“At the bottom line, it’s all about improving the ways that children learn and educators educate,” said Bryan O’Black regarding his recent induction into the Emerging Leaders Class of 2011 of ASCD, formerly known as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
O’Black serves as the director of technology and assessment for the Shaler Area School District, but he’s a Baldwin Borough boy through and through. He graduated from Baldwin High School in 2002 and attributes his interest in education to the progressive yet down-to-earth Baldwin-Whitehall School District that reared him.
O’Black still lives in Baldwin Borough, but he commutes to Shaler Area for work, where he handles traditional information-technology services and technology integration, runs student assessments, and develops curriculum-driven solutions.
Dr. Donald Lee, the superintendent of the Shaler Area School District, described O’Black as “a bright, aspiring young educator who has the unique ability to have a broad conceptual understanding of both the educational process and technology.”
Lee continued, “(O’Black’s) training, experiences and innate ability enables him to visualize how technology can be integrated into student learning and how it can facilitate the learning process for both the learner and the teacher.
“All of us at Shaler Area are proud of Bryan’s accomplishments and agree with ASCD that he is truly an aspiring young educational leader.”
ASCD is an international organization that focuses on curriculum instruction, assessment and best practices. Its members are professional educators, including both teachers and administrators, who represent approximately 150 countries.
Emerging Leaders is a nomination-based program that recognizes young, emerging educators who have demonstrated leadership skills in their field. The two-year program allows these leaders to further hone their skills and empowers them to influence education programs, policy and practice.
O’Black is one of 36 members of the 2011 class. He will participate in a mentor relationship after the program kicks off with its L2L meeting at the end of July. The L2L meeting, shorthand for the Leaders to Leaders meeting, draws the class together for an open conversation.
O’Black looks forward to the international discourse, as he feels it will allow him to prepare students to be globally competitive. Though he quipped that he is not one to bask in the limelight, he is thrilled to be a part of the program.
And, those at ASCD are thrilled to have him.
“The 2011 class of ASCD Emerging Leaders is an outstanding group of young educators, and we are proud to welcome Mr. O’Black into the program,” said Judy Seltz, the deputy executive director of constituent services at ASCD. “We are pleased to work with Mr. O’Black in his capacity as an administrator and look forward to providing him with the tools and connections to help him on his journey to become a leader in education.”
O’Black will bring back what he learns from the program to the district in which he works as well as to other educators across the state. He plans to spread his insights as the president-elect for the International Society for Technology in Education Special Interest Group for Technology Coordinators and as a member of the Technology Committee and Executive Board for the Pennsylvania prong of ASCD.
O’Black was recently appointed to a U.S. Department of Education Regional Advisory Committee. He is working on his Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Duquesne University, where he earlier attained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and certification.
O’Black interviewed for a spot on the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board in February, this year, and got as far as being motioned for to fill a seat. Ultimately, the motion for O’Black never reached the voting stage, though.