North Carolina Digital Learning Initiative

Friday Institute for Educational Innovation
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

Homework Gap Convening


Eric Boyette

Eric Boyette serves as Secretary and State Chief Information Officer for the North Carolina Department of Information Technology. He was appointed to this position in April 2017 and currently leads Statewide IT planning and operations.

Boyette brings more than 20 years of experience in state government in various roles, with responsibilities ranging from technical to financial practices. Prior to his current role, he held several pivotal roles in the NC Department of Transportation, including Chief Information Officer, Inspector General and Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner. He also served as the NC DIT Deputy State Chief Information Officer for Solution Delivery.

Bruce Clark

Bruce Clark is the first city-wide Digital Inclusion Project Manager. In this capacity, Clark leads a community-focused Digital Inclusion Steering Team to develop a comprehensive plan for Internet-connectivity for all in the Charlotte area. This position is funded through a grant from Knight Foundation, reports to the Dean of the Knight School at Queens. Clark brings to the role experience in campaign management and grassroots initiatives in digital media, most notably as Executive Director of The PPL, an independent media hub formed during the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Geoff Coltrane

Geoff Coltrane serves as the Senior Education Advisor for the NC Office of the Governor. From 2010-2017, Coltrane was Director of Institutional Research and Strategic Initiatives at the NC School of Science and Math in Durham. He previously was Director of Program and Policy for the James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, and began his career as an elementary school teacher in Durham Public Schools. Coltrane graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill where he was a Teaching Fellow. He also holds a Master of Public Policy from Duke University.

Jenifer O. Corn, Ph.D.

As the Director of Evaluation Programs at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University, Dr. Corn serves as PI of evaluation and research studies around the implementation and impact of innovations in K-12 classrooms and community college settings. Dr. Corn completed her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Instructional Technology in May 2008 at NC State University. Her primary responsibilities include managing the process and day-to-day operations of the evaluation of several large, statewide evaluation and research studies of educational innovations, including leading the evaluation of initiatives funded under North Carolina’s Race to the Top grant, Digital Learning Plan, and Golden LEAF STEM and Essential Skills Initiatives. Before joining the Friday Institute team, Dr. Corn worked as Project Coordinator for the Technology in Learning Program at the SERVE Center at UNCG. Her research interests focus on leadership, policy, STEM, professional development, teaching and learning, infrastructure, and evaluation for innovations in public school settings. Dr. Corn serves on as a member of the advisory board to the North Carolina Virtual Public School, Public School Forum, and Kenan Fellows Program.

Rob Dietrich, Ed.D.

Dr. Rob Dietrich serves as the Director of Accountability and Technology for Lee County Schools. He oversees the Student Information System, as well as state testing for Lee County Schools. He also oversees the hardware and infrastructure in the district for technology. Prior to his current position, Dr. Dietrich began his career as a Social Studies teacher for five years. He has worked in administration since 2003 and had been an Assistant Principal and Principal. Dr. Dietrich attended NC State to earn a bachelor’s degree in History Education, master’s degree in School Administration, and a doctorate from Wingate University in Educational Leadership.

Phil Emer

Phil Emer has spent more than 25 years working at the intersections of data communications, research, academia and business – splitting time between the public and private sectors. In the private sector Phil worked as an engineer with IBM, as a technology executive with venture-backed Carolina Broadband and as a technology director with not-for-profit MCNC. In the public sector Phil directed voice, video, and data communications at NC State University and now serves as Director of Technology Planning and Policy at the Friday Institute where he leads the NC Education Cloud initiative funded under the NC Race to the Top grant. Phil serves on the Architecture Review Board of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and on the Board of the Wireless Research Center of NC. Phil holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in computer engineering from NC State University.

Glenn Kleiman, Ph.D.

Glenn Kleiman is the Executive Director of the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation and a Professor at the NC State University College of Education. A cognitive psychologist by background (Ph.D., Stanford, 1977), his work in education has spanned basic and applied research, curriculum development, software development, providing professional development for teachers and administrators, policy analyses, and consulting for school districts and state departments of education. Currently, Dr. Kleiman leads the development of the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan for K-12 Education and the Friday Institute’s Massive Online Open Courses for Educators (MOOC-Ed) initiative. Dr. Kleiman was a member of Governor Perdue’s Education Transformation Commission and the North Carolina eLearning Commission, for which he was chair of the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee. Dr. Kleiman played a lead role in the development of the North Carolina Race to the Top proposal, which received $400 million of funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to joining NC State University in July 2007, he was Vice President and Senior Research Scientist at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in Newton MA, where he directed the Center for Online Professional Education and was Co-Director of the Northeast and Islands Regional Education Lab. He was also on the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education from 1995-2007 and was education chair of the Harvard/EDC Leadership and the New Technologies Institutes.

Beth Lancaster

Beth Lancaster is Director of Project ACCESS for Montgomery County Schools in North Carolina. She has 26 years of experience in education. She has served in numerous roles in education throughout her career. These roles include time as an Elementary School Teacher, Curriculum Facilitator/Reading Coach, Assistant Principal, and Principal of several elementary schools within Montgomery County Schools. Beth received her BS in Elementary Education from East Carolina University, her MaED in Instructional Technology/Supervision from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and her Masters in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel

Jessica Rosenworcel returned as a Commissioner to the Federal Communications Commission on August 11, 2017 after being nominated by the President and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.

Previously, Commissioner Rosenworcel served as an FCC Commissioner from May 11, 2012 to January 3, 2017 following her nomination by President Obama and unanimous Senate confirmation.

Commissioner Rosenworcel brings a decade and a half of public sector and private sector communications law experience to her position at the FCC. This experience has shaped her belief that in the 21st century strong communications markets can foster economic growth and security, enhance digital age opportunity, and enrich our civic life.

Prior to joining the agency, Commissioner Rosenworcel served as Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV. She previously served in the same role on the Committee under the leadership of Senator Daniel K. Inouye. In this position, she was responsible for legislation, hearings, and policy development involving a wide range of communications issues, including spectrum auctions, public safety, broadband deployment and adoption, universal service, video programming, satellite television, local radio, and digital television transition.

Before joining the staff of the Committee, she served as Legal Advisor to former FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps. She also served at the agency as Legal Counsel to the Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau and as an Attorney-Advisor in the Wireline Competition Bureau.

Prior to entering public service, Commissioner Rosenworcel practiced communications law at Drinker Biddle and Reath.

Commissioner Rosenworcel is a native of Hartford, Connecticut. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and New York University School of Law. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband Mark, and children Caroline and Emmett.

Jeff Sural, J.D.

Jeff joined the Department of Information Technology in January 2015 as the Director of the Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO). With the stated mission of creating the nation’s first giga-state by 2021, BIO leads the statewide initiative to expand high-speed internet access for all North Carolinians, focusing its resources on underserved rural communities.

The office provides policy recommendations and guidance to government leaders and key stakeholders to foster broadband infrastructure expansion, adoption, and use. Through the use of on-the-ground technical advisors, the team provides assistance to local government leaders working to facilitate broadband expansion in their communities. The office includes the state’s FirstNet public safety education and outreach program.

A native of Greensboro, Jeff has more than 20 years of experience as an attorney and public policy expert working at the state and federal levels on issues. Prior to joining DIT, Jeff was a member of the Legislative and Public Policy Group at Alston & Bird LLP in Washington, D.C. He previously served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and as Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. He also served as Legislative Counsel to U.S. Congressman Vernon Ehlers, and as Assistant Majority Counsel for the Michigan House of Representatives.

Jeff earned his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from UNC - Chapel Hill and his J.D. from the Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan.