce. Prior to joining the Cyber Innovation Center, Kevin served as an Assistant Principal of a K8 school in Louisiana.


loyce palen

Director at Center for Security Studies

Dr. Loyce Best Pailen has more than 35 years of experience in information technology, having worked in cybersecurity, software development, project management, telecommunications, risk management, and network and systems security and administration. Currently she is a collegiate professor at UMUC teaching cybersecurity policy and technology courses. She is also the Director for the Center for Security Studies at UMUC. She has held director-level information technology positions at the Washington Post, Graham Holdings, UMUC, and Computer Sciences Corporation (contracting for the U.S. Department of Defense - Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy). Pailen is a member of the Executive Board of the ISC2-NCR Chapter and the Technical Working Group of FISSEA at NIST. Pailen earned her doctoral degree at UMUC. She is also a Computer Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Pailen is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.


davina pruitt-mentle

Lead for Academic Engagement at National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE)

Dr. Davina Pruitt-Mentle serves as Lead for Academic Engagement of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Prior to joining NICE, she was a senior researcher and policy analyst for Educational Technology Policy, Research and Outreach (ETPRO) and served as the Co-PI for the National Science Foundation (NSF) supported National Cyberwatch Center (NCC). Previous to NCC leadership, she served as faculty within the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park, and served as Director of Educational Technology Outreach within the College of Education at UMCP from 2001-2008. She has spent the past 20 years conducting research on student and educator cyberawareness, and developing programs to help increase the cybersecurity workforce pipeline. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Technology Policy from the University of Maryland, her M.Ed from Lynchburg College, and her B.S. from Virginia Tech. 


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felicia rateliff

Senior Program Manager at iKeepSafe

Felicia has extensive experience in nearly every area of marketing, including content development, company and product messaging, public relations, event management, and graphic design. Her passions include developing holistic solutions and programs that encompass all angles of marketing strategy. Prior to working with iKeepSafe, Felicia served as the US Marketing Manager for Impero Software, an international education technology company, where she was instrumental in developing the US version of the keyword library for their flagship online safety monitoring product, Education Pro. Before entering the marketing field, she created the first Career and Technical Education Graphic Arts program in Mexico, Missouri, where she taught for seven years. Felicia holds an MSM in Organizational Development & Change Management; MBA with Marketing emphasis, and a lifetime Missouri Secondary and Postsecondary Teaching Certifications in Graphic Arts, Graphic Communications and Illustration.



Executive Director at SC Cyber

Thomas Scott (Tom) is the Executive Director of SC Cyber. With over 25 years of State Government experience in both Florida and South Carolina, Tom has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience in protecting State critical infrastructure and cyber assets. He currently holds certifications in information security, information auditing, security leadership, critical infrastructure protection, and project management – he is also recognized as a FEMA Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) Practitioner.

Tom is the current Executive Vice President of South Carolina’s FBI InfraGard program and also serves as an advisory board member for the Dutch Fork High School Cyber program. He has actively participated in the federal information security community via the MS-ISAC’s Executive Committee and NIST/NICE workgroups. He currently serves as the President of the SC ISACA chapter and Board Chair of the OdysseyOnline virtual public charter school. Tom participates as a member on industry advisory boards for the USC Integrated IT program, ECPI University, and LexRich5 Center for Advanced Technical Studies.


fred stinchcombe

Director of Information Technology at Padua Academy, Wilmington, Delaware

Fred Stinchcombe is a Director of Technology/High School Teacher, originally from Bristol in the UK, Fred has been teaching cybersecurity over 10 years, starting at the University of the West of England and now at Padua Academy in Wilmington, Delaware. State winning Cyber Patriot and GirlsGoCyberstart coach, when not in the classroom he enjoys ice hockey (Go Leafs Go) and shouting at his television when his beloved Queens Park Rangers are losing, which happens the majority of the time. He is currently working on obtaining his CISSP.

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james tracy

Head of School at Rocky Hill School, Greater Boston Area

Dr. Tracy has an MA and a PhD in History from Stanford University. He earned an MBA with a Certificate in Public and Nonprofit Management and an EdM in Higher Education Policy, Planning, and Administration from Boston University. Dr. Tracy was also a Columbia University Klingenstein Fellow. He received an executive certificate from MIT Sloan in Strategy and Innovation. He was a visiting fellow at Yale, Co-Founder of the Future of Work Institute, Founder of the Theology/Technology Annual Global Summit, Founding member of the Future of Work Working Group at Mass Robotics, an education advisor to Singularity University, Senior Advisor to the Board of LearnLaunch, and an Affiliate of Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. He has advised Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) on the Future of Work Issues and is currently on US Representative Jim Langevin’s (D-RI) Strengthening Rhode Island Committee and Education Advisory Committee. Dr. Tracy is co-authoring a book with Greg Toppo, USA Today’s national K12 education writer, about the future of jobs, analyzing how artificial intelligence and robotics will change employment and education opportunities in the future. Dr. Tracy serves on the advisory board for Digital Learning and Innovation. 

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amy werst

Assistant Director for Outreach and Strategic Planning at Center for STEM Education, The University of Texas at Austin

In her role as Assistant Director for Outreach and Strategic Planning in the Center for STEM Education at UT Austin, Amy Carrell Werst assist in the development, expansion, and improvement of Computer Science programs in Texas K-12 schools. She serves as the statewide Project Director to provide mentoring and technical support to the WeTeach_CS Collaboratives regarding budget development, professional development planning, recruitment, district collaboration, developing external partnerships, and other areas related to programmatic and fiscal management. Ms. Werst coordinates the WeTeach_CS Summit which is a 3-day event which educates, empowers, and inspires K-12 CS teachers, advocates, administrators, professional development providers, university instructors, and policy-makers to advance the goal of CS for All in Texas and beyond. She is also the UT Austin Regional Partner Program Manager for to support K-12 efforts in Austin, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley, El Paso, and rural Texas.