By Audrey Richardson
Special To The Standard
The new Director of Technology for Windsor Central Supervisory Union, Rob Callahan, has made himself at home in the greater Woodstock community. Callahan took over the position vacated by Rick Dustin-Eichler last year. This year, the Director of Technology position is a full-time position, in contrast to Dustin-Eichler’s position.
Last year, Dustin-Eichler juggled his technology position as Bridgewater Elementary School’s principal position. Now that Dustin-Eichler has moved on to the Hartford School District, Callahan plans to implement his own strategies.
Callahan comes to the WCSU from New Haven, Connecticut were he worked as the Coordinator of Technology Professional Development for Fairfield County schools, as well as an adult education instructor. Callahan has been the Director of Technology for suburban school districts since in Connecticut since1998 and supporting school technology since 1992. And with his extensive knowledge in the field of educational technology integration the move to WCSU was an easy transition.
“My interactions are primarily with teachers, and schools administrators, but my work ultimately is to improve educational opportunities and resources for students,” said Callahan about his new employment.
Since Callahan has left Connecticut, he is growing new roots in West Windsor and learning about all that Vermont has to offer. Callahan moved to the Woodstock Area in one of its most challenging times, post Irene, but witnessing this devastation only strengthened his commitment to the area. “I love the Woodstock community and was particularly impressed with the mutual support and outreach during the aftermath of Hurricane Irene,” he said. Although Callahan previously considered himself a “flatlander” he has always had a connection with the area and enjoyed recreating here during the various seasons.
“I would visit the area about ten times per year with more direct connections to Windsor and Ascutney. I also have a family history with Hanover, Dartmouth College faculty and graduates,” explained Callahan about his connection to the area.
Now that he is in Woodstock, Callahan’s first order of business is getting familiar with the staff of the supervisory union’s communities, school facilities, our systems, resources, processes, fellow administrators, and regional technology collaborators at the state level.
Since WCSU has recently updated classroom technology across most schools, Callahan says his particular focus is now on broadening Internet connectivity and enhanced telecommunications features and related cost efficiencies. Additionally, he is designing and implementing common and unified systems in all SU schools. This includes expanding common electronic report cards, student records systems, emergency communications, and electronic data reporting. These various projects and directions emerge from the WCSU Board’s principal of cohesion, which means having all the schools in the SU operating in a common and efficient manner while maintaining the individual character, strengths, and diversity of the schools and towns.
It is important to Callahan, he says, that he keeps all WCSU technology systems afloat and in this day and age that is a more pertinent job than ever before. Schools are consistently increasing their dependence on technological abilities and info-structures with employees like Callahan working behind the scenes to make everything work smoothly.
This article first appeared in the December 8th edition of the Vermont Standard.